Philippine Politics: Call A Spade A Spade, And A Pig A Pig.

Calling The Attention of Philippine Daily Inquirer Columnist Conrado de Quiros!

Conrado De Quiros

Conrado De Quiros

(The following excerpt was written by JR De La Cruz, former Most Illustrious Fellow of Upsilon Sigma Phi)

Conrado de Quiros, you are the man. Few opinion writers in the Philippines can lay claim to your impeccable writing style, to your uncanny choice of words, and the thing I love most – your sardonic wit, which not only amuses but also almost always hits the point. After the death of Cory, however, after that moving eulogy you wrote (that eulogy ought to be immortalized, side by side with the apocalyptic ‘May Araw Din Kayo’), you have dropped all pretense of humor and subtlety and have suddenly turned into Noynoy Aquino’s biggest propagandist.

I have great respect for you, Mr. de Quiros, but I just do not, cannot, and will not buy all the “Battle-of-good-vs.-evil, Noynoy-is-our-Messiah-slash-Obama (please lang, sir. Wag naman.)” propaganda. I don’t buy all this contrived madness the Kapamilya network, “civil society” and the grand old Partido Liberal are trying to ram down our throats.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against Noynoy. I’ve met him once, and he is obviously a nice guy. If I was voting for student council president, or maybe even mayor, I probably wouldn’t hesitate to vote for him. By all indications, he is indeed one damn good person, as you, Mr. de Quiros, would put it. But really, is one damn good person what we need right now? Is nice enough to take us out of the mess we are in? Is his amiable personality enough to gloss over the fact that he has spent most of his years in Congress doing, well, not much, and that, just like the lot of them, he is a politician taking advantage of this singular opportunity – of all things, his mother’s death – to be president?

The bigger man, the wiser man, the one damn good person would, after seeing the multitude of mourners outpouring their devotion for his mother, have declined the temptation to be goaded into running; in Tagalog, hindi siya magpapabuyo. Certainly, a good man would have at least waited a little longer and not announced his candidacy right after the ritualistic 40 days after the passing of his mother, making it seem like he was just obliged to comply with Filipino tradition so as not to look insensitive, but at the same time that he couldn’t wait a day more since he’s thrown his hat in the race too late and must thus make up for lost time.

For in his years of public service, in his whole life, really, can Noynoy honestly say he thinks himself competent enough to be president? Or is it more likely that the crowd at his mother’s wake, and his slew of very able advisers – pardon the digression, but Drilon, Abad, which side are you on lately? – emboldened him into that way of thinking? While in his “period of discernment”, I was hoping that for at least once in my life, I would witness a true statesman, selfless, wise, like the previous generation witnessed Ninoy. He would’ve been that statesman had he declined, knowing he knows nothing and being truly wise for it. Alas, the blinding allure of power, the buoying wave of his mother’s (not even his own) supporters, was too strong to resist. If this doesn’t reek of political opportunism, I don’t know what does.

I agree, we shouldn’t vote purely on competence. But that shouldn’t stop experience from reminding us what happens if we vote for an incompetent president. What happens is we vote a hundred thousand advisers with him/her. What happens is after three years in office, we try to take him/her out again, realizing we made a mistake. If we’re unsuccessful, we call it a coup attempt. If we’re successful, we call it Edsa Dos. What happens is we pin our hopes on another popular icon, another shining symbol, without realizing that we’re being f*cked by the same people over and over again.

I agree, Mr. de Quiros, we do need someone we can trust. But I don’t see how that someone is Noynoy at all. On what action, on what defining issue, on what aspect of his life, save for being born into his name or being born in Hacienda Luisita, should we base our trust in him? If the name and the land bear it all, why then don’t we throw all our support behind Kris Aquino, or yes, Gilbert Teodoro? A press briefing right after the announcement of the Noynoy-Mar tandem is very telling.

Asked how different he was from Teodoro, his second cousin, Noynoy, probably caught off-guard, only managed to say that he hoped not to “engage in meaningless arguments but rather on how we intend to push our beliefs in how to govern the country and convince people who has a better plan and platform of government between us”. Yeah, right. Evade the question, give a motherhood statement.

