The truth is, I have never seen anyone take so long to leave or say goodbye. I am refering to Speaker Prospero Nograles, who claims to have plans of leaving the administration coalition to join the Nacionalista Party.
Which is why people wonder. If he is really bent on leaving, then why doesn’t he just go for it? Does he really need to telegraph his
punches? The long, dragging fanfare is ridiculous.
With respect to the Speaker, Noggie reminds me of local celebrities from tv networks who send feelers to rival stations so that they can be pirated — or so that the home station makes a counter offer for the artist to stay. Is Nograles waiting for a counter offer from the coalition? And is he really leaving? Certainly, those who are still loyal with the PaLaKa coalition would not want an official of his stature to leave just like that. Do admin allies even still care about these movements? Or is it just Rep. Girlie Villarosa who cares about the sinking ship?
From the looks of it, and whether the party leadership admits it or not, the administration party is disintegrating. Thanks to PGMA, whose influence as president is waning faster than a speeding train as her term comes to an end. With the admin coalition slowly crumbling (let us not forget other resignations within the party starting with Gibo, Joe Zubiri, etc.), the question is: how will all of this affect PGMA’s chances of being elected speaker in the next congress? Under a Villar presidency, the speculation is that PGMA will be speaker. So PGMA still wins — but at the expense of the admin party.
If you are anti-Gloria, the greater concern here is that many of those who are shifting allegiances to either Noynoy or Villar’s camp
are the same people who worked with Gloria — and may have had a hand in bringing the country to its state. In the case of lawmakers, these may be the same people who voted for the Evat (if you happen to be against it). These may be the same people who accepted P500,000 bribe in paper bags. These may be the same people who voted in pushed for a forced cha-cha.
So if either Villar or Noynoy win, yes, will we not have the same trapos hovering over the next president like fruit flies and maggots?
Again, a tragedy for party discipline.
Certainly, Speaker Nograles has a considerable influence, which he has had even as majority floor leader in the last congress. If and when Villar’s accepts him (as of this writing, Villar says he is “thinking about it”), we can expect more admin politicos to follow suit. Off cam, Nograles has described himself to journalists as a floor manager who directs his colleagues and brings the lower house to order. He may just be doing that role soon: directing admin allies to the orange camp. And the more new allies Villar has, the more votes from the grassroots he gets. So is there something to really think about?
Anti-admin and anti-Villar forces are expected to use this Nograles story for their advantage. Are admin politicos really abandoning
the admin camp, or merely moving and repackaging themselves into the new admin coalition, that is the rumored new “Villaroyo” admin coalition?
If there’s anything evident, black propaganda has surely set the tone and direction of the campaign, instead of issues and platforms.
And rumors of a Villaroyo connivance top the list of black propaganda. Whether it is true or not, it has definitely done its damage to the Villar camp. In the absence of consistent debate on issues, the public is left with a deluge of black propaganda. Since believing or not believing in these form part of a voter’s decision, it is worth examining to discern if the rumors are true — or if politicos are just lying to the public.
What I find ridiculous about this whole thing is how the Liberals and Nacionalistas have fought over this matter. In a live
television square off last week, spokesmen of the Nacionalista claimed that it is actually the Liberal Party that is conniving with
Arroyo. And their basis: the Hyatt 10 — composed of Arroyo’s former cabinet secretaries — are with Noynoy’s camp. I wonder what
the likes of Dinky Soliman and Butch Abad think about that.
It seems that recent history is being rewritten by Nacionalista’s spokespersons. These two spokespersons worked closely with the
Hyatt 10 during the impeachment attempts against Arroyo. They marched against Arroyo. And now they are telling us now that the Hyatt 10 have been pro-Gloria all along and are still pro-Gloria? Come on.
And then there’s the alleged report on Noynoy Aquino’s mental health, leaked allegedly by the Nacionalista Party. Noynoy’s alma
mater, the Ateneo, has immediately declared the document as fake. The alleged signatory, Fr. Tito Caluag, has also denied signing such a document.
Still, it is interesting to find out that the Ateneo does provide psychological assessment. Not through the psychology department, but
through another unit, the Ateneo Center for Psychological and Educational Assessment (ACCESS).
An initial look at the website shows that the center conducts testing for selection, promotion, and career planning. A closer
look shows that it conducts “Clinical Diagnostics”. The procedure is described in the website as:
“This is ACESS’s response to the need of medical practitioners, employers, and parents to understand and help children and adults experiencing adjustment problems at home, school, and work. The output is a holistic appraisal of the individual’s intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal functioning, accompanied by recommendations.”
Fr. Caluag also says that he is not a psychologist by profession. This carries weight, and several documents show that his background
is centered more on administration or management, rather than psychology. Still, for the purpose of public information, it must be noted that the Fr. Caluag has provided counseling within the university community, and through the 71 Dreams Foundation, which
was formed to assist the victims of the Ultra Stampede in 2006. He is also Managing Director of the foundation.
The DSWD NGO directory describes 71 Dreams as a duly-registered and licensed NGO that has the following programs and services:
education, livelihood training, employment referall, intensive counseling, family conference, and medical assistance.
Back to the more important point. If the report were real, one would also expect the document to be under the letterhead of ACCESS, and not the psychology department of the Ateneo.
Whatever the truth is, the challenge lies on the public, the voters. The public is more than intelligent enough to discern when politicians or parties are trying to fool them. The public knows when to believe in black propaganda — and when to send it to the
trash can. And certainly, the Public votes for those who tell the truth, and not those who lie.
Related Link: Ateneo Center for Psychological and Educational Assessment