A veteran’s association

The discussion on the so-called “third force” is getting more intricate by the day. Alex Magno loves it:

The fact that it is being called a “Third Force” strikes me as an admission of weakness. It concedes to the ragtag band of residual pro-Estrada politicians the position of being the primary challenger to the awesome political force being assembled by the ruling coalition.

…Pro-administration tacticians scored early by defining the forthcoming contest as yet another round in the never-ending political melodrama between former president Joseph Estrada and the incumbent Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The latter has won every previous round: the 2001 turnover, the Supreme Court cases establishing the constitutionality of what had happened, the so-called Edsa Tres incident, the electoral contest with Estrada proxy Fernando Poe Jr., the two preceding senatorial contests and the two impeachment efforts.

Jurassic Emil Jurado (who, this late in life, doesn’t seem to know the difference between a bisexual and a homosexual but hates them both obviously anyway) loves it, too, and says why not join the dark side?

A third force lacks grassroots machinery and funding, something that is enjoyed only by the administration. The opposition does not like it either, because it splits the votes. People find them neither here nor there.

I’m not sure if proponents of the third force can take unsolicited advice from somebody who has covered elections since 1953. But I say they should be pragmatic enough to understand that in elections, you are either for or against – no straddling the fence, and no riding on two bancas at the same time. Only the badings do it.

Lito Banayo is furious and minces no words:

They have been cajoled by Malacañang’s spinmasters (and these are diabolically good, accept that reality) into framing these mid-term elections as a proxy war between the spunky but charismatically-dimunitive Gloria, and the imprisoned, though beloved by the lumpen Joseph Estrada… They have fallen for the palace trap simply because they could not transcend their dislike of Erap and simply because they are unwilling to accept the “displeasure” of his political company, because to do so would imply that they were wrong in Edsa Dos. And even now when lines have to be drawn, not in terms of Gloria versus Erap, but in terms of the People of the Philippines versus Gloria Macapagal Arroyo… they would deny the people a clear choice…

May I remind these wet dreamers that Erap is not running. Gloria is not running. People are asked to select twelve names to vote for senator. And even if all twelve opposition candidates sit in the Senate, Erap will not be freed by these senators. Besides, they need not vote for all twelve, if they do not like some of them. You don’t like JV Ejercito? Then don’t vote for him; no one is forcing you. Let Erap’s masa carry him on their shoulders. Yours are too flabby and too lampa anyway. So what is all this parallel organization for?

…The political wet dreamers must realize that all Malacañang needs is a credible reason to cheat the opposition of victory in a clearly opposition year. And by carving up a Third Force, they are actually giving GMA and her Comelec operators the “legal” justification to manufacture the results they want… Who knows, they may even get Prospero Pichay to win! And if Pichay can be made to win, why not Chavit?

Thank God he’s back to blogging on the political scene: to help sort things out: Jove Francisco reports,

You see, reliable sources from the very groups that are meeting to explore the third force option, are now saying that their efforts have turned into something “close to the original aim – but different, too”.

That the meetings are now in the “make or break” status and that as of this stage the ticket being formed is turning out to be a “unity ticket”.

…So now the aim is to place personalities in one slate despite their different political affiliations. Partially gone is the original aim to combine senatoriables who can’t stand Gloria, and can’t stand Erap…

…But names are already floating around.

,,,Study the names and determine: will it be a slate “good for the admin” or a slate “good for the oppo”? Using your political quotient (like party affiliations, past relationships, past issues etc), do we share the same conclusions? Who will eventually benefit from this slate?

Jove’s naughty question, which side is favored by such a force, is answered by Inquirer cobbling together pundit’s views: and the consensus remains a “third force” benefits the Palace most.

The Inquirer also points out what Jove reports: a “third force” more a veteran’s association than anything else; as another paper puts it, it’s a common ticket for re-electionists.The list Senator Ralph Recto’s put forward is a mixed bag (hat tip to The Lonely Vampire Chronicles): but as Philippine Politics 04 points out, Joker Arroyo and Luisa Ejercito are out of the race; that means a force of eight is now a force of six, if the force is only a force of veterans; if something else, then it’s almost indistinguishable from what the opposition has been discussing, anyway.