His running mate, correctly realizing that the answer his partner gave was so lame, butted in saying that it was apparent Aquino had difficulty answering the question because after all, he and Teodoro were relatives. Mar then offered his own answer, saying that the difference is “Secretary Gibo said he believed in the programs and policies of GMA and that he would continue them, and Sen. Noynoy does not want the crooked, the wrong. He does not want mulcting and plundering. So, he will do what is straight and true. That’s their difference.”

First of all, to dismiss as meaningless argument the most compelling argument he can make – that of differentiating himself from his cousin – tells us that maybe he himself recognizes that there is not much of a difference between them. Second, for Mar to say that Sen. Noynoy does not want the crooked, the wrong, the mulcting and plundering only exposes his and his running mate’s hypocrisy. Didn’t Noynoy sign the impeachment complaint against Pres. Estrada in 2000, become Deputy Speaker of an Arroyo-JDV Congress in 2004, run for Senate under Erap in 2007, and now isn’t he in the middle of talks with Erap again? Now you tell me who’s a better man, one who flip-flops between two crooks or one who remains loyal to a crook despite her dismal popularity? To paraphrase Orwell, it’s like looking from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again, only to see that it is impossible to say which is which.

You denounce, Mr. de Quiros, Ronnie Puno for having served three masters who delivered this country to the dogs – Marcos, Erap, Gloria – conveniently leaving Cory and Ramos out of the enumeration, as if 1986-1998 were such glorious years in our nation’s history. But really, how different is Ronnie Puno from the posse who currently surround Noynoy? We want a prime example? Let’s look no further than Drilon, the Chairman of Noynoy’s party and one of his closest supporters. Let’s see. He served as Justice Secretary and Executive Secretary of Cory, Justice Secretary of Ramos, Senate President of Erap, ran under Gloria’s “People Power Coalition” in 2004, before bolting once again and re-emerging now behind Noynoy Aquino. How many masters has he served? What makes him better than Ronnie Puno? Again, between the two of them, it’s impossible to say which is which.

All I am asking, Mr. de Quiros, is that you call a spade a spade, and call a pig a pig. If it is a choice of the lesser evil and not a battle of good versus evil then say it. Expose each and every candidate to the people so that we may make an informed decision. Do not stoke our pent up anger at the present administration and our outpour of emotion for the late president into an emotional vote for Noynoy. Sayang e. Magagamit nanaman yung mga tao. Magagago nanaman. Turn it instead into an indignant demand to our candidates for something new, something real. They have never faced that anger. They have not been made accountable for their past actions. Because what we always try to do is to look for that symbol, that pearl, regardless whether that pearl lies among the swines. You are an opinion writer, yes, and are thus entitled to espouse one candidate over another. You are a friend of the late president and of the Aquinos. But I hope you realize that you also represent for many from our generation someone to look up to, and we do not have much left. Please, for the sake of a truly informed electorate, for the sake of political maturity, stop the propaganda and heed this call.

I still love you, Conrado de Quiros. And I love Ninoy. Cory, I am indifferent to. But we all know what will happen if Noynoy wins in 2010.


18 Responses to “Philippine Politics: Call A Spade A Spade, And A Pig A Pig.”

  1. My friend Joey Duarte replied on Facebook and said:

    Agreed 100%. 110%! Please spare us from another Aquino administration. Our best bet is to clone Ferdinand Marcos!

  2. We get what we settle for. What has Noynoy in his MANY years of service significantly done to make a better Philippines? As a Senator, one could have made those mega changes already… One need not become a President to effect change.

    Another Aquino in power? Here we go again espousing political dynasties.

    If you are too young to remember, Cory was responsible for YEARS of darkness. Literally HOURS and HOURS of PLANNED BLACKOUTS Nationwide. Talk about Squashing productivity through a sweeping, blind stoppage of the nation’s power generation program. I was a student then… I couldnt study nor sleep well at night. Many people profited from selling generators and makeshift inverters, rechargeable lamps… We Filipinos forget easily. We must be critical. We must know what we want and learn not to just settle. The Filipino should be idealistic to begin with not merely practical.

