Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Is Jamby the New Loren?

Neophyte Senator Jamby "Hot Legs" Madrigal is currently in hot water for issuing a joint communique with Communist leader Joma Sison calling for the resumption of the Peace Talks. Jamby reminds me of former Senator Loren Legarda who also flirted with the Left during her heyday. Legarda even "facilitated" the release of Major Noel Buan (now a Lt. Colonel and Medal of Honor Awardee) who was captured by the NPA in Mindoro a few years back. So is Jamby now the new poster girl of the Communists replacing Legarda who seems more preoccupied with her election protest nowadays?

Isn't she aware that being associated with Joma is a political kiss-of-death? I remember during the 2004 elections, some businessmen and military officers did not support Loren because of her perceived "closeness" to the Left. Likewise, Speaker Joe d V wanted to be known as a "Peace Broker" but also lost his bid for the presidency. Even a political science sophomore knows that voters distrust politicians who they perceive are sympathetic to the Left.

I wonder who is handling Jamby's PR nowadays? Wala na yatang planong manalo itong si Jamby sa susunod na election. There are far better ways of getting media mileage than by raising your legs in front of the cameras, crying in the Senate Plenary Hall and executing that cheap publicity stunt in Utrecht. Because of her antics, people now view her as a joke and don't take her seriously. She will definitely need more than just a catchy "Jajajajamby" jingle to win the next elections. My advice to Jamby is - relax, you don't have to make people laugh everyday.

So the "TOTAL ALL-OUT WAR" is on! In recent weeks, the AFP and local insurgents have stepped up their operations and sporadic violence has erupted in Western Visayas.

Sometime last week, Wilfredo Cornea, a leader of Task Force Mapalad was assassinated in Sagay, Negros Occidental. Nenita Cornea, the wife of the slain peasant-leader, accused a certain Amador Villa alias "Badong" as the one who shot her husband. According to news reports, Badong is a member of the RPA-ABB operating in the province (read more here). In Iloilo province, rebels tortured and killed a certain Nestor Forcrey, a buy-and-sell businessman from Miag-ao town. A certain "Ka Bona" of the NPA-Napoleon Tumagtang Command claimed responsibility for the killing, accusing the slain man as a military spy. Earlier, NPA rebels killed Jomar Magalang, a barangay tanod in Sibalom, Antique on suspicions that he was also spying for military intelligence (read more here).

Understandably, the killings have not merited national media attention because the victims were unknown personalities or probably because the killings were not grisly enough. I hate to think that a lot more of these "incidents" are happening without being reported even in the provincial media. It is also apparent that while Leftist congressmen are strongly denying that the 400 or so party-list activists already killed were NPA regulars, military authorities on the other hand are likewise insisting that the citizens killed by the NPA were not their intelligence assets. So are all these victims therefore just innocent civilians? Are they all just "collateral damage?"

Total War or All-Out War may be an inappropriate term to describe the next counter-insurgency war. As I have written previously in this blog, the next "war" will take place right in our midst (in the cities, town centers and thickly-populated areas) and not in the mountains, remote barangays or the countryside as in the past. This is so because majority of the NPAs are no longer based in the boondocks but are now in the periphery of town centers living as ordinary farmers, factory workers and fisherfolk. And the battles will not be long-drawn, battalion-sized encounters but sporadic, low-intensity and small-unit actions. This is so because the NPA has been so reduced in strength that it could hardly summon enough men to mount battalion-sized engagements. So the next war is limited and small, not Total and All-Out.

On a more positive note, organizers of the First National Conference on Tricycle Transportation Development held recently in Iloilo City unveiled the Hawk Electric Motorcycle dubbed the "Motorcycle of the Future." Imported from Thailand, the battery-powered motorclycle is manufactured by Takohama Motors and is being sold for P45,000. Since it is electricity-powered, the motorcycle does not emit environmentally-harmful fumes. With gasoline prices rising at an average of 50 cents a week, people are looking for more cheaper alternatives to gasoline. In fact, more and more people in the provinces are using motorcycles rather than vehicles as their primary mode of transportation. (Read more here.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Madrigal and Legarda come from starkly different backgrounds. Loren's political success can be attributed to her mastery of discourse, knowledge of the public's pulse and excellent tactics in the murky and dangerous battlefield of Philippine waters. Jamy on the otherhand grew up in a cloistered world of the ultra rich, and owes much of her 2004 senatorial upset victory to wealth and a close affinity to a popular actress.

The reason why Legarda lost in 2004 was bad timing. Her defection to the opposition seriously tarnished her image of a respected journalist as she supported Poe for the presidency, not quite the brightest or competent of the bunch. Also, her challenging Noli de Castro pitted two behemoths of the broadcast industry on a fierce head-on collision. Had she, instead, ran for another 6 year term for the Senate with the administration, she would have easily trumped other senatorial hopefuls, even Jamby herself.

Madrigal faces re-election to the Senate in 2010 (if the senate still exists) There is still alot of time until we decide once more to elect J-j-j-amby to the Senate. But her recent actions have given her the label: political pariah. I am certain that if ever she runs again, I'd raise my eyebrow and say, "She must be J-j-j-oking!"