While Billy Esposo seems to suggest the “third force” is, really, a Nacionalista Party-Liberal Party Alliance, in other words, an old-fashioned coalition, doesn’t even seem to be holding. What does the emphasis on the veteran nature of the force, or even the evolution of its reason for being, say about what was originally touted as its reason for being -to provide an alternative? Randy David says running for elected office isn’t for him; there goes one iron-clad reason to consider a third force as an alternative.

And what does Edgardo Angara’s continuing woes among former colleagues indicate? Oreta and Sotto have abandoned Angara and embraced Eduardo Cojuangco’s NPC, a party firmly in the administration camp despite the renegade status of members like Chiz Escudero.

Like I’ve said: the timing is all wrong. And timing can be everything in politics. Skepticism, not anticipation, is being built; make a list, announce it, then let the people judge. But so far all that’s been accomplished is to take the wind out of the sails of the opposition, give a second wind to the three-man-strong administration senate slate (only Zubiri, Defensor and Manzano have really confirmed), and raised justifiable questions about the political wisdom and political sense of those who want to identify themselves as “none of the above.” And what’s the difference? John Marzan (see link to his blog above) puts the opposition slate as follows:

1) Lacson
2) Villar*
3) Escudero*
4) Cayetano
5) Pangilinan*
6) Legarda

And the “third force” as follows:

1) Recto
2) Pangilinan*
3) Villar*
4) Angara
5) Escudero*
6) Roco

*Are in both lists, as was Loi Ejercito (who isn’t running, as Joker Arroyo isn’t running, either, and he would have been the seventh on the “third force” list). So even combining the two, you have:

1) Lacson
2) Villar
3) Escudero
4) Cayetano
5) Pangilinan
6) Legarda
7) Recto
8) Roco
9) Angara

which still leaves three slots open! For the administration’s Defensor, Zubiri, and Manzano, who I believe might have a plausible chance of winning.

In the punditocracy, the Business Mirror editorial focuses on Cory Aquino’s advocacy of microfinance.

Writing in the Mindanao Current, Ed Montalvan points out the politically pragmatic reasons why the administration is interested in suspending the governor of Iloilo. As Iloilo@UpClose wonders, does the Palace think Ilonggos are stupid? Or perhaps only Bel Cunanan does? Last night I was with a friend who is pro-Arroyo, whose family is pro-Arroyo, but who are Ilonggos, and they were dismayed by the handling of the suspension of their governor.

Newsbreak and the Star say Solicitor-General Nachura is a shoo-in for the vacancy in the Supreme Court.

In the blogosphere, Newsbreak has an article on Blogging about the elections (hat tip to Philippine Eleksyon 2007).

Pseudonymity points to an Inquirer.net article on how bloggers are rallying around beleaguered Malaysian fellow bloggers.

Basang Panaginip has a manifesto on atheism.

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Manuel L. Quezon III.

35 thoughts on “A veteran’s association

  1. The proper role of genuine third force proponents at this time is to help ensure the May 2007 elections reflect the will of the voters (whether pro or anti Arroyo), and more importantly, to take action if it does not. That’s is crucial to regaining the credibility that was lost by allying themselves with Arroyo and her status quo. Once purity of intent is proven, then it will a better chance in 2010.

  2. Assuming they are not trojan horses, eh …napaka pollyanna naman itong mga third force advocates.

    First, get rid of Gloria and then dream about la-la land. None of the third force’s dreams is possible while Gloria is in power.

    As cvj said, “it will have a better chance in 2010”.

    One step at a time.

