It is Christian Halili

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014


THE Bets -- As if I could see Vice President Jojo Binay sporting his biggest smile ever, while his ears flapping, after reading the news item quoting Secretary Joseph E.A. Abaya, Liberal Party Secretary General that their party will field Secretary Mar Roxas as the party's standard bearer in 2016. Applause, more applause from the Binay camp, said my friend Mark Sison, the VP's media relations man.

ERAP -- There is a buzz around the coffee shop circuit in Metro Manila that former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada may run again in the presidential derby. He is now carefully weighing his options. He is fueled by a strong intention to clear his name and that of his son, the embattled Senator Jinggoy. The entry of Erap in the race will dim somehow the chances of Binay. A backroom caucus is in order.

FAST FORWARD - There is another buzz in the same circle that Binay, Erap, the Marcoses and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo forged a tactical alliance and are readying for the 2016 presidential battle. Do we see impeachment of justices from the Supreme Court, Sandiganbayan and other constitutional offices after Pnoy leave Malacanang? Not farfetched. Court cases against De Lima, Henares, Abad and several others will surely be in the front pages of national dailies.

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TARLAC POLITICS -- Philippine presidents in the past can dictate the tempo of politics in their own turfs. For all his bluster and bravado, President Benigno Aquino III cannot even make his anointed mayoralty candidate in a small town in Tarlac win. This was proven in the last elections. Him a lameduck in 2016, expect many to swing to the other side of the political fence.

YAP vs. MANALANG- My BFF Tarlac Governor Vic Yap will end successfully his three term in 2016, and he is contemplating which political door he will open so he can breeze through easily, like what he did in his three outings.

The present vice governor, Kit Cojuangco, son of Congressman Henry Cojuangco is eyeing the governorship, but observers said he has to gain more experience in governance. The truth is, Boss Danding Cojuangco, despite the news about his health problem, still wield so much influence in the province, and Yap will always march on the roll of the latter's drum. And that is, if Boss Danding will prevail upon Vic Yap.

Governor Yap could easily convince his older sister, Congresswoman Susan, that they switch chairs, him in congress and she at the capitol. If that will not happen, Gov Vic will slug it out against Tarlac City Mayor Ace Manalang. The latest news in that city, Ace is already experiencing sleepless nights, and developing eyebags.

TOO EARLY -- The standard reply when politicians are queried about their political plans is: 'Mag-obra tapamu, malambat pa yan.' And yet, at this early, they are already mending their political fences and solidifying their political bases.

In Mabalacat City Provincial Board Member Cris Garbo already made an open declaration of his intention to run for city mayor since long time serving Mayor Marino 'Boking' Morales will make his exit in public service.

Queried a lot of people, some kind of a personal survey, the top choice of electorates to succeed Mayor Morales is Vice-Mayor Christian Halili. Some are even willing to finance his campaign. The rumor mill says the Pinedas are partial to Halili.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on March 27, 2014.

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