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EDITORIAL: Nearing Irrelevance

The strategy of 1Sambayan, the major opposition group supportive of the presidential ambition of Vice President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, is one of deep consequences. It adopts the political choice of Mrs. Robredo to register as an independent candidate. It must have been a product of a considerably in-depth study and pragmatism.

The number of old time political groups is dwindling. Among those facing the prospect of extinction are the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL), Nacionalista Party (NP) and Liberal Party (LP). Such major parties later on disbanded, but LP and NP remained a major political factor. After the conjugal dictatorship, UNIDO gradually disbanded and in the process LP and NP assumed active roles.

The multi-party system gave birth to new political groupings such as LABAN, LAKAS NUCD, Nationalist Peoples Coalition (NPC), Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD), Aksyon Democratiko, and Peoples Reform Party .

The rapid rise of the partylist system proved less expensive but in the process nurtured parochialism and promoted the pork barrel system.

The practice now being observed particularly in the House of Representatives indicates the gradual extinction of major parties and gave rise to what is now loosely dubbed as super majority. The determining control of the legislature has nothing to do with political party principles but even promoted a personality driven politics.

Along the way major parties only became significant in reference to a share of the pork barrel or even lobby money. In effect they have lost their reason for existence. Nowadays the so called super majority is superficially composed namely of the original PDP Laban.

But with the political hara-kiri committed by its major figures, PDP Laban is about to join the others which have reached the point of irrelevance.

Political parties only serve as a tool for having watchers during elections. But wily characters found the parties useful not so much for the appointment of functional watchers but more for vote buying purposes by way of multiple naming of “watchers” who are actually the object of vote buying.

There is no more sense therefore in embracing political parties because politics now in the Philippines is based solely on personality.

The rapid spread of social media has further expanded a primarily online system of campaigning, so much so that success of a major political campaign will no longer rely on formal political organizations.

Rather volunteerism, genuine or not has become more fashionable. Party name branding and political color coding are already empty of significance.


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