Only 4 voted “no” on JPEPA

The Senate has finally ratified the free trade pact with Japan with 16-4 vote. From where I sit, this went down as the second surrender of the Philippines to Japan.

I am truly disappointed. However, the four who voted NO deserve my high regard and congratulations.

They are Senators Noynoy Aquino, Chiz Escudero, Jamby Madrigal, and Nene Pimentel. Remember these names for they are the new heroes like the Magnificent 12 who voted against the US bases in 1991.

The others I expected to vote against simply were no shows. Senator Joker Arroyo and Pia Cayetano, both vocal against crucial provisions in the pact, were absent or “conveniently absent.” Noisy oppositionist Senator Ping Lacson ironically voted yes. Another let down is Senator Kiko Pangilinan.

Senator Mar Roxas proved to be a wimp. He admitted that the treaty was lopsided and yet campaigned for it. He was more afraid of losing out to our neighbors which has similar trade agreement with Japan than its ill effects on our country and people. Roxas missed a golden opportunity to lead and shine. The victory of Japan has shown that Roxas is a mere follower, an ordinary soldier of Senate President Manny Villar, who together with Senator Miriam Santiago succeeded in mustering the required 16 collaborator votes.

Eight votes would have killed the treaty.

Civil society oppositors to the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) are now shifting the fight at the Supreme Court with a planned petition to be filed soon.

Me, I would rather start a “JPEPA Watch” to see if the so-called promises of this treaty – such as a flood of investment from Japan, more exports of Philippine agricultural products to Japan, more jobs for Philippine health workers in Japan, no toxic waste from Japan – would really come true.

If not, I would send an “in your face!” message to the 16 senators who voted for it. Yes, there are still many Filipinos who consider accountability as a serious matter.

7:19 a.m.

5 Responses to “Only 4 voted “no” on JPEPA”

  1. Steven De Leon Says:

    Kudos to the Senate! I support the ratification of the JPEPA. I believe in this day and age, cooperation with other countries is key to economic success.

    But an “eagle-eye” monitoring of its implementation is warranted to prevent abuse.

  2. stephen villegas Says:

    i laud your sentiments mr. pete. further, i recognize that the fears you and a lot of filipinos harbor with the ratification of jpepa are valid.

    however, it is my personal belief that we need jpepa. on the one hand, i’ll concede that the provisions might be more advantageous to japan than to us. on the other hand, we must realize that this is to be expected, considering our economically-challenged bargaining position vis-a-vis japan. in other words, it can’t be helped. what can be helped though, is, like steven de leon puts it, the monitoring of its implementation.

    on the same breath, you call mar roxas a wimp, mr. pete, and you cry for accountability. i say this:

    i have recently become a fan of mar roxas. and i sincerely believe that his support for jpepa is a product of conviction, one that forcefully belies the label of “wimp”. he knows the very distinct possibility that various sectors will rise up in arms against him for campaigning for jpepa. he knows he needs their support, your support. but then, he knows that it is not what he needs that is paramount. he knows that it is what we, the filipino people, need that matters. at least, this is my opinion. this is what i choose to believe.

    moreover, his conviction will not allow him to shirk the responsibility of ensuring jpepa’s proper implemtation. and ultimately, it will not allow him to shed accountability. believe you me, mr. pete, he will own up to it. he is not a wimp. if anything, this shows major league balls.

  3. Alleba Politics » Blog Archive » Avila and Lavina Oppose JPEPA Says:

    […] Laviña pointed out Senators Joker Arroyo and Pia Cayetano as being “conveniently absent” […]

  4. Peter Says:

    Salamat for the comment Stephen

    If Mar failed to even convince his own LP colleague Noynoy to vote for the pact, then, it only goes to show he is not a good leader. Manny Villar, in getting the 16 votes, has demonstrated a better ability to lead; he was more “presidentiable.”

    Watch out for Chiz. He has more major league balls than Mar. He did not only found the JPEPA a “bad deal.” He voted against it with conviction.

    That is what people are looking for a leader. Not someone who found many loopholes in it and still votes for it. That to me is a wimp.

  5. Presidentiables and JPEPA « Peter Laviña New Blog Says:

    […] noticed that this particular post “Only 4 voted ‘no’ on JPEPA” is getting many […]

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