Gordon-Bayani gaining ground
Correct but unwise choice
A LAW EACH DAY (Keeps Trouble Away) By Jose C. Sison (The Philippine Star)
The entry of Gordon and Fernando tandem in the presidential race somehow brightens the political horizon. They may not have generated as much excitement and hope as when Aquino and Roxas announced their candidacies but they certainly enhance, or even revive, the “good versus evil” choice in the 2010 elections. Before they joined the race, only the Aquino-Roxas tandem appears to present to the electorate that kind of choice. With their entry the people are given the “better versus good” choice. Indeed Gordon and Fernando may turn out to be the only other alternative in the “good vs. evil” choice as the Aquino-Roxas team and their handlers in the Liberal Party are slowly turning out to be the same trapos engaging in transactional politics. They may become only the “lesser evil” among the other serious presidential contenders.
Richard Gordon first attracted national attention when he served as Mayor of Olongapo City in the early 90’s. His no nonsense, hands on style of running the city affairs and rendering public service was refreshingly extraordinary and distinct from the usual run of the mill type of governance rendered by Mayors of other cities and municipalities at that time. He showed and demonstrated the real meaning of “public service as a public trust” by using the powers of his office in order “to serve and not to be served”. His dedication to the performance of his duties enabled him in turn to instill discipline on his constituents in strictly following the law and dutifully complying even with the traffic rules and regulations. At that time he was already regarded as a presidential timber much like the late Mayor Arsenio H. Lacson of Manila in another era.
The same can be said of Gordon’s teammate, Bayani Fernando. Adopting Gordon’s style, Fernando also converted Marikina City into a progressive, clean and orderly metropolis. In the various government posts he held, Fernando distinguished himself as a government official who does not hesitate to enforce the law or to carry out a valid and legal order no matter who gets hurt. His strong determination to do what he believes is necessary, right and proper even if unpopular and damaging to his political career really caught the public’s attention and renewed hope for that much needed reform in governance. Initially he projected the image similar to Lee Kwan Yiew of Singapore although lately he seemed to have been overwhelmed by the well entrenched rotten democratic system of government now prevailing in this country.
One of the oft repeated criticisms against leaders who have been in the government saddle is the lack of “political will” in performing of their jobs. They said this lack of “political will” is among the main reasons for the inefficiency, ineptness and corruption in the past and present administration. Gordon and Fernando are the only ones among the tandem running in the presidential derby who have demonstrated some kind of political will based on their performance record.
The inefficiency, ineptness, corruption and injustices in the past and present governments have also been attributed to the kind of politics practiced by politicians aspiring to lead us. These politicians particularly the other presidential and vice presidential aspirants are undoubtedly engaging in transactional politics of wheeling and dealing, horse trading, party hopping and political realignments based on personalities rather than principles. Apparently, only Gordon and Fernando have so far been immunized from practicing such kind of politics as shown by their public service record. They somehow inspire hope for that much needed reform in rendering public service with “utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency”. They sound credible enough when they present themselves as the “transformers”.
Comparing their public service record, the Gordon-Fernando tandem seems to have an edge over the Aquino-Roxas team. They also generate a lot more hope for that longed-for change in our government. And this is primarily because the Aquino-Roxas team and their handlers in the Liberal Party have also fallen into the trap of engaging in transactional politics, accepting turncoats and trapos into their fold just to ensure and clinch victory. This is not my assessment only. Several readers have posted on the internet the same kind of observation like the following:
“I agree with the article. If the politicians were sincere in their advocacy for change, they should have done so months before, out of principle. It seems they only jump ship when it is convenient, when they already see the surveys. Noynoy seems to be a trapo. He was holding a meeting with Erap at the height of typhoon Ondoy. He met with Chiz. He got mutineer Danny Lim in his senatorial slate. He was even open to meeting with the Marcoses who ironically had the decency to know the implication of a possible merger. But not Noynoy. The Hyatt 10, Cory’s Bulong Brigade, Kamag-Anak Inc are back in power. If Noynoy cannot control LP, what chances does he have in leading the country?” (Posted November 23, 2009 by a certain “selina_burnett’).
“It is indeed disappointing to see Noynoy and Mar accepting turncoats. The LP will be seen now as a party of trapos. Sad, quite sad. I would not be surprised if Noynoy’s popularity slides because of this” (Posted November 23, 2009 by “keener00196).
“How can Noynoy be the candidate who will lead change for the country when he has on his side all the old trapos and oligarchs who want to maintain the status quo? No transformation in our system of governance can happen as long as a leader is beholden to conflicting interests of the different groups supporting him” (Posted November 23, 2009 by nermd).
Before it is too late, Noynoy and Mar should revert back to principled politics and change their tactics. As another reader writes, “Noynoy honesty ang pinaglalaban natin. Huwag ka nang kumuha ng ibang LP converts. Ikaw at Mar lang panalo na tayo. Huwag ka nang kumuha ng iba na makakabawas sa boto mo dahil sa kanila, kayong dalawa lang panalo na tayo” (Posted by noynoyparapangulo November 23, 2009).
This is just a friendly reminder. While the correct choice is Gordon and Fernando because of their strong political will to transform our kind of governance, it appears to be an unwise choice at this time because only Noynoy and Mar, as shown by the surveys, are in a position to prevent the other leading contenders from winning the race and from further inflicting upon us more of the same kind of inept, inefficient and corrupt government. The element of trust in Aquino and Roxas to bring the necessary changes is still there. But if they continue with their backsliding ways, Gordon and Fenando may be the only good choice left for people to realize that longed-for change.