Question: What do Leody de Guzman, Walden Bello and Luke Espiritu have in common? Answer: They are all running in the coming May polls – de Guzman for president; Bello for vice president and Espiritu for senator, without the slightest chance of winning.
Question: So why then run for the elections when the probability of Leni Robredo passing the bar exam should she decide to do a retake is higher than them getting even five percent of the voters’ approval? Answer: To add to the demolition job being waged against the opponents of the candidates they are truly supporting.
Let’s get it straight, the groups behind these three candidates – then Yellows and the Left, are supporting the candidacy of Robredo and her ticket. They don’t have to win nor even dream of garnering decent votes.
What is important is that they add voices to the criticisms and attacks being hurled against the most formidable opponents their candidates are facing – former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. and his running mate, Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte.
With them running, the opposition gains extra minutes in debates sponsored by the Commission on Elections, extra venues and speeches, media interviews and additional campaign activities all in furtherance of their demolition job against their target candidates.
In the last edition of Comelec’s Pilipinas Debates 2022, designated batter Bello aimed straight at the presidential daughter. However, his two-minute of fame immediately vanished as his supposed homerun hitter turned into a foul ball. His allegation that Davao City Coastal Road Project was grossly overpriced which sent the Pinklawans into jubilation thinking they uncovered a new bomb against the BBM’s running mate, was immediately crushed.
In the said debate Bello averred that should he get elected as vice president (which we know will never happen), “he would focus on cleansing, cleaning up Davao,” as he made mention of the city’s 36.8-kilometer coastal highway road which reportedly cost P1 million per meter.
Unfortunately for Bello and his fellow demolition men, he missed one serious aspect when he made his allegation – that is to check on his facts.
WATCH: Why Walden Bello has doubts with Leni Robredo presidency
According to the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Davao City Coastal Road Project is a composite highway with larger components, and thus, “very different” from ordinary highways.
Secretary Roger Mercado said that this road, one of the agency’s flagship projects in Davao, conceptualized to solve the burgeoning traffic along Cotabato – Davao Road starting from Toril area going to the city proper, will serve as a bypass road, a coastal shore protection and breakwater that protects the city from sea wave actions, water surges and shore erosion.
In fact, Mercado said this project was put to a test during the last storm surge in 2020, when residents in nearby subdivisions were spared from the surge effect.
DPWH also gave the technical description of the project which would justify its P19.6 billion tag price, or about P532.6 million per kilometer and
According to the DPWH, the project covers the construction of a four-lane (15.40-meter road width), 10mm thick asphalt pavement with anti-rutting additives; construction of a bicycle lane; construction of a curb, gutter and sidewalk. The entire width of the road, including the off-carriageway, is 25.54 meters or almost equivalent to an eight-lane road.
Additional structures were also constructed on embankments with an average height of around 6.50 meters, complete with drainage and separation geotextiles, “therefore, a significant volume of earthworks or burrow materials was required.
On one side, geotubes were installed for the reclamation as protection; Class I and Class II rocks were also put in place with hexapods, seawall and wave deflector to reduce the intensity of wave actions which is prevalent in the area during “Amihan” season.
On the other side, grouted riprap slope protection was constructed over Class III rocks.
Other structures constructed include detour/access road, metal guardrails, construction of roundabouts at Times Beach and Roxas Avenue, concrete fence including posts, roadway lighting, plant boxes and drainage structures using high density polyethylene pipes for high level of impermeability.
Other than these civil work components, the DPWH said the agency also had to deal with the difficulty of acquiring road right of way, “considering the numerous informal settlers around the project, the several resorts along the Talomo coastlines, and several institutional structures which will be affected by, but necessary for the project.”
Aside from Bello overpricing himself, he failed to check on the other components included in the project. As a result, he got slapped right in the face when the Davao City council declared him persona non grata, barring his entry from the King City of the South.
A resolution authored by City Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang said that Bello’s “malicious tirades” discredit the efforts and commitment of the city government’s employees.
