The Dirty Dozen

uencamino writes political commentary for Action for Political Reforms.  This article was published in Business Mirror April 25, 2007 edition, p. A6.

The Black and White Movement (BW) released a black and white list of candidates for local races. They did not include candidates for the Senate because, according to Leah Navarro of BW, publishing such a list was a “no-brainer” and “boring.”

I believe Leah. I know she sees this election as black and white, with no gray areas where a candidate can safely talk out of both sides of his mouth.

In this election, a candidate cannot claim to be for accountability and then run on the ticket of someone hell-bent on destroying oversight mechanisms and the system of checks and balances.

In this election, a candidate cannot be against monkeying with the Constitution and also against impeaching its biggest booster.

It’s one or the other. Either a candidate is against human rights abuses, monkeying with the Constitution, lying, cheating and stealing, or he is not.

BW does not have to endorse 12 candidates.  However, they must blacklist the TUTAS (Team Arroyo Team Unity Slate) if they don’t want their silence to be misconstrued as an endorsement of this or that TUTA candidate.

Anyway, I like Leah so I won’t force her to bore you with a blacklist.  I will.

Here’s my blacklist:
1. Joker Arroyo

I love Joker so I’m blacklisting him for his own good.

Joker made his reputation during martial law, when he was out of power. After he joined TUTA, he abandoned the language of freedom fighters and adopted the language of politicians—compromise.

Power can corrupt even the best of men so I want Joker as far away from it as possible.

2. Edgardo Angara

Angara was a rising star in the 1960s, before martial law, and his identification with it got in the way.

Angara got a second chance after Edsa and, to his credit, he paid back his good fortune with good legislation.

I’m expressing my gratitude to Angara by blacklisting him. I won’t allow him to destroy himself ever again.

3. Ralph Recto

The last time Ralph ran, people thought they were voting for his wife, Vilma Santos. It would be a shame if the public gets fooled again.

Ralph Recto said he added another two percent to VAT because an extra P80 billion in taxes would be good for the country’s balance sheet.  He claims it was a difficult and politically risky move, but he didn’t shy away from it because it was what the country needed.

Actually, increasing the VAT rate was the easy way out, not the tough choice. It relieved the pressure on the Arroyo regime to seriously address revenue leakages from corruption—at least P100 billion a year from smuggling alone—and that pleased the patron saint of smugglers.

I’ll wait for the other Recto, Vilma Santos, to run for the Senate.

4. Miguel Zubiri

He portrays himself as an environmentalist. He wears a green t-shirt to remind everybody he sponsored the Bio-fuels Law—a piece of legislation he claims will liberate us from dependence on foreign oil and make our air breathable again.

Here’s what Zubiri forgot to tell you:

We can plant “bio-fuel crops” on every square inch of the archipelago and still not produce enough bio-fuel to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil or improve the quality of our air.

Because the supply of bio-fuels will never meet the demand, the price of “ethanol crops” will soar and farmers will shift from food crops to bio-fuel-producing crops.

Zubiri’s law will feed SUVs at the expense of feeding ourselves.  Should we reward him with a Senate seat?

5. Vicente Magsaysay

Like Genaro, President Ramon Magsaysay’s brother, Vicente, will ride on the beloved president’s good name.

Genaro almost destroyed the Magsaysay name. Vicente will most likely finish what Genaro started.

6-7-8. Tito Sotto, Cesar Montano and Tessie Oreta.

They are all excellent performers. Why rob the entertainment world of their talents?

9-10-11. Mike Defensor, Prospero Pichay, and Chavit Singson

Can’t hell wait for us to die first?

12. Sultan Kiram

I almost forgot him. Come to think of it, it’s just as well we all did.

That’s my Dirty Dozen. I hope I made it easier for everyone to trash all the TUTAS.

By the way, I might change my list if I get a personal appeal from Sunshine Cruz Montano. I hope you understand.

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