KAPIHAN SA SENADO 6/25/09: On BAGUMBAYAN and Premature Campaigning
Q: Kumusta na ang Bagumbayan?
Sen. Gordon: It’s moving very well. I think it’s gonna happen (accreditation). They’ll (Comelec) make up their own decision. People have been talking to us. I get text messages from people I don’t know. They text me when they hear about it, they want to join, they want to support.
Again, I say this. It is my right. In this country, it is permissible to question our leaders, right? By the media, by their fellow politicians and by the citizenry. In fact it is the duty of people to question their leaders. I will question this fact, I will question the Comelec, I will question the people concerned, and I will question the media. The information I got came from the Philippine Star. Why is it that we are allowing people to, in effect, violate the law very, very immorally by campaigning, spending just on television P321M as of June, one candidate, Mr. Villar. Mr. Roxas, P252M.
Why is there such as deafening silence when money of the government is being spent, P115M, in the case of Jojo Binay. Nakalagay doon, I’m quoting Star, Makati City government funds. I’m, quoting again Phil. Star, Kabayan P41M from Pag-Ibig Funds. I’m quoting again Phil. Star in the case of Mr. Gilbert Teodoro, NDCC P33M. Why are we so quiet? The law was made to limit the campaign period para sag anon, hindi makakagastos ng todo-todo ang kandidato. Mali ang Comelec pag sinabi nila na magiging kandidato ka lang pag nag-file ka ng certificate of candidacy. That is just a formality that you have to make to signify that you are already a candidate formally. Para malinaw na sumusunod ka doon sa batas na 90-day period in the case of national officials. But are you trying to tell me na hindi pa nangangampanya ang isang tao na gumagastos na ng P321M sa television pa lang? Ano ba ang akala niyo sa mga tao dito, mga mangmang? P252M ang ginagastos, hindi pa nangangampanya yun? Niloloko natin ang sarili nating bansa. And that’s why I’m saying this election will be flawed not by automated elections but by gold.. You are already seeing the manifestation of gold. And in the process, you are weakening the moral spine of this country.
Q: Yung Lakas-Kampi at Bagumbayan po ba may nilulutong coalition?
Sen. Gordon: Wala. Kinausap ako ni Pres. Ramos, and you can ask him, sinabi niya, siguro Dick, mas maganda sumama ka sa Lakas. Sabi ko Sir, sasama ako sa Lakas kung kayo ang presidente, kung kayo ang leader. Kayo mag-imbita sa akin, ok sa akin yan pero coalition ng Bagumbayan. Gusto ko yung Bagumbayan malinaw. Sinabi yan ni Pres. Ramos.
Q: Pero walang nakikipag-usap sa inyo?
Sen. Gordon: Si Pres. Ramos, the founder of Lakas.
Q: Kampi has taken over Lakas?
Sen. Gordon: I don’t believe in that. What does Lakas stand for, what does Kampi stand for? What does Nacionalista Party stand for? Who owns it? Where’s the money of Nacionalista? Saan galing ang pera ng Nacionalista? Saan galing ang pera ng Liberal?
Q: Sa sipag at tiyaga?
Sen. Gordon: Yun ang sasabihin niyo.. Na binibigay ng mga tao na? Ano ba maganda sabihin don? Alam ko yung susunod e, at tanga.
I am searching for answers.. Why is the silence deafening? Mabuti nilabas ng Phil. Star. Is it because media is making money out of the politicians? You are willing to listen to Comelec, yet you are questioning the Comelec’s capability to run an automated elections? Which is more important to us?
Premature campaigning? It’s simply, not gun-gold diplomacy, but gold politics. It is the arrogance of money. You mean to tell me you cannot run for all these unless you have money now? Excuse me! I need P3B? I don’t believe so, that’s what Villar said. I don’t believe that.
Q: Sir, kung tatakbo kayo, wala kayong balak mag-ads?
Sen. Gordon: Not between now and the elections, until 90 days before the elections.
Q: So maglalagay din kayo ng ads?
Sen. Gordon: Oh definitely. Hindi ka mananalo. Paano naman malalaman? But I think, dapat ang gawin ng mga media kung papayagan nyo yan, bigyan nyo ng level playing field. My suggestion is kung hindi natin maso-solve yang problemang yan, let the government pay for the presidential candidates’ advertising. And limit the advertising of Villar, of Roxas and all those with money and say ito lang ang pwedeng gastusin para sa ganoon sigurado ako na pag nanalo ang mga iyan, hindi nila babawiin yan. At para masigurado ko na hindi ako mapipilitang humingi ng pera sa malalaking tao para sa ganun pag tinanggap ko pag nag-presidente ako, hindi ako makiki-utang na loob sa mga taong yan.
I don’t mind advertising, pero ilagay natin sa lugar. Yung P321M o yung P252M na yan, kung may mahirap kailangan niya ng Norvasc, ilang Norvasc na mabibili niyan? That’s conspicuous consumption under the Civil Code. Sa Civil Code may tinatawag tayong Conspicuous Consumption Law na pinapakita mo yung yaman mo.. We should not allow conspicuous spending like this. It’s extravagant, it really is designed to promote the candidacy of an individual and we are putting our head in the sand. Excuse me, if nobody will say it, I will say it, anyway sinasabi nila wala akong chance e. That’s fine with me. But I am not going to allow the Filipino people to be bamboozled by money. I remember when I was student council when I was in UP, “Guns, goons and gold” were used by Marcos. Now, I can see it again, it’s even worse. It’s even worse. And the silence is deafening. Hayaan mo na lang, talagang ganyan ang buhay may mayaman may mahirap. Excuse me, all my life, I fought, I have worked and earned my way. And I am not going to be bamboozled, I have never been bamboozled, by money.. To me, it’s simple money politics. Nakakahiya!