Why Mar should do his damnedest best to properly unite the LP

He has civil society backing him. He (allegedly; he really should make sure about this) has the support of the “pedigreed” members of the Liberal Party. He is the scion of one of the leading political families of the country, and one of the richest business families. From what we heard, he even has two – read em: TWO – PR companies handling his media needs, or the LP’s. He has degrees from a prestigious schools. He has an unblemished record both in business and in government.

Yet where, in all that, is the common sense in Mar Roxas?

I mean, look at it: why is his treatment of the LP Civil War so much as if he’s Drilon Junior rather than, supposedly, the Golden Boy of Philippine Liberalism, heir to the legacy of his sainted grandfather and father as the Liberal of this country?

Before suddenly becoming a somewhat hesitant champion of the anti-Gloria faction of the LP, Mar was known for being a political fence-sitter, to use the derogatory version for a “neutral.” He was known as someone who played safe, and who would rather sit on the fence even if taking a side would have benefited him in the short run. In fact, he was said to have once strongly reprimanded one of our congressmen with the statement that he never acted without first thinking about its consequences.

If that is the case, why is he then apparently hell-bent on losing the support of the following bastions of the LP: Antique, Ifugao, Oriental Mindoro, Quirino, Ilocos Sur, Basilan, Manila, Malabon-Navotas, Cavite, Batanes (yes, Batanes), Western Samar, at least a fourth – if not half – of Quezon Province, and at least a fourth of Quezon City. And those are just the sure ones, or the ones with big, solid, LP-Atienza sentiment. What about Kalinga, or Pangasinan, Palawan, or Camarines Sur?

Mar’s statements over media, and most especially those made by Drilon and his flunkies (oo, flunkies sila. Because if they had a shred of sense and Fear of God left, they’d be doing the right thing and stop telling all these lies), are so antagonizing to the Atienza faction that you’d have a problem reconciling their treatment of us with their other statement about wanting to reunite the LP. In fact, the line is, we’ll take you back… on your knees, begging to be re-admitted.

Which, to my mind, ensures no reconciliation because such a stand from their side is a total disregard to the real reasons behind the split in the first place: 8 July 2005.

Unless, Mar has swallowed the PR of the Drilon faction, lock, stock, barrel and all that yucky pig fat inside them. Because his statements and actions that do nothing to heal the division in the Party will only make sense if we adopt that mindset.

And another one, actually: he genuinely believes that the support of civil society, backed by a media made pliant by his PR companies and anti-Gloria bias, and his family’s money is all he needs to win in 2010. Has Mar accepted the line that local politicians mean little in a national campaign now, that one does not need the support of local chapters to win?

But regardless of his mindset with regards to the Atienza Wing’s value as a group for his presidential bid, Mar should take heed: his inability to reunite the LP would come back to bite him in the ass when he needs it the least. Even now, whoever wins the media battles will have to contend with the bad vibes it hits the public with. Politics is already a mess in this country, and the LP’s oh-so-visible fight is not helping the situation. The electoral contest of our leaders in their bastions will probably be little affected by the Civil War, but can Mar say the same for his national campaign?

Would you vote for a candidate that appears as divisive and unable to reunite warring factions as the incumbent in Malacañang is?

I hope to God his pricey PR firms have a plan for this, because if I was Manny Villar or Loren Legarda I’d wish this little fracas between the two halves of the LP goes on until the campaign season starts, at least for the informal one on the second half of 2009. Because the more this goes on, the more negativity can be thrown at Mar. A leader who can’t even put his house properly in order is no leader at all. “He can’t even reunite the LP; how can we expect him to reunite the country?”, would probably be the one constant attack on him then.

And he really should stop that piggy from squealing so much. Drilon talking for the LP in the press makes Mar open for another line of attack: is Frankie boy the follower… or the real leader? “How can someone who isn’t even his own man in so simple an issue as his organization’s turf war be expected to lead the Philippines in its many conflicts?”

” If Mar can’t think for himself in the LP Civil War, how can you expect him to think for himself for the country’s betterment?”

And, oh yeah: I was told about a statement from Butch Abad how the Atienza Wing is getting laughed at in coffee shop talk.

To my mind, that captures eloquently why Mar is so much in disconnect with the real issues not only regarding why the LP is split until now, but also for national ones: he, it seems, based on Abad’s statement, listens to and puts more value to coffee shop talk than to the voices from the ground. To the voices and lamentation from his own people.

Of course Mar adopted the Drilon line on the LP issue: that’s what the talk – the laughter, if Abad be believed – in coffee houses is all about. It doesn’t matter that the Chapters and Bastions of the once mighty political party his grandfather helped found are saying for the last two years, why there is dissent and discontent with Drilon in the first place.

Would you elect a president who can’t hear the cries from the streets and rice paddies since he’s so isolated in the glass-and-airconditioned comfort of a coffee shop?

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