By Dr. FLORANGEL ROSARIO BRAID
Following the election marred by massive irregularities, many of us try to mitigate feelings of frustration and helplessness. We rationalize and comfort ourselves, saying that it was not entirely a futile exercise. We won some, but lost some.
The people have spoken. Time to move forward and time to search for alternative pathways that can help us narrow communication gaps and promote dialogue and trust. But it seems like before we can do that, we have to confront one challenge after another.
The most recent one is dealing with fake news and maneuvers that distract us from focusing on the growing injustice and social cancer around us. The breaking news last Thursday was the sudden turn-around of Bikoy (Peter Joemel Advincula), who this time, in the company of PNP officials, blamed the opposition – the Liberal Party and Senator Trillanes — as masterminds of the “narco list” videos.
It will be remembered that these videos showed that presidential son Paolo was a drug lord and that Man Carpio, husband of Davao City Mayor Sara, and Senator-elect Bong Go were likewise involved. This was what the hooded whistle blower revealed last April 5,and it was only last May 6 when his identity was revealed.
In effect, while the credibility of his earlier accusations against the Dutertes and now, his pointing a finger at the opposition as the instigator is questioned by many fake news and disinformation can still have a damaging effect.
Thus, Vice-President Leni quickly denied the involvement of the LP as well as herself, who she says had never been involved in destabilization, that despite being accused of bringing down government since 2016, she has always respected the will of the people. LP leaders Senators Kilo Pangilinan and Frank Drilon likewise disclaimed LP’s participation, saying that thep continues to be blamed for ouster plots to cover up corruption in the administration.
Others say that this is an example of DDS (Dutertard Double Standard) — that when the Bikoy video was released, the administration noted that Bikoy had no credibility. Now that Bikoy is blaming the opposition, they say he is credible.
I am sure the investigation will show that Bikoy was merely a discordant interlude in a drama concocted to divert us from the ills spawned by the drug war
But there are also optimistic developments. Certainly a much welcomed law was passed last Thursday when the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino (4 P’s) program was institutionalized. The law would provide financial assistance to poor families to enhance their health, nutrition, and education for seven years. Qualified to avail of this assistance are farmers, fisherfolk, families without homes, indigenous peoples, members of the informal sectors. The principal author of the bill is Senator Frank Drilon with Sen. Bam Aquino as co-author with Senator Antonio Trillanes defending the bill on the floor. Senator de Leila de Lima is principal sponsor. The 4 P’s law is expected to reduce poverty incidence to 14 % by 2022.
We may have lost at the national level but we can’t ignore the victories at the local level. One is the changing of the guard to allow infusion of new blood in local government. At least three powerful political dynasties have been replaced by promising young and dynamic leaders – former President Estrada by Isko Moreno, Pasig’s Mayor Eusebio by Vico Sotto and former Vice-President Binay lost his bid for a congressional seat in Makati to Kid Pena. A convincing argument for not giving up the fight.