  3. IF “POSTIGO Luna” had his way, he’d want “all wannabe operators and cheats in and out of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC)…to shoot [themselves] in the head before May 2007.” It’s his biggest wish for the new year, he wrote in his first blog entry for 2007.

    here’s what postigo luna said to me about garci:


    Who in their right mind would believe Garci? No one. That’s exactly my point. Think of it this way. You live in a house with a saint and a guy everyone believes to be a klepto and another guy. Now supposing you took the third guy’s last yosi and he realized it was missing. Now I know you, John, would probably admit to taking it, but pretend for a moment that you wouldn’t. Who would you blame so that you could get off scot-free? The saint or the guy everyone believes to be a klepto? You would blame the the guy everyone believes to be a klepto of course. Because no one would believe him even if he denied involvement. Garci, in Rasalan’s testimony, is the the guy everyone believes to be a klepto. The man no one would believe. And Rasalan would be you, the hypothetical thieving housemate, the guy who wants to get away with a lie.

    Garci’s reputation is shot because of what he has been accused of doing.

    And this later on:

    i don’t know what to think of garci, to tell you the truth. like I said, i need evidence and proof. you have that? show me. and if your evidence is good, i’ll add my voice to yours.



  4. you know something’s fishy when palace mole Ed Angara is included in their third force list.

    Wasn’t Angara even one of those (along with enrile) who was pushing for Arroyo’s CON ASS?


    At the Senate, Senator Edgardo Angara said Charter change is not possible anymore with the very limited time on hand.

    Angara, who has been very vocal in his stand in favor of Constituent Assembly (Con-Ass) as a mode to amend the Charter, said it is highly impossible for both Houses to push for a Constitutional Convention (Con-con) considering that the process is a lengthy one.

    Eto naman raw ang dahilan ni sen. kiko kung bakit kailangan ng third force:


    Pangilinan laid the basis for the possible formation of the common ticket with the reelectionist senators at the core “dahil po noong nakaraang isang taon at kalahati o dalawang taon itong mga senators na ito we crossed party line upang itaguyod ang ating mga paniniwala at paninindigan, partikular sa mga pangyayari sa ating bansa kasama na po dito halimbawa ang pagtutol sa EO 464, proclamation 1017, CPR at pinakahuli ‘yung con-ass

    remember when palace mole angara and enrile were very gung ho about joining arroyo’s House mates in pushing for CON ASS last december? and now they want this palace mole on their “third force” team? :rolleyes:

  5. May napansin ako.

    Halos lahat ng maka-administration have said na a “third force” party will “fail” because these types have done poorly in the past.

    pro-admin’s like bel cunanan’s (“Third Force Often Ends Up Third”), ben evardone and Emil Jurado have made similar arguments like these. but take note na they’re not exactly against a “third force” coming to existence.

    Those opposition on the other hand, rightly feared that a “third force” will only split the votes of those who are against arroyo.

    So ganito ang dahilan nila:

    pro-arroyo’s reasons for being “against” third force: it will “fail.”

    anti-arroyo’s reasons for being against third force: it will benefit arroyo.

    btw, from malacanang’s POV, hindi magiging failure ang third force if it becomes a divisive force for the anti-Arroyo vote during the elections. it may fail in getting enough of it’s people elected, but it won’t fail in helping arroyo improve her chances of winning.

  6. If political parties are meaningless, I dont understand why people are so upset about a third force which is just another group of people. Voters will tend to pick out their best 12 anyway regardless of aggrupation, GMA’s, Erap’s, or Third Force’s. Remember the Undecideds? This third force is supposed to make them decide. The way I see it, the Undecideds arent for Arroyo’s people but they can’t vote for Erap’s people either. They are undecided because they feel they have no choice: ‘pare-pareho lang sila’. A neither-GMA-nor-Erap candidate could just be what will make them vote for somebody. Now who those third force candidates are is another kettle of sandtrout altogether. The Undecideds just might see the same old faces in the lineup and decide to sit this one out. Or not fill out their entire 12 slates.

  7. Jeg, the fact remains that this time around, political groupings are not meaningless. We can clearly see three categories of candidates, those who are pro-Arroyo, those who are anti-Arroyo and those who are neither here nor there. Of course, the undecideds are entitled to their choice including the right not to choose, but you cannot take away other people’s right to be upset, and in my case, what grieves me is the implications behind such a choice (or non-choice).

