In case you were looking for something to show that politics in the Philippines is more about candidates than any actual polis, consider the diabetes-inducing wave of goodwill flowing from magnanimous officials-elect.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III has extended an olive branch to defeated United Nationalist Alliance candidate Juan Miguel Zubiri months after Zubiri accused him of being a wife beater. Months after Pimentel called Zubiri a “fake senator”, to wit:
“Zubiri is the face of dagdag-bawas and other insidious and malevolent forms of electoral fraud in this country. He is one good reason why some of our people completely distrust elections and politicians.” (Press statement, March 12, 2013)
He was referring, of course, to the 2007 mid-term elections, when he was cheated out of a Senate seat. Zubiri resigned before Pimentel could be officially proclaimed the proper winner of those elections. Soon after his resignation, Pimentel and Zubiri were on TV holding hands and presumably slapping asses and talking about how they’re actually very good friends.
Until the 2013 elections, anyway.
Senators Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano have also mended fences just a week or two since Legarda accused a member of the Team Pnoy slate of being behind a black propaganda campaign against her. The objective of the so-called propaganda campaign was not to make her lose the elections, just the Number 1 slot. A slot that senator-elect Grace Poe got.
At their proclamation last Monday, Legarda and Cayetano were all smiles.
Legarda, speaking to reporters after the proclamation, made clear that she never said Cayetano was behind allegations in social and mainstream media that she failed to properly declare a condominium unit in New York on her Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
“I didn’t give any names,” she said.
Even on the local level, rivalries were quickly dropped as soon as a winner was proclaimed. Manila, site of one of the dirtiest, most childish, and most scandalous campaigns in the 2013 elections, was also the site of the quickest kiss-and-make up in history.
Before mayor-elect Joseph Estrada was even officially proclaimed, Estrada and his children had already forgiven Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim for, among other things, bringing up the deposed President’s pesky plunder conviction in 2007.
Lim, for his part, wished Estrada and vice mayor-elect Isko Moreno “all the best.”
Allegations of corruption and crime are suddenly swept under the table and everyone is friends again. “It’s all politics,” they say, and they’re all really just good friends. And that is probably one of the biggest problems of all.