  3. tandang sora Says:

    Come on people, Noynoy is not Ninoy. Until now he could not even state a clear remedy on the worsening situation in his own backyard ( Has he really proven his worth to society? We do not need “one damn good person” to run the country. We need someone that could present us a solid, clear cut solution to the present (or shall I say “pressing”) issues that need to be addressed.

  4. king del rosario Says:

    The problem with saying the fight is between good and evil is that those who claim to be good has to actively do good. The moment you concede a bit and become the lesser evil, the problem then is that you are still evil.

  5. This is very informative. I would want to share this to my social network. I cannot say more. Leadership does not run in the genes. Leadership is learned. What has noynoy learned from ninoy?

  6. He doesn’t deserve my vote. I have not heard of him during the many years in Congress and now the Senate. Mr. Chairman, give me the gavel please!

  7. Sim Soccato Says:

    Nice piece. Has Mr. de Quiros made any formal reply or indirect response to the writeup? Would be good to know his side.

  8. We have not “heard” from Noynoy, nor GIBO for that matter, in their many years in Congress. Kahit pa si Villar nang mapasok na niya ang Senado. Si Gordon, may naririnig tayo hindi dahil sa tungkulin niya bilang senador, pero sa tungkulin niya bilang kasapi ng Phil. Red Cross. Si Perlas, sa development sector kilala siya. Si JC kung saan lang siguro siya naging councilor. Si Jamby wala na tayong nalaman kung hindi nag-asawa siya kahit lesbian siya, at naghahabol siya ng mana.

    Going by the loose “definition of competence” presented in this article, should only then vote for Erap –he has served as president. Or Gibo who was ‘appointed’/ ‘annointed’ by the incumbent president, and has had experience in the executive branch, because he was a formed Cabinet secretary? Silang 2 lang ang pamililian?

    If the presidentiable were a public official, and if he/she were all able to perform their duties as public officials without making money out of their positions, without negligence, without abuse of authority, then their past actions should point out their competence. Sa case ni Perlas, kung nagagawa niya nang maayos ang parte niya sa mga development projects na bahagi siya.

    Now, about competence to lead… the point of the elections is to choose an individual who is not only competent (look at the individual’s past achievements, and by what means was each achievement realized), but also to choose one who presents a good platform, choose one who will have the balls to say he is not going to steal, because we know CORRUPTION IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM, choose one who has the balls to step down from the position if and when he does steal, choose one who has and who will follow the law, choose one naman siyempre na matalino at matino, choose one with the balls to present and represent a new brand of leadership, one that will include the citizens in the political life.

    E sa nakikita ni De Quiros na si Noynoy ito.

    It’s unfair to say de Quiros is a “propagandist”, just because you are not for Noynoy. Kung totoong hinahangan mo si De Quiros, e di alam mong pinag-iisipan niya ang sinasulat niya, at hindi siya “partisan”. Lahat ba ng sinabi ni de Quiros tungkol kay GMA masama? De Quiros is quick to point out good/ positive achievements of GMA’s administration; problem is the bad outweighs/ outnumbers the good.

    Konti lang ang mga columinist na may integridad, hindi pa naman nawawalan ng integridad si De Quiros.

  9. de quiros exposed Says:

    What Conrado de Quiros really thought of Noynoy, before he sold out

    “It is an illegal strike, no strike vote was called,” then-Tarlac Congressman Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said in a speech at the House of Representatives to defend the dispersal of strikers at his family’s plantation, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on November 17, 2004.

    The day before, the dispersal at Hacienda Luisita left at least seven people dead and 121 injured, 32 from gunshot wounds. In his speech, Aquino condemned the violence but defended the dispersal, saying the police and soldiers were “subjected to sniper fire coming from an adjacent barangay.”

    Five days later, Aquino was flogged by Inquirer columnist Conrado De Quiros.

    “At the very most, workers have a right to strike. One would imagine congressmen would know that,” De Quiros wrote in his November 22, 2004 column. “A strike is neither illegal nor immoral, it is sanctioned by the Constitution and enshrined in the tradition of the workers’ movement. Only Lucio Tan and now Ninoy’s namesake think it is not.”

    De Quiros further wrote: “Noynoy Aquino says leftists goaded the workers . . . to strike. Well, so what? . . . They could not have succeeded if the workers were not ripe for the goading . . . If leftists had not goaded workers, farmers, students, and other sectors to mount national strikes, or ‘welgang bayan’, during Martial Law, the Aquinos would not be there.”

