1Sambayan’s grand event a grand dud

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - June 17, 2021 - 12:00am

With due respect to its honorable organizers, that June 12, supposedly grand  event organized by retired senior associate Justice Tony Carpio, retired DFA Secretary Tony del Rosario, and retired Supreme Court Justice and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, was a big flop. That is the kindest adjective I can give it. It was announced with a series of big bangs, but it was executed with not even a whimper. It was like a wedding invitation that turned out to be a funeral. Pity.

No big name ever came and it was left with Maria Ressa, Etta Rosales, Brother Armin Luistro, Howard Calleja, my ever pure idealist and romanticist friend, Atty Sonny Matula of the labor federation, FFW, and a handful of other messianic and quixotic academicians and ivory tower idealists, with no clear and compact constituencies. I feel sadness and pity for such good guys with no strong following. In fact, it was a series of sad announcements that their prospect Grace Poe has sent an official letter that she wants out of 1Sambayan. Senator Ping Lacson also refused to be endorsed by that ragtag group of tired and retired seniors. Vilma Santos, too, does not want her name in their short list. Nancy Binay does not want their endorsement either. And the biggest flop of all was Mayor Isko Moreno's official “No, I don't want to be endorsed by you, guys.”

And so, what does that make of 1Sambayan ? It is left with a list that includes Vice President Leni Robredo, Antonio Trillanes IV and Chel Diokno. But Leni Robredo did not attend that virtual activity. She had her own launching of the Leni Robredo for President movement. That event on Independence Day could be likened to that parable in the New Testament when a rich man gave a wedding banquet and invited the big names in society. But nobody came, nobody honored his invitation. So he ordered his servants to go to the streets and the market places, and invite all who were there. Still, only a few came. Thus, he ordered his servants again to go back to the villages and invite the lame, the blind, the deafmutes, and the outcasts in society. Well, that is the greatest flop of all, when you give a party and no one is coming. That means the people are not buying their message. They are not resonating with the “hoi polloi.”

I do understand their message. Philippine sovereignty is important. Human rights are important. Decency in presidential language is important. Gender equality is important. Respect for women is important. But these are not the top of mind of the masses today. The people need food, the people need jobs, and the people need hopes for survival in the midst of this very serious health crisis. The people do not really mind a few rock formations or sea shelves being occupied by China. Well, it gives them worries, too, but they need to attend first to their starving children, their sick family members, their jobless husbands and their lack of foods, medicines and other basic necessities. 1Sambayan should understand the most basic lesson of all: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. The problem with the organizers is that they are focusing on the higher needs for self-actualization when the basic needs are not being addressed.

Well, these septuagenarian and octogenarian retirees have multi-millions in the banks gotten from their retirement and from their other sources of wealth and incomes. They do not care about their next meal. They are all well-off. Tony del Rosario was the richest member of PNoy’s cabinet. Conchita Carpio Morales is rich in her own right. She got millions when she retired from the Supreme Court and many millions more when she retired from the Ombudsman's office. Brother Armin Luistro is a La Sallian pillar and this great institution is the training center of the country's rich and famous children of big oligarchs, taipans and high-caliber politicians.

The message of 1Sambayanan does not resonate. If Maria Ressa is with them, they should get a seminar on communicating. But even Maria Ressa does not even speak Tagalog. She is a US citizen with a New York accent. How can she communicate with a vendor from Quiapo or Carbon market? They are not running for market coop or homeowners association, or a supreme student council position. Come on, this is the Philippines, the land of FPJ, Dolphy and Yoyoy Villame. You guys will just be beaten by Bong Revilla whose only grand accomplishment was to dance “Budots.”

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