The Long View
By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:39:00 09/03/2009
It struck me as a supremely worthy ambition, and one, furthermore, grounded not in enabling an infantile dependence on leaders, but instead based on recognizing what leaders ought to do: provide opportunity, while mentoring excellence.
It may be that Roxas would have found it easier to do precisely what he hoped to set out to do had he stayed abroad. He could have taken in a promising Filipino intern or two, and helped them shine in the word of banking and finance. He might have done much for a few, and done his personal wealth a favor. After all, while bankers are generally viewed as prudent, never rash, and generally conservative people, we forget all too often that Roxas had built a career in venture capital, which is not far removed from politics in both its deal-making, and, as has gotten all too familiar in fiction, its buccaneering aspects.
He did the more difficult thing: he came home, to a life he never sought, in fulfillment of a sense of duty he could easily have escaped, with rivals and allies and an electorate so trapped in the many impossibilities of our present-day societies that it would be a perpetually painful, because at times all too implausible, effort to bridge the gap between his sense of limitless possibilities and our cynical certainties.
Consider how easy it is to caricature Mar Roxas whichever way one chooses to consider him, but always from the perspective of a sneering certainty in the vanity and avarice of our fellow man: a scion, endowed both with political and business pedigree, which carries with it both crushing expectations and, all too often, a sense of entitlement and impunity; an Atenean and a graduate of Wharton, propelled, by virtue of education, to be first in line in most undertakings and so, unsurprisingly, who ended up a New York financier. And of course, as we all know Roxas today: a politician.
But again, even in this, his latest incarnation, his identity as a politician, though politics was always inseparable from his very being, was not his first choice – nor the one in which he was ultimately best prepared, either by temperament, much less instinct. His entry into politics was because of a family tragedy: the untimely death of his brother. In a nation where nearly every calling, from the priesthood to the military, the bureaucracy, even arts and letters – indeed, where virtually all the professions, noble and ignoble – have their dynasties, what would impel him to enter government is something that needs little explanation.
But what is relevant here is that if he could move with self-assurance and be regarded as possessing integrity in his career as a banker, he could never be assured of these things. Indeed, outside his milieu, at times he could appear so cautious as to seem paralyzed, and when inspired to take a stand, seem calculated and thus, feigning passing, instead.
And yet what, in the end, is the proper way to judge a public man than to consider the absence of public sins? Never a whiff of graft, even the remotest scent of corruption; never any allegation of manipulation of government rules for personal or familial gain; no talk, ever, of putting self above country, or putting ahead family over community, or setting aside duty in order to heedlessly pursue personal pleasure.
Going into his campaign, these were – and remain – his strengths as a public man. They were and are, however, the things for which a public man can never ask for recognition, nor, if he is truly a virtuous man, can he even point them out. In the end this is the dilemma that confronted Roxas throughout his campaign: in a campaign full of poseurs, to call attention to one’s authenticity becomes a kind of fakery, especially in a field full of fakers to begin with. But the practiced faker appears more genuine than the instinctive conscientious man reduced to making maladroit efforts to be understood.
Having done his damnedest, it may be that Mar Roxas saw that the country could continue down the futile path we’ve collectively been negotiating like suicidal lemmings since 2005. Paul Johnson, in his book, “Heroes,” pointed out that “The Pagan Classical world had an empirical morality which celebrated the skilful and successful use of force. It feasted and immortalized those who were able to wield it. It averted its eyes from failure and regarded the weak and helpless with indifference.”
Our supposedly Christian country, then, has a pagan political culture, and, to borrow Claro M. Recto’s phrase, the “Neros and Caligulas” of our present plying the plebes with rice crises and political circuses were doing so in a manner even Ferdinand Marcos would have considered unbearably uncouth. But here they are – and the choice was starkly evident. In normal circumstances, Roxas could have undertaken a campaign in the ordinary manner and contested the election in all the ordinary ways, but this is not an ordinary time.
Today he is being damned with faint praise. His patriotism and self-sacrifice – his statesmanship – are being proclaimed by many of the same people who probably never liked him, who do not consider his representing anything but frustrated ambition, and who certainly had no intention of voting for him. So in a sense, when Roxas made history Tuesday night, his loss was not theirs. And the false praise resonating among their ranks is like a cloud of incense, a smokescreen to disguise their glee over what they consider his political death.
The only thing buried last Tuesday is the false assumption that nice guys finish last. While Mar became a statesman, he did not raise the bar for himself – he set it, after all – but for others. A standard he could reach is one he can sustain, but fundamentally beyond the reach of his so-called peers.
65 thoughts on “The Long View: Statesman”
Truly a statesman! Roxas has shown to us that he is ready to sacrifice his ambition for the good of our country. Selflessness indeed by putting country above self. He will surely be a important part of our history.
