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Friday, May 24, 2024

1Sambayan is a big phony

"It is not the political party of righteousness it pretends to be."

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Well, well, well.  I believe it looks like Malacañang is right after all.  Nothing will come out of 1Sambayan and groups similar to it.

Last June, a small group of opinionated retirees from the government service identified with the late President Noynoy Aquino formed 1Sambayan, a new vested interest group labelled by its organizers as the “political party of the opposition.”  

Its main character, retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, and his confederates, former Noynoy-era Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and ex-Ombudsman and devout Noynoy follower Conchita Carpio-Morales, publicly anointed themselves as the “saviors” of Philippine democracy.  

I understand that their sales pitch was that 1Sambayan will be insulated from traditional politics so that only dedicated public servants, or so they claim, can take over the government after the end of the term of President Duterte.  

On the day Carpio and his gang launched 1Sambayan, the group’s propaganda team said they were in the process of “screening” potential candidates for president and vice president from a list of nominees.  Well, everyone was in for a surprise, myself included.

Before the day was over, many of the “nominees” most of whom never knew that they were “nominated” in the first place, said “no, thanks” and distanced themselves from 1Sambayan.

Only a notoriously troublesome ex-politician showed interest in 1Sambayan.  The problem however is that 1Sambayan wasn’t happy having the guy on its ticket.

After its bum start, 1Sambayan faded away and I never heard from it again.  

Even the group’s propagandists who earlier claimed that many anti-administration politicians are eager to join 1Sambayan were suddenly silent.  

Last week, retired soldiers led by ex-General Renato De Villa revived the latter’s long dormant Partido Reporma.  The ambitious De Villa and his gang of retired soldiers created Reporma decades ago when the general ran for president in 1998, and lost.     

De Villa’s ex-boss and fellow ex-soldier, President Fidel Ramos, appointed many ex-soldiers to his government.  Many of them flaunted their military connections.  

One retired general who headed the Land Transportation Office during the Ramos regime had the temerity to affix his military rank (with the word “retired”) on his name, and caused this to appear in all driver’s licenses issued by his office.  I don’t see why the guy needed to indicate his former military rank when the LTO office head is supposed to be a civilian.  He must have thought the country was under martial law.  

Voters apparently did not like a continued military influence in the post-Ramos government, which may be why De Villa’s Reporma never got off the ground.  

After its embarrassing defeat in 1998, Reporma lingered on like a straggler until its ultimate demise a few years later.

With the election season fast approaching, I suspect that Reporma was revived or more specifically, brought back from the dead, to host Senator Panfilo Lacson, who is also an ex-soldier like De Villa.  In 2004, Lacson ran for president as an independent candidate, but lost to Gloria Arroyo.  Lacson probably thinks that with Reporma, his campaign will have a better shot at victory.

Last week, both 1Sambayan and Reporma announced their alliance for the 2022 elections.  That announcement made it to the media, but it was ignored by many.  

A new but doomed political party like 1Sambayan entering into an alliance with a non-entity like Reporma?  Big deal!  I am surprised that word of that alliance even made it to the news.

In my opinion, the Reporma-1Sambayan alliance is a partnership between a long-dead but recently resurrected political party, and an irrelevant one pretending to be important.

Anyway, it is almost certain that Lacson’s vice presidential running mate will be former showbiz comedian and incumbent Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.  

For practically the entire duration of his stay as Senate president, Sotto was a reliable ally of President Duterte.  For that reason, it is unthinkable for 1Sambayan, which styles itself as completely anti-Duterte, to enter into an alliance with Lacson and, by extension, with Sotto.  That disgusting move on the part of 1Sambayan is political hypocrisy in its baldest form.

It also confirms that in the long run, 1Sambayan is not the political party of righteousness it pretends to be.  In my honest assessment, 1Sambayan is nothing more than an organization of patronage politicians who will do anything just to obtain votes and ultimately, political power.


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