Ever since the Republic Act No. 7941 or the Party-List System Act was signed into law on March 3, 1995, dozens of high profile activists became millionaires according to Rexan Aldeguer, former activist-turned businessman.
Blogger and radio personality Elmer Cadagat, sat down with Mr. Aldeguer to discuss about his success in running Virtual Assistant Center business in Bacolod City, along with his previous experiences being a high profile activist in Western Visayas for more than 15 years.
Aldeguer, who graduated Cum Laude from University of Negros Occidental Recoletos (UNO-R), had been a student leader in all of his 5-year college life. He was assistant general secretary of both College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), and became a secretary general of the League of Filipino Students (LFS) for 3 years. Both students’ organizations idolized communist leader Jose Maria Sison.
After more than 15 years of being an active officer of different leftist groups (his most recent position was with BAYAN), he decided to leave the chaotic life and settled with online business.
Aldeguer, now the owner of three contact centers in Iloilo and Bacolod, told Cadagat that he made the best decision of his life after his wife threatened to leave him if he won’t stop organizing rallies.
“Being an activist is both rewarding and disappointing. Rewarding if you are a high profile activist and disappointing if you are just a member. Principle is not the issue anymore after you graduated from college and face the real world. All people inside an organization want to make money and this is where the sad part starts”, Aldeguer said.
Aldeguer also noted that high profile activists like Liza Masa, Walden Bello, Risa Hontiveros, Antonio Tinio, Rafael Mariano, Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño, Luzviminda Ilagan, and Renato Reyes among others, are making millions of pesos every year.
“Even Sarah Jane Elago of Kabataan Party List could make millions in no time”, Aldeguer added.
“All of us wanted to enter politics, and being an activist is the best way for people like us who does not have genetic influence in public. By creating noise, most of us were hoping that someday we could be given a good break. Those who are lucky enough to be selected as party list representatives are making millions and millions of pesos. Ask Teddy Casiño how he made millions and he will certainly boast”, Aldeguer said.
When Cadagat asked how activists make money, Aldeguer said he cannot enumerate all of the sources, but said there are too many ways to mention.
“Most of the funds come from both local and national politicians, and from some big corporations. Activists are the primary tool of politicians to destroy their opponents. If you take a closer look, those anti-Marcos people are the same people who became anti-Cory, anti-Ramos, anti-GMA, anti-Erap, anti-Pnoy, and now anti-Duterte. You can ask Renato Reyes, Risa Hontiveros, and even Walden Bello who is their favorite president and they will tell you no one. This is the reaosn why they called “leftists” because they are always in opposing side whoever the president is. You can find the worst people and the best liars among these people.
Being an activist is like being an actor or a musician. Their children will inherit what they are doing because they cannot find any good paying job outside from being an activist”, Aldeguer said.
When asked if activists have good purpose, Aldeguer said, “there will be no peace if there will be an activist.”
By Elmer Cadagat with Julie Locsin