"This group has not really gotten off the ground."
The launching by well-intentioned personalities like former Senior Court Supreme Justice Antonio Carpio, former Justice and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and former De La Salle University President and Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro of what they called “1Sambayan,” an opposition group, hasn’t gotten off the ground.
The reason for this, to my mind, is that the personalities that Carpio mentioned could lead the opposition are not leading political personalities themselves.
Former Senator Antonio Trillanes and Senator Grace Poe both ran for high office in 2016 but failed.
Senator Nancy Binay has no interest at all to run for a higher office, according to my inside information.
Santa Banana, even Vice President Leni Robredo is said to be more interested in a local office position rather than for presidency! What is rather funny was the news that Trillanes offered himself to be the opposition candidates for 2022. Under what political party I don’t know because Trillanes is with the Magdalo Party-list.
I can only sympathize with my friend Tony Carpio and his group since the leftist opposition will never go with a far right personality like Trillanes. If all the opposition can offer to the people is Trillanes, while he may have been a staunch critic of Duterte, he will certainly be clobbered by whoever Duterte and what they call “super-majority” in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
This is why I believe “1Sambayan” is doomed to fail. Carpio and the other convenors may be well-intentioned since the country certainly needs opposition. But, that’s how it is with politics. If you don’t know the realities on the ground, you are doomed to fail.
It looks like we are just starting to fight the invisible enemy, COVID-19.
WE went through it before - the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) with all its protocols and restrictions, but now it is even worse. Perhaps it’s time to take stock: What went wrong? There are questions to be asked, like what went wrong with the response of the government with the easing of health protocols and restrictions? Were the people to blame for not taking protocol seriously?
I think it’s a confluence of events. First of all, the government and President Duterte wanted to balance the health and safety of the people with the needs of the economy.
To protect the economy and prevent joblessness, you must allow people to be mobile. However, it’s the mobility that has contributed to the spread of the virus.
The critics of Duterte may lay all the blame on the President at this time but it is no easy task. For instance, I’d like to lay the blame on the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and especially on the Vaccine Czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. for the delayed and slow rollout of vaccines to achieve what they call “herd immunity.”
Hospitals are overwhelmed and people are dying in tents. Something has to be done, and quickly!
The big question often asked is, when will the COVID-19 pandemic end? Will things ever be normal again?
Frankly, I don’t know since I feel like we are going through another 2020 and much worse. The vaccine rollout has been so slow.
Why this delay when other countries are doing so much better? Is it the fault of President Duterte or Galvez?
The suffering only gets worse.
Now, comes the OCTA researchers predicting the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines will be hitting the one million mark. These figures are scary.
I can only pray that my wife and I, and our entire family, culd get through 2021 safe and healthy.
The sudden demise of my colleague in media and my good friend, Crispulo Icban Jr., editor-in-chief of the Manila Bulletin, saddens me. My condolences to his family.
Jun Icban was a regular at the 365 Club, which was resurrected last March 27, 2021, when we had a Zoom meeting. Our next scheduled meeting will be at 9 in the morning of April 10. I was expecting Jun to be there.
My wife recalls Jun as a classmate in Chemistry when she was a pharmacy student. Jun was taking up journalism and studied at the state university. Rest in peace, Jun.