Read more about my statement at http://marroxas2010.blogspot.com/2009/09/kevin-ray-chuas-official-statement-on.html
coming from you, I considered that Mar have earned a rare accolade …
I remember that anecdote when one said, ” I don’t know who to vote for as president. I don’t know any of them.
Another person retorted, ” I don’t know who to vote too! I know all of them! “
“Today he is being damned with faint praise. His patriotism and self-sacrificeâ€”his statesmanshipâ€” are being proclaimed by many of the same people who probably never liked him, who do not consider his representing anything but frustrated ambition, and who certainly had no intention of voting for him. So in a sense, when Roxas made history Tuesday night, his loss was not theirs. And the false praise resonating among their ranks is like a cloud of incense, a smokescreen to disguise their glee over what they consider his political death.
The only thing buried last Tuesday is the false assumption that nice guys finish last. While Mar became a statesman, he did not raise the bar for himselfâ€”he set it, after allâ€”but for others. A standard he could reach is one he can sustain, but fundamentally beyond the reach of his so-called peers.”
True, sir. I cannot understand why people have to express their ambivalent admiration for Senator Roxas (at least in front of the media), without qualifying it with snide observations which generally center around the fact that Senator Roxas’ campaign seemed to be floundering.
If I might be so bold as to suggest, perhaps the day that we are able to praise even our opponents unequivocally and with passionate sincerity is the day when we will deserve the leadership that we continually pine for.
“Our supposedly Christian country, then, has a pagan political culture…”
Oh, but Christianity itself is replete with customs borrowed from Pagan practices!
Manolo’s gushing write-up on Mar Roxas tries to justify Roxas’ obviously phony, and terribly awkward, attempts to identify himself with the common man, from whom he is worlds removed. Roxas portraying himself as Mr. Palengke, Roxas cursing like a fishwife or a stevedore. Recognizably put-on, except to Roxas’ adoring fans, such as Manolo and Korina Sanchez. For Korina’s outburst at the unexpected turn of events check: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20090903-223300/Korina-Sanchez-rails-at-Roxas-detractors
Yet Manolo implausibly tries to make us believe that Roxas was actually being authentic, thus:
“In the end this is the dilemma that confronted Roxas throughout his campaign: in a campaign full of poseurs, to call attention to oneâ€™s authenticity becomes a kind of fakery, especially in a field full of fakers to begin with. But the practiced faker appears more genuine than the instinctive conscientious man reduced to making maladroit efforts to be understood.”
Maladroit efforts, yes. And he was reduced to trying to be something other than himself. And people saw through that.
While Roxas’ entry into politics may have been accidental, he ultimately embraced it. And, like a tar baby, it tainted him. While his personal record remains unsullied by corruption, his intimate associations with the Erap and GMA administrations do not absolve him of cavorting with thieves. And, worse, by what Manolo terms as our Filipino pagan values, he turned out to be a political butterfly and an ingrate, twice biting the hands that once fed him. That is not a trait to be admired by our “pagan” standards.
Finally, somebody who is a gentleman and a statesman in the political arena.
i wish the other presidentiables would also do the same. it is very RARE nowadays with politicians who have the balls to step aside for others. they all want to be the first in line. they all say they want to serve the people. yah right! maybe they all want get rich (or richer).
He lost my vote after those cheesy public displays of affection and padyak ads. It showed to me what he thought of the Filipino voter – shallow and stupid. I am one of those people making snide remarks about it because the end result of the short-lived campaign was what it deserved; I would have been really disappointed if all that jazz actually translated into votes. I have no doubt that he is an admirable, honest individual, but the whole thing was a strategic sham that in the end cost him the election.
Being a cynical person I also have doubts whether he would have made the same ‘sacrifice’ had he been doing as well as Villar or Erap in the polls. Is it still a sacrifice if you never had a chance at it in the first place? Is it a good sacrifice if he is much more qualified and competent that the person he is surrendering the privilege to? I would think that the popular but less qualified person is the one who should sacrifice his popularity and go behind a better candidate – I hope Noynoy makes this decision next week.
I think it was the wisest thing to do. Mar is only no. 5 in the survey. he wont be able to make the 2nd place at the end of the campaign. he’ll just waste money. and yes, elections here in our country are won based on candidate’s popularity. even America, a first-world country, elected a famous actor, Ronald Reagan. It is very much the same here, sadly but true.
I believe that even if Mar Roxas was no.1 in the surveys and confronted with the growing clamor for Noynoy Aquino to become president, he would still have made the selfless act of giving away. That’s his nature. That’s his character. That’s his humanity. Regardless of the surveys. Regardless of ambition.
What if Noynoy says no after the spiritual retreat?
Will Mar say,”Ako Na Lang!”?
I’ll quote James Freeman Clarke, whoever he is. A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation.
The article said it all. I could not disagree more . It’s time for New Age politics in RP. http://bit.ly/OzT4I http://bit.ly/aglgh
my fear for noynoy is his being surrounded by vultures , the same old faces hungry for power,the know everything but doing nothing.
i wish noynoy goodluck !
