RVP can be VP… but IF AND ONLY IF he cheats


YES, I PROMISED to write on Kris Ablan, the congressional son who now wants to be congressman.  But I will reserve that for next issue as something more pressing has come up.

Entering Laoag via the Gilbert Bridge at dusk is the most soothing part of my work day.  It marks the end of my travel from a workplace tens of kilometers away.  It means I am home.

On Tuesday (July 21), however, what I felt while crossing the bridge can only be as soothing as a root canal performed without anesthesia by a sadistic pseudo-dentist.  That afternoon, plastered on the lampposts of the bridge were tarpaulin streamers welcoming Ronaldo V. Puno, the Interior and Local Government secretary of the Arroyo regime.

Having worked for a national politician in the past, I am quite sure those tarpaulins were funded by Puno himself and were posted by his own staff.  The tarpaulin, which beamed the face of the VIP visitor, read, “Welcome to Region I, Ronaldo V. Puno.” The initials RVP, of course, drumrolled his ambitions to be VP (Vice President) of this country.

I am usually uncomfortable seeing the faces of politicians, most of them aesthetically challenged, displayed in public spaces at the expense of taxpayers.  God knows how much I cringe at my seat whenever I approach the end of Gilbert bridge where a digital screen wide enough to contain the face of a local chief executive is set up.  When Bayani “Hitler” Fernando’s posters went down recently, I actually looked up to the high heavens in gratitude.  It was, however, just the calm before the storm (literally and figuratively) as Ronaldo Puno’s streamers turned out even more extraordinarily appalling.

It is my duty to explain to you why.

Ronaldo Puno embodies almost everything that is wrong with Philippine politics.  He is the alleged original architect of dagdag-bawas and is called by many names, like “kingmaker”, “horseman of the apocalypse”, and “chameleon par excellance”, but “election magician,” owing to his trailblazing successes at poll manipulation, is my favorite.

His legendary role in the desecration of our electoral system began in 1992 when he headed the special operations team of then presidentiable Fidel Ramos.  Directing the vote-rigging show at the Sulo hotel, Ronaldo Puno pulled off his sleeves a rabbit that stole the presidency from Miriam Santiago who, to this day, claims, and sanely so, she “won in the voting, but not in the counting.”  From then on, Ronaldo Puno has become the country’s most sought-after kingmaker.  A true-blue balimbing, he jumped ship from FVR to Erap, and now to La Gloria of “Hello Garci” fame.

He actually started at an early age. Pushed by his father who was then one of Marcos’s justices, his career took off as fast as a congressman would raise his hand to vote “Yes” for the approval of the pork barrel fund. In no time, he was undersecretary of local governments and one of the dictatorship’s fastest rising stars.  From what I gathered, the chameleon also tried to broker arms deals, lobbies, and consultancies during the Aquino administration.

The 61-year-old Puno justifies turncoatism by saying that his loyalty “lies alone to the Filipino people”.  I actually believe him as much as I believe that greedy pharmaceutical companies and the oil cartel have the best interests of the Filipino people in mind.

Last Wednesday, July 22, Puno, also the President of Kampi, the regime’s political party, convened thousands of local government officials and barangay volunteers, including Ilocandia’s two most powerful Michaels who were seated beside him, left and right. In the said affair, they pretended to talk about the peace and order situation, the drug problem, blah, blah, blah.  But any person with an iota of reason would easily know what it was about: it was Puno’s first campaign sortie in the province.

Thousands of “volunteers” from barangays all over the region were transported to the venue.  They were tasked to help maintain peace and order in their communities.  Good idea, I say, but patently hideous.  With the national elections set less than ten months from now, it seems that Puno has just recruited his first batch of Ilocano rah-rah boys and girls.

But let’s give them doubt’s benefit, they may actually be maintaining peace—Puno will have peace of mind knowing that he has taken to his advantage, yet again, the barangay system.  Let’s wait ‘til we see what their uniforms will look like.  Will they be imprinted with “Ronnie’s Voting Patrol”?

You might think I am imagining too much, but never underestimate this man.

He is one of the brains of this regime’s oppressive measures that have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, including CPR (Calibrated Preemptive Response), which tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to suppress the people’s right to air their grievances in the streets; and E.O. 464 which, violating the dictum of transparency in governance, derailed congressional investigations on the alleged anomalies in the Arroyo government.  He is the same animal who issues suspension orders left and right to local politicians who are not chummy with the bemoled queen.

Now, Ronaldo V. Puno wants to become Vice President although he doesn’t have a massive fan base.  In fact, I’d say he has none at all, save the political bootlickers who competed for his sweet attention during the sortie.  But who can blame Ronaldo Puno for loving himself enough?  He has helped others become presidents, why can’t he take his shot at it?  To put it in other words, if he has indeed cheated for others, as is widely alleged, why can’t he cheat for himself?