    Voting for a third force, at this time, betrays an insensitivity to the crisis of representation that is being experienced by the largely poor majority, a crisis that started six years ago with EDSA Dos, was supposed to have been resolved with the elections in May 2004, but instead deepened after June 2005 with Hello Garci. That those who claim the mantle of a third force choose to ignore this crisis betrays a narcissistic and supercilious streak that is all too typical of the Philippine middle class. This does not bode well for the social cohesion our country needs to move forward.

  8. senatorial candidates to win needs plenty of money for campaign expenses most especially political ads which are very expensive. people will vote on the basis of name recall and those with money to buy airtime will have the votes. the administration will have no problem with resources and machinery while those in the opposition without logistics needs the backing of sponsors to cover the cost. the reelectionist senators who comprised the 3force have the backing of big time sponsors whom they helped during their terms. the opposition UNO without sponsors will eventually become the third force. the opposition thinks they are sure winner, pity.

  9. cvj… what does this mean ?
    (A) “…the crisis of representation that is being experienced by the largely poor majority”
    And this:
    (B) “…narcissistic and supercilious streak that is all too typical of the Philippine middle class”

    Would you put public school teachers as middle-class? What about university/college professors/instructors? What about civil-service employees?

  10. Basang Panaginip states in the blog that:

    “Jesus is Our Fucking Homeboy features two photos of gay men posing outdoors near a cross. Now, I don’t find the title or the photos disrespectful at all. If anything it’s somewhat boring.”

    Basang Panaginip finds nothing wrong with the title or the photos.

    But what was the thought for posing that way?

    What was the thought for giving a title like that?

    Isn’t there a saying that “It’s the thought that counts”?

  11. Isn’t there a saying that “It’s the thought that counts”?

    Justice League, yes there is. However, there is no such thing as thoughtcrime. At least not yet.

  12. cvj,

    It’s not as if its supposed to be a crime. Its not even supposed to be used to justify reaction.

    But if someone did something with the intention to insult you; are you at fault if you do take and receive it as an insult?

  13. justice league, given that i just used a similar line of reasoning in the preceding thread, i concede to your logic.

  14. Only cheating can make the GMA ticket dominate the Senatorial elections. With Erap assuming control of the FPJ votes plus the addition of those coming from Lacson, the UNO secures a 13M+ vote advantage instantly.

    I don’t think money can stop the rise of UNO. The opposition politicians who have real followings like Lacson and Binay are sticking it out with Erap this time. Probably, they learned their lessons well in 2004 when the opposition votes were split in two. As the election day draws near and UNO gains more momentum, watch the massive turncoatism.

    My fearless forecast is that they are solidifying their ranks for the 2010 elections wherein Binay will run for the highest executive position. His chances of winning is also good because he has the rare talent of pleasing the masa with one hand and the rich with the other. Malacanang was surprised when they tried to suspend him. They thought that Binay will just be another Mayor Peewee whose supporters are from the lower class. The food flowing out of the posh subdivisions was totally unexpected. They had to stand down. By 2010, Binay will have a solid UNO and Tita Cory with JAZA will be behind him too. His old anti-Marcos gangmates who will most likely form part of this May’s Third Force, are also going to support him. For the nth time, the likes of Drillon, Concepcion, Noynoy, Joker and Atienza will again switch sides. His gangmates who never left him will, of course, re-surface such as Butz Aquino and Rene Saguisag. Ayos ba or yuck? kayong bahala. hahaha

  15. UPn Student, to respond to your questions…

    (A) crisis of representation in the sense that the present occupant of Malacanang is not of the people, for the people, and most significantly, by the people. Our politicians usually violate the first two, nothing new in that. Arroyo is a special case in that, in addition, she also violates the third criterion for democratic leadership.

    (B) Narcissistic… – The poor majority (aka EDSA 3 crowd) is aware that GMA remains in office because of the tacit support of a significant portion of the middle forces/middle class (the EDSA 2 crowd) who couldn’t care less that the will of the former has been disregarded. Instead of working to correct this basic injustice, it instead focuses on its own concerns, true to the spirit of one of those epistles from last year i.e., ‘Paano naman kaming mga middle class’.