“Ina on Thu, 3rd Sep 2009 10:12 am
…i wish the other presidentiables would also do the same. it is very RARE nowadays with politicians who have the balls to step aside for others…”
They’re just delusional, to think they have a fighting chance of winning the preseidency. Mar is realistic, but it makes him no less of a trapo than do these fools.
A pragmatic, calculating trapo…be wary my friends.
â€œI want every Filipino to have the sense of limitless opportunities I had growing up.â€-said Mar Roxas
Something’s wrong with the story. If Mar thinks he can do what he says he can for the country and the Filipino people, why did he not continue the fight. Might be he thinks Noynoy can do more? I just hope he’s making the right moves.
(Btw, it took me a long time to connect to mlq3’s blog (4 days of trying), my internet explorer would just shutdown after making the connection, I wonder why.)
This is what Tony Abaya has to say about the gimmickry in trying to revive the Camelot days of yellow fever:
“Shocked and awed I was by the announcement the other night of Senator Mar Roxas that he was giving way to Senator Noynoy Aquinoâ€™s candidacy for president in the May 2010 elections.
The two had apparently been meeting â€”three timesâ€”over the previous weekend during which Noynoy told Mar that he wanted to run for the presidency. (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept. 2).
So Noynoyâ€™s announcement that he was going on spiritual retreat with the Pink Sisters, to â€œdiscernâ€ whether to run or not, was disimulado, meaning it was faked. He had already made up his mind (to run) when he started talking to Mar.
He just wanted media and the public to recall his mother Cory Aquinoâ€™s spiritual retreat with the Pink Sisters in 1986, preparatory to her decision to run in the snap elections.. It is part of the political theater of Edsa 1 Part 2, deliberately choreographed to stoke the Yellow Fever epidemic, to make sure that the Cory Magick rubs off on Noynoy, in the absence of any significant achievement that he can call his own in the past 11 years that he was a legislator.”
– This probably answer The EQualizer’s question above.
I can see the public skepticism surrounding all this. Mar Roxas, realizing he had a snowball’s chance in hell to become President, cleverly gives way to Noynoy, to hopefully become a leading Vice-Presidential contender. Better to have a shot at #2, than have no shot at all at #1. He is hoping that this will be publicly hailed as an altruistic and patriotic gesture, washing away all his guilt by association with Erap and GMA. He then hopes he can inject fresh vigor into his faltering image by campaigning as an unselfish and patriotic, new type of politician. Tadah! Instant makeover!
â€œI believe that even if Mar Roxas was no.1 in the surveys and confronted with the growing clamor for Noynoy Aquino to become president, he would still have made the selfless act of giving away. Thatâ€™s his nature. Thatâ€™s his character. Thatâ€™s his humanity. Regardless of the surveys. Regardless of ambition.â€ … Nicolo Machiavelli
if he is no. 1, giving way to Noynoy will not be logical. why would he do it when heâ€™s leading and more than capable to be president than Noynoy? thatâ€™s stupidity. as for Noynoy, if he sees Marâ€™s standing on solid ground, he will not be forcing himself in joining the presidential race. at least, the party they both belong will not allow it to happen. it would really be stupid and selfish for both of them to do such a thing. besides, Noynoy has already announced earlier he has no interest in seeking for a higher office at this time.
the only reason why thereâ€™s a clamor for Noynoy to run is because of the weak showing of opposition candidates in surveys against admin bets(?) like Villar and Noli. Mar and his partymates realized he has no chance. recent turn of events led them to pick Noynoy as the candidate with the best chance and what a perfect way for Marâ€™s graceful exit.
“The Hacienda Luisita management takes care of the workersâ€™ needs, from womb to tomb.In times of boom, we shared. In times like this of compounding debts, there must be also some sharing of the burden.” Noynoy Aquino
NOYNOY: If elected president , will you continue to adopt this typical paternalistic attitude of the haciendero? Or will you implement true land reform?
Agriculture that is cost effective, efficient, and profitable could can only be met by having a few workers with access to mechanized farming, some form of government subsidies or private loans, single seller for their produce, and, most important of all, the cost effectiveness of owning and being the sole beneficiary of acres and acres of lands.
Western farmers are doing it this way. It’s usually the family members with a few permanent workers, with the help of machines, handling the tilling of the land, sowing of the seeds, and application of fertilizer farms. The seasonal jobs-fruit picking, sugar burning and cutting, etc. are handled by seasonal casual workers who are paid by the hour. These seasonal workers usually only work for a few weeks every few months.
Philippine CARP would be akin to subdividing the farm into small hectares and giving them away to the seasonal workers. This is economically inefficient.
For all intents and purposes, the farmers and carabaos in the Philippines could well be replaced by machines. The question is why they’re not? Is it because it is cheaper to employ farmers than to buy and maintain machines? Or is it because of the altruism of the hacienderos that they don’t want to replace human with machine labor?