Ronaldo Puno cannot win in an honest and credible political exercise.  I am so certain enough about this, dear karikna, that I am confident to make this wager: If he does win, fair and square, I will quit writing forever (and God knows how much I love to write), swim across the Padsan River every afternoon instead of simply crossing the Gilbert bridge, and have “I LOVE RONNIE PUNO SO MUCH” permanently tattooed on my shining, shimmering, widening forehead.


Author: Herdy La. Yumul

A hesitant academic pimp, writer

26 thoughts on “RVP can be VP… but IF AND ONLY IF he cheats”

  1. so where is padsan river? i would join you but i don’t know how to swim.and that is a lot of words to be tatooed on your shining ,shimmering ,widening forehead and hopefully that river is not polluted and you better write your book first before you quit writing..hehehe

    1. Padsan river is that which you cross when you go to downtown Laoag. I am not good at swimming, too, so it’s really tantamount to suicide. 🙂

  2. again this article is well done.the choice of your words are astronomical but that is the reason why you are the writer and i am not. was it your dream to be a writer? i wish i have that talent herdy…kudos to you and hope you will be writing “until you fade into the sunset”

    1. Thank you. Writing may be relaxing, but because I do so much (I also do the MMSU in-house publication), it also gets stressful sometimes. Still, I will not exchange it for anything. You write well yourself, and to think that you were a health practitioner, your job did not really require so much writing.

  3. “Thank you. Nice incident with pia. Nice to know you’re not one of those grammar nazis.”

    no sir, not at all 😀

    lahat naman kasi ng tao eh nagkakaroon ng lapses when it comes to grammars. in the end, ang importante diyan is, “have the people understood what you said?”.

  4. nursing nowadays are more paperwork than giving care .lucky we can chart patients care and progress in the computer. now….we have to document everything to CYA (cover your ass) specially in these days and age of malpractice)

    1. I watch Scrubs and Grey’s Anatomy, paperwork is really one of the less liked chores in the hospital.

  5. nursing is not what it is used to be.it used to be taking care of the sick ,make them comfortable give them morning care or evening care and spend time with them.it is sooo different now.you do not have time to do all of these because you are so busy with paperworks.i am from the old school that i would do all of these before my paperwork and as a result i am always the last one to go home because patient care is my priority.

  6. i am leaving for virginia tomorrow (monday)at 6 am.i will stay with my sister until thursday then i will be in washington d.c.until sunday…apo padi will be arriving thursday august 6. i will be in a hotel those days and i am not lugging my laptop all over the place so i will be in hiatus for awhile…talk to you later….

  7. doctors handwriting is worse..so while they are still at the nurses station i always make it a point to have them read their orders before they leave. some of them are used to do it but others do not want to spend the time..but guess what i insist and i always win!!!!

  8. try reading doctors handwriting.i use to have the doctors read their orders before they leave the nurses station.some are so used to me having them do it but others did not like it that much…but guess what..i alwaYS WIN!!!!!!

  9. If you have no conscience, you are good in cheating, and will do anything just to become rich, Politics suits you.

    In Philippine Politics, you cannot win without cheating. In Philippine Politics, almost all candidates cheat and the best cheater wins. The very reason why the Philippines is not progressing is because of our corrupt cheater who are leading us to our graves. Filipinos vote for cheaters eventhough they know that that person cheated. Foolish move? But whoelse to vote if all of the candidates are just a bunch of corrupt cheaters who does not possess the very qualification of eradicating the worst problems our country is facing.

    What we need is a Hero. A Good Leader. And a good leader has pure intentions who only thinks how to serve the country with all his might and wits sacrificing his own personal time, happiness, pleasure. A good leader does not corrupt nor cheat. But if you don’t cheat you will definitely lose. So having a good leader is almost impossible for the Philippines.

  10. Para sa akin pare-pareho lang silang lahat.Tingnan natin ang ating bansa, for how many years that our parents have been voting , pero may pagbabago ba? Nasaan ang mga lideres na pinili natin? It’s true, we select/vote for the reason that we believe in their leadreship skills.sa kanilang mga plataforma,sa kanilang abilidad. Pero sa paniniwala nating mga iyan ay parang bulang maglalaho kung sila na’y nasa trono. Di na nila inisip ang mga binitiwang mga salita sa harap ng madla. Ginagawa na nilang money factory ang kanilang opisina. Nasisilaw na sila sa kaban ng bayan. Di na nila inisip na ang mga iyon ay nanggaling sa mga pilipinong halos di na makabangon mula sa pagkadapa sa kamunoy ng kahirapan…Co-voters wag nating bigyan pa ng chance ang mga ambisyoso/sang walang kakayahang magpatakbo sa ating bansa.

  11. so was that the padsan river we went to near your house?that is really a lot of river to swim.next time i come home i would like to just sit there and chill out,have a picnic etc?

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