    …supercilious – a common attitude towards the masa, do i really still need to explain this?

    As to whether public school teachers, college professors or civil service employees belong to the middle class, i would consider as middle class those who perceive themselves to be part of that category.

  16. Parties taking candidates away from UNO can really be a cause for bitching. It is not as worrisome, however, as what the third farce might inadvertenly provide which is to serve as smoke screen for cheating. When the Garci machinery is put into action, the administration can point to the third farce as the reason why UNO got a few seats only and not its massive cheating. Actually, the more popular view in the editorials is that UNO has too many possible candidates for the limited 12.

  17. From cvj: We can clearly see three categories of candidates, those who are pro-Arroyo, those who are anti-Arroyo and those who are neither here nor there.

    Im assuming the three categories are: 1) those who are pro GMA, 2) those who are anti-GMA and pro Erap, and 3) those who are anti-Arroyo but not pro Erap, the last one being the so-called third force. (I may be wrong because these third forcers havent even come up with a definite line-up yet.) So based on that, I can see why youre upset because group (3), being anti-arroyo, would dilute the votes of group (2). But Im of the belief that group (1) is so immensely unpopular that theyll be third place and Im afraid the GMA people knows this and will do whatever it can to win at all costs.

  18. Jeg, your categorization hits the nail exactly on the head. What many people don’t realize is that Groups 2 (anti-GMA/pro-Erap) and 3 (anti-GMA/anti-Erap), while both anti-GMA, are discrete groups that mix only with great difficulty. In fact, Group 3 mixes more easily with Group 1 (pro-GMA) than with Group 2. That is why, if you want a united opposition, you need to eliminate identified Erap loyalists from any unity slate.

    Mind you, the administration will realize this and try to get Erap loyalists in the UNO lineup, so as to validate its GMA-vs.-Erap frame. If there are no Erap loyalists in the lineup, this frame falls apart and the administration will be vulnerable to a reframing by the opposition.

  19. Here’s my list for the wannabe senators that I am going to vote.

    Escudero – a cool guy, I dont mind seeing him a president
    lacson – we need the guy in there seriously.
    defensor – even though he is arroyo’s mouthpiece, i would pay to see that escudero and defensor’s debates.
    oscar orbos – if he is going to run. that guy is a classic.
    winnie monsod – to complete that senate debate with the guy above.
    cayetano – a cool guy
    zubiri – for a very cool commercial
    and mayor vi – who would have thought that mayor vi can have run lipa efficiently 😀

    but it will change when my church (INC) issue the list though.

  20. More on the il divo concert thing:


    THE Presidential Security Group today told President Arroyo’s critics to respect her office if they cannot respect the person.

    PSG chief Col. Romeo Prestoza made the appeal in a radio interview two days after Arroyo was booed during the Il Divo concert at the Philippine International Convention Center.

    “Regardless kung ano ang political affiliation mo, yung pananaw, dapat bigyan mo pa rin palagi ng paggalang ang opisina, hindi ang pagkatao ng Presidente,” he said.

    He said the PSG did not accost any of the hecklers because there was no physical threat.

    “Hindi namin puwedeng bawalan ang sinumang maghayag ng pananaw. Pero kung talaga pong persistent, nilalapitan din po namin at sinasabihan namin kadalasan na kung pwede, bigyan din ng paggalang ang ating Presidente,” he said.

    The audience at the PICC booed when told that the concert, which was expected to start at 8 p.m., would be delayed because they were waiting for the President, who arrived at 9 p.m.

    When Arroyo entered the hall, nobody stood up as is the custom.

    The crowd booed the second time when told at the end of the concert to remain seated until Arroyo had left. (regina Bengco, Malaya)

  21. Jeg, i would categorize myself under #3 anti-Arroyo but not pro-Erap. I think bogchimash above would more adequately represent #2 anti-Arroyo, pro-Erap.

