The queen opportunist strikes again.
During last week’s filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC) of those who are running as senators for the 2019 midterm election, the aspirants were given an opportunity to share their views on several issues, their programs and platform of government and their legislative agenda if ever elected.
As early as the filing of the COCs, a clear line has been made between those who are allies and supporters of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and those who are against it.
The former chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and head of the Bureau of Corrections Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, for instance, wants to restore the death penalty for those who will be convicted of heinous crimes and drug trafficking. Mar Roxas, on the other hand, vows to file a law that will repeal the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.
Dela Rosa and Roxas can served as the poster boys of what the administration and the political opposition respectively stands for.
The bloody and globally-condemned anti-drug war launched by the Duterte administration was implemented by PNP which was then under the leadership of Dela Rosa. Thus, he truly represents the policy direction of this regime.
Roxas, on the other hand, was the standard bearer of the once-ruling Liberal Party during the 2016 presidential derby. He placed second to Duterte. A party stalwart and probably a shoo-in among those who are gunning a Senate seat, Roxas arguably can be considered as the team leader of the opposition slate.
So there you go. We have the likes of Dela Rosa, Bong Go, Harry Roque, Imee Marcos, Pia Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Cynthia Villar and Bong Revilla running as administration candidates.
While Roxas, Florin Hilbay, Bam Aquino, Chel Diokno, Erin Tanada, Gary Alejano, Sam Gutoc and Romy Macalintal are the opposition bets.
But then there is Grace Poe.
Accompanied by her mother, veteran actress Susan Roces, in filing the COC for her reelection bid, Poe told reporters that she believed that the Senate needs a strong opposition voice.
This statement from the lady senator who finished third in the last presidential contest is simply jaw-dropping.
Let us see how Poe acted in last 2 and ½ years of the Duterte presidency.
She voted in favor of TRAIN law which promotes the principal tax and fiscal reform program of the administration.
She voted to oust Senator Leila de Lima as chair of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights claiming that the issue extrajudicial killings (EJK) and of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) should be investigated without suspicion of bias against the committee chair.
She signed the resolution expressing support to Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao even in the absence of factual basis and the non-compliance with the safeguards provided under the constitution.
She also voted in favor of the extension of the said declaration for another year without a valid justification.
She praised RJ Nieto aka Thinking Pinoy for “excellent research and neutrality” even if the latter is regarded as one of purveyors of fake news under the umbrella of the so-called “pro-Duterte bloggers.”
She signed the committee report recommending the filing of graft charges against former president Noynoy Aquino and two of his Cabinet officials in connection with the Dengvaxia controversy.
She insisted against the utilization of the Dalian trains for MRT Line 3 because of its alleged incompatibility to the current design of the system despite testimonies from experts that they are not overweight and are, in fact, usable.
She has been conducting hearings supposedly in aid of legislation and has tried tarnishing the name and integrity of the likes of Roxas but has never submitted a committee report containing her findings.
Considering all of these, it is crystal clear that Poe has been toeing the line of the administration all along. That is either by supporting the official policies as well as the underhanded squid tactics of the executive branch or by aiding the slander and persecution of the previous administration and the leaders of the opposition.
It is only now that she is trying to detach herself from Malacanang by, first, registering as an independent candidate and, second, by misrepresenting herself as belonging to the opposition.
Poe has mastered the art of fence-sitting. She knows that seeking re-election as an administration bet is not good for her candidacy. Hence, since the president and his government are becoming more unpopular with the people, she is presenting herself either as an independent entity or as an opposition bet.
But Poe’s fence-sitting and opportunism have been exposed.
Popular blogger Joe America has strong words to say about her latest political maneuver.
Another media influencer Ogie Rosa made fun of her.
“Baka naman OPOsition. Opo nang opo,” he twitted.
Let us not be fooled by Poe. She has abandoned the Duterte ship because it is sinking. But let us not welcome her in our ranks. Because she is not and will never be a part of a principled opposition.