Here are the winners and losers of the year gone by ranked, more or less, by order of merit:
P-Noy- The big winner in 2012 was the President who, if you forget his love life, had an awesome year. His major victory- through no deed of his own- was the ouster of his nemesis, Rene Corona. Against the run of play, the CJ was impeached by a combination of public disdain and excessive self-awareness; but more on this later. P-Noy’s other major achievements were the passage of the RH and Sin Tax bills and the 7.1 % growth of the economy which saw the 1 % of the population get richer while the 99% stood and watched.
Binay- Jojo had a pretty good year winning the “How To Succeed in Politics Without Really Trying “ award for the 15th consecutive time. It is a source of wonderment and envy how he continues to be the most trusted public figure while apparently sitting on his hands. In fact his political ease belies a lot of unrecognized work. Like an iceberg, what you see is only 1/8th of the real thing. Binay is starting to come onto his own: His defense of embattled Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia is a shot at the bow of the President, the first time he is standing upto his boss. 2013 will be the Vice-President’s coming out party.
Social Media-SM had some notable scalps in 2012 namely the RH and Sin Tax Bills and a number of Senators (see below). In retaliation, politicians passed the Cybercrime Bill, further evidence they still don’t get it. Hopefully the Supreme Court does and reverses the law.
Public figures with names like Sotto, Recto and others who chose to challenge social media paid the price: Voice of the People 1- Political Hubris 0.
Rene Corona- Corona had to be the big loser of the year. The man found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory: The Prosecution had come to a dead-end, the Supreme Court had stalled any inquiries to his dollar accounts, his Defense Counsel was holding forth, the clock was running down, the Senator Judges were ready to call it a day. How he went from there to his impeachment must rank as one of the great exercises in legal hubris. Rather than let the proceedings run aground, Corona chose to micro-manage his defense against every rule of the book. When he expressed his wish for “the Chief Justice to excuse himself” the Senators obliged by a vote of 21-2 to, permanently, do just that.
The Church- The Party of St. Peter will not recall 2012 with fondness. Its leaders expended themselves fighting the RH Bill, losing 13-8 in the Senate and 133-79 in the House: Pork Barrel 1 – Threat of Catholic Vote 0. Public opinion favored the bill which shows how removed the prelates are from reality. The Bill was an exercise in public education and parents’ right to self-determination but the Church pitched it as attempted homicide. The Church really needs to reboot if it wishes to remain relevant to mainstream thinking.
Sen. Sotto- The Senator will be glad 2012 is over, winning the “How To Fail In Politics While Really Trying” award. His speechwriters’ feeble attempt at erudition by reportedly borrowing material without attribution was matched only by his even more feeble defense when confronted. The man should have sucked it up and moved on but he preferred to go down in the flames of public ridicule. Oh, well.
Manny Pacquiao- 2012 was a heartbreaker for this great fighter. His loss to Marquez even as he as ahead was not unlike Corona’s impeachment. Manny did not lose to the better opponent, he lost to tactical indiscretion and a Hail Mary punch he did not see. The good news is, unlike the ex-CJ, he will win the rematch and earn a sizeable if diminished purse in the process, then retire which is not such a bad way to go.
Winners & Losers
Sen. Enrile- JPE had an outstanding first half, shepherding the Corona impeachment in a masterful display of legal savoir-faire and crowd control. His second half was less remarkable: His memoir of the Marcos Years were greeted with controversy as were the size and manner of his political largesse in parceling out “Senate savings” to his colleagues (To his credit he did not dole any to himself). His son Jack must be concerned.
The Filipino People- 2012 was the best of times and the worst of times for 99% of the country. Economically, they are told times have never been this good but, if the polls are to be believed, they are still seeking evidence of this.