    Mike, it is no surprise that Group 3 mixes more easily with Group 1. For what is the third force, but that segment of the middle force who are too ashamed to be directly associated with Gloria Arroyo? All they need is to have enough reason to justify disliking the opposition more so they can justify their tolerance for Arroyo. Whatever happens, nothing can take away the fact that nandaya ang manok natin, and by doing so, has betrayed the ideals of EDSA 2. The proper thing to do is to make amends to group 2 by giving them back the ball and take our place in the opposition once the next leader (Binay, Lacson etc.) takes over.

  22. i consider the senate race is all about arroyo and i would like to narrow the choices into TWO…whether the candidates are:

    a. fors (o-oo kay arroyo), or
    b. againsts (a-ayoko kay arroyo).

    however, a

    c. none-of-the-above force

    is in the offing and, as reports would say, endorsements from either “the fors” or “the againsts” are welcome to them. now, even a

    d. moral force

    could sprout…but that’s according to only one oppositionist in the person of tatad…(who, incidentally, i find to be a loathsome Eddie* in the opposition.)

    well, i may not be happy that this race will not just be a one-on-one affair but i just hope that there’ll be no overlapping endorsements. i am rooting for candidates who are “arroyo-AGAINSTS”…regardless of their ticket. any candidate from “the fors” and those whose convictions are suspect (like angara and recto) i would certainly eliminate!


    *Eddie – a person being left out in a group, e.g., the senatoriables:

    “Papaano naman si Eddie?,” asked Tatad. “Sino’ng Eddie?, Binay answered.” Tatad sheepishly replied, “Eh, di…ako.”

  23. cvj… your syntax confused me. what you wrote is that the middle-class person is narcissistic and supercilious. What you seemed to mean to say is that a person who is narcissistic and supercilious is bourgeois.

  24. UPn Student, you got it right the first time. Those traits are commonly found among the middle class.

  25. Regarding the “Jesus is Our Fucking Homeboy” in the atheist’s blog.

    The blog linked to other bloggers as well.

    Frequently seen is the defense that it is free speech, freedom of expression and the right to it.

    Left in the background is whether it was “right” or correct.

    People who see that it was right to do so should read the case of Dwayne SIMONTON in the case of Simonton v. Runyon, 232 F.3d 33 (2nd Cir. 2000)

    He was a homosexual and he endured hardships for it in his workplace. Hardships of insults and discrimination for which he would be denied justice.

    Most of the people on the side of the Bryanboy issue are said to be liberals.

    But such people should also claim that it is but only “right” that Dwayne Simonton be denied justice and that a law that would enable people like Simonton to receive justice be forever prevented from seeing the light of day.

    Laws against discrimination should never be enacted or at least be dismantled if already inplace if such should be the case.

    For to be truly liberal about it; no rules should be enforced to prevent what insults or discrimination we want to cast on anyone.

    If the british boys and Bryanboy are right, then why should Simonton’s co-workers not be right also?

    Pagalingan na lang dapat ng pangiinsulto!

  26. If the british boys and Bryanboy are right, then why should Simonton’s co-workers not be right also?

    justice league, i think it depends on historical and social context i.e., whether the object of an insult is part of a dominant or a dominated group. the power relations between men/women, hetero/homo, religious/atheist, christian/muslim, white/black can be described as that between the oppressor and the oppressed. homosexuals, muslims and blacks have, as a group, been on the receiving end of oppression therefore to insult them on that basis is wrong. heteros, christians and whites, on the other hand, are part of the ruling establishment so they have to be more careful with what they say. That explains the lack of symmetry.

    Pagalingan na lang dapat ng pangiinsulto!

    You’re right, execution matters. That would explain Borat the movie.

  27. I have to side with Alex on this one… this is definitely a semblance of a ragtag band…

    This is just another weak attempt to form something out of nothing, an entity with a hollow core..

  28. The problem I have with basang panaginip’s reasoning is he is basing his atheism on the behavior of believers who, being people, can be just as screwed up as non-believers. It’s like losing faith in the rule of law just because some people choose to break it with impunity.

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