Mae Paner the ubiquitous dressed-as-the-issue protester is now a policewoman at the latest flavor of the month rally.
Fifteen minutes with Rep. Neri Colmenares of BayanMuna.
Host: The extreme left Makabayan bloc and some bishops in the extreme right of the CBCP have joined forces calling for the resignation or ouster of Pres. Aquino…
Co-host: The joining of two forces from opposite ends of the political spectrum has led to some confusion among non-extremists…or as some of us would prefer to be called, the sane majority.
Host: Fulfilling our mission to minimize confusion in our society, we decided to interview a leading member of the Makabayan bloc, BayanMuna representative Bishop Neri Colmenares.
Co-host:Excuse me, ka-tandem, but Rep Colmenares is not a bishop, he is a comrade.
Host: Hah? Ganun ba? E nakita mo na, maski tayo na ang trabaho ay mag-paliwanag naguguluhan na rin.
Co-host: I don’t blame you, partner. There is really grounds for confusion because they are mouthing the same line.
Host: Yun na nga, same line pero different hats… Mao caps and mitres…
Co-host: Let’s get on with the show…Tonight we have Bishop I mean comrade Rep. Neri Colmenares of BayanMuna as guest. We invited him here to clarify his call for the president’s resignation or ouster.
Colmenares:Good evening po.
Host: Bishop Colmenares, have you thought through the consequences of what you want to happen?
Colmenares: I am not a bishop, comrade na lang po… Anyway the answer to your question is, “Whoever will replace Aquino that will be the decision of the people. We should not take a position based on who will take over. Our position is the President has sinned and he should be made to pay. Our only consideration is for the public’s interest for the President not to remain in office a day longer, otherwise, we will suffer a repeat of the EDCA, DAP, and Mamasapano.”
Host: Your Eminence…(Colmenares interrupts, “Uulitin ko po, hindi po ako bishop”) E kasi naman you said your position is the President has sinned so akala ko ang concern mo ay sin…and sin is the concern of bishops, diba? Anyway, as I was about to say, before you interrupted me…if the president resigns, then Binay succeeds him; if the president is ousted, then a junta takes over. Do you see a third option?
Colmenares: Allow me to repeat the last part of my statement. I think that will explain our position more clearly – “Our only consideration is for the public’s interest for the President not to remain in office a day longer, otherwise, we will suffer a repeat of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, Disbursement Acceleration Program and Mamasapano.”
Co-host: Fair enough let’s see if we can understand why you singled out Pres. Aquino as the root cause of all of the nation’s problems. So let’s tackle the issues one by one, starting with DAP. The Supreme Court just ruled on DAP. Don’t you think that pretty much solves that problem?
Colmenares: No, because DAP can come back in some other form.
Host: Well, if it comes back in some other form then it won’t be DAP, it will be something else so what is it really that you are against? Are you against giving the Chief Executive any discretion whatsoever in the management of national priorities or are you against local governments and district representatives earmarking funds in the national budget for projects and programs that their jurisdictions really need? Or are you against both?
Colmenares: I am against pork barrel.
Co-host:You availed of more than P400M in PDAF for your pet projects, was that pork or did that P400M help those in need or not?
Colmenares: Well we condemned PDAF…
Host: But that condemnation is P400M too late… and it came after public opinion associated all PDAF with corruption.
Colmenares: That’s not fair.
Host: But that’s what happened. Also, are you willing to commit that henceforth Bayan and other members of the Makabayan bloc will never again sponsor or insert any item in the national budget since you are against any form of appropriations that resembles pork barrel?
Colmenares: That’s not fair.
Host: Okay, so you won’t commit. And so DAP or whatever new form it takes will always be with us, with or without Aquino, with or without you and your party, or Binay, or a junta running government.
Colmenares: That’s not true.
Co-host: Well, the fact of the matter is any and all governments have to spend for programs and projects and any and all government’s have to set priorities so those who are not prioritized will call that kind of spending pork barrel and wasteful and those who are prioritized will say the government is doing its job and spending money where it needs to be spent. Don’t you think that what we need are safeguards to ensure that the “pork” will not be pocketed by corrupt politicians instead of an outright ban on prioritized spending? Anyway, let’s move on to your fear of a repeat of Mamasapano.
Host: Are you saying that Mamasapano will not be repeated if Aquino is not president?
Co-host: Because without Aquino the planning of special ops and their execution will be perfect?
Colmenares: I didn’t say that!
Host: Well, you said you did not want the President to stay a day longer, otherwise there would be a repeat of Mamasapano. Were you talking about something bigger than planning and execution?
Colmenares: Yes. We want peace and Aquino is the obstacle to peace.
Host:The government is holding peace talks with the MILF because both the government and the MILF want to end the 40-year war. The government also wants to sit down and talk peace with your people. Is the NDF willing to talk peace?
Colmenares: The NDF is willing to talk peace but the problem is Aquino, he won’t agree to our pre-conditions.
Co-host: So you will sit down at the negotiation table only if President Aquino agrees to your demands?
Colmenares: Hindi naman ganun, besides reasonable naman ang demands namin tulad ng abrogation of all defense agreements and treaties with the US; nationalization of all public utilities, the oil industry, and extractive industries; transformation of all agricultural lands into collectives at iba pang mga bagay na tumutugma sa aming ideology.
Host: I see. Well, I guess all we can say at this point is, “Goodnight and sweet dreams” na lang to you.
Colmenares: Hindi kasalanan mangarap at managinip
Hosts: True that but then again you know what they say, “one man’s dream is another man’s nightmare.”
Station voice-over: “At sa mga nagbabagang balita, bakit si Kris nag-unfriend at nag-unfollow sa mga kasama niya sa showbiz? Abangan ang sagot mula kay Tito Boy…Susunod!”