By Herbert Vego
THERE is no truth to the yarn woven by two columnists of the Manila Times that the Filipino masses are resisting “American efforts to get their candidate Leni Robredo to grab power.”
We know it’s not true because, on the contrary, what most of us Filipinos are afraid of is the obvious hand of Red China in trying to stop the deluge of public support for the opposition presidential candidate, Vice President Leni Robredo.
If she wins, the Philippine government would exert maximum efforts to enforce the 2016 of the United Nations’ Arbitral Tribunal against China’s expansive South China Sea maritime claims. It has no basis in international law.
China is trying to take over the Spratly Islands, which are also claimed by our country, Taiwan, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Brunei.
The Chinese military has been occupying our Scarborough Shoal since April 2012. Chinese fishing vessels are ever-present off the shoal, which is located some 220 kilometers from Palauig, Zambalez – therefore within our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
It does not make sense that the Duterte administration is red-tagging Robredo and other candidates crying out for change when it is clearly subservient to the biggest communist organization, the Chinese Communist Party led by China’s President Xi Jinping.
No less than President Duterte was video-recorded saying, “Kung gusto ‘nyo, gawin ‘nyo na lang kaming province, parang Fujian),” on February 19, 2018 during the anniversary of the Chinese Business Club in Manila.
He put the arbitral ruling on the backburner in the interest of “friendship” with China.
The two anti-Robredo propagandists – RT and YM for short – want us to believe that the USA government is alarmed by the alleged 64 percent voters’ preference for presidential “frontrunner” Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM) against Robredo’s 21% just because pollster Laylo Research says so. The rest of the 10 presidentiables get one-digit percentages, if not less than one percent.
Wow ha, these pre-paid “surveyors” – which also include SWS, Pulse Asia, Octa Research, Publicus Asia – appear to be outsmarting each other in giving the BBM-Sara tandem the highest percentage.
As this corner has repeatedly stressed, they want to make us “idiots” for believing that their respondents numbering a maximum of 2,400 could represent a nation with an estimated 67 million Filipino voters.
How could BBM win 64 percent when he already lost the vice-presidency to Robredo in 2016? Where have her supporters gone? To the graveyard?
It’s a blatant lie to propagate BBM as the “frontrunner” when the lady’s political rallies show bigger attendance than his. Unfortunately, some of our colleagues in the media seem to be biting the unverified mind-conditioning surveys which could be a prelude to manipulation of election returns.
The political analysts in disguise – including Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes – could not even explain why their chosen “No. 1” deserves to win despite being the only son of the late dictator who was ousted in the bloodless People Power Revolution at EDSA in 1986.
Anyway, back to the foolish assertion that the Americans are railroading forced victory for the lady candidate, that is unnecessary. If they are trying to fend off Chinese interference, that is understandable in view of our Mutual Defense Agreement (circa 1951) which stipulates that the Philippines and the US would support each other if either of them were to be attacked by an external party.
That is not to say that the Americans love us so much they would die to fend off Chinese occupation or seizure of our country. Admittedly, they are defending their own interest, which is mainly to keep the South China Sea open for international navigation.
Our country is fast losing its democratic pillars exemplified by separation of powers among the executive, legislative and judicial departments. We don’t have to lose them just because most of our elective officials think of nothing but their personal welfare.
Let us therefore welcome the Americans and other foreigners who are coming to watch our national and local elections on May 9, 2022.
LOREN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF LABORERS
HAVING heard Congresswoman Loren Legarda airing her concerns during the celebration of Labor Day yesterday (May 1), I am as convinced as she is that it behooves the national government to address the specific needs of Filipino workers, especially those displaced by the pandemic crisis.
“Labor Day,” she said in a radio interview. “is a recognition of the important role that our workers play in sustaining the growth and recovery of our country.”
Now running for senator once again, she would like to push for a strong and consistent legislative agenda for Filipino workers overseas as they continue to endure hardships while living and working abroad, urging the government to focus on providing adequate legal assistance; repatriation programs; reintegration programs of displaced OFWs, including entrepreneurial opportunities, skills mapping and matching between areas vacated by OFWs; and potential alternative places for redeployment.
Indeed, we should come to the rescue of domestic workers who are among the lowest-paid but subjected to poor working conditions such as longer working hours sans overtime pay and social benefits.
This task necessitates strengthened efforts to empower micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that address the unemployment problem. They are the powerful platforms for promotion of viable rural livelihoods, cultural preservation, socio-economic empowerment of indigenous peoples, and environmental protection.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) has endorsed the senatorial comeback of Legarda because of her initiatives to improve the labor environment through decent wages and protection of workers’ welfare.
The laborers are partners of their employers in nation-building. This partnership may be likened to two parallel tracks of the railroad. One is useless without the other.
In the Bible (Ecclesiastes 9:10), it is written, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol [abode of the dead] where you are going.”