R. Dela Rosa then, Bong Revilla now-A A +A
By Ram Mercado
Sunday, February 10, 2013
IN 1960, the overwhelming popularity and mass appeal of Vice President Dadong Macapagal intimidated President Carlos Garcia who was seeking reelection in 1961.
To avert his certain defeat by the "Poor Boy from Lubao," the scared Garcia and the Nacionalista party inveigled Senator Rogelio dela Rosa to join a third party and be its candidate.
Sensing real public clamor, the top movie icon of the era declared his candidacy for president. Roger was expected to grab a decisive chunk of the rural votes that would diminish -- and torpedo -- Macapagal's chances of winning.
Everywhere he went, Roger was hailed as the champion of the masses. His adoring fans from the countryside idolized him, but not for long.
The US State Department, the principal backer of the pro-American Macapagal was alarmed. Soon their operatives went to action. This dramatic intervention prevented Pres. Garcia's win over the "Amboy."
Stories revealed how this magical turnaround of events was done. Weeks before the Nov. 14 elections, Dela Rosa suddenly defected in favor of his brother-in-law. Roger's campaign expenses were reimbursed by unidentified groups. Credited with the spectacular job to ensure Dadong's triumph against the perceived anti-American president was the CIA.
The Americans did not like Garcia's nationalistic "Filipino First Policy," and that spelled the difference.
The Macapagal saga brings us to the Presidential elections in 2016.
In every survey, Vice President Binay continues to dominate the ruling party standard bearer, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. It's a fact that Binay is the popular choice over Roxas in most of the country.
Roxas's grandfather President Manuel Roxas was pro-American as apple pie. Will the grandson be the "Amboy" in the 2016 contest? Mar started his career as an investment banker in New York. He was deeply immersed in US economic culture.
Here comes the surprise entry of a third candidate. Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla, a popular actor with mass support will reprise the Dela Rosa candidacy in 1961. His entry would definitely weaken and divide countryside support to Binay's bid.
Are the Americans, again, involved in the killer strategy where a third popular candidate will be put out to scuttle the lead of the consistent front runner?
Incidentally, Binay, like the late President Caloy, has the same mahogany dark complexion of the fighting Indio. The former colonizers do not trust the warrior-type nationalistic leaders for obvious reasons.
Cynics who underestimate the winning chances of the poll-survey laggard (Mar) should remember that history repeats itself. "Amboys" seem to be destined to the presidency.
On or before Valentine's Day, young people would do crazy things in the season of love. Loved ones are used, abused, debased, exploited, idolized, deceived, defrauded and even deflowered especially on this day of madness. Columnists would even define, explain, justify and classify love. All fall short of vetting the true lover.
My beloved "pokpok" puts it best: "Ang tunay na nagmamahal ay iyong lalaking yayakapin ka pag maginaw, hindi 'yong giniginaw ka na, huhubarin ka pa."
Happy Valentine's, folks.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on February 11, 2013.