Editorial: LP senatorial bets’ turn-A A +A
Monday, February 18, 2013
THE Liberal Party (LP) has chosen to call its senatorial slate Team PNoy, partly to separate it from that of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)--which has refused to openly tangle with President Noynoy Aquino and his administration--and partly to ride on the President’s popularity.
That’s a gamble considering that PNoy’s popularity could dip somewhere between today to Election Day. Consider the latest Pulse Asia Survey (taken mid-January), that showed a dip not only in PNoy’s approval rating but also in those of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile (the latter two are UNA stalwarts).
But gamble or not, Team PNoy will be here today and tomorrow for its campaign sortie in Cebu. Unlike UNA’s “grand” proclamation rally at the Plaza Independencia last week, the LP will hold two smaller rallies, both in the province. In the south, the venue is Talisay City (today) and in the north (tomorrow) it is Liloan town.
Naturally, Team PNoy needs to be authenticated, so the President will be in Talisay today, although he wouldn’t be in Liloan.
The magnitude of the rally a political group mounts is not a gauge of its ability to win, but it measures the strength of its organization. (Note: a group with a better organization is in a better position to win, but other factors also come into play at the voting precinct, like the likeability of the candidate it is “selling” to the voters.)
The reality for the local LP is this: it is a late-comer in provincial politics and is the opposition in Cebu City polls. That affects the kind of organization it has as of the moment and of the magnitude of the political activity it can offer to Team PNoy.
Even with the takeover by LP vice-gubernatorial bet Agnes Magpale of Capitol with the suspension of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, One Cebu party remains formidable in the province in terms of organization. The truth is, the local LP failed to use the party’s advantage as PNoy’s group to strengthen its organization in the province after the 2010 polls.
And while the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) remains a formidable force in Cebu City, the strength of Team Rama’s organization is also growing with Mayor Michael Rama lording it over City Hall. That’s the advantage the incumbent has, as BOPK chief Rep. Tomas Osmeña knows.
Thus, One Cebu and Team Rama were able to mount a “huge” proclamation rally for UNA’s senatorial bets last week.
The “smaller” LP rallies today and tomorrow could very well mean the party’s local leaders need to work double time if they want to eventually prevail.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2013.