i had not planned to go, thinking that katrina could move more freely, even help out backstage as she did in previous rallies, if she didn’t have her nanay to make alalay, pero ang bumungad sa akin sa facebook that morning were many statuses altogether warning of evil forces out to hijack the scrapPork movement, the alleged agenda being to shift public anger away from charged plunderers enrile, estrada, revilla over their thieving use of millions of PDAF bucks, and to redirect the fury toward the president and his budget sec abad for channeling billions in savings into a DAP for porkbarrel-like purposes, which (it is feared) could only lead to oust-aquino conspiracies fuelled and funded by the sinister forces embodied by enrile estrada revilla if not the binays and the marcoses, among other threatened oligarchs.
it reminded me that from the first luneta rally, the call was already for the abolition of ALL pork. this was long before the DAP expose(y), when all we were going on was leonor briones’s and neri colmenares’s detailing of the 2014 budget’s trillion pesos in presidential pork that included billions in unspecified special purpose funds from which the PDAF is drawn. even then, there were dissenters who carefully, deliberately, went on the record to say they were for reform, not abolition, but that they were going to luneta anyway. this time, it would seem, they chose to stay away and just nag, kibitz, from the bleachers.
i wondered, even then, why they did not organize their own march instead, in support of the president’s promise to reform the pork barrel system. and i ask now, why do they not organize their own rally instead, in support of DAP, i.e., in support of the president through thick and thin, through tuwidnadaan and likoliko, simply because there is no one better and an ouster would mean a dreaded binay presidency? the pro-PNoy contingent should be a huge one, if we go by the trust ratings. or maybe, not all might be willing to surface as they could be suspected of vested interests, e.g., kumikita, nakikinabang, directly or indirectly, somehow, somewhere, sometimes, sa pork barrel system?
because, seriously, if their disapproval of the abolish-all-pork movement is purely the major major fear of an underhanded hijack by the marcoses and enriles and estradas that would install binay and UNA, then they are only contributing to that very possibility by criticizing the movement from the outside, i.e., by being divisive rather than being part of the united front and helping keep the devils at bay from the inside. nakakahinayang dahil karamihan sa mga negang ito sa social media ay kabilang sa kulturati’t literating tinatawag, napakarami nilang followers, ang daming bilib, naniniwala, sa kanila, and i’m not even counting the purely sipsip.
at tungkol naman sa puna na sa kababanat sa pangulo at sa kanyang pork, hindi na nababanggit sina enrile, revilla, at estrada, na tila daw pinapawalang-sala na ang mga ito… on the contrary. huling huli na ang mga ito, may nakalap nang mga ebidensiya, may kaso nang nakasampa sa ombudsman, and we are trusting that the justice system will finish the job. meanwhile, puwede nang ibaling ang atensiyon sa iba pang legislators na hinihinala rin ng publiko na kumita rin ng limpaklimpak na kickback sa PDAF at DAP, pinagnakawan rin ang bayan, ngunit kung magsalita at umasta ay para bagang mga santo santito.
at totoo rin naman na sa pangulo, higit sa lahat, nakatuon nakadiin nakatutok ang pinakamatitindi at nanggagalaiting puna. after all, it is the executive department that has the power to abolish all pork and investigate and take to court all plunderers. also, it is the executive department that is called on to come up with an alternative strategy, clean and coherent and competent, for inclusive economic growth. alas, he has instead, along with congress, asked the supreme court to lift the TRO on the remaining PDAF. mapapatanong ka: sino kaya talaga ang boss niya?
as for the suspicion that the rallies are being funded by forces out to oust the prez… as far as i know, the groups comprising the broad scrapPork coalition, from left right and center, all contribute what they can to the cause. and from what i saw of the makati rally, i’m convinced there’s no money going around to either mess up or disrupt or hijack the movement. if anything, the makati rally was such a level-up from the luneta march-cum-picnic where people and groups were scattered and largely left to their own devices.
in fact it’s the best rally i’ve been to yet. it didn’t feel like a small crowd that gathered around the stage, and it was quite a mixed crowd, seemed like a micro of the macro that went to luneta, including the guardians who went on stage briefly to express their support. the messages from the different sectors were focused. mini-lectures by liddy nakpil, ganni tapang, and leonor briones, complete with pie charts atbp., in simple tagalog that everyone could understand, were enlightening, reinforcing, affirming. a brief but pointed speech from national artist for literature bien lumbera promised the president na hindi ito tatantanan at patuloy na uukilkilin hanggat di naa-abolish ang pork. mae paner was a riot — oo nga, ninoy, tulungan mo naman kami… lol, laughter to kill the pain. and the music, especially the songs of the tres marias (cooky chua, lolita carbon, and bayang barrios), songs of love for nation, touched deeply. and coritha singing her anthems to freedom back in the bad old days of martial rule was an eloquent reminder of how little has changed since that freedom was won.
here’s a quickie kuwento from mae paner, swiped (with her permission) from a facebook thread that was an interesting — even upbeat, despite the fears and disagreements — postmortem on the ayala rally.
Mae Paner : sa MPM@Ayala kasama ko ang mga taong simbahan may mga militar na tahimik na sumusuporta, at ang mga kabataan na maalab ang damdamin di mawawala, tried and tested na mga manggagawa, magbubukid, at propesyunal. kasama rin ang mga netizens. meron pang kasamang mga nasa gobyerno- naks! ilang milyonaryong bonggang-bongga, ang cute ng mga matronang mayayaman na mga naka suot ng snout na bago magpakuha ng litrato ay nagsabing we are against pork but pro PNoy ha? nakakatuwa ang mga empleyado ng makati na di alintana ang ulan at talagang tinapos ang programa. at syempre touched ako sa mga kapwa ko artista. natuwa ako sa paglilinaw ni cookie chua kung oust PNoy daw ba ang ng rally. at nung magtiwalang HINDI ito oust PNoy ay nagpaunlak sya. at ang parte nya w bayang barrios at lolita carbon ay highlight ng gabi. mabuhay kayong tres marias. ang konek nila sa audience ay super bongga. pero may mga tao akong na-miss na rally na ito. ang ilang dati kong mga kasamang hindi ko na nakikita. na-miss ko na kayo. promise! malungkot dahil nung i-suggest ang inyong mga pangalan, may mga nagsabing huwag muna sila ngayon. sana sa future may dahilan ulit para magsama tayo. naalala ko ang isang line na isinulat ni Rodolfo sa pelikulang juana c. the movie, “HIndi lahat ng kakampi mo ay kakampi mo sa lahat ng bagay.”
true. but, yes, good to keep lines of communication open. dapat ay kayang pag-usapan nang mahinahon at bukas-loob ang bawat isyu na humahati sa kilusan kung ibig nating makamit ang pinakaasam na pagbabago. pag-uusap na totoong level-up. sabi nga ni junie kalaw the environmentalist in an essay on the new politics, post EDSA (1989) based on the concept of wholeness (the whole is more than the sum of its parts; ang sakit ng kalingkingan ay sakit ng buong katawan):
There are two ways of effecting change: revolution and transformation. In the new politics, transformation is the way to wholeness. Transformation involves the synthesis of opposing forces on a higher level of wholeness. For instance, the conflict between communism and capitalism can only be resolved at a higher level of consciousness. It is the task of politicians to take from each ideology its life-affirming features and to come up with a new ideology that will unify the divided whole. It is a design process, this synthesis and creation of alternatives. It will be the supreme political skill.
[Exploring Soul & Society: Essays on Sustainable Development. Anvil, 1997. 126-127]