“Bello’s persistent attacks will debilitate Davao City’s economic recovery efforts, especially in promoting the city’s tourism and investment opportunities to the local and international scene, and ultimately affect Davao City’s reputable governance to the public in general,” the resolution read.
“As we condemn Walden Bello’s acts, we also vehemently declare that he is not welcome to enter the borders, and the entire territorial jurisdiction of Davao City,” the resolution added.
But would that make him and his colleagues stop? I don’t think so. They have a mission to do for the coming elections – demolish whoever comes in the way of the Pinklaw candidates.
But meantime, with the opening of the Davao City Coastal Road project to pedestrians, Davao City residents are now flocking to the City Esplanades/Boardwalks, as they discover a new haven for biking, walking and other fitness activities.
Earlier this week, the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC, criticized presidential candidate and Vice President Leni Robredo for lying about a deal with members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front.
This even as CPP founder, Jose Maria “Joma” Sison himself tweeted his official endorsement of her candidacy.
According to NTF-ELCAC Spokesperson for Sectoral Concerns and Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie Badoy, Robredo’s denial comes as an insult “to the intelligence of the Filipino people” as she keeps on “pretending they have not made a pact with the devil, the communist terrorist CPP-NPA-NDF.”
“This endorsement of Leni Robredo is an endorsement of the Central Committee of the CPP-NPA-NDF, an organization that has been designated a terrorist organization by the Anti-Terrorism Council and that has also been declared a terrorist organization by the Philippines, US, UK, New Zealand, EU, Australia, and Canada,” Badoy furthers adding Robredo has formed a “tactical alliance” with communist terrorists that is “mutually beneficial to the both of them.”
READ: Who is the CPP-NPA-NDF official candidate for President?
“And anything that benefits this terrorist organization means more pain and suffering for the Filipino people,” she said.
Badoy even cited Robredo’s March 4 campaign sortie in Cavite, wherein she shared the stage with the Makabayan bloc whom the NTF-ELCAC spokesperson describes as communist “operatives.”
While Robredo cannot deny the fact she is being endorsed by both the Underground and Legal Left, the Makabayan bloc can outrightly deny Badoy’s allegation of its linkage with CPP-NPA-NDF and simply hide under the cloak of red-tagging.
But a denial without substantiating it with facts and actions loses its credibility.
Now, what was the basis of unity between Robredo and the Makabayan bloc? Just for the Legal Left to throw its support to her? In exchange for what?
Robredo, in her campaign, promised to resume the peace talks between the government and the Underground Left and this is supported by the Legal Left.
But has Robredo ever broached the idea of asking the Legal Left to denounce the atrocities committed by the CPP-NPA-NDF against the people? Shouldn’t this be an essential part of the confidence-building between the government and the com munist group?
However, it’s not only the Legal Left who has kept mum on the supposed atrocities of their underground counterpart as even Robredo has been silent on the matter. Dangerously silent.
Has Robredo simply chosen to ignore that fact as she is desperate for the more or less three million command votes the Left can deliver? (Don’t count on it though. Just remember Manny Villar’s experience in 2010.)
Badoy is right. All Robredo has to do to “redeem” herself is to publicly denounce the CPP-NPA-NDF and all the atrocities they have committed and work with the NTF-ELCAC.
But instead of addressing the issue straightforwardly, her spokesperson, Barry Gutierrez, again, raises the issue of red-tagging which he says has hit a “new low,” and is basically aimed at trying to dampen the energy of the Vice President’s campaign.
Why the refusal to condemn the Underground Left’s atrocities and enjoin the Legal Left to do so? Again, why the silence? Would Robredo rather enter into an agreement with anyone including the devil himself just so they could deliver votes for her at the expense of the people?
Robredo is as dangerous as the Underground Left.
WATCH: Congressman Boying Remulla: No need to prove paiod, hakot crowd, Robredo alliance with CPP-NPA-NDF