A wise move

By Alex P. Vidal

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.”—Rosa Luxemburg

TO save time and resources, it’s a wise move on the part of Bongbong Marcos and Sara Carpio to skip the “sympathy caravan” in Iloilo on December 11.

It’s not worth being in the confirmed bailiwick of Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan, who were given resounding welcome and accolades when they arrived in Iloilo a week earlier for the phenomenal “pink wave” parade, and be given a stark comparison.

If they would not show up, their Ilonggo supporters will understand since it’s only a political event, not commencement exercises, where the presence of the invited speaker or speakers is mandatory or necessary.

The Bongbong-Sara tandem for president and vice president in the May 9, 2022 election is expected to generate a good crown during the caravan since both candidates are also popular among Ilonggos loyal to their parents (the late former President Ferdinand Marcos and President Rodrigo Duterte), but it cannot overtake the swashbuckling Leni-Kiko pink parade, which regaled even the nation’s political analysts because of the unprecedented number of volunteers and supporters that showed up in the streets.

Even Iloilo City Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas couldn’t believe what he saw, saying, “I have never in my political career since 1986 (seen) such energy, such love, and such volunteerism as I have seen today. I am overwhelmed by the love and welcome by the Ilonggos for VP Leni.”

Along with Senator Franklin Drilon and Iloilo Governor Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr., Treñas, was among the first local chief executives in the Philippines to openly endorse the vice president, who is being supported by Ilonggos, he said, because “she did not waver from the challenges of the pandemic but continues to strive to help the people.”


The report that the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan tandem topped the most recent survey conducted by RACI in Iloilo City, was not news.

In that survey, conducted in the period of December 4-5, 2021, Robredo got 53.5 percent; Marcos 29 percent; Manny Pacquiao 7.3 percent; and Isko Moreno 6.7 percent for president.

Pangilinan got 36.3 percent; Vicente Sotto 32.3 percent; Carpio 22 percent; and Dr. Willie Ong 5.7 percent.

It was not even earthshaking, to say the least.

It’s like reporting that the Democrats dominated or overwhelmed the Republicans in election surveys conducted in the so-called “sanctuary states” of New York, California, and Chicago in the United States.

It’s news if Leody de Guzman, chairman of the Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, topped the survey for president, and Joselito Atienza for vice president.

It’s news if Robredo and Pangilinan otherwise known as “Mr. Sharon Cuneta”, were at the bottom of the survey despite their recent spellbinding pink parade in Iloilo City.


SO the anti-terror law is alive. It wasn’t totally defeated in the Supreme Court as wished and prayed for by human rights advocates in the Philippines and their sympathizers abroad.

The higher court only declared two parts of the controversial anti-terrorism law unconstitutional, not the entire law.

Lawyers and human rights groups challenging the legislation claimed the law could be abused to target government opponents and suppress peaceful dissent even if the country does have legitimate security threats, including Islamic extremism mostly in Mindanao.

The Supreme Court, which has yet to release a breakdown of the ruling, said in a statement it struck down a part of the law “for being over-broad and violative of freedom of expression.”

It also declared as unconstitutional a provision that allows an anti-terrorism council appointed by the president to adopt requests by other entities, including international organizations, to designate individuals and groups as terrorists.

Go back to the drawing board for those against the law, or just embrace it with a grain of salt?

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)