Resurgent necro- and narco-politics


Both are the worst of worlds. And if we are not careful and we once more succumb to the spins of Trapos first swept into power by necro-politics and then operating amid narco-politics, we could again wallow in the destruction wrought by these twin curses.

Narco-politics, the more destructive of the two, could very well bounce back as it surged uncontrollably under a bungling and corrupt leadership a few years back.

Remember the televised images of innocent families brutally massacred in their homes by the drug-crazed desperate to fund their addiction.

Remember the reports of illegal drugs openly traded in the most upscale establishments in the metropolis. Remember the drug flea markets in the neighboring suburbs.

Remember also the impunity of drug dealers conducting their nefarious business even while incarcerated, apparently enjoying not simply the protection of government officials but also their active support and sponsorship.

Those nightmare days under the previous Aquino administration and under Aquino’s Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) frighteningly come to mind.

It all started when the death of former President Corazon Aquino catapulted her son way past all others, including all eminently more qualified and experienced for the presidency much more than someone less than mediocre and far less competent.

When Benigno Aquino III was a congressman, what many remember was his absence more than his presence. And when present, they remember his focus on agrarian reform deliberations concerning his family’s control over an estate. Never mind that during his mother’s term, real and effective equity control should have been transferred to farmer beneficiaries.

Already we glimpsed in those days the perspective that we would eventually be cursed with — one shortsighted and selfishly indulgent if not parochial.

In the final days of August in 2009 barely a week after the 21 August anniversary of the death of Ninoy Aquino, we saw the first full impact necro-politics would have on the political landscape.

Cory Aquino had just passed away. By month’s end her son had been swept in by the Liberal Party desperate for a bankable presidential candidate to replace Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Prior to Corazon Aquino’s death, her son was not in the running. While the top five list in most surveys included Manuel Villar, Richard Gordon, Panfilo Lacson and Gilbert Teodoro, Manual Roxas, to his dismay was a constant fifth regardless of how interchangeable the first four were. Everyone else was preferable.

Curiously, Roxas is himself a product of necro-politics. Debuting in the political circus after the passing of his younger brother, the one most thought was better suited, Roxas ran and handily won in the same district considered an enclave and a bailiwick.

Under Aquino, necro-politics was resurgent with Roxas’ assumption of the DILG portfolio after a seriously controversial and, by some accounts, a terribly failed stint at the transportation department marked by the eventual Metro Rail Transit III (MRT3) mess.

The DILG portfolio was handed him by Aquino after the tragic death of its then secretary, a victim of a plane crash whose pilot should not have been allowed to fly by the air transport authorities.

“Remember the reports of illegal drugs openly traded in the most upscale establishments in the metropolis.

Another beneficiary of necro-politics and of virtually the same tragedy was Leonor Robredo. The death of her husband catapulted her to the national stage and what vicarious imagery she enjoyed was eventually instrumental in casting her as a vice-presidential candidate for presidential wannabe Roxas after the latter’s invitation to Sen. Grace Poe, his first choice, had been rejected.

Simply review the front pages of newspapers between 2010 and 2016. Both necro- and narco-politics converged at that time and found fertile ground where the latter was so uncontrollable that it victimized so severely thus compelling a former mayor from a distant city in the south to run successfully against the more monied and elitist albeit grossly inept and bungling necro-political Trapos.