Pot getting hot

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Sunday, July 27, 2014


IMPEACHMENT moves initiated by Makabayan groups prompted more partisan talks about 2016. Of course, online rah-rah boys and girls rooting for either VP Jojo Binay or Sen. Bongbong Marcos increased their social media noise a few decibels higher.

Binay’s survey leads could dive, however, if his ardent supporter Manila Mayor Erap Estrada would shift support to somebody else like the adopted daughter of his good friend the late Fernando Poe Jr. or the son of his Malacañang ally during the Marcos years.

Then there’s this well-crafted plunder case against the Binays that defenders dismissed as politically-motivated. Remember, the Garcia camp also labeled the cases against then governor Gwendolyn Garcia as political.

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Meanwhile, the enthusiasm of Marcos loyalists is beginning to be matched by those who cry “Never Again.” Note also discussions (and jokes) about other possible presidential candidates like Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, and Grace Poe.

What if, a journalist friend asked, Senator Poe teams up with Kiko Pangilinan? Took me long to figure out the joke.

In fairness, both Grace and Nancy Binay asked the hard questions when DBM Chief Butch Abad appeared during a Senate hearing. Of course, colleagues received a dash of DAP during the previous Senate. With the bashing he is getting especially in social media, it was not totally Abad hearing.

But something else surprised me. An FB private message urged support for President Noynoy Aquino at www.change.org against impeachment.

Anti-P-Noy operators should not discount the President’s political clout yet. I look at P-Noy’s moves as partly trying to address and mobilize this populist base. Unlike GMA who enjoyed negative survey ratings two years before 2010, P-Noy still has some 50 percent. Anti-P-Noy folks in Maghisgot Kita’g Politika, Bay call their pro-P-Noy counterparts “Noynoymons.” The political pot is definitely getting hot.

***

As this develops, the Aug. 23 People’s Congress and launch of the People’s Initiative to Abolish Pork in Cebu is fast approaching.

Many who are schooled in patronage politics have not really figured out this growing “rainbow” movement that is attracting different shades in the cause-oriented movement, especially pro-impeachment groups, supporters of anti-P-Noy political figures, P-Noy allies like Alex Lacson who was a P-Noy senatorial bet in 2010, Magdalo, the leaders of last year’s Million People March, the non-partisan anti-corruption group Dilaab, the Archdiocesan Discernment Group (ADG), former CJ Renato Puno, and the CBCP.

At the moment, let me just say that success of People’s Initiative in abolishing pork (both legislative and presidential) come 2015 will make future PDAF and DAP-like budgets punishable by law. And this will radically change the current 2016 scenarios.

***

Mayor Paz Radaza proudly launched the branding of Lapu-Lapu City–“The Historic Resort City. Free Yourself.” At first glance, my resident critics found it hard to connect the phrase “Free Yourself” until I showed that poster of young people on bikes in Olango.

More than having fun, being free could resonate in both Filipinos and our global visitors. But that could also be a call on Oponganons to free the island from Cebu Province. For the moment, let’s just focus on “Free Yourself from DAP!” Haha!

***

On a more local matter, a reader e-mailed about the opposition of Talamban officials and Cebu City executives to a condo project on Borbajo St. despite a private developer’s promise to widen the narrow road and improve its drainage system.

I could understand a middle class community’s hesitancy to allow development projects, especially the construction of condo projects. This can be resolved through dialogues, particularly with a well-meaning developer. Well, that’s unless some quarters would not want even a fruitful talk to prosper just to block the project.

But alas, Borbajo folks are fortunate in a sense that the Cebuano developer who is reportedly new in the business would prefer win-win solutions. I sense naa lang gyuy mangitag bikil.

In Barangay Lahug, a friend told me about how Sanson Road residents are wary of a Manila-based developer because of project changes while the construction is ongoing.

Maru-maro, he said.

Barangay Apas, meanwhile, had a different experience. Residents discovered shortcuts in the process of building a cell site. For instance, a neighboring barangay approved the barangay permit. Tinuod ni, Kap Ramil?

(Follow @anol_cebu in Twitter)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 28, 2014.

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