Philippine Senatorial Elections – Leftists and Rightists

Proclamation 1017 made a big deal about the Leftist-Rightist coalition that was supposedly bent on overthrowing GMA’s government. According to Arroyo’s proclamation, the extreme Leftists and the extreme Rightists are the “the historical enemies” of the State? One might ask, since when?

The Marcos Martial Law administration was an extreme rightist regime. Ramos and Enrile were pillars of that regime. Ramos became president and Enrile became senator.

The Cory administration was full of Commies and Rightists. That was why it was so unstable.

Erap won because of his Left wing (Boy Morales et al) – Right Wing (the Zamora brothers et al) coalition.

EDSA DOS had lots of leftists and rightists. The leftists (those against the Morales group) claim that they “made” EDSA DOS. They claim that they, as representatives of “the people”, ousted President Estrada.

On the other hand, the rightists Mr. Saycon and Mr. Cojuangco claim that, together with some military men and even Church officials, they orchestrated the whole EDSA DOS affair.

In the Philippines, one can be a leftist today and a rightist the following day. GMA’s National Security Adviser (a very right-wing post) was Norberto Gonzales, who claimed to be a leftist before and was president of the Socialist Democratic Party PDSP, an allegedly leftist group.


Military and government officials allege that University of the Philippines is a haven for leftists. Is it really? Its President and Diliman Chancellor are blatantly rightists.

The UP College of Mass Communication’s immediate past dean, Dr. Nicanor Tiongson is supposed to be a leftist. But how in the world could he be a leftist when he was a Fulbright scholar and he loves the US so much? He constantly goes to the US to earn precious dollars.

Another CMC professor styles himself a leftist. In his books, all the ills of the country are blamed on Uncle Sam. Yet he goes to Japan, Singapore and other countries to earn more dollars.

These allegedly leftist UP professors are being paid their UP salary by the Filipino people while they teach abroad earning huge sums for themselves. While they claim to be leftists, they show a very rightist greed for earning dollars. Shouldn’t these professors be guilty of double compensation? Shouldn’t this practice be considered graft and corruption?

To be a rightist is “politically incorrect” so most UP professors profess to have leftist ideas. But let them explain these ideas, and one can conclude that they are nearer to Hitler than to Mao. It is truly a misnomer to call UP a haven for the leftists. In the 1970s, that could be true. But not anymore. 


In the current batch of senatorial candidates, everyone in the administration ticket seems to be of the Right. Ten of them can be considered Rightists while one (Joker Arroyo) is of the Center-Left. Cesar Montano, who is an actor, has no known political ideology. He probably has leftist leanings but would have no qualms in supporting rightist policies if his bosses say so.

Incidentally, somebody told me that the Philippine military traditionally label Moros as extreme left, even more extreme than CPP / NPA. In that case, the very conservative Sultan Kiram would be considered an extreme leftist by the Philippine military. He would thus be the only extreme leftist royal in the world!

As for the Genuine Opposition line-up, Lacson, Trillanes, Osmena and Villar are outright Rightists although the billionaire Villar would be open to Centrist ideas. The rest of the party claims to belong to the Left-of-Center.

Aquino, Escudero, Cayetano, Legarda and Coseteng, and probably Roco, belong to Rightist families. Aquino, Escudero and Cayetano belong to political dynasties while Roco and Pimentel would be establishing their own political dynasties if they win. Can a politician’s ideology be separated from his/her family’s ideology? Is there such a thing as political dynasty among the Left?

Aquino, Legarda, and Coseteng have supported liberal policies. Roco’s late husband and Pimentel’s father have supported liberal policies, too.  But Escudero’s family and even Cayetano’s family appear too rightist. But since both Escudero and Cayetano are very young and belong to the Opposition, they could be expected to support left-of-center policies.

Independent candidates Honasan, Gomez and Pangilinan are plain and simple Rightists.

The KBL party naturally chooses rightists for their candidates. The Kapatiran candidates appear to be Liberal.

This means that among the Senatorial candidates, nobody can be considered a bona fide leftist. No wonder the Arroyo government has declared a veritable all-out war against the leftists. They, the Leftists, are simply not yet a part of the political spectrum, at least as far as the Senate is concerned.

I use the terms the right or left according to how it is used and understood in European politics. In France, Francois Mitterand and Segolene Royal are examples of the Left while Sarkozy and Chirac represent the Right. Le Pen represents Extreme Right while the late Georges Marchais represented the Extreme Left or the Communists.

According to President Arroyo’s Proclamation 1017, “ the extreme Left … and the extreme Right … (are) the historical enemies of the democratic Philippine State”. Among the senatorial candidates, there are no extreme leftists. In fact, there are no leftists at all. On the other hand, there is a proliferation of Rightists, some of whom might even be extreme. Is President Arroyo aware that she could be campaigning for extreme rightists in her party?

Politically, I would say that I belong to the Radical Center. Among the senatorial candidates, Joker Arroyo would be closest to this position. He is also very intelligent. However, I would never vote for him because I found his stint as Aquino’s Executive Secretary as a failure in all aspects. All the faults of the Aquino administration should be attributed to him because he was, as Executive Secretary, the President’s prime adviser. As senator, he was not able to do anything against rightist laws such as the Anti-Terrorism Law. Joker’s ideas are all good, but he never tries to have them implemented.


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