So far, the eventful filings of certificates of candidacy (CoC) have not disappointed, living up to the traditional circus-like atmosphere.
While CoC are filed in Comelec Regional Offices all over the Philippines, the main stage has always been, and will always be, the Palacio del Gobernador Building. Every three years, media and bystanders get to witness a spectacle in Intramuros — a prelude to the seismic shift of the Philippine political landscape.
There, we see statesmen, veteran politicians, celebrities, nuisance candidates and clowns, all aspiring for public office. The biggest joke, however, has shown up in the appearance of Rep. Gary Alejano, of the yellow-funded Magdalo partylist.
Only in the Philippines do we see a convicted rebel and runaway soldier, in the person of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, be elected as senator twice by the Filipino people, who by now should already have learned from their past mistakes. If there is anything that Trillanes has done to our country, it is to disrupt and distort the Administration’s efforts to lead the country. The last thing this country needs is to have another “Sen. Trillanes.”
Enter, Alejano, who has been making noise similar to the script of Trillanes. Birds of the same feather do flock together, and the senator has been explicit in his endorsement of the partylist representative, both of them mutineers. Their bromance was further highlighted by Trillanes’ joining Alejano in his filing of CoC yesterday. The fact that these persons are mutineers is enough for us to say that a vote for Alejano is unpatriotic in the full sense and meaning of this word.
Recently, Alejano made unfounded and baseless comments on how the Department of Justice (DoJ) has been allegedly pressuring the Regional Trial Courts of Makati in issuing the warrants of arrest against Trillanes. DoJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra then issued a statement, that all Filipinos must read word for word, as it is a clear depiction of his character, to wit: “Rep. Alejano’s allegations tend to impede the orderly administration of justice, unfairly cast aspersion on the integrity and professionalism of the DoJ and its state prosecutors, and contumaciously influence Judge Soriano’s decision-making process.”
If at all, Alejano’s talent, just like Trillanes, is to “impede the orderly administration of justice.”
And it is this trait that made the Magdalo group famous in the first place. We can recall how this group of soldiers committed its crimes against public order, which was later capitalized on by the yellows by taking Trillanes in its arms. This was sensed later on by other Magdalo soldiers, such as newly-installed Bureau of Corrections Chief Nicanor Faeldon, who has no sense of loyalty to Trillanes for being a sell-out.
Perhaps the fact that Trillanes previously won, and that Alejano has hopes of winning, is descriptive of how badly our election system has to be reformed. Convicted criminals have no place in public office, even if elected by the majority of the Filipino people. While there is no constitutional provision to prohibit mutineers from running, and the possibility of amending the Constitution is getting bleak as each year passes under the present administration, the Filipino people have a choice to not to vote convicts, felons, crooks and scoundrels.
As for partylists, this is another matter. We are likewise awaiting who would run under the Magdalo partylist, which carries with it the Trillanes brand. One must question how the Magdalo group can be considered as marginalized and underrepresented — do mutineers require representation in the government that they are so hell-bent in resisting? Absolutely not.
The past days of filings of CoC have seen some political heavyweights, some of whom still deserve to be in public office. Among those who have filed are the consistent top three in the surveys: Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay. Among those most anticipated are the members of the President’s Cabinet. Only one so far has emerged — Secretary Harry Roque to run as a partylist member in the relatively unknown Luntian Pilipinas partylist.
The filings promise to see more would-be public officials, some of whom are still making up their minds on whether to run or not, and they have until 17 October to file their CoC. Keep bringing on the popcorn for this prequel to Election 2019.