(This column appears in The Ilocos Times this week. I quoted some of your comments posted here in this blog so a wider readership can partake in your wisdom. Keep ’em coming, dear karikna.)
WHOEVER HELPED Governor Michael Marcos Keon (MMK) draft the speech he delivered in his press conference, Feb. 8, must be commended.
First off, it seemed spontaneous. “Let me speak from my heart,” he said. And the piece did sound sincere. As a speechwriter myself, however, I know it was carefully crafted and executed.
He began by relating the series of events that led to his running for reelection as governor opposite his cousin Imee Marcos. He gave his story, his version of the story, which is very much different from what I heard from Imee in an interview she gave your karikna a couple of weeks back.
Anyway, why they both decided to run does not interest me much. It’s given, they are both running. Period. It’s time to move on.
The best part came when MMK said that although this battle is the hardest one he ever had to face, he will carry on because he is running not as much for winning as it is for finding personal closure. “I do not want to spend the rest of my life asking myself what the result would have been had I run,” he said, on a very pensive note.
He cast no stones on the person of anyone, and tackled the issues on the level of reason.
How could you, dear karikna, go against a man who is searching for answers in life, and who is holding on to his dignity?
The press conference, broadcast on cable television, was held immediately after Keon’s allies at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan lost the vote on the issue of Tobacco Excise Tax monetization. Such event provided a very good backdrop to the presscon. Emotions were high, and the losers were expecting public sympathy.
The governor’s two children from Australia were there, and so were a number of mayors, to show solid support for MMK.
IMEE is not at all bothered that most of the mayors throw their support to her political opponent.
“Good leadership is not about making the mayors happy. It’s about making the people happy by serving their interests well,” she said.
Besides, she is confident that some mayors will eventually cross the fence. “They are just waiting for the right time.” She explains that these mayors do not want to have their projects derailed and so they are sticking it out with the governor, but only in the meantime.
Let’s see. As with the past, Balimbing is the fruit of the season.
GLORIA IS FOR IMEE. No, it is not the president, but Gloria our beloved kasambahay. This mother of six from Dingras says she will be forever be grateful to Ms. Imee who provided scholarship benefits to her eldest daughter Luzviminda through the ‘Iskolar ni Imee’ Program.
Manang Gloria appreciates the fact that then congresswoman Imee never asked anything of them in return, except that Luz study well so she can help her family, and her community.
IMEENOT IS FOR KEON. A great majority of those who leave comments at the Riknakem blog seem to be pro-Keon, among them Imeenot, who says, “I love FEM very much, but I do not mean to love all the Marcoses. Ms. Imee does not deserve my vote. When she came to our school, with her galamays, i was there sitting and clapping for her, but only for respect’s sake. She greeted everyone a pleasant afternoon. Then, later on, she slipped the words, “di siguro uso ang utang na loob sa Australia.” Hearing that line aroused me to listen to her speech, which was too political. Then I asked myself, where is her urge to run for the position coming from? My answer: family!, family and not for the people. Imee is like Noynoy, all whistles.”
THE “UTANG NA LOOB” tack is apparently not sitting well with the people, especially on the part of the thinking class. This is because while our society frowns at people who do not look back at the kindness of others, Filipinos are also uncomfortable with those who demand ‘payment’ for the good deeds they have done. “Pagsingir na.” (Isinusumbat niya.)
Ilocos Times columnist Steve Barreiro, my friend and mentor who is a known supporter of the governor, was also guilty of panunumbat when he took provincial ABC President Jessie Galano to fault for being with the Imee camp. Keon once served as Galano’s benefactor.
Whether or not the people finds the issue of “utang na loob” important to them we will never know, not even after May 10. To say that the people will base their electoral choices mainly on two cousins’ personal issues is an insult to intelligence. It is best then that both debtor and debtee move on, and talk about pressing issues that affect their people.
William S., another Riknakem online habitue, laments: Comedians thrive during election campaigns. They do not have permanent agenda, and if they have one, it is a moving target. They do not have permanent rivals either since their motto is: “scratch my back today and it will be my turn tomorrow”. They do not have allegiance to anybody except for their personal interest to fill up their “kabans” and create more “kabans” for themselves. The bottomline is some of these comedians do not have “delicadeza” at all.