LAST MINUTE’s change of political color and affiliation during the first week of October made it more evident that political parties and ideologies have become of little importance in the Philippine elections.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. quit the Nationalist Party to become chairman of the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) on the eve of his nomination certificate (CoC) for the presidency on October 6. From 1980, when he became vice-president governor of Ilocos Norte, he remained with the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), which his father organized in 1978 with defectors from the Nacionalista and Liberal parties.
Marcos was not known as a defender of federalism, an ideology his new party defended. In fact, when the Duterte administration was trying to switch from the current unitary presidential form of government, Marcos warned against it, saying the people were not yet ready for it.
Despite the change of party, Marcos is sticking to the KBL campaign color, which is red.
To date, he does not yet have a running mate and list in the Senate. Speculation is circulating that he could step up to the vice-presidency if Davao city mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio decides to join the presidential race, or if Duterte-Carpio is his vice-presidential running mate.
On October 7, Vice-President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo attended a press conference to announce her decision to run for president. She wore a pink ribbon and a face mask, losing the Liberal Party (LP) yellow. She has deposited her CoC as an independent candidate although she remains president of the LP and her vice-president running mate is the president of the LP, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
While adopting pink as his campaign color, Robredo did not really turn his back on LP, the party of her late husband, Jesse Robredo, who was secretary of the Home Office and Local Government when he died in 2012. .
Among the main presidential candidates in the 2022 elections, the mayor of Manila Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso leads the political parties, from Asenso Manileño in 2007 when he ran for the first time as councilor, to the Liberal Party in 2010 as vice-president. mayor of then-mayor Alfredo Lim, in Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino as deputy mayor of former president Joseph Estrada in 2013, at Partido Galing from Grace Poe to the Puso coalition when he ran for the Senate but lost in 2016. Domagoso is now president and standard-bearer of Aksyon Demokratiko, founded by the late Senator Raul Roco for his presidential candidacy in 1998.
Last July, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson became chairman of the Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma, a party founded by former Defense Secretary Renato de Villa when he toppled the then-ruling Lakas-NUCD when he ousted the then ruling Lakas-NUCD. failed to secure his nomination as a presidential candidate in the 1998 elections.
After fighting for the leadership position against President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies in the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao is running for the presidency in an alliance made up of his faction at PDP-Laban, Probinsya Muna Development Initiative and the People’s Champions Movement.
When no less than presidential aspirants are used to jumping from party to party, it seems overkill for the country to reach political maturity. Several proposals had been tabled in Congress aimed at strengthening the political system, preventing party change and leveling the playing field between political parties, but these remained on the back burner.
Many of our political leaders are seen as political prostitutes, jumping from party to party, whichever can give them the best concessions.
The change of party occurs before and after the elections. Before the election, an aspirant would join any party that hosted him. As soon as this party loses in the elections, it quickly joins the new party in power.
Politicians no longer take ideologies into account when choosing which political parties to join. More often than not, the main consideration is personal accommodation and the favors he would get from the party.
Once elected, many engage in political prostitution, selling their votes to special interest groups, making them akin to people paid for sex. Most of them are candidates who donate money and other donations to win votes.
For the 2022 elections, let’s not patronize the political prostitutes who bastard the electoral exercise.