    De Quiros also wrote: “The life of Ninoy is not more important than the lives of the workers who died in the blaze of gunfire . . . Hacienda Luisita will always be the symbol of the failure of EDSA to move the country from tyranny to democracy . . . As in the days of the feudal manor, serfs are owned by their landlords body and soul. They can be told to do anything, including to agree to ‘stock option’.”

    Finally: “Ninoy Aquino might have been talking of today when he said: ‘Here is a land consecrated to democracy but run by an entrenched plutocracy’. Here is a land of privilege and rank—a republic dedicated to equality but mired in an archaic system of caste’.”

    “If that ain’t broke, what is?” De Quiros concluded.

    Five years later, De Quiros was handpicked by the Aquinos to speak at their mother Cory’s funeral.

    Exactly one week later, (August 10, 2009), his column carried the headline “Noynoy for president”.

    “Noynoy running for president will deliver us back to . . . the time or place of the great fight between Good and Evil,” De Quiros proclaimed. “Between Cory and Marcos, between Obama and Bush, between the Fellowship of the Ring and the Eye of Mordor, between Luke Skywalker and the Evil Empire. Use the Force, Noy.”

    Exactly 40 days after his mother’s burial, Aquino “used the Force”and announced he was running for President.

  10. David Gutierrez Says:

    Oo nga, hindi lang competence pero bobo ba tayo na boboto tayo ng WALANG NAGAWA? Kung ganyan lang, talagang iboboto nalang natin si Gibo kesa kay Noynoy. Kung tutuusin, mas magaling si Gibo at mas may potensyal na maging lider. Hindi naman magiging noynoy si noynoy kung hindi siya Aquino. Isipin mo na lang kung hindi siya galing sa Aquino family, makakarating pa kaya siya sa Senado? Hindi. Dahil Wala naman siyang mga achievements na maaari niyang sabihing sa kanya. Hindi nga niya kasalanan na maipanganak sa isang kilalang pamilya pero dapat ma-prove din niya ang sarili niya bilang siya. Hindi ko iyun makita. Dahil doon, hindi ko siya iboboto. Kay Mr. de Quiros naman, kahit ako napapansin ko na na Bias siya sa simula pa lang. Katulad din ng ABSCBN- kita mo naman, eleksyon lang tapos si Kris Aquino biglang nagkaroon ng teleserye. Bias ata yun. Ngayon, ilagay natin yan sa perspectibo ni Noynoy- sinasabi niyang hindi siya TRAPO pero sa kampanya niya at sa pagpapalaganap ng mga biases niya na sa tingin ko ay rinequest niya or the mere fact na hindi niya mapigilan ang mga biases nito sa kanya suggests that he is a TRAPO. Akala ko ba hindi na niya kailangan yun? Nakahabol lang si Villar sa kanya, naging ganyan na siya.

  11. Edmer Roque Says:

    isa ako sa madalas magbasa ng inquirer, at isa sa nababasa ko ay ung column ni Mr. de Quiros. sa dami na nang nabasa kong column nya mula ng pumutok ang pangalan ni Nonoy sa pagka-presidente mukhang tama nga, na me basis un pagiging bias nya. Minsan sa pagnagbabasa ako ng column niya, naiiling nalang ako… I am not against Mr. de Quiros, alam ko matalino sya. Sabagay, sa pulitika marami talagang matalinong nagiging ‘bobo’. Mas ginagamit ang emotion kasya isip… Ang pagkakaiba lang ni Mr. de Quiros ay isa syang columnist, ginagamit nya ang kanyang trabaho to influence others (maybe he would say, ‘just to express his thoughts’). Kaya lang kahit paano ko balig-balitarin ang katangian ni Noynoy, di talaga sya fitted maging pangulo ng bansa. Dahil kung anuman meron siya, mas higit ang iba. maliban na nga lang sa kanyang pangalan…. Mr. de Quiros, matanda ka na… ilang taon na lang ang ilalagi mo sa mundo, bakit di mo ipakita sa amin ang tamang paraan ng pagpili ng lider na nakabase sa kakayahan, talino at sinceridad…

  12. Cocoy Jurado Says:

    Mr. De Quiros is all lambast and no solution. Matagal na syang sumusulat ng mga beautifully worded essays of leftist biased malicious intent 🙂

  13. Alex Vargas Says:

    Mr. Dela Cruz said to Noynoy.
    “…he is a politician taking advantage of this singular opportunity – of all things, his mother’s death – to be president?”

