Editorial: Trial balloons

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Thursday, August 7, 2014


THE presidential elections will be held in 2016 yet but we are hearing this early various ideas that already partake of politicking. The proposal to allow President Noynoy Aquino to run a second term is one of them.

Interestingly, that came after Vice President Jejomar Binay raised the possibility he will be adopted by the Liberal Party (LP) as its presidential bet in 2016. His daughter, Sen. Nancy Binay later added that this was but one of the arrangements being studied for 2016.

Meaning that this is the stage where various scenarios are being floated. The idea is to find out which of them are workable and which of them are not. Nothing is lost if even the weird scenarios are floated.

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Of these scenarios, the one about the President running for a second term is the easiest to shoot down. For one, it requires amendment of the Constitution, something that is frowned upon by the people aside from its being difficult to pursue.

Its proponents must already know that but floated the idea nevertheless because of its other value as a pro-administration propaganda. That intention can be noted in what LP stalwart Rep. Edgar Erice said:

"Bihira lang ang pagkakataon na ang isang bansa ay magkakaroon ng lider na may political will para sa reporma...Para maipagpatuloy niya ito, bakit hindi natin payagan ang Pangulo na tumakbo para sa isa pang termino?"

So the idea is to actually put PNoy on a pedestal after the setback the administration suffered on the issue of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the drop in his approval rating in recent surveys.

Placing the President on a pedestal also serves to strengthen his ability to endorse candidates for the 2016 elections. It counters the belief that PNoy would be a lame duck during the presidential campaign.

The floating of trial balloons and the presentation of possible arrangements going to the elections would only intensify next year. The public should therefore not take all of these seriously.

Veterans in the kind of electoral process the Philippines has know that nothing is certain until the deadline of the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2016 polls.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 08, 2014.

Opinion

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