Marcos Jr. doesn’t know 700 Iloilo politicians from Adam

By Alex P. Vidal

“One can survive everything, nowadays, except death, and live down everything except a good reputation.”—Oscar Wilde

IF they think President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will put red flowers on their pockets and kiss them one by one like Olympic gold medalists, some of the 700 Iloilo and Guimaras politicians who recently discarded their old parties and embraced the president’s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) are daydreaming.

Even PFP national president, Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., couldn’t assure the newly converted PFP Iloilo and Guimaras recruits they would all be given preferential treatment now that they are “part of the political family.”

Being on board the ship doesn’t mean they’re special and will be touted as “beautiful faces to behold.”

Being newly minted PFP oath takers doesn’t make them quality public servants—they have to work for it and prove their mettle even without a political party.

Being identified with the president’s political team doesn’t amount to anything other than being invited in political conventions, party conclaves, involvement in signature campaign “in support of the president”, “equity of the incumbent” in the event two party members run for the same position in the next midterm and regular elections, among other obligations. It’s not a veritable walk in the park.

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The bottom line for PFP, or any political party for that matter, is to expand its forces and influence nationwide and entice more members.

The main gist is to show total dominance by numbers and total cleanup, if possible, of opposition political parties or those not allied or will refuse to ally with the prepollent PFP.

PFP is not in the business of recruiting the pluckiest and the topnotch heartthrobs among the LGUs; it is keen and more interested on its reputation and bankability.

It’s about the political party as a brand, not as individual pretty faces.

It is aiming beyond the midterm election in November 2025 primarily to install Mr. Marcos Jr.’s successor and fill up major seats in both the local and national elected offices.

If they think they have become apples in Mr. Marcos Jr’s eyes by virtue of their acting as traitors in their old parties and becoming Johnny-come-latelies in the president’s political party, again, they are daydreaming.

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If they have graft and corruption cases in the Ombudsman, the PFP can’t or won’t rescue some of the 700 Iloilo and Guimaras PFP recruits.

While Mr. Marcos Jr. is in power maybe their prosecution and conviction—and even trip to the calaboose—will be delayed, but after Mr. Marcos Jr. has departed from the presidency, they will have to fend for themselves and face their own foolishness and problems.

Political parties have ceased to be the gatekeepers of Philippine politics. They are only effective and reliable as long as the man on top is the incumbent president.

Once the incumbent president slides to oblivion after his term has expired, the dominant party becomes irrelevant and history.

Remember KBL, PDP-Laban, Lakas-NUCD, among other political parties pampered and breastfed by past presidents only to be neglected and deserted when the new administration takes over?

The advent of digital and social media has had a transformative effect on how political parties and candidates can rally their base in today’s political climate that can render joining in any “powerful” political parties inutile.

In addition, data analytics afforded by these new tools has also helped candidates build targeted and effective communication strategies —all without the backing of a political party.

A quality and truly independent public servant doesn’t need to bow before any political party even if it is the party of the gods.

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Every June, the United States celebrates Pride Month, commemorating the uprising at the Stonewall Inn that catalyzed a global movement toward LGBTQI+ equality and the inception of Pride as many of us know it today.

According to the US Department of State, despite great strides for equality around the world, LGBTQI+ persons in many countries continue to face grave danger, including laws criminalizing LGBTQI+ persons and their allies, violent attacks, and denial of lifesaving and gender-affirming treatment.

It said protecting the spirit of Pride and honoring the legacy of the intrepid activists at Stonewall and subsequent generations of LGBTQI+ activists fighting for a more just world is central to the work they are doing.

“The Department of State is committed to promoting respect for the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the world,” announced the U.S. Department of State.

“We will continue to work to defend LGBTQI+ persons so they can enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms and live full lives without fear.”

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

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