    My response: Noynoy has not taken advantage, because, I, a Filipino and millions of us, have asked him to do so, hindi nagpabuyo si Noynoy, nakinig po si siya sa tawag ng milyon milyong mga Pilipino sa boung mundo. Noynoy doesn’t know me but I believe he cares for my welfare and for the next generation. What obligation to choose the nest leader for my country propels me to do this. And yes, I believe and I am expecting that he will not steal from the government, because if he will, I will not hesitate to go back to Edsa. Corruption is the reason why Philippines is in great debts.

    Mr. Dela Cruz added.
    “I agree, we shouldn’t vote purely on competence. But that shouldn’t stop experience from reminding us what happens if we vote for an incompetent president… I agree, Mr. de Quiros, we do need someone we can trust. But I don’t see how that someone is Noynoy at all…”
    My response: Noynoy is the most trustworthy among the Presidential candidates, but I still believe he is not alone. Let me ask you Mr. Dela Cruz, among them who would you trust? Villar with C5 at tiyaga? Erap para sa mahirap? Gibo na tumatakbong sa ilalim ng administrasyon? The problem with your writings Mr. Dela Cruz is that it doesn’t give us a sound advice. Puro ka lang puna at daldal pero wala ka namang sagot. Kasing ingay ng latang walang laman.

    Noynoy has been an Institution Builder and a Fiscalizer. He may not be the most competent, but he is competent to become the next President. He has participated in every laws passed in the lower and upper chamber during his terms by placing his vote and reviewing items within a bill, one need not to be an author of a law to be competent President besides we already have tremendous laws. What we need is a Leader that has political will to implement them with full force.

    Mr. Dela Cruz asked.
    “Didn’t Noynoy sign the impeachment complaint against Pres. Estrada in 2000, become Deputy Speaker of an Arroyo-JDV Congress in 2004, run for Senate under Erap in 2007, and now isn’t he in the middle of talks with Erap again?…”

    My response: Noynoy didn’t run for Senate under Erap in 2007, but it was under UNO, UNO was not Erap. While I respect your opinion, I would advise you to check on your facts. Ang hirap sa iyo sinisira mo ang katotohanan.

    Ousting Erap was not a mistake; it was a correct action by the people and Noynoy and other congressmen who signied the impeachment complaint against Erap due to its probable cause. GMA’s proclamation during the Edsa Dos was not as well. Ang mali po, Ginoong Jr Dela Cruz ay ang pagtawag ni GMA kay Garci noong 2004, and ZTE broad band deal, ang North Rail, at marami pang ibang nakakasuklam na kurapsyon na ginawa ng kasalukuyang administrasyon. Pinili ni Noynoy ang taong bayan kaysa kay Erap at Arroyo.

    Regading Hacienda Luisita, Noynoy has given his words, if he won’t keep his words, I will go again back to Edsa. Let us give Noynoy a chance pertaining to this issue. Minana lang nya ang maliit sa porsiento ng pag aari sa Hacienda Luisita. Hindi lamang sya and may pag aari dito, may mga pribadong tao din na katulad ng mga tenants na may karapatan din sa lupaing ito. Noynoy even said, he can give his share to the tenants.

    Mr Dela Cruz continued.
    “But we all know what will happen if Noynoy wins in 2010.”
    My response: I challenge Mr. Dela Cruz to tell us what do you he thinks will happen should Noynoy wins in 2010? This statement is but an empty basket pretending to be filled with stuffs.

    Indeed, there are evil aspirants so please don’t say none is good among them. Call a spade a spade, a pig a pig.

  14. Alex Vargas Says:

    Correction on the second paragraph on my posted comments.
    “My obligation to choose the next leader for my country propels me to do this…”
    My apologies.

  15. alex vargas is a dumbass.

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