The EQualizer: If elected president, will you continue to adopt this typical paternalistic attitude of the haciendero? Or will you implement true land reform?
– I don’t know how Noynoy will answer the question. It assumes that there is no other option other than maintaining the haciendas or breaking it into smaller units. We can no longer go back to the paternalistic hacienderos of yore. And land reform is counterproductive.
SoP is right about machinery. Farm mechanization is the only way we can attain food sufficiency. We cannot do this if we keep splitting up our lands. We cannot do this if we believe that humans will have nothing to do if relieved by machines of their usual chores. We can do this through corporate or cooperative farming.
This is not statemanship, but rather a perfect example of sizing up and perhaps a strategic calculation because of a trend in the surveys. The fact of the matter is is that you don’t change horses in midstream! You don’t play the race for a second place! If you believe that you got something and that you got something to contribute, you play all the way to win.
My take on Mar has been always as a reluctant politician. His heart is not in what he does.
I have met him a couple of times and have had discussions with him in a few forums.
He was shallow…It was like talking to a book.
There is a huge difference in being a banker from being an investment banker. U.S. laws were in place making that important distinction. The repeal of laws that deregulated the financial markets raising investment banking to the forefront has now exploded. He is a product of the group think that has brought the world to the brink of this present economic crisis. Just look at the utter stupidity of SOPs post on economic efficiencies.
I am sure his family background gave him the smoothness of his manners. That is all. I think the Noynoy phenomenon has forced many of the big backers of Roxas to reconsider their position. Most especially the Lopez group.. Since Cory’s death it has been amazing to see supposedly “objective” reporting on the Aquino family.
— why is malacanang seem so threatened by the prospect of noynoy running for president? as some people out there say, noynoy has nothing to show as far as leadership and political accomplishment is concern. so it would be very easy to show noynoy has got nothing, right?
Again, we leave it to one Manuel Quezon III to be fair.
He’s our own Al Gore.
Wow, such a degree of cynicism on what is undeniably an altruistic move on the part of Mar! He may possess a banker’s persona but it still takes a lot of “gravitas” to let go of such a historic opportunity.
We may have been disillusioned for so long given the generations of trapos thrown our way, but this is still a tick on the good column. We should be celebrating this rare show of statemanship like a blessing of light rain in the expanse of a parched political landscape.
“Heâ€™s our own Al Gore.” Mar Roxas is.
As for Mar Roxas comparisons with Al Gore, a more apt comparison would be with George H. Bush, the patrician who aspired for #1, but pragmatically settled for Reagan’s #2. In the end, he was rewarded for his patience. He became Bush 41. Mar Roxas is making the same calculated move.
As for Manolo, methinks he’s not our own Al Gore, but our own Gore Vidal, for whose wit, historical knowledge and writing abilities I have extreme admiration.
Here’s something interesting I just read from a blogger named spoiledbrat:
I think itâ€™s high time we examine NoyNoy Aquino as a man purely on what he has made out of his life, and not based on the greatness of his parents. If people look at him from this point of view, I think theyâ€™d be better informed on whether he really is fit for the presidency. ??There is no doubt that Ninoy and Cory Aquino belong to the pantheon of great Filipinos. Greatness however is not inherited. It is something you make for yourself. Ninoyâ€™s parents werenâ€™t great. And Coryâ€™s parents were simple folks. But Ninoy and Cory grew up to be great persons. It would be ignorant and foolish to assume that just because they are great, Noynoy would be great too. Mahatma Gandhi became an Indian hero and a world icon for humanity. He had four sons. But the world doesnâ€™t really know what those sons did with their lives â€“ because they did not inherit their fatherâ€™s greatness. John Lennon is a humanitarian and a musical genius. But his son, Julian, did not inherit his humanity and compassion nor his gift for songwriting. Dodot Jaworski did not inherit his father, Bobby Jaworskiâ€™s shooting and passing skills in basketball. Kris Aquino is Coryâ€™s very own flesh and blood. But while Cory exudes dignity and class, Kris at times is crass and pedestrian. You either have greatness or you donâ€™t. Ballsy, Cory and Ninoyâ€™s eldest, at least inherited her parents dignified demeanor. ??Now back to Noynoy Aquino. He has a degree of Economics from Ateneo De Manila University. Itâ€™s a great school known for its graduates who went on to become great people. But Noynoy was not one of its great students. He wasnâ€™t even a student leader in his time. Noynoy went on to sales and marketing for two great companies: Nike Philippines and Mondragon Intâ€™l. Sales and marketing, and for that you went to Ateneo? Those were the only jobs he held that he got based on his resume and not based on his parentâ€™s name. Because after those jobs, he went on to work for his uncleâ€™s company and eventually their familyâ€™s sugar company at Hacienda Luisita. Even in private life, he used his family connections to earn a living. ??He served three terms in Congress representing Tarlac, his familyâ€™s district and for which he had great chances of winning because it is Aquino/Cojuangco country after all. People would be surprised to know that at one point he was Deputy Speaker, because he was barely visible, he barely talked and he barely sponsored bills. In effect, he was a forgettable congressman. He is now a Senator of the Republic to which he owes greatly to his own sister, Kris, and his mother Cory, who both used their popularity during the elections to campaign for a forgettable brother and son. ??The presidency is the highest position in the country. It is not meant for people who are still on the OJT stage (on-the-job training). It is a position meant for great people. This country can only achieve greatness if we put great people on the steering wheel. To pass the mantle of greatness from Ninoy and Cory to a son who has so far havenâ€™t done anything great in his life would demean and cheapen the legacies that Ninoy and Cory left behind. Cory did not survive 9 coup attempts, and Ninoy did not breathe his last breath on a dirty airport tarmac for it to be used as their forgettable sonâ€™s publicity tool for his presidential ambition. ??This country is not that HOPELESS to settle for MEDIOCRITY.
