With November rapidly bearing down on us, and, with it, the time for filing one's certificate of candidacy, politicians are scrambling to strengthen their positions for the upcoming elections. Already, a number of known aspirants to the Presidency have already officially declared their candidacy, while others are still studying their options. In the background, the minor players are positioning themselves behind the candidate they believe will win, and, thus, reward their support once in power.
Let’s take a quick look at the various pairings, and take a stab at their respective chances.
The Senator has just formally declared her candidacy for the Vice-President’s spot, but it’s still unclear as to whom she will be pairing off with, as Senator Chiz Escudero, her partymate in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), has yet to declare his presidential bid. While she’s definitely popular due to her media exposure and her green advocacy, I’m wary of her because of her constantly shifting loyalties. At this point, it’s clear that Loren is only loyal to Loren, and any candidate taking her aboard as a running mate should do well to remember that.
The Defense Secretary has been burned by his apparent lack of early response to the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy, but I think that, with his unceasing and untiring resolve to deal with Ondoy’s and Pepeng’s aftermath, he’s recovered sufficiently to project himself as a credible candidate. Still, the big monkey on his back, being the Arroyo government’s candidate, is going to be his cross to bear, and, unfortunately, despite a strong personal profile, he will be made to pay for the administration’s many sins.
Joseph Estrada and Jejomar Binay
I am most definitely moving out of the country if Estrada somehow manages to win again. If he wins, it shows that we Filipinos are incapable of learning from our mistakes. Already, he’s shown that he has not changed, by calling for the legalizing of jueteng, as well as declaring all-out war on all rebels. It’s the same old, tired tune, and I hope our voting public has matured enough to recognize that. His running mate, Makati City mayor Binay is about as bad, carving out Makati into his own personal fiefdom. This is basically a pair of used trapos, and our country has had enough of that.
The popular Senator probably would’ve had a clear run at the Presidency if it weren’t for the fact that his fellow Senators Aquino and Roxas also decided to declare their intentions to run. If it weren’t for Aquino and Roxas, I probably would’ve voted for Villar, but only because he would be the choice of a lesser evil. There are enough question marks about his real estate dealings, as well as his accumulation of wealth, which make me, as well as other observers, think very carefully about voting for him.
Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas
In this pairing of two prominent scions, a lot of hope is being placed that they will not commit the mistakes of the past. With Noynoy Aquino, it is hoped that he will not commit the mistake of his late mother, and, should he win, appoint the right people in the various government positions. With Roxas, who graciously slid down to the vice-presidential slot to give way to Noynoy, it is hoped that he too will be able to help uplift the Filipinos’ plight. It is clear that, based on the survey results, this sentiment is shared by many who are tired of the poisonous and corrupt political atmosphere that currently exists, and hopes that, in Aquino and Roxas, our country can be firmly placed on the road to recovery.
The former Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Ebdane recently resigned to pursue his own political plans. A number of newspaper ads have attempted to extol his virtues, claiming that he is a hard worker, and someone we need in these troubled times. Still, it must be noted that, even during his tenure, the DPWH was unable to shake off its corrupt image, and questions must be asked as to what Ebdane did to try to lessen his department’s corruption.
It’s clear that the Senator and Red Cross chair is harboring presidential dreams, although Gordon has been very quiet about those plans as of late. It’s likely that he will probably not throw his hat into the ring; his survey ratings have not improved, and it doesn’t look like he has a possible party to support his bid. He’s probably better off staying in the Senate, or, if his term is up, seeking another elective post.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair was rebuffed by his party when the organizing committee chose Teodoro as the official running mate. It seems though that Fernando has tempered his political plans, and is now willing to settle for a lower position, such as the vice-presidency. With Local Government Secretary Ronnie Puno dropping out of the race, it’s possible that he may team up with Teodoro. However, I can’t see any possibility of him winning the vice-presidency either, for, despite a strong work ethic, Fernando has made himself thoroughly disliked while in charge of the MMDA, whether rightly or wrongly. I’m not sure if pairing him off with Teodoro will help either of the two win.
Escudero may still be examining his options, given his low survey ranking, and the fact that his party’s patriarch, NPC head Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco has not stated his personal preference for a candidate; in fact, there are rumors swirling that Cojuangco may be inclined to support his nephew Noynoy. In addition, despite a fairly erudite talent for speech, Escudero hasn’t really shown us anything substantial. In fact, it should be remembered that he was one of Estrada’s staunch defenders during Estrada’s presidency, and that should be a warning flag to any who are taken in by Escudero’s smooth speech.
JC de los Reyes
The environmentalist and the Ang Kapatiran party member are small fish swimming in a very large ocean. While I cannot fault their idealism, at this point, they have more sentiment than sense, as they have virtually no chance of either winning, or even putting a dent in any of the other candidates’ vote totals.