Fourth in a series
PREVIOUS columns in this series were devoted to the ups and downs of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) from her traumatic birth during the dark days of martial law, midwife by Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel; its maturation under the coalition government of former President Cory Aquino; at his break after the Liberal-PDP-Laban coalition debacle of 1992; the renewal, relapse and split of the tutelage of the former mayor Jejomar âJojoâ Binay; and the reconquest of the party by the young Pimentel, in the footsteps of Rodrigo “the Deegong” Duterte to the Philippine presidency.
The latter marked its climax and the complete takeover of the party once ideologically ruled by mainstream politics, culminating in the split last month between the factions of President Rodrigo Duterte with Secretary Alfonso Cusi on one side and Senators Aquilino ” Koko “Pimientel 3rd and Emmanuel” Manny “Pacquiao on the other. It should be remembered that the latter group expelled Cusi from his leadership position at PDP-Laban and the instant retaliation that followed by expelling Pacquiao from the party presidency. Both sides displayed cartoonish, slapstick, and childish demeanor befitting the clumsy Keystone Cops classics. The Deegong now owns the party and will do what they want with it.
Many of the original founding members anticipated this possibility after mainstream politicians were allowed in earlier. In the late 1990s, Rey Teves, my political twin, and I reluctantly left Nene Pimentel’s political biosphere, but with her assent and blessings. He was now a respected senator and at one time President of the Senate. Rey Teves focused on Mindanao-based Tacdrup and Kusog Mindanao as well as other non-governmental organizations. After my stint at Harvard, I took another sabbatical to work on rebuilding my finances in the dog-eat-dog business world, particularly in government power contracts, real estate and the markets. financial.
Political struggle – our background
But the call of political technocracy was overwhelming, and we were drawn to the unfinished confrontations we were a part of even before the years of martial law. Political efforts were inexorably woven into our daily life. It’s part of our DNA. We were captives of our own historicity.
As a reminder, as part of our nostalgic baggage, our serious political initiation began with an almost forgotten man in Philippine politics, Raul Manglapus, our original mentor who took us into the Christian Social Movement (CSM).
âRaul Manglapus was one of the leading political figures of the 1960s who was elected to the Senate at the age of 42. He was a new face on the political scene and endowed with genius, making him attractive to children of the time. He made sense that we rushed to his side when he ran for the Philippine presidency. It was also a first hard lesson for us young idealists that we were not up to the traditional organized political machine that pushed his opponent, Ferdinand Marcos, to Power.
âRaul’s role in our understanding and appreciation of the principles of Christian Democracy has been made no less compelling by our exposure to the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (KAS) seminars and leadership training. Our association with this German foundation has been fruitful and strengthened over the years by a warm friendship with its country representatives only interrupted during the years of martial law. “
Author’s note: In a way, Nene Pimentel, Rey Teves and many of us at the CSM steeped in the principles of Christian socialism and Christian democracy had to continue the political struggle with the formation of the PDP-Laban ( see parts 1 to 3 of this series, The Manila Times) while the CSM was in hibernation with Manglapus exiled in the United States (he then created the NUCD, which won the presidency with FVR).
After a two-decade gap, since the CSM’s dormancy in the 1980s and a decade after the PDP-Laban debacle in the late 1990s, the remnants of the Christian Democrats (CD), many of whom left the PDP- Laban, were all scattered over the political topography; their frustrations push them either to stay on the extreme left, or to allow themselves to be co-opted by regimes that need their political skills.
A few of us in the south of the country, having been in the political struggle since the late 1960s, weathered the storm of the fourth quarter, gone through the turmoil of years of martial law, our disillusionment with the Cory government that introduced the concept of ‘democracy’ and our frustrations with PDP-Laban and our advanced age – maybe it was time to shift gears and train while we could the next generation of young people who might have to pursue strive to lift Filipinos out of the socio-political and economic quagmire in which we, the older generation, have helped to place them. We never had the illusion that changes, political or otherwise, would take generations. We have seen these politically astute young individuals – “the masters of the universe”, those who burn with passion to spread the ideology of centrist democracy and those still imbued with the arrogance of youth that they could indeed change. the world. Rey and I have both relied on this as the compelling force to shape and emerge as the transformative leaders our country needs. This was the central concept of our Generation of Successors program (SucGen), under the umbrella of Tacdrup.
During the development of this concept, Rey succumbed to pneumonia in November 2009 and passed away. Entering the scene, Peter Koeppinger, the new national representative of the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). Member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), party in power in Germany and our partners since the time of Manglapus, he understood the need to form a political party. This led to the founding of the Centrist Democratic Movement (CDM) – made up of young professionals who must first understand the uses, abuses, abuses and even non-use of political power.
Peter Koeppinger just died a week ago. I wrote this obituary:
“It is a measure of Peter’s determination and strength of character that he single-handedly moved the Konrad Adenauer Foundation to support our initiatives. Thus, the CDM was born with thousands of young professionals attending seminars and party building training. And in 2011, in Berlin, Germany, CDM officials and members promulgated the “Berlin Protocol” – the document for the creation of a political party. CDP), the tunay na Pilipino party, was born. â
The CDP managed to present in 2013 a national slate of 68 candidates winning 14 elective positions for a respectable 20 percent, a fairly decent number for a non-conformist political party. It’s hard to win if we hold on to principles in an environment ruled by money and power play. But since we have the best intentions, the innocence of the righteous, and the impudence to beat the odds, we have won the favor of the gods!
But oddly enough, the CDP began to unravel during its subsequent support for the Deegong in 2016. That same year, the CDP entered a state of torpor.
Next week: will an ideological political party ever flourish?