Thanks for pointing this out. Iâ€™m saying, Here we go again, handing the presidency on a silver platter to someone who has absolutely no executive experience and whose performance both in Congress and the Senate has been disappointing. ??Thereâ€™s a reason why, just over a month ago, Noynoy Aquino was not on anyoneâ€™s radar for vice-president, let alone president of this country, and that has been because, both on a personal plane and in politics, Noynoyâ€™s performance has been mired in mediocrity. ??When Noynoy ran for the Senate, I did not vote for him. The question I asked myself and my friends at that time was, Why should I waste my vote on this guy who hasnâ€™t done any significant piece of legislation in his three terms in Congress? Because his mother was trying to find a career for a son who couldnâ€™t stand up on his own that he had to rely on family connections and the family name to get by? Last I checked, we have democratic and republican form of government. Lineage doesnâ€™t count. Weâ€™re not a monarchy. We donâ€™t pass around titles simply because someone has the right genes. ??Noynoyâ€™s heart is not with the Filipino masses. At the height of the Hacienda Luisita standoff, where several farmers died, Noynoy, acting as the family spokesman was unequivocally on the side of his familyâ€™s interests. Cory, interestingly, kept her distance and maintained her silence but Noynoy was all over the place defending his familyâ€™s interests. ??I think there are a lot of people with their hearts in the right place who can lead this country, not the trapos, not the allies of this government. Maawa naman po tayo sa Pilipinas. This is not the Marcos regime. No one has been assasinated. We have a working Supreme Court and a democratic Constitution.
Hay naku! Si Mar, kaya umatras iyan, kasi alam niya delikado na siya sa eleksiyon. He has to face the fact na nanga-ngamote siya sa ratings. Even his commercials or “political ads” are very stupid. It’s just his way of saving face. Imagine, after all his pakitang gilas, matatalo lang. I’m sure, pag nanalo si Noynoy tapos di naging vice-president si Mar, may department na ihahandle iyan si MAr. Magiging appointee yan.
Caloy, thanks for the post. Makes me wonder what Roxas sacrificed his candidacy for. Or did he? The job of the Presidency is simple enough: adhere to laws and execute them. Obviously, Ninoy will not be up to it.
caloy bayona, you are correct about your sentiments that Noynoy hasn’t earned his spurs, and that he shouldn’t be inflicted on an unwitting public.
I have spoken to Jesuit professors from the Ateneo who described Noynoy as a chronic underachiever. His resumÃ¨ points to everything being spoon fed to him by his family. His only jobs away from Hacienda Luisita were with Nike Philippines and Mondragon Int’l. Who owns both those companies? Tony Gonzalez, an early Cory supporter who placed big bets on her Presidency. Yes, the same Tony Gonzalez who was rewarded with the Secretary of Tourism portfolio under Cory and promoted the Philippines as the place for sun, sand and sex. The same Tony Gonzalez who was given the Clark-Angeles gambling concession, complete with hotel and casino, during Cory and Ramosâ€™ time, but who later was kicked out by Erap and his boys.
As J_AG comments above, big political financiers and handicappers have decided to switch their bets to Noynoy. It’s not about ability or leadership. It’s all about perceived winnability. Big business and political interests have decided to place huge bets on Noynoy on the assumption that sentiments aroused by Cory’s demise was a game-changer that clearly favors Noynoy. These bigwigs are certain that Filipinos will be true to form, and vote with their hearts, and not with their heads.
It took Coryâ€™s death, and the sentiment it evoked, to make people take note of Noynoy as a viable Presidential candidate. It was Coryâ€™s death that was the game changer. The Mamaâ€™s boy had nothing to do with it, even if he was the primary beneficiary.
