“In the first place, there is no such thing as political opposition.”
In another desperate attempt to make it to the news, the so-called political convenor group 1Sambayan announced that it is endorsing the senatorial run of seven candidates supposedly identified with the “political opposition.”
They are incumbent Senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima; former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV; former Ifugao Representative Teodoro Baguilat; defeated senatorial wannabe Jose Manuel Diokno; labor unionist Sonny Matula; and a certain Alexander Lacson.
Why Hontiveros and company are candidates of the “political opposition” is not explained by Howard Calleja, 1Sambayan’s talking head. Calleja’s boss is 1Sambayan’s clandestine puppeteer, retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio, whose past private practice of law catered to big time foreign corporations with likely vested interests in the Philippines.
Practically speaking, there is no such thing as the “political opposition” in this year’s elections because the administration of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte did not field any candidate for president. Obviously, 1Sambayan can’t get its own labels right.
Calleja also said some politicians from the “pink” camp of Vice President Leni Robredo, who is running for president in the coming polls, may be added to the list. In simple language, the list may eventually include candidates from the much despised Liberal Party (LP), the real party running Robredo’s doomed presidential bid.
Who are Hontiveros and company anyway?
Hontiveros and de Lima were elected to the Senate in 2016 under the LP banner.
During her entire stint in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Hontiveros did not do any substantial legislative work. All she did was to criticize President Duterte, and to agree with several left-leaning characters in Congress.
Hontiveros’ first run for the Senate was a failure. Just like Robredo, Hontiveros was lucky enough to con the electorate into voting for her in 2016.
De Lima has spent almost her entire six-year term in the Senate as a detainee at Camp Crame. She is incarcerated for her alleged role in high-end organized drug trafficking inside the national penitentiary when she was the Secretary of Justice of the late President Noynoy Aquino, the LP ringleader of his time.
Although de Lima wants to make it appear that she is a “political prisoner,” she conveniently keeps silent about the fact that no less than the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the validity of her continuing detention at Camp Crame.
When she ran for the Senate in 2016, de Lima had the temerity to seek the support of a politically influential religious group. A year earlier, de Lima scored the same group when she was Justice Secretary. Her rift with the group was eventually settled by Noynoy Aquino, but to this day, de Lima refuses to reveal the details of the deal Aquino brokered for her.
Trillanes is a chronic troublemaker.
Ex-Senator Juan Ponce Enrile exposed Trillanes’ backroom dealings with Communist China, before Beijing embarked on its current aggressive territorial expansionist activities in the West Philippine Sea.
When he was a senator, Trillanes hired more than the maximum number of consultants his office was entitled to. He was also engaged in nepotism.
Trillanes repeatedly denounced President Duterte in lavish press conferences he held at expensive venues. All expenses for those conferences were paid for by taxpayer money.
When Trillanes was set to be arrested in 2018 for his alleged involvement in a mutiny, he hid in the Senate like a dog.
Last year, presidential political adviser Jacinto Paras exposed on national television Trillanes’ false claim to righteousness. Trillanes has yet to reply to Paras’ revelations.
Diokno was part of the LP-sponsored Otso Diretso senatorial ticket in 2019. All eight of them lost miserably. Now, Diokno wants to run again. Someone ought to tell Diokno the voters don’t like him.
In 2019, the Supreme Court reprimanded Diokno for unethical behavior. Diokno appeared in a hearing before the Court as the purported lawyer of a group of fishermen. It turned out that the fishermen never hired Diokno as their lawyer. Nakakahiya talaga!
Baguilat is another LP straggler. Months after LP presidential bet Mar Roxas lost in 2016, the party held a spartan meeting inside the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman. Baguilat insinuated to the media that if Roxas won, the LP meeting would have been held at an expensive venue, instead of UP. Just imagine how much public funds Baguilat will waste if he becomes a senator.
The other two, Matula and Lacson, are insignificant, except perhaps for Matula’s possible involvement in promoting labor unrest in the country. It’s a waste of time to even write about these two.
1Sambayan says it will formally announce its endorsement of Hontiveros and company today. Ogie Alcasid, an elderly comedian and singer supporting Robredo, and two more forgettable singers, will provide the entertainment fare for the non-event.