Monday, April 12, 2010

Political Turncoats: Tropang Topak vs. Villaroyo

Dr. Prospero E. de Vera

Political turncoatism is a fact of our political life. Our most loved (Ramon Magsaysay) and most despised (Ferdinand Marcos and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo) Presidents would not have gone to Malacanang if they did not jump ship from their weak parties to those that offered the best chance to be elected into office.

So don't believe the LP spin masters when they concocted and continue to peddle the Villaroyo theme every time a disgruntled LAKAS-KAMPI member bolts the administration party in favor of the Nacionalista Party.

Why? Because the LP have their own share of Arroyo loyalists who have bolted the administrations sinking ship in favor of the Yellow Army.

As they say, don't throw stones in glass houses.

What are the facts?

There are LP candidates who have loyal ties with the administration:

1. NEDA Director-General Ralph Recto of e-vat fame who ran (and lost) under the administration senatorial slate in 2007 and was rewarded with the NEDA portfolio;

2. Batangas Governor Vilma Santos who was able to beat Arman Sanchez in 2007 mainly because of the strong support of the Ed Ermita and Larry Mendoza clans in Batangas;

3. LAKAS Executive Vice President Sonny Belmonte who was once projected as a possible administration presidential bet in 2010. He is now gunning for the position of House Speaker via the 4th congressional district of QC;

4. House Deputy Majority Leader Boyet Gonzales who has been with the administration party since his first election into office. He served as Majority Leader during the time of Speaker Jose de Venecia;

5. Caloocan City Mayor Recom Echeverri

6. Davao City Mayor Rudy Duterte

7. Cavite Governor Ayong Maliksi

8. QC Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista (now running for QC mayor)

And of course there are LP stalwarts who have yet to fully explain their actions in perpetuating GMA's reign of terror. I simply can not forget how Senator Kiko Pangilinan in 2004 would repeatedly bang the gavel, in tandem with the equally notorious Rep. Raul (and later justice secretary) Gonzales, and say "Noted" every time Senator Nene Pimentel and the FPJ lawyers would question election returns and request that ballot boxes be opened to prove that the fabricated Certificates of Canvas actually tally with documents inside the ballot boxes. He has not, until now, said "Sorry" for this political injustice.

On the other hand, here are some recognized LAKAS-KAMPI stalwarts who have jumped into the NP ship:

1. League of Provinces Chair and Camarines Sur Governor El Ray Villafuerte
2. Surigao del Norte Governor Ace Barbers (reelectionist)
3. Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon (reelectionist)
4. Davao del Sur Governor Douglas Cagas (reelectionist)
5. Rep. Ed Zialcita (now running for mayor in Paranaque)
6. Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy (reelectionist)
7. Cebu Rep. Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (now running for mayor of Mandaue City)
8. Ilocos Sur Governor Chavit Singson (running for governor)

Now what does this tell us? There is no mature and functional political party system in the Philippines. Despite all the claims of "super parties" - NP, LP, KBL, PDP-LABAN, LDP, LAKAS, KAMPI, LAKAS-KAMPI - that their leaders and members will strengthen party membership, refuse to pirate members from other parties, or exercise party discipline, these "super parties" quickly break-up and disintegrate during election season depending on the delivery of campaign funds, availability of administration projects, release of pork barrel funds, and viability of their presidential candidates.

So until Gibo Teodoro hits double digits in the surveys, or produces some sort of miracle, or GMA unleashes tremendous amounts of campaign funds, LAKAS-KAMPI members will continue to jump ship either to the NP or LP.

Even Joe de Venecia nor Fidel Valdez Ramos can not reverse the inevitable disintegration of their beloved LAKAS party. By the next administration, LAKAS-KAMPI would have completed its logical slide into political marginalization.


  1. Again, we are in the midst of lesser evils-- should we let it be inherited, or should we give in to multi-media scratchings-- as our political system fails us. Personalistic politics hounds us, particularly during elections,as parties are built around presidentiables, not the other way around. But we could whine all we want, analyze deeper and deeper, but the question remains-- what do we do next?

  2. Sino ho ba ang i vote nyo. Mukha MV kayo. Good luck na lang to our country if you do. We get the government we deserve dahil sa tao na yan. Nakakatakot talaga. Kawawa ang Pilipinas

  3. Sir Popoy,
    All elections are failures, dysfunctional, anomalous, pathologies, a fluke.
    Arrow’s Theorem Proves No Voting System is Perfect
    One of the central issues in the theory of voting is described by Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, which states roughly that no reasonably consistent and fair voting system can result in sensible results.
    Named after Nobel Prize-winning economist Kenneth Arrow, the theorem starts by establishing a set of reasonable conditions on voting -- that is, on the method of aggregating individuals’ preferences into group preferences.

    These conditions can lead to nonsensical group decisions, or manifestly undemocratic decision-making. As political scientists Ken Shepsle and Mark Bonchek put it in their book, Analyzing Politics, “The group is either dominated by a single distinguished member or has intransitive preferences.” For this reason, the theorem is sometimes known as the “dictator theorem.”

    Understanding Arrow’s Theorem starts with understanding what economists and political scientists mean by “intransitive preferences.”

    Preferences are known as “transitive” if they can be put in a sensible order. For instance, if you like apples best, then oranges, then bananas least, that means you prefer apples to oranges and to bananas, and oranges to bananas. If instead your fruit preferences cannot be put in best-to-least order -- you prefer apples to oranges and oranges to bananas, but prefer bananas to apples -- your preferences are known as “cyclic” or “intransitive.”

    Arrow was trying to create a voting system that was consistent, fair, and would lead to transitive group preferences over more than two options. But in trying to create such a voting system, he proved that this was impossible.

    The conditions Arrow put on a consistent and fair voting system can be expressed as the following:

    1. Each voter can have any set of rational preferences. This requirement is called “universal admissibility.”

    2. If every voter prefers choice A to choice B, then the group prefers A to B. This is sometimes called the “unanimity” condition.

    3. If every voter prefers A to B, then any change in preferences that does not affect this relationship must not affect the group preference for A over B. For example, if a set of historians unanimously decides that Abraham Lincoln was a better president than Chester A. Arthur, a changing opinion of Bill Clinton should not affect this decision. This more subtle requirement is called “independence from irrelevant alternatives.”

    4. There are no dictators.

    Arrow’s Theorem states that, when choosing between more than two options, it is impossible in general to implement these four conditions without creating cycling group preferences. More dramatically, demanding transitive group preferences and the first three conditions implies there will be a dictatorship.
    Rene Caparas

  4. Ena..I feel your angst. What do we do? We have to discuss these issues more, and not only when election time comes.

    There's a very practical thing that can be done. There is a political party reform bill that has passed the House and is in the Senate. Help me in opposing it. Those who pushed for this bill got it pass the House because the public was oblivious to the issue. We have to discuss and debate these things even when there are no elections in the horizon.

    Second, we have to know the bottom line and not swallow the media spin or political posturing of the candidates that they are doing this because their constituents want it, or because their families were old NP or LP, or because they see the "Light" in the presidential candidates. This is purely political survival and opportunism, plain and simple.

  5. Anonymous...

    Magiging kawawa lang ang bansa natin if we allow the politicians to get away with their nice rhetoric. If we don't demand that they have platforms, demand that they explain their programs, demand that they show they can produce the money for their nice promises.

    What has really frustrated me in this election is that we have stopped so low and accepted gutter politics. It is so personal, so vicious and so media driven that substance has given way to media spin.

    And many members of the media, with all their power have been irresponsible by openly taking sides and not taking the candidates to task.