It must be pointed out that those business and political interests are no small potatoes. As J_AG points out, the Lopezes are at the forefront. They are flush with billions from their Meralco sale. They still have ABS-CBN as their primary political tool. The Ayalas, Sorianos, Concepcions and others, who were Cory benefactors and beneficiaries, will easily fall in line. So, too, will Manny Pangilinan, even if Dick Gordon dropped his name as a possible V.P. pick (which Pangilinan will surely spurn). And Tito Danding Cojuangco may well place his money on Noynoy, too. After all blood is thicker than water, and they have kissed, made up, and become fast friends.
Money begets money, so watch the smart money make a beeline to place their bets on the â€œanointed oneâ€. Everyone wants to back a winning horse. After all, there are payoffs and paybacks, depending on which way a bet turns out.
It wasn’t altruism or statesmanship that caused Mar Roxas to lose his nerve. Or at least to pragmatically hope to slide down to become Noynoy’s V.P. It was the harsh reality that the mood and the odds had changed. Mar knew that, despite his immense family wealth, he could never match the deep pockets and political clout that had began to line up to bet on Noynoy.
As a former investment banker, Mar knew that you canâ€™t beat Wall Street. Even during financial crises, Wall Street runs away with peopleâ€™s money and gets government bail-outs, to boot. Mar could see where the powers-that-be were aligning. And it certainly wasnâ€™t by his side. So he did the next best thing. Slide to #2, and hope to win accolades as a statesman from people like Manolo Quezon and some of our hapless “kababayans”.
Despite himself, Ninoy will get a sizable number of votes from the opposition; enough to make the administration bet win.
The only thing worse than a win by Gloria’s pet is a Noynoy victory. Welcome the old refrain: hell, hell, the oligarchs are here. He will be controlled by his bigtime supporters, as his mommy was.
Re: taxj and mechanization of farms & J_AG calling me stupid
Hacienda Luisita Inc has been mechanizing their farms, which resulted in the firing of 1000 out of 6000 farmers. This pissed of the sugar workers union, culminating in the 2004 protests that ended with the Luisita massacre.
Where did Luisita Inc go wrong:
-they should have paid these workers severance pay
-the SDO is a joke. Give workers true ordinary shares ownership
-cost benefit analysis: the cost in union protest vs the savings in giving the workers paltry preference options was high. Culminated in a perfect storm around 2004 compounded by the following events
What were the events in 2004:
-2004 saw a trough on commodity sugar prices, at less than 15 cents per kilo
-couple this with the capital investments of machinery and the firing of their human counterpart
-communist recruitment drive started in early 2000 was peaking
-created the perfect storm of low sugar prices, high capital expenditure, resulting in mass firings, which incensed a commie infiltrated union, which increased aggressive union action by burning some of the 2004 harvests, which exacerbated the cash flow
-Hacienda Luisita teetered on bankruptcy. San Miguel offered to buy the Hacienda in the same year
What did Luisita do right long term:
-generous benefits for some of their permanent workers (free housing, medical, etc)
-conversion of 1000 of 6000 hectares into industrial, recreational, and housing estate
What are the opportunities for Luisita now:
-At the present, sugar prices are riding high at around 40 cents per kilo
-capex spending should have been amortized by now
Oh I forgot the biggest opportunity for Luisita:
-Noynoy could become president. Hello hello low interest loans and SDO scheme-friendly supreme court
Extreme Left: Distribute land free to farmers-nobody is proposing this right now because it’s politically impossible. Theoretically, the effect could be that farm unions and cooperatives could maintain productivity. Or a Zimbabwe like situation could occur where farms will stagnate. Either way, the point is moot as free land distribution is politically untenable.
Left of Center: Implement CARL on Hacienda-I’m not in favor of this because it will burn a P15 billion hole in our already big deficit
Extreme Right: Ignore CARL and keep stock distribution option scheme-I’m not in favor of this either because it’s insulting to farmers to pay them a measly 10 pesos a day for these useless options.
Centrist Position: Keep the status quo, but replace SDO option with true ordinary shares. The Hacienda could afford it given that sugar prices are at their peak. This would also negate the need to pay 15 billion pesos for land distribution. It’s a win-win for the farmers and Luisita Inc.
and our deficit situation.
Mechanize. Or maintain marginal farmers who can’t feed even their own families! Fermers need not be displaced. They can be employed or employ themselves in certain labor intensive farm enterprises, or agri-based industries and businesses. Value-added or something. Imagination. That’s what distinguishes humans from machines.
Start where we are: realistic SDO’s for surviving hacienda Luisitas, corporate farming for newly opened lands (leasehold on public/private lands), cooperative farming for recipients of CLOA/CLT/TCT (RA 6657) and ancestral lands/domain (RA 8371). Reprogram money earmarked for land acquisition for support services. Give major role to local governments.
