Pulse Asia survey

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Sunday, May 4, 2014


SOMETHING seemed wrong, I thought, when I saw the published results of the recent Pulse Asia survey that saw Vice President Jojo Binay leading nine other supposed 2016 presidentiables.

The survey had Jejomar Binay with 40 percent; Grace Poe, 15 percent; Miriam Defensor-Santiago, 10 percent; Chiz Escudero, ninepercent; Mar Roxas, six percent; Bongbong Marcos, five percent; Alan Peter Cayetano, four percent; Kris Aquino, four percent; Bong Revilla, three percent; and Ping Lacson, two percent.

The people who came up with the names seemed sure former president and now Manila Mayor Erap Estrada is not running for president in 2016 and his support would be for Binay. I am curious how the survey would go if Pulse Asia included Erap’s name. We know a huge chunk of Binay votes came from Erap supporters in 2010.

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Perhaps, the people behind the survey assumed that the Erap camp would still support Binay despite the issues now driving a wedge between the two.

The survey, nevertheless, surprisingly included Sen. Grace Poe who came in a far second. Is Senator Poe already presidential material? If so, won’t Mayor Estrada shift his support for the daughter of his dear friend, the late Fernando Poe Jr.?

Based on how Senator Grace Poe fared in 2010, it seems the Marcoses had already accepted the political presence of Rosemarie Sonora’s love child.

***

The last time the Aquino administration proudly announced readiness for a disaster, super typhoon Yolanda caught the country’s top disaster response officials flatfooted in Tacloban City as it carved a large path of devastation across the archipelago.

This time, the Palace is again telling the country we are ready for El Niño and La Niña. It is as if many Yolanda survivors are still not living inside tents and makeshift structures more than six months after the calamity. It is as if the Mindanao is not facing 12-hour brownouts that will worsen as dams dry up.

This time, though, the state of readiness is a given. What I am worried about is the penchant for local politicians to declare state of calamities to justify the releases of government funds.

***

American President Barrack Obama has not been very reassuring to those who wanted him to declare unequivocally that America would defend the Philippines when China comes bullying again. Saying America’s commitment is “ironclad” was not too reassuring either. When I first heard the US president utter the word, I immediately imagined old ironclad warships used during the American Civil War going after modern Chinese battleships. Was he thinking of selling us old warships again? He was very assuring indeed.

***

Had Naga City Mayor Val Chiong coveted the Cebu’s first district congressional seat, the best time to grab it should have been May 2013. At that political moment, Rep. Eddie Gullas succeeded in getting his grandson Samsam to run for the position without an opponent. Meanwhile, the wily politician wanted to return as Talisay City mayor.

But Mayor Chiong could have upset Edigul’s setup as political indicators then showed he would have his hands full in Talisay. Mayor Chiong could have easily defeated Samsam.

Instead, Mayor Chiong worked on consolidating his political hold on Naga to ensure the assumption of his anointed in 2016. I don’t think he will consider running for another position until he passes on the responsibility of realizing his projects under Val 2020–Vision and Leadership 2020–to the next generation.

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The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) seems to be awash with project funds with all the repair projects that are causing monstrous traffic jams in Metro Cebu.

Local government officials are doing what they can to ease the inconvenience. Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, for instance, was reported to have met the DPWH and a contractor on a repair project causing traffic problems in Barangay Basak to Marigondon.

After the so-called abolition of the PDAF, I cannot shake off nagging questions whenever I pass by these repair projects and get caught in the traffic. Why repair roads that do not need repair? Who is pocketing the SOPs?

Perhaps, the Cebu Coalition against the Pork Barrel System should also look into corruption other than those caused by the pork barrel system. Or are these public works projects a result of the realigning of pork barrel funds? I can very well remember the stories I gathered after the Asean summit 2007. While the media was pursuing the lamp post anomaly, nobody looked into the much bigger and more lucrative asphalt storm project.

(Follow @anol_cebu on Twitter)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 05, 2014.

Opinion

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