Those shameless political butterflies
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - August 13, 2018 - 12:00am

I hate to tell the members of the Lower House the blatant truth that most of them have shown total lack of delicadeza, and plain opportunism, when, after a blink of their eyes, they shifted their allegiance from Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, to the new Speaker, former president GMA. No principles involved, no ideology, not even a decent reason. It has been all for political convenience. And that includes, with all due respect, the honorable members of the House from the seven districts of Cebu Province, the two districts from Cebu City and from the lone district of Lapu-Lapu. That is if, and when they voted in the last blitzkrieg changing of the Speaker two weeks ago. I salute any of them who stood their ground on matters of principles. I hope there were some. So, I challenge the Cebuano solons to declare once and for all how they voted in the political coup.

Political turncoatism in our country is, to be fair to our current crop of politicians, nothing new. During the Martial Law regime, I remember Mano Amon Durano who said that in times of political storm, we need to take refuge under the protection of the one with the biggest and strongest political umbrella, the KBL. And so, practically all Cebu politicians shifted to KBL, the Duranos of the old first district, the Kintanars of the fourth, the Cuencos of the fifth, Maning Zosa of the sixth, and Tereso Dumon of the seventh district. Only Serging Osmeña and his group remained in the opposition. But when the anti-Marcos politicians were arrested and detained, and many fled to the US, even some of the Osmeñas and their allies went to KBL. Then that gave birth to Pusyon Bisaya, but it was suspected as a Marcos creation through the alleged political machinations of a Marcos boy, Nicnic Logarta.

In the olden times, the first big turncoat was Don Manuel Roxas who lost to Don Sergio Osmeña in a fair and square Nacionalista Party Convention. Roxas bolted and formed the Liberal Party which defeated Don Sergio by a few thousands vote, fewer than the plurality of VP Robredo over Bongbong Marcos. The second big turncoat was Ramon Magsaysay who was an LP and a Cabinet member under the Quirino administration. He bolted LP and ran for president under NP, and won over his former boss, Elpidio Quirino. The biggest political butterfly was Ferdinand Marcos. He was allegedly assured by his ally, LP's Diosdado Macapagal that the latter would not run for re-election in 1966, but Macapagal did, and Marcos shifted to NP and defeated him.

The reason why I call these political butterflies as unprincipled is because they always think of convenience, of selfish interests, rather than matters of honor, of self-respect, principles, and ideology. They always use as an excuse the interests of their constituents. They supposedly need to be in the majority in order to assure their district of enough pork barrel. They are just perpetuating a rotten system of traditional politics of accommodation, of patronage politics, of transactional politics, which are all indicative of unprincipled politicking. ''Pera pera lang'', walang prinsipyohan. I hate to tell these people that they should be ashamed of themselves. They should be ashamed to face their own sons and daughters. We cannot be proud of these trapos, and they have the temerity to run, run, and perpetuate their rotten politics in our country.

Our country will never grow with the kind of political leaders we have today. But we are to blame also for always electing these shameless kind of trapos. To quote Shakespeare: “Oh, judgment, thou art fled to brutish beast, and men have lost their reason.” Bear with me, my heart is in the coffin, and I must pause if any trapo would dare reply.

PANTALEON ALVAREZ
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