Vote for Noynoy. Hehehe.
not to put down your writeup, mlq3, but his withdrawal from the race may have also addressed a strategic end for Mar. we do know that there is the potentiality of the ‘failure of elections’ scenario. and given the good senator’s age, he would still be in good shape come the next presidential elections.
i used to like mar roxas. when he cursed and railed against the admin, in an uncouth manner, he lost his sparkle as a statesman and what i saw was a mere follower, driven by fads and the opinion of the general populace.
that is not to say that i love PGMA- what i am saying is that there are many more avenues where he can criticize PGMA, and cursing in public is so not Mar.
and this is also not to say that cursing is without value- i use it at times. (okay, for those who know me, more frequently haha). but being a legislator- or any public official for that matter, means that one is now subject to sacrosanct expectations of better-than-average behavior.
I am no fan of Noynoy and Mar. But we are probably witnessing history for these two senators to be put into the top.
The analysis of Caloy that Noynoy is less great than his parents is false. We have to remember the parents were not either great until they were put into life changing situation.
The time for Noynoy to become one will probably start when he decides to take up the presidency.
We are probably witnessing the next President and a good reason why everybody including Malacanang are uneasy about Noynoy right now.
“Fermers need not be displaced. They can be employed or employ themselves in certain labor intensive farm enterprises, or agri-based industries and businesses. Value-added or something. Imagination. Thatâ€™s what distinguishes humans from machines.”
I’ve a few relatives and friends who work in Luisita industrial and told me stories of farmers who, taken from fields to phelps dodge (the wiring co in the industrial park), were inefficient and slow. At the height of the union action in 2004 some of them destroyed machinery.
I’m not saying all farmers are stupid, but some are. The blame’s not all on the haciendero who the public are brainwashed to think as evil. Some of the blame should be on the farmers. I think we should accept the fact that some farmers cannot accept change and want are content with the kind of life where they farm in the day and swill some ginebra at night.
You might say they should have been trained, given counselling, etc, but hey, in a country where companies are strapped for cash and there are millions of unemployed, you’re as dispensable as the beeline of workers who are willing to take your job and are faster, smarter, more pliant, and will accept less pay than you.
“While Roxasâ€™ entry into politics may have been accidental, he ultimately embraced it. And, like a tar baby, it tainted him. While his personal record remains unsullied by corruption, his intimate associations with the Erap and GMA administrations do not absolve him of cavorting with thieves.”
I’d like to ask then how one would truly enter and succeed in Philippine politics without “cavorting with thieves”? You seem to have the solution to this dilemna.
It’s kinda weird, but it seems practical for Bayani Fernando to see the presidency as a kind of police work: law enforcement. But why not? Isn’t this why our president is also called Chief Executive? At least it is distinguishable from legislation where policies are based on.
Simple lang ang formula ni BF para tayo’y lumigaya’t umasenso: tuparin at ipatupad ang batas. Ano pa ba ang maaaring hanapin natin? Hindi ba kaya tayo nagkakaganito ay dahil sa halip na magpatupad ng batas ay iba ang ginagawa ng ating mga pangulo?
May mga karapatan ang mga magsasakang naapektuhan ng pagbabago sa hacienda Luisita. Hindi kasama roon ang masama sa payroll ng isang kumpanya kahit walang ginagawa. Hindi obligasiyon ng isang kumpanya na kunin sila bilang empleyado kahit hindi qualified. Kung kinuha ang mga tao in violation of sound management practices, ang kumpanya ang nagkasala. Malamang nagpagamit ito sa may-ari ng lupa, employment instead of disturbance compensation!
Yes SoP, I would say that. Presumably, in posession of a windfall of cash, they should have been trained, given counselling, etc, not by the private company but by the government agencies concerned. It is their job. If they did not do it, lagot sila kay BF. But as I have been saying all along, the local governments concerned should be so empowered for such things. They are closest to the action. They should know what law or measures would be applicable.
Forget the hacendero. His days are over. That’s the problem of our country. Someone is made to run the hacienda just because he is the son of the landowner. What does he know about farming or management? Does he possess the necessary training and skills? Now he is being groomed for the presidency just because he is the son of… you know who. Please, have pity on us. Our lives are miserable enough without him.
There are brilliant, over-achieving thieves (GMA), and there are stupid, under-achieving thieves (Mikey A.).
We may not nec. need a leader along the lines of Obama’s idealist visionary, or the hardball playing Putin. Maybe we simply need a leader who has no inclination to steal, to set the example, to show that there’s somebody out there, anybody, who will leave the public coffers alone – even when it’s there for the taking.
Maybe we need a leader who curried no favors (or as little as possible) to get there.
Maybe we need a leader who leads reluctantly, yet finds his place when greatness is thrust upon him.
Maybe we just need someone who will give the Filipino people their national pride back, to be able to say that they FINALLY came together as one to swipe the table clear of the usual suspects and given themselves a fresh start, by choosing least evil of a hundred evils, who just maybe the one they can all get behind in reforming the sorry state of government.
