Tonyo Cruz, notable blogger/writer and political thinker shares to us his opinion about the Political undertaking about the current situation our country is currently going through. He is showing us a perspective that is similar to a “Centrist” perspective. A viewpoint that is asking for a reform in the system rather than a change of leadership. A viewpoint for institutional change rather than just a regime change. That is the centrist perspective. It then leads us to the question: WHAT CHANGES IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM DO CENTRIST WANT TO IMPLEMENT? WHO AND WHAT ARE THE CENTRIST? (answers in the next article).
THE ROBREDO NARRATIVES AND LP MOTIVES
By Tonyo Cruz
Dec. 6, 2016
The manufactured narratives behind Vice President Leni Robredo’s resignation or constructive dismissal (just choose depending on your political preference) as HUDCC secretary beg to be reexamined.
First off, the narratives pay only lip service to the people at the margins (laylayan). The resignation is immediate. It offered no consolation to her now-former constituents at HUDCC, which are chiefly the informal settlers in the cities, the rural poor, and even the lower echelons of the middle class. They just became pawns in a brutal political chess game, and the housing problem a political footstool.
All the efforts to convince Duterte to accommodate Robredo in his cabinet in the name of reconciliation, and all the propaganda about putting people first above party – they were vaporized by this lightning resignation.
Secondly, the narratives are quiet on the narrow political interests at play, specifically those of the discredited and repudiated Liberal Party which Robredo leads. Much as some admire the vice president’s relative cleanliness, it is not smart to think that people don’t see that the LP seeks its own political restoration, as much as the Marcoses want theirs. Wittingly or unwittingly, this latest development signals the LP’s initial steps towards recapturing lost political power.
Thirdly, the narratives hide the fact that the LP leadership bench is shallow. Robredo can actually afford to stay in the cabinet if she wants to, if only to direct as much public resources and public power to people in the “laylayan” and act as a counterbalance from within. But no viable opposition leader has come forward. De Lima is busy with her own affairs, and both LP contingents in the House and Senate are aligned with the pro-Duterte majority blocs. (In the case of the House, the LP are in the majority and minority.) They have no choice except Robredo.
Fourth, Robredo is being positioned as the leader of the rising protest movement against the Marcos hero’s burial, by virtue of the party’s interest of protecting her hold on the vice presidency. How she and the LP would do this, we don’t know. But knowing the kapalmuks Yellow political operations in the fairly recent past, it is not far-fetched to predict that they will cleverly attempt to transform this broad united front into a pro-Robredo and LP-led machinery. That would cheapen and weaken the movement, and cause disillusionment among the youth.
Fifth, the narratives may not have been straightforward about it, but they are of the same “good vs. evil” line once again, a continuation of the LP’s last-ditch scare tactics in the final days of the campaign. It seeks to simplistically limit the people’s democratic vision on the political space into just two warring choices.
Truth to tell, Robredo could singlehandedly fix this narrative problem by resigning from the LP. I hope she does, for her own sake and for the nation’s. The LP was a fetter to her candidacy then, it is a fetter to protecting her position now.
Recent history’s lessons should immunize us from the simplistic and false binary choice being thrown at us. The sharpening political crisis requires more from us.
This has happened before, the same cast of characters presenting themselves in a saga of “good vs. evil” only to realize they could even be more vile, more corrupt and more brutal.
Actually, this has happened not just once but many times. They gleefully sliced and diced the people into colors and categories. Yet all the drama and made-up narratives didn’t only fail to prevent but actually fostered a Marcos revival. It turns out this “good vs. evil” line is good only for capturing power for some and meaningless to the majority when they are once in power.
In the protest movement against the Marcos hero’s burial, we profess our faith in our heroes and martyrs. They are a constellation of stars that should guide us now. They offer the lesson that liberates.
These great young men and women not only fought for the dismantling of the Marcos dictatorship. They didn’t offer their lives just to make a certain party or family look good or bad. They died for the cause of fundamental system change – to replace the rotten system that made dictatorship possible.
This lesson should make us bolder in defeating any Marcos return to Malacañang and stop Duterte’s abuses. But this should also make us very wary against any attempt of the old ruling party to hostage the protest movement for its own restoration — a comeback for their own brand of incompetence, cruelty and corruption.
It is unfolding right in front of us: another drama and political rigodon, with lots of surprises and plot twists. Yet again, the only role given us is either that of a pawn or spectator.
Would millennials fall for the same sophistry, sweet talk and sophistication? Would we as a nation fall for a rehash of the old superhero vs. supervillain political story line?
Duterte should only blame himself for giving the Yellows political oxygen. Each step he takes away from his promise of change and closer to Marcos and Marcosian thinking is lamentable and condemnable. Sadly, the Yellows are misusing this for their own restoration.
It is thus a legitimate position to say we reject both a Duterte-Marcos alliance and a Robredo-Yellow power grab/restoration. Democracy should be bigger than the sum of these political cliques.
We must stand our ground against the rampage of the dominant voices, be they DDS, Marcos loyalist or Yellow. We have to tell them supporters of other candidates, the abstainers, the non-voters, the youth and the children have the same right as them to discuss and determine the course of the nation.
We should not limit our democratic imagination to the tired, old discredited story lines, narratives and characters that give us only heartaches, headaches and humiliations. Let our protest movement embolden us to realize the unfulfilled dream of our heroes and martyrs. System change must be our peg for political action.