Mar continues to disappoint me.
In a news report over at Sun Star Davao, Sen. Roxas insists that there is only one LP:
SENATOR Manuel “Mar” Roxas, president of the Liberal Party (LP), said Monday that as far as he’s concerned, there is only one LP and that is the one he has recently been elected as president.
The issue of factions in the party is already dead, said Roxas.
“The Supreme Court has already ruled on that, and it recognizes the faction of former Senate President (Franklin) Drilon as the legitimate Liberal Party,” Roxas said. “And I am president of that faction.”
Before we go further in this discussion, let us work from the assumption that Mar, as he told one of the LP congressmen who dared question his decisions, indeed thinks over his decisions. This is expected, given his background and abilities and all. With the warnings of the Sedmak Conundrum – be careful of the Truths you accept, because they will determine the Consequences you will face – taken into account, we will accept this as True then, that the good Senator does not act unless the decision has been discussed to death.
If that is our logic, then Mar’s statements in Cebu augurs ill for the reunification of the LP.
Training tells you that in order to address a problem or manage an issue, you have to accept the basic Truth that there is a problem in the first place. But Mar’s statements since Nov. 26 clearly show – again, we’re working on the assumption that these are not plain PR statements but the actual working gestalt of Mar – that he has accepted the Drilon bullshit lock, stock, barrel and all the icky things inside them, that there is no problem.
For sure, the good Senator from Capiz and Cubao is right about the recognition from the Supreme Court. Well, no, not really. According to the SC decision (G.R. No. 174992 and G.R. No. 175546 for the Law students), what was recognized – despite the findings of the COMELEC – was the so-called “Daza-Drilon” constitution of the LP. Nowhere does the Court say that “this guy is the leader” by direct statement. It is only an assumption that Drilon is recognized because, under the “D-D” constitution of the LP, his term of office as President of the Party ended this year.
Still, if even Mar claims the SC decision as his basis, then it goes to say that other officers of the Party should have been recognized, too, as incumbents during the 26 Nov. 2007 meeting of the LP’s National Executive Council (NECO), including those in the Atienza Wing. Yet, Mar’s faction recognized many of these as “guests” instead.
I mean, you can’t use the SC decision as basis yet only use the parts of it that you like. Since the only explicit parts of the decision recognized the basis of the terms of the LP’s officers, which supposedly started on Nov. 2004, that should tell any person with a normal IQ level and can read that everyone covered by the D-D Constitution should also be incumbents until last Nov. 26. I think this is the basis of the status quo argument of the Atienza Wing, because the recognition was only given to the constitution of the LP, on which was functioning for purposes of the COMELEC’s deciding on who was the current officers of the LP, and not the persons. If Drilon was recognized as President of the LP, it was only because he happened to be holding that post at the time.
Given that kind of a situation, then perhaps Mar is right that there is only one LP, since the recognition is for the structure, as per the recognized by-laws, and not the persons sitting as officers at the time. If there is any nod to the composition of the LP’s leadership, it would be the names mentioned in the 60th anniversary’s Souvenir Program, which both the Atienza and Drilon factions accepted to the SC as common exhibit.
The problem here is that the LP Civil War goes beyond the legalities of the issue.
In order to buttress the original illegal act of 8 July 2005 by Drilon and the Blessed Pedigreed of the Party, they PRed to death the notion that (a) it was legitimately decided on by the Party, and that (b) prior to Atienza’s “rump” session in Manila Hotel in 2 March 2006, there was no split.
This is the origin of the “stealing” tag given to Lito Atienza, which is, from my point of view, a blatant untruth reinforced in no small measure by a media that treats all anti-Gloria factions as if they are automatically telling the truth. Atienza was automatically wrong because he defended the President, conveniently setting aside obvious facts like the grand majority of LP local officials expressing their support for the President or that Drilon refused to convene the NECO immediately after the fracas. Atienza’s faction is even labeled in media as the “minority” when a cursory look at LP congressmen and bastions shows who really is the smaller faction.
This seeming blindness of Mar Roxas to the truth behind the LP Civil War is disappointing and disturbing. Disappointing because, really, you expected him to go beyond the press releases and tackle the problem based on its Truths. Why was there a split in the LP in the first place? Because the leadership that was in place on 8 July 2005 did not follow the processes of the Party and refused to do so for long months after. They only appeared to be in the right because a horribly biased media said so.
This isn’t the Mar I once admired. I remember the first time I met the guy: it was in a talk for alternative careers at the Ateneo, sometime in 1999 or early 2000. I didn’t even know who he was, just that he was a politician, and what self-respecting student activist – I was Strategic Director for the Union of Catholic Student Councils (UCSC) at the time – would trust a politician? I went there, actually, as a favor to the sitting Sanggunian of Ateneo, since they needed more bodies to fill the Rizal Mini Theater, and for Bam Aquino, who is a good friend and one of the speakers (he was with ABS CBN Foundation at the time).
When Mar started talking, I was scoffing; what kind of drivel is this politician going to tell me? Yet at the end of his talk, I was shaking his hand and telling him that if he needed help with any of the projects he mentioned, I’m sure the student councils of the Catholic Colleges and Universities would at least hear him out.
Because it was the first time I met a Filipino politician who didn’t sugarcoat the situation: he told you that there was a problem. Big problem, in fact. But what caught your… imagination with the Mar Roxas of that time was that he also gave suggestions on how we can realistically address the problem. Not only did you get a more-or-less realistic review of the situation, but here was someone who was telling you that, rather than curse the darkness (or mope in it), there’s something that can be done about it, and no one needs to die for it or go out to the streets to see it done.
That’s partly where the disturbing part comes in: where is that Mar now?
Because if Mar supposedly thinks things over, why is he, someone who is supposed to be in the know, saying these things? His statements over the press show two things, eh: a total disregard to the real origins of the LP Civil War, and a total disregard for the concerns of the other, bigger half of the Party.
It sounds as if a Drilon Jr. is talking. Makes you wonder if my Muppet tag is right, given I said it in a fit of anger over Mar’s “hostage takers” label on us.
Mar wants to be president. Some people say this is even his destiny. But aren’t you disturbed, even for a little bit, that a presidentiable could be so blind to the truths that spawned the problems of his organization and the realities that perpetuate that problem? If Mar can’t see the realities that caused the LP Civil War, if he’s allowing himself to be blinded by the propaganda of Drilon and his motley cabal of destabilizers, how can he properly address its issues and truly unify the political party his grandfather founded?
And if he can’t even properly address the LP Civil War, how can he possibly be trusted to properly address national conflicts, like the one in Mindanao? Will he, like with the LP Civil War, listen to the propaganda of the Blessed Pedigreed and not assess the true causes of that issue?
Oh, yes, I keep forgetting: I’m just another one of those “hostage takers.” Nevermind if I was a staff of the Liberal Party – the head of its Media Operations, no less – and I was present that dreary July 8 morning when shit became Truth. Why should my opinion matter, since the Supreme Court decided already, nevermind that the decision had no ponente? In fact, there was no explanation as to how and why the SC reached their decision, and why the highest court in the land decided it on the basis of facts, and not on laws. Just three “separate opinions.”
At the very least, this whole rigmarole is a wonderful case study of how true what I learned in PR class is. And why Goebbels got away with so much bullshit.