I’m not totally convinced of Noynoy’s capabilities to lead, I’m not totally convinced he can put his honest foot down in the face of the powerful sycophants and meddlers, I’m not totally convinced he has the balls yet (or will ever develop them), but I know one thing for sure: He isn’t like any of the others. And maybe, just maybe, that’s what we need.
My political views are shaped by the fact we have massive debt that needs to be reduced so no I’m against government funding for training or higher education. Let people pay for their college education, let companies pay for training.
In this case, Phelps Dodge and Luisita worked hand in hand to train these farmers. They couldn’t be taught. Worse, they destroyed machinery. They were given opportunities and they blew it, no thanks to commie brainwash that gives them a sense of entitlement because they’re “plebes fighting the power”.
They got fired for being delusional. Tough luck.
At the height of the protest actions in 2004, the non-union members of the sugar processing plant were locked in for days in Central (de Azucarera) plant. They kept the machines humming along, with armed guards posted at the gates. Outside were the leftist union workers who were screaming for blood, incensed at the treachery of those non-union workers who, unbelievably, were conniving with the owners of the capital.
My cousin was one of those non-union workers who was locked in. He held fast his position. He was and still is sympathetic to the Cojuangcos. And yes, he and his parents were the beneficiaries of free housing and medical in Central.
Would it have been right to ignore the safety of my cousin and other non-union workers who toed the line?
This was the pretext to the military being brought in to Luisita in 2004.
Why is SOP stupid..
SOP reminds me of Fidel Ramos… His entire policy framework fashioned by the neo-classical technocrats was the leapfrog strategy..
You do not have to pass through the industrial stage of development.
They see the economy as a machine. Simply corporatize and modernize agriculture to lift productive levels.
The main thrust of GMA’s first world economy is to create an agricultural middle class.
That obviously is a result of Assumption based economic theory. hence you have the oxymoronic phrase “high value crops.” We do not need to grow grains let us simply produce more mangoes, pineapples, bananas and sugar for the world.
The digital service sector will be able to absorb all the surplus labor. We do not need to produce anything for our own consumption. We can depend on more advanced economies around us to produce it for us.
Hence the need to open our capital accounts to enable us to import the funds to pay for our perpetual trade and capital deficits.
We are moving into a brand new form of economic planning. Full embrace of globalization even before it becomes a universal reality.
And what of the leftist leaders who organized the whole fracas in ’04? After the unions were infiltrated, farmers inculcated, fields burned, machinery destroyed, Luisita brought on the brink of bankruptcy, they were given their monetary bonuses by Joma.
The commies made their point. Just another step in their grand plan to destroy capital and make the masses rise up in revolution (in commie theory).
And so they left afterwards. These organizers were not local. Those who they left behind were the jobless, poor, pitiful farmers, abandoned by commies with their own agenda and scorned by the Cojuangcos for nearly destroying a business which is legitimately theirs.
“Iâ€™d like to ask then how one would truly enter and succeed in Philippine politics without â€œcavorting with thievesâ€? You seem to have the solution to this dilemna.”
As a matter of fact, Noynoy is the perfect example.
He hasn’t done much and he hasn’t achieved anything significant. But he hasn’t been involved in dubious undertakings, either. He’s a blank sheet of paper. Nothing inspirational written there. But no stains or smudges either. This is his greatest asset.
People are tired of the endless controversies that have been hitting the headlines the past several years. They want a break from the hassle and the tension. Noynoy seems to promise a quieter and more peaceful atmosphere, after so much noise and commotion (although I do not guarantee that the honeymoon will last very long).
It’s almost as if the nation is looking for a Chauncey Gardiner (the lead character in Jerzy Kosi?ski’s “Being There”), who can put things into a simpler perspective. Noynoy could be our Chauncey Gardiner.
There seems to be a such a strong gut-feel that this is what the nation is looking for, that much, if not most, of the smart money is now moving Noynoy’s way. In betting parlance, sya ngayon ang llamado. Big time. It will be interesting how Noynoy copes with compromising situations that will involve future quid-pro-quos.
J_AG, my view is simple: our country doesn’t have oil. We consume 400,000 barrels a day. By current exchange rate that’s $20,000,000 daily, or $7.3 billion yearly, in dollars needed to buy this precious commodity.
On top of this there’s the matter $3 billion yearly needed to service our debt.
Do you have another way of rolling in this staggering dollar amount that doesn’t involve selling our precious crops and exporting our OFWs? I would like to hear it.
“Itâ€™s kinda weird, but it seems practical for Bayani Fernando to see the presidency as a kind of police work: law enforcement. But why not? Isnâ€™t this why our president is also called Chief Executive?”
Enforcing the law is the easy part. The question is, is the law right? Case in point: the law says Luisita should distribute the lands to farmers and the government should spend $15 billion to pay for it.
Is it the right or wrong law? What will be the consequences of the law?
No, I don’t think the presidency should be mere police work. The president has to balance competing forces in our economy and society and have discretion on applying the right laws. In short, laws can be wrong and shouldn’t be applied at all times.