Friday, April 23, 2010

A case for Noynoy

I take the presidential elections seriously, so much so that I've lost a few hours of sleep deciding on who to vote for.

I was originally for Noynoy Aquino until I read about GMA News' series on Hacienda Luisita. My blog entry on this received a lot of attention, having been linked to and cited by supporters of other presidential candidates in their respective Facebook accounts and personal and political websites.

I considered Gibo Teodoro until he himself removed any remaining doubt I had about his utang na loob or indebtedness to Gloria Arroyo:

Gibo defends Mikey's party-list bid | 03/24/2010 1:36 PM

Administration presidential candidate Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro on Wednesday defended Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo's bid as party-list representative.

"Is it legal or not? It's legal. Wala tayong magagawa (We can't do anything about it)," Teodoro said when asked to comment about criticisms against Arroyo's nomination as representative of Ang Galing Pinoy, a party-list group representing security guards.

Yesterday, I re-posted Ricky Carandang's twitter message:

The objections to Agra's decision are not based on legal procedure but on a shared sense of right and wrong. Shared by most of us, at least.

That sums up my feelings toward Gibo, who's OK with Gloria, Miguel and Mikey Arroyo because everything they do is "legal" anyway.

Hello Garci scandal? Legal. Fertilizer scam scandal? Legal. ZTE scandal? Legal. Mikey Arroyo as a party-list representative of security guards? Legal.

Gloria Arroyo is also a sure win as Congresswoman; Gibo Teodoro as President, Gloria Arroyo as Speaker of the House... *shudders*

Hence, I limited my options to Dick Gordon and despite a guilty conscience due to Hacienda Luisita, Noynoy.

Yesterday, Elvino posted a YouTube video on his Tumbler site showing interviews of former Hacienda Luisita farmers. It dawned on me that for the first time, someone actually interviewed toilers of the land -- not lawyers, communist leaders or UP students. The interviewees yearned for the return of their former, peaceful life -- wherein the Cojuangco's remain as the hacienderos.

I was skeptical about the video -- this could easily be a Noynoy propaganda with actors, not farmers. The YouTube account owner, voicesunheard00, offered no additional information about himself/herself or the interviews. So I researched about its possible source.

Using the names of the farmers as my lead, I ended up on this blog. Journalist Felicity Tan, together with citations from blogger Jay Salazar's own analysis, exposed the bias of the GMA News series on Hacienda Luisita against Noynoy.

As it turned out, it was she herself who shot the YouTube video and interviewed the Hacienda Luisita farmers. Her other notes on this subject is found in this entry.

Given Felicity's educational background and journalism experience, I doubt she'd do anything to ruin those years of hard work. Hence, I have faith in the video's integrity.

The Hacienda Luisita issue was the only thing that kept me undecided and guilty for considering Noynoy. Given these findings, I can now sleep peacefully with my vote.

* * * *

My friend Drei, who is pro-Gibo and anti-Noynoy, posted this link on his Twitter:

"Stupid and honest. That’s what Filipinos want." - Antipinoy on Noynoy supporters |

Stupid? Uh... he's not the one who chose a game show host as his Vice President -- the person who will head the country if the President dies; the government's caretaker if he's out of the country. I won't even further comment on how this same presidential candidate has allowed his party to collapse; and just when it lay in ruins, quit its chairmanship in the process.

(As a digression, I also have a problem with the Antipinoy article. It says:

... the thinking that a “crooked” president necessarily translates to a crooked presidency, and an “honest” president necessarily translates to an honest presidency... See, that kind of thinking would apply if the Philippines were an absolute totalitarian state... However, the Philippines is a democracy. Its system of governance consists of three branches (one of which the Presidency belongs to) that check-and-balance one another. Officers in two out of three of these branches are elected by popular vote.

Am I in a twilight zone here? Isn't the Arroyo administration a prime and glowing example of this... crookedness? To add, she has control of all three government branches -- executive, legislative [by dangling pork barrel funds] and judicial.)

In the meantime, I have yet to hear and read about Noynoy's "stupid" choices or "stupid" remarks. In fact, he has shown remarkable calm and collectedness (aside from good sense) in presidential forums and interviews -- characteristics I can't say of Gordon. Noynoy's major fault -- if at all -- is that he fails to provide juicy sound bites.

His interview with TV Patrol's Ted Failon was one that stuck in mind after all these months -- particularly because of the way he handled Failon's "autistic" remark (5:55 mark). This was broadcasted in November 2009.

I can't imagine Gordon not going ballistic if placed in the same spot, he who is suing SWS and Pulse Asia partly because they included his name in the surveys without his permission.

For the record, I will not have a problem with a Gordon presidency. These comments only explain part of the reasons why I am choosing Noynoy over Gordon.

Another misinformation connected with Noynoy is his apparent laziness in the Senate. Gordon himself said that Lito Lapid is better than Noynoy because the former has one bill passed. Not true.

  • Lito Lapid = Senator since 2004
  • Noynoy Aquino = Senator since 2007; has two Senate bills passed, pending approval in the House of Representatives

Noynoy has authored more bills than Alan Peter Cayetano, an ally of Manny Villar and critic of the Liberal Party, albeit by a difference of one. He also chairs the Senate Committee on Local Government.

All these and his other accomplishments are discussed in the article, "Noynoy Aquino, out of the shadows" by Jaemark Tordecilla of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism.

A better outlined list of his legislative record is in Noynoy's official website.

And here's his attendance record, also lifted from the same website:

14th Congress Roll Call Late OM/Late Total

First Regular Session

Session Nos. 1 – 88

July 23, 2007 – June 11, 2008
85 1 - 86 - -

Second Regular Session

Session Nos. 1 – 84

July 28, 2008 – June 3, 2009
80 2 - 82 1 1

Third Regular Session

Session Nos. 1 – 49

July 27, 2009 – February 9, 2009
36 8 - 44 3 1 + 1* (*death in family)

Two absences in three years (I can't say the same for myself), one of which is due to his mother's death -- that speaks highly of his work ethic.

I rest my case.

6 * :

I'm Razielle, I love hopia. said...

You make a good case for Noy, congratulations. I've been getting frustrated with Noy supporters who bash Gordon (I'm pro-Gordon), one even said online that Noy is "the chosen one" (said supporter said God took Cory so that her son may be president) and that we are evil for choosing Gordon. Malapit na sanang kumulo yung dugo ko but I really try to control my temper when dealing with people online. Trabaho lang walang personalan 'ika nga. Mabuti na rin yung may supporters who can present a good case for their chosen candidates hindi yung puro name-calling lang. The "Dick's a dick" comments were getting lame :-D

felicity said...

Thank you for the re-post and the analysis. While my purpose was not to sway votes, I'm glad what I did was able to help you, and hopefully others, sort information you need to make this very important decision. More power to you :)

Anonymous said...

Regardless of who each of us ultimately decides to vote for—and so many things could still happen in the days leading up to election day—your even-handed and sober approach is an example worth saluting and emulating.

Jason said...

Felicity & Jay -- And thank you for giving me my peace of mind :-D

I agree -- I hope the undecided eventually find the answers they need.

More power to you too!

heyjay said...

At least panatag na loob mo di ba? ako, i'd still go for dick kahit mejo mainitin ang ulo nya.

basta #89 tayo pareho sa party-list :)

Jason said...

Snaps! :-D

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