Balitang Kutsero By Perry Diaz
Presidential wannabe Noynoy Aquino may not have billions to spend in his campaign, but he sure has a lot of guts! At a rally of thousands of his “Yellow Army” supporters, he warned corrupt officials that their days were numbered. That’s gutsy! Not too long ago, Noynoy promised that he’ll recover the Marcos “loot.” That’s gutsy! And recently, he promised that he’d prosecute President Gloria Arroyo for plunder if he’s elected President. Now, that’s really gutsy! No guts, no Gloria!
During the 24th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution at the People Power Monument, Gloria said that her vision to “heal the wounds of the past EDSA uprisings has been partially met.” According to her, “healing the wounds of Edsa is a part of her 10-point pro-poor agenda.” “Healing the wounds of Edsa”? Hmmm…
Well, here’s what I wrote in my article, “Power of the Pork,” a few weeks ago:
“Biggest pork barrel in history:
In 2005, Gloria used more than P80 billion for pork barrel — that’s 10 times the normal amount! — for projects in which most were shrouded in mystery. More than half of this — P46.8 billion — were allocated for ‘Healing of Edsa I, II and III Funds.’ When asked in a radio interview, then Budget Secretary Romulo Neri explained that the P46.8-billion ‘healing of Edsa wounds’ fund included P29 billion for ‘back pension payments for retired Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police personnel.’ That’s a hell of a lot of money! Shouldn’t they be included in the Department of National Defense and Philippine National Police budgets? Or was it used surreptitiously to keep the military ‘loyal’ to Gloria during the ‘Hello Garci’ election cheating scandal and Edsa III uprising?” Yup, as Gloria’s granddaughter once said, “What Lola want, Lola gets.”
Gloria also said, “The world embraced EDSA I in 1986. The world tolerated EDSA II in 2001. The world will not forgive an EDSA III but would instead condemn the Philippines as a country whose political system is hopelessly unstable.” Huh? And I thought Gloria’s EDSA II was what made the country’s political system “hopelessly unstable.” Kurakot na, mahirap pa. Wah wah we! Kawawa naman kami!
Gloria also claimed that the “Glorious Revolution” had deteriorated into partisanship over the years.” She’s right. EDSA I was the “Glorious Revolution” and EDSA II was “Gloria’s Revolution,” and it’s been downhill since then. And if there’s going to be EDSA III, what should it be called? Let’s see…
Noynoy’s “Yellow Army” celebrated the “People Power” in the jam-packed Araneta Coliseum with 30,000 Coristas, Ninoyistas, Noynoyistas, and Liberalistas. The sea of yellow was a breath-taking sight.
Meanwhile, Manny “Money Villarroyo” Villar had a campaign swing featuring go-go girls clad in bikinis gyrating on stage to an audience of salivating Villaristas, Marcos loyalistas, Nacionalistas, and communistas. In the old days, that’s called “burlesque.” Oh, well, that’s the sign of the times. What Manny wants, money gets.
The other day, Noynoy accused Villarroyo of stealing his line. According to Noynoy, Villarroyo stole his slogan, “Hindi ako magnanakaw” (I will not steal). In one of his campaign sorties, Villarroyo said, “Sa harap ninyo, sa mata ng Diyos, hindi ako nagnakaw … Hindi ako magnanakaw” (In your presence and in the eyes of God, I did not steal ... I will not steal). Well, after nine years under Gloria Arroyo’s corrupt regime, it makes one wonder if there’s anything left to steal.
But what’s going on with the other eight presidential wannabes? Gloria’s hand-picked candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro is finally feeling the effect of Gloria’s “kiss of death.” He’s now distancing himself from Gloria by not talking about Gloria’s legacy. It won’t be long before he’d realize that it’s time to abort and join the “Yellow Army” of his cousin, Noynoy.
I read that two VIPs whose endorsements could be “kiss of death” to the candidate are former President Fidel V. Ramos and boxing icon Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao. Ramos said that he’ll make his endorsement by the end of March or early April. I can hear most of the candidates saying, “Please not me!” But not Richard “Flashy Dick” Gordon. With a 1% rating in the poll surveys and a shoe-string campaign budget, what has he got to lose?
In the case of Pacman, he said that he’ll start campaigning for Villarroyo, his “beloved president,” after his fight with Joshua Clottey. For someone who claims that he had a talk with God, Pacman is becoming a joker. And the joker is wild, man! He should stay sway from Villarroyo’s go-go girls during the campaign. Some people say that Pacman has an eye for beautiful girls.
Former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada claimed that an opponent urged him to withdraw from the presidential derby and offered to reimburse all his campaign expenses if he quit. Well, with his funds drying up, Erap should take the offer and call it quits. Heck, he can always claim that he already spent P2 billion. I’m pretty sure that Money Villarroyo wouldn’t blink an eye to shell out that kind of money. With that kind of money, Erap can retire in his “Boracay” mansion.
A few days ago, Villarroyo was criticized for giving P20 bills to several street children who approached him during a campaign swing in Batangas. That’s nothing. They’re just children, not voters. I think he was just practicing the art of “vote-buying.”
In another instance, Villarroyo got himself in trouble with the Commission on Elections (Comelec). Comelec said that a disqualification case may be filed against him “for violating the Omnibus Election Code (OEC) after giving away scholarship grants to his supporters.” Whoa! That’s vote-buying, clear and simple! Section 261 of the OEC states that “vote-buying is when a person ‘gives, offers or promises money or anything of value’ in order to induce anyone to vote for or against any candidate.” Now, that is serious.
But in another instance, Villarroyo got himself in big trouble. This time, it’s with the military. According the military spokesman, Villarroyo’s group “violated an agreement that they would not conduct any form of campaigning inside the highly-restricted military compound.” Villarroyo and his group met with detained Marine Col. Ariel Querubin -- who is running for Senator under Villarroyo’s party -- in Camp Aguinaldo. They then locked arms and made a “unity walk” inside the camp. The military spokesman said that “the unity walk” violated standing regulations of the military banning any political activity in all its camps. Now, that is very serious. Villarroyo should know better than not to mess around with the military. Villarroyo may have lots of money but the military have lots of guns... sometimes they shoot first before they ask questions.