Issues demanding clarification

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

I was deeply troubled by a news report few days ago saying that the three leading presidential candidates for the May 2016 elections have funding support from sources ranging from being unpalatable and undesirable to downright illegal and unacceptable. To be accurate, let me be clear that I adopt the meaning of the word unpalatable given by the standard dictionary – distasteful.

The source of the news was Representative Walden Bello. The story did not indicate if the legislator offered verifiable proof to substantiate his claims. While his assertions could be categorized as mind-boggling, perhaps dismissible as unfounded, yet, he himself, I would surmise, is a person credible enough to hear from and listen to. He would not have made such statements were he unsure of his basis.

Who was the candidate for president that Bello referred to in the news story and what did he say that I consider an unpalatable funding support for this candidate? The lawmaker mentioned the name of the standard bearer of the Liberal Party, Manuel "Mar" Roxas III. According to Bello, the illegal numbers game known among the people in Luzon as jueteng backs up Roxas. In the process, Bello suggests that if Roxas wins the presidency, he is more likely tolerant of the activities of the jueteng lords.

 Bello was quoted mentioning a certain Pineda without saying that this guy is the king of jueteng himself. This game, as we all know, is scourged part of the otherwise great culture of Luzonians. If I were to rely on an ancient Supreme Court decision, it is massive as it is widespread. No community in Luzon is without any form of jueteng.

Morally speaking, jueteng promotes laziness. This is the reason why I say support for a presidential hopeful from jueteng is unpalatable. It is distasteful because no progress can be expected from an indolent citizenry. A bettor harps more on his getting quick cash on chance than on industry because if his bet hits luck, he wins money without sweating for it. The bettor does not realize that he loses more money than winning it.

From the mouth of Bello, newsmen quoted him claiming that industrialist and former presidential aspirant Eduardo Cojuangco is funneling hundreds of  millions  of  pesos for the campaign of Grace P. Llamanzares. The enormity of his supposed contribution engenders the suspicion that it is wrapped with dishonest and corrupt intentions. By the way, this is the candidate who dishonors her husband by refusing to carry his family name in the campaign simply because it is not as known as that of her supposed father's family.

Without any proof of such financial aid coming from the tycoon to the candidate, Bello's claim is difficult to accept. Fortunately for him, his allegation is also difficult to dismiss easily. Assuming it to be true, the woman candidate labors under a huge cloud of suspicion. This support is undesirable because her independence of mind, the one boast she continues to peddle, suffers immensely. She cannot be independent in her presidential decisions, if she should win, if she owes his victory to the financial dole-out of someone whose interests are on making more money than on anything nationalistic.

Bello mentioned of the worst form of support for presidential candidate Jejomar Binay.  According to the lawmaker,  Binay is propped up by Chinese fund and that should explain the pronouncements of Binay on the international issue of conflicting claims over the Spratleys, tending to slant in favor of this international bully of a country.

It true, this support is illegal. International law frowns upon all forms of interference by a state in the affairs of another state. Funding the campaign of  a  presidential bet like Binay by a foreign power, like China is unmistakably interference. It cannot be accepted. We are in a serious dispute with this new transnational imperialist that relies upon its massive firepower than on the weight of fundamental international law. If our leader, God forbid, owes financial allegiance to it, then all our national efforts might get clamped the rhetoric of presidential pronouncements.

I hope the camps of all the three presidential candidates will exert their greatest efforts to clear the issues raised by Bello. They are duty bound to tell us the real score.

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