Having said the conumdrum on Grace Poe is a diversion, I now turn to the worrying sequence of events. It must be said again and again so Filipinos are aware of what is happening to their unfortunate country.
The chairman of the Senate committee on local government, Bongbong Marcos, said he could not support the Bangsamoro Basic Law. “The BBL in its present form and substance will not bring us closer to peace,” he said, “but lead us to perdition.” He said he is preparing a substitute bill.
Many, including Bayanko, welcome Bongbong’s stance. As analyst Amando Doronila warned, by approving the BBL the Aquino government is offering a great opportunity to the Islamic Caliphate to create a lot of trouble in the Philippines. His voice is the latest to be heard on top of the many voices opposing the BBL, including that of former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.
Three out of four Filipinos oppose the BBL – 62% in Mindanao reject it. Still, the Aquino government is bent on ramming it down our throats.
President Aquino and his Liberal Party need to pass the BBL. It is the cornerstone of their strategy to win Mindanao. Ten thousand heavily armed MILF warriors can be very persuasive to voters.
In recent days, we have seen other facets of the LP strategy come into play. DOJ Sec. Leila de Lima announcing the investigation by the NBI of Rodrigo Duterte, a possible presidential candidate, for human rights violation and participation in death squads. She also insinuated senators like Gringo Honasan, likely to oppose the BBL, may be charged with plunder and included in the third batch of PDAF cases.
In Pulse Asia’s latest poll on presidential candidates, Jojo Binay dropped by 5 points but is still leading at 26%. Grace Poe is in second place with 18%. Mar Roxas, the likely standard bearer of the LP, is in sixth place with 6%. The LP cannot help but be worried.
After being spurned by Grace Poe to be his vice presidential running mate, Binay’s UNA turned its guns on her by questioning her qualifications to run for president or vice president. Binay was hurt by Poe’s joining ten senators who signed the report of the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee that recommended the filing of plunder charges against him and his son Junjun, mayor of Makati.
Binay now sees Poe as his most dangerous rival for the presidency. To neutralize her, UNA is leading a dirty campaign that shows the level to which Philippine politics has descended. The net effect of this may just backfire on Binay. Filipinos have a soft spot for underdogs and Grace could well earn a lot of public sympathy.
If Grace garners sympathy and surpasses Binay in the next survey, she will be a serious contender for the presidency. However, she lacks money and organization. The LP, on the other hand, has both, but lacks a face that is winnable. In Pulse Asia’s survey, Grace Poe topped the list of vice-presidentiables with 33%. The question is will Grace accept to be number two to Mar?
Against Binay, Mar has little chance. The only way for Mar to win is to eliminate Binay by having him charged with plunder. The wheels have already been set in motion.
With Binay out of the way, that only leaves Mar and Grace. Other presidentiables have little public appeal based on current surveys. Grace may have no option but to take the second slot. With money, with the MILF, with the PCOS machines, with the Opposition eliminated, the LP seems to have the 2016 election in the bag. Then after six years of Mar, Noynoy can run again as president, as he hinted recently in Japan. This way, he can be protected from law suits filed against him. Admittedly, it is a clever strategy.
Can it work? Maybe, maybe not. There is always a joker in the pack who may surprise us all.
Why can’t we focus our energies on what is truly important to improve the lives of the people? Here is one that could put the Philippines at the forefront as a country that cares for environment:
Cidark’s architectural studio Fiark and the company Movagroc have jointly developed a system to create energetically self-sufficient sustainable ecobarrios. Each neighborhood has its own lifepoint core that allows the generation of electric energy from biomass to supply its population. The big ecobarrios are equipped with a 100% ecologic waste water treatment thanks to a German technology based on patented bacteria and a garbage recycling system that converts waste to energy allowing excess kilowatts to be sold to the national grid giving communities an additional source of income. The infra also includes a new drainage system to prevent flooding.
Bayanko’s adviser Jose Alejandrino is the representative of Cidark in the Philippines. He was responsible for opening its markets in England and parts of Latin America based on the concept of ecobarrios he helped conceive. Cidark sent him here to open the Southeast Asian market.
Ecobarrios are integrated communities with their own source of renewable energy, schools, healthcare clinics, market stalls and livelihood means, community centers, parks, and sports facilities. The idea is to make the ecobarrio an attractive and livable place its people won’t want to migrate elsewhere.
Alejandrino said, “I sold this concept in England and to some countries in Latin America. Today, our English projects have the full support of the Nationwide Building Society and three major banks: Santander, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Lloyds. In Panama, which has a housing program of 150,000 units over the next 5 years, we were able to get the associations of developers and constructors to join us. We gave our designs to the Mexicans and Venezuelans. We have a project in Cuba.”
To service its Latin American projects, Cidark opened a manufacturing plant in Colombia in addition to its two plants in Spain. “If there is a big demand for our modules in Southeast Asia, we are open to setting up a plant here which can also cover Indonesia and Vietnam,” Alejandrino added.
Cidark has won awards in architectural design and planning. Its last award was in 2013 at the Havana International Fair. Its modules made of fibro-cement are termite proof and are typhoon and earthquake resistant, the latter up to intensity 6. They are EU certified. They have a lifespan of 50 years that can be stretched through proper maintenance. They are equipped with solar panels. They can be assembled quickly.
“Design, new technology, quality, price are the keys to our success in international markets,” says Alejandrino.