The youth, Centrist Democrats, leftists, LGBTQ, etc.

The youth, Centrist Democrats, leftists, LGBTQ, etc. Featured

MY last two columns were devoted chiefly to the coming of age of the Deegong’s two elder children and the role they are carving for themselves in Philippine politics. Today’s column will touch on the young and the not so young who have in one way or another hogged the limelight or courted media attention the last few days. As a point of departure, I juxtapose the type of youth that I have been working with these past decade.

Centrist Democrats
My advocacies have been amply covered in my columns: federalism, parliamentary government, political reforms and some ideas on the liberalization of our economy through the principles of social market economy (SME). I wrote a book on a short history of the Centrist ideology in the country. This is not an erudite tome but intended more as a monograph or handbook for the thousands of Centrist Democrats in the country who helped found the Centrist Democratic Movement (CDM) that morphed into the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP). I somehow try to contribute to the literature on political technocracy and attempted to organize a few good men and women from various professions inculcating in them the Centrist ideology. We don’t make ideologues of these people but simply for them to “weave Centrist ideas and political technocracy into their daily lives.” All have participated and contributed to our seminars, forums and political leadership formation. A few have been privileged to go through advanced immersion in the country and abroad. Lately some just celebrated a decade of their camaraderie in a reunion in Singapore — the Konrad Adenauer School for Young Politicians (KASYP).

In parallel, we also nurtured over the years, a motley group of young to middle-aged Centrist advocates. These “cadre of true believers” are preparing themselves to be the backbone of the type of politics awaiting a new political paradigm; one critically needed if this country is to be emancipated from the perverted type of politics that has condemned us to perpetual imbalance resulting in stark poverty, corruption in government and general malaise. These men and women are biding their time. They are the Fellowship of the 300. These Centrist political technocrats are embedded in their own communities, learning, observing, teaching and engrossed in furthering their careers.

We hope that in the next decade or two, these driven young people will be in the forefront of a political paradigm shift in the country. Some of them have already started running, winning and losing in entry-level elective positions in the barangay and local governments and some occupy responsible positions in the government bureaucracy. And they are spread all over the country. I hope, they will keep the faith. (For further info access our websites

Presidential youth, the sycophant
Which brings me to a sampling of today’s youth. Lately, we were witness to a heavily headlined spectacle on the exploits of Ronald Cardema crying on TV, pleading his case to be seated as party-list representative. He has been disqualified (overaged) as substitute-winner of their Duterte Youth party list by the Comelec. But this ex-chairman of the National Youth Commission and the president’s man consciously whittles down and erodes PRRD’s credibility by dropping the President’s name and reminding everyone of his crucial role harnessing the youth on DU30’s campaign victories — the Deegong’s presidency and the recent midterm senatorial elections. His public histrionics and desperate accusations of alleged extortion by a Comelec official and persistence in gaming the electoral system, however, leaves a bad taste in the mouth that is now forcing a hard look at and reassessment of the party-list system, thus doing injustice to other legitimate members of the Duterte Youth. Ronald Cardema and his type may not bring to mind an exemplar of the classic Jose Rizal adage about being the hope of the fatherland.

The revolutionaries
Contrast this with “Cindy Terado alias Jill, deputy secretary of Guerilla Front, Sub-Regional Committee 2, Southern Mindanao Regional Committee of NPA (who) was killed in a firefight in Tagum City, Davao del Norte last April 15,2019” (Batang Kumintang, blog in social media). Cindy was a student of the Assumption College of Davao City and was affiliated with the Kabataan party-list, League of Filipino Students and Karapatan. All leftist organizations under the National Democratic Front (NDF). She was 28 years old. (Manila Bulletin, April 15, 2019)

Or Kimberly “Kimay” Jul Luna of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT). She joined the LFS at age 21 in 2009. She was killed in Bukidnon in another encounter. She would have been 30 years old now.

They were recruited into leftist organizations directly from schools, some joining the New People’s Army (NPA). Many are no doubt idealists and highly motivated, fighting and dying for a cause they believe in. A case is now being made by government officials who are disparaging leftist organizations for supposedly “brainwashing“ and enrolling young people into their armed cadre as cannon fodder, while their own children are either matriculated in top schools in the country or in universities abroad. An interesting article a few days back “Lifestyles of the Left and famous, and their ‘princelings’“ (TMT, Rigoberto Tiglao, Aug. 19, 2019) described the disparity between the children of ordinary people recruited into the leftist groups while the latter’s leaders have insulated their own progeny.

And we have the youth that represents a fringe but recently vocal segment of our society. Gretchen Diez, a transgender woman who has assumed upon herself the burden of bringing the lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues into public consciousness through social media. Accused of being a scheming person (or a sincere advocate by others), she has gotten the attention of the straight community and even squeezed in an audience with the President. This probably advantaged the Deegong most as corruption and other pressing issues were being diverted and refocused into which “comfort room“ (CR)’ is most appropriate for Gretchen and the rest of the “alphabet“ genders. The raging debate proposition is now centered on penises and vaginas: are persons with penises (gender female) allowed into the straight women’s CR? Conversely, are persons possessing vaginas (gender male) permitted in men’s CR?

The permutations are mind-boggling. Is government coming out with policies to lump the non-straight to a third neutral CR, irrespective of their intimate members still in place or penises cut off or converted or vaginas sewn in? How about those that have both their penises and vaginas intact — the hermaphrodites? Would it not be discriminatory if we don’t allow them their own CR?

With tongue in cheek, methinks that the solution could be simplified. We already generally accept and respect the existence of the non-straight and may even agitate for the passage of the Sogie law. But as far as the CR is concerned, can we not just direct the penises to the urinals and the vaginas to the water closet; and keep the two traditional CRs separate? And the hermaphrodites can choose which.

Whew! What a convoluted life our Filipino youth has precipitated!000
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