The Devil and Strange Bedfellows at Pastor “Boy” Saycon’s Birthday (July 8)!

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By Linggoy Alcuaz

At the end of last week’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow column, I greeted Pastor “Boy” Saycon a “Happy Birthday!” The title of my Monday, July 7, column was “Quintessential Operator! Strange Bedfellows!” Boy is the Quintessential Operator. Strange Bedfellows are the people we meet at Boy’s parties as well as in Philippine Political History.

The Devil, I did not meet, but I heard about, also at the same party, from Melvin Mitra, Boy’s “Masa” operator. Its initials are “PPP”. Those stand for three words that may compose the name of Vice President Jejomar Cabauatan Binay’s new political party. Those letters are also the initials of Manuel Manahan and Raul S. Manglapus’s Third Force Political Party in the 1957 and 1965 Elections.

The main point that I was trying to get across to my audience or readers in my last two columns was that even Strange Bedfellows have to get together. That is, if they want to advance, progress, succeed and win. My YTT column for Monday, June 30 (two weeks ago), was entitled “Ides of July! Confluence of Events! Strange Bedfellows!” It hinted that a period of opportunity is unfolding.

Thus, in the realm of my advocacy and proposition, the devil is the “Purist”. My example of the Purist was the 1957, 1959 and 1965, PPP/GA/PPP Campaign and Election Run of the Third Force. At that time, at my tender young age, I belonged to and supported them. I’m not a “Balimbing” and Opportunist in the fashion of Mediaman turned Politician Ben Evardone. I’m not afraid of struggling and losing.

However, I believe in struggling and trying over and over again. I believe in consistently doing better and eventually winning. I have won many times – 1953 (Magsaysay), 1961 (the Grand Alliance coalesced with the LP in the United Opposition Party (UNO).), 1984 (The election of region wide Assemblymen for the Interim Batasan Pambansa. The Opposition won a majority of the twenty one seats in Metro Manila or the National Capital Region.), 1986 (EDSA I), 1987, 1988, 2001 (EDSA II), 2010 (PNoy) and 2013 (Erap).

The Left has been trying since 1930 but have not yet won. However, they have survived WW II and eight and a half decades of constant struggle. They have survived mergers (The “Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas and the Socialist Party of the Philippines pre WW II merger.) and many splits. They have been instrumental in and participated in ousting and installing two sets of Presidents – Marcos and Aquino in 1986 through EDSA I and Estrada and GMA in 2001 through EDSA II.

The problem with the PPP/GA/PPP – 1957/1959/1965 attempts was that instead of improving their position with every attempt, the reverse happened. They lost by bigger and bigger percentages or proportions with every attempt. In the context of the 1935 Constitution’s Two Party Presidential System (from 1935 to 1972), the first objective or step for the Third Party was to challenge and contest the strongest Opposition Party for its privileges, rights and status, specially the Dominant Opposition Party Inspectors in the Boards of Precinct Inspectors. Once this was accomplished, it would be much easier to challenge the Administration or Incumbent Party. And so, it was a matter of first things first.

And so the prejudicial question is, “Should the Leading Presidentiable for 2016 and the Upset (over MAR and Loren) Vice Presidential Winner for 2010, organize a new party that will have the same Initials as the loser Third Force Parties of the 50’s and 60’s?” The big differences are that the 1887 Constitution decreed a Multiparty Presidential System and did away with Government paid Election Inspectors. Thus, the connection may be more symbolic than real.

It may be good for VP JCB to establish the connection with the old PPP’s as the Reform Experiments as well as Uncle Sam’s protégées. Jojo may have too much of an Activist, Human Rights and Leftist Image and Roots. However, of all of us First Quarter Stormers, both Moderate and Radical, Jojo is the most successful Trad Pol Convert. Why not try to show that he is a wolf with the heart of a lamb.

On the other hand, it may be good also to display to the Americans that he is trying hard despite his Radical Youth to take shelter under the Eagle’s Shadow. After all, unlike the typical government official who is content to take a short course at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Jojo has been back and forth to the USA taking these short courses in several schools. Perhaps the idea was to acquire as many classmates who might become future influential US government officials.

However, let us go back to the Strange Bedfellows at Boy’s Birthday Party at the Pastor’s Gastro Pub (sandwiched between the GSIS and the PNB along the Diosdado Macapagal Highway). I first took notice (at the Makati Sports Club) of Pastor “Boy” Saycon during FVR’s Lakas-NUCD-UMDP 1992 Presidential Campaign. However, I was with 1992 cheated Presidential Candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago and her husband, Narciso “Jun” Yap Santiago, and the Philippine Reform Party (PRP) from 1992 to 1995.

I really met Boy when I joined GMA’s KAMMPI in 1997. I have been going to his Birthday Parties since 1998 except when they fall on a weekend. My son Manuel, “Mikko’s” birthday also falls on July 8 since 1975. Fortunately for Boy, when Mikko’s Birthday falls on a weekday, we celebrate it on a Saturday or Sunday and are free to attend. Boy has turned the celebration of his parties into a political art of sorts.

From 1998 until 2004, his parties were held at his Ayala Alabang home. In 2003, Danding Cojuangco who was contemplating running for President again in 2004, was the star of the party. In 2005, his birthday coincided with the Hyatt Ten defection. We had a big rally in Makati that could have led to toppling GMA if FVR and Joe de V, had not stood by her. After the Ayala Ave. rally, I drove alone to Ayala Alabang to find a dark and lonely home without a party. The party was at the UCC in Ft. Bonifacio.

Since then, Boy has held his Birthday Party in various other places: his condo at Boni Ridge, a Chinese Restaurant in Ermita or Malate, at the top floor of the Fully Booked Bookstore at Boni High Street, a Tent at the Reclamation area near EDSA and MOA and finally, his very own restaurant – Pastor’s Gastro Pub.

In the years after “Hello Garci”, disgruntled military and police officers populated his parties. In the years before the 2010 Presidential Elections, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano were permanent fixtures. In 2010, a week after Noynoy assumed office, Iggy Tuason Arroyo was one among a thousand guests. In 2011 at Le Pavillon PMAP’s Ronald Lumbao put in an appearance. (To be continued)

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