MAGANES: It’s time again for political turncoatism
Lately, many politicians (without naming names here) in the country are changing their political colors by aligning themselves with the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), a political party that was almost in oblivion before President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte ran during the last election under it. In short, panahon na naman ng “balimbingan” at paglipad ng mga “paru-parong bukid.”
With this massive turncoatism, I surmised that we do not have real political parties in the country that push through the idealism for development as well as in articulating the nationalism of every Filipino. How fast these politicians are in jumping off from their original political parties, albeit even without getting imprimatur from their leaders. Could there be changes in political spectra if we follow this kind of politics in the country? Where are the other political parties heading now that their members are leaving them to find graces from the powers that be? Maybe, they will also strengthen their political parties by recruiting new members and regroup themselves with the old ones who could not be accommodated by PDP-Laban.
This shifting of political party alliances is to the detriment of our development as a nation because the newly installed members of PDP-Laban are not really keen towards the ideals of the party but just for the sake of riding on with the popularity of President Duterte. These politicians are not really for reforms because they have been already in their positions for a long time and enjoying favors from their former political parties. Tell me if by joining PDP-Laban, all things will be different in their style of governance and in pushing development programs for their constituents. “Weather, weather lang yan” will be their expected mantra, as if changing political colors like the chameleon is the easiest thing to do. What guarantee that these politicians will stick to their new political party if the turn of events in this country will change next year or so? Will they shift again their political party to follow those in the powers that be?
In politics, political parties represent the aspirations of the people. Political parties have their platform of government as well as development agenda to steer the nation’s future. With what is happening now in our political system, political ideals are on the backseat in which political and personal interests are on the top of the agenda of many politicians. Well, this will augur well to the leaders of PDP-Laban especially if they’re planning this early for a presidential position after the term of President Duterte.
We must remember that there will be a mid-term election in 2019 in which senators, representatives, governors down to the Sangguniang Panlungsod/Bayan will be elected anew. But what guarantee that PDP-Laban will get the massive support of the electorates. As what we have experienced during the May 9, 2016 elections, people are not very particular on political parties but political personalities. Then why the sudden shifting of political loyalties? Will there be a similar move for the Liberal Party, Nationalist Peoples’ Coalition, Nacionalista Party, Partido ng Masang Pilipino, United Nationalist Alliance, etc.? When will these political parties take a similar action to at least muster their grassroots’ base?
At present, members both at the House of Representatives and Senate House have given their support to President Duterte. In both chambers, members belong to different political parties but they opted to forge alliance with those in powers that’s why Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and Senator Aquilino “Coc” Pimentel III, both of PDP-Laban Party, were elected House Speaker and Senate President, respectively. Now that PDP-Laban is openly recruiting new members and inviting others from other political parties to join the party, will this not affect the alliances that are currently enjoyed by both Houses?
Well, I am not undermining those politicians who are jumping from political parties to another. They have their personal reasons why they are doing it. Whatever reasons they may have, I presume that their agenda are for the good of their constituents. Our political system has been that volatile after the passage of the 1987 Constitution where multi-party system was allowed following the 1973 Constitution. Perhaps, the Constitution framers of 1987 have neglected the fact that 1973 Constitution was parliamentary form of government in nature while the 1987 Constitution is presidential form. Presidential system of government is at its best having a two party system- like the USA government.
While anti-Marcos groups are protesting for the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNB), a historic event left unnoticed where onion farmers were given the last ditch of hope to improve their lives. Thanks to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol that through his advocacy, he was able to link our onion farmers to big business establishments in the country to buy onions directly from them where there will be no middlemen to interfere.
This is a historic move of Secretary Piñol that his predecessors have not undertaken leaving the onion farmers in limbo. Now that the big business establishments have even linked to them, we will expect that the onion industry will reach its height. I just would like to print here what happened to that historic event as narrated by Secretary Piñol in his Facebook account entitled “Big Food Companies Commit to Buy Direct from Farmers.”
“Leaders of Nueva Ecija onion farmers shed tears last night after officials of the country’s biggest supermarkets and food companies committed to directly buy from them and no longer rely on imported onions.
The event marked the end of the suffering of the onion farmers who have been looking for buyers for their produce which is already in danger of rotting in cold storage facilities which they rent.
It could also be the start of a new era in Philippine agriculture where the big institutional buyers are linked up with the farmers by the Dept. of Agriculture to ensure that they are not exploited by traders and middlemen.
In last night’s event (November 30, date supplied), SM Supermarket represented by Joey Mendoza, Rustan’s and Shopwise Group led CEO Irwin Lee and Edgar Fernandez; Century Canning CEO Chris Po with Rex Agarrado; Shakey’s President Vic Gregorio and head of procurement Jun Abad; CDO CEO Jerome Ong and his team; Max’s Restaurant Group CEO Robert Rota and his team; Jollibee Group of Tony Tan represented by Gisella Tiongson, McDonald’s, Metro Gaisano Group; Robinson’s Group headed by general manager Jody Gadia and Fresh Dept. head Lynne de Jesus and several other food companies pledged to buy the remaining stocks of the onion farmers from Nueva Ecija.
They also asked the Dept. of Agriculture to link them up with the suppliers of other agricultural products that their supermarkets and processing companies need.
Century Packing’s Rex Agarrado, for example, admitted that they are using about 6-metric tons of imported onion in their Tuna canning every year.
He said that if there is available supply, the company would be willing to source the onions locally.
Apparently touched by the gesture of the big companies, the farmer leaders cried as they thanked their prospective business partners.
They also told the big buyers that they were willing to sell their onion at a price which would be 10 percent lower than the price of the imported onions that the supermarkets and food processing companies are buying now.
During the 2-hour-long meeting at the Manila Golf Club, sponsored by former congressman Martin Romualdez, president of the club, the supermarkets and food companies also told the DA officials including Undersecretaries Evelyn Laviña for High Value Crops, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat for Administration and Marketing and Ariel Cayanan for Operations and Assistant Secretary Federico Laciste jr. for Operations, that they wanted to buy other commodities straight from the farmers aside from onions.
Among the items the supermarkets and food companies needed were organically grown rice, bangus, white shrimps, fruits, vegetables and even ube and kaong.
The DA promised the buyers that it would support the farmers in producing the commodities needed by the market through modern technology and financing support.
For the onion farmers of Nueva Ecija, the DA committed a cold storage facility, modern farming technology and bridge financing through the Agricultural Credit and Police Council represented by its head Jocelyn Badiola.
In a little over two hours, the problems which confronted the onion farmers of Nueva Ecija were addressed and the big door for a better future for other farmers was also opened.
Last night, history was made.God is great!”- and it gave me a smile.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at email@example.com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Listen to my radio program “VIRGIL MAGANES SA DWPR” aired over DWPR Radyo Asenso, 1296 KHZ AM Band at 8:00-9:00 AM, Mondays to Saturdays.)
Entry filed under: News.