Sweet and Sour

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014


A MAJOR daily last week played up the news that a recent SWS survey showed a drop in Vice President Binay's rating.

For all intents and purposes the psy-war in the 20l6 presidential elections has started. The rating game, depending on who sponsors the expensive opinion survey, can bring down a target politician over a period of time.

After a week the Office of the Ombudsman filed a graft case against Binay et al, arising from a huge overprice of a Makati parking building project when he was the city mayor.

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While a Russian-sourced surface-to-air missile can destroy a target aircraft in one blast, the poll survey and the graft suit can pull down a politician’s public rating after a graduated series of poll results. It is called “trending.”

The adverse survey results have the effect of a kite being pulled down gradually until it reaches ground zero. In the next survey installment, you would find out how much farther the presidential aspirant would have lost in performance rating.

***

Pampanga supporters of Binay cannot get to be over-optimistic on the certainty of his aspiration to the presidency. His loyal adherents here, at least the knowledgeable kind, have a guarded optimism even if he has been topping all surveys since two years ago.

History repeats itself, says part time political analyst Rico Guilas whose memory and observation remain as sharp and precise as his old calculus in his college days.

There was no more popular and powerful politician than Speaker Ramon Mitra during the Cory presidency. His vast network of political leaders, including most governors and municipal mayors, assured his certain succession to Malacanang after President Cory.

In the parlance of cockfight derby, Speaker Monching was the “llamado” until the last hour when Cory chose former Major General Fidel Ramos as her anointed candidate. After his loss, Mitra retreated in depression in Palawan ushering him to an early grave.

Like Mitra, Speaker Jose de Venecia was the party’s pillar of power and light. He used the enormous resources of the Legislative to project and build himself as successor to President Fidel Ramos. He was trounced by the Erap in a mismatch.

In recent times, the Liberal Party's glamour boy Senator Mar Roxas was the leading and highly favored vice presidential candidate. All surveys and most newspaper columns indicated him as the frontrunner for the VP race. Former Makati Mayor Binay demolished him in traumatic defeat.

In love as in politics, winning is the only thing. When you lose, it is meant to be like it was for Congressional frontrunners Dong Gonzales and Blueboy Nepomuceno in the last polls.

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Most politicians secretly yearn to have a beautiful wife (like Marcos and his Meldy) or a trophy sweetheart as their lucky charm.

At times, the trophy wife works, at other occasions it does not.

Take City Councilor Jericho Aguas, for instance. In his candidacies for the council, his wife actress Isabel Granada gave him a big advantage over the other bets. When he ran for city vice mayor Jericho failed to make no matter how Isabel swayed, sang, and sashayed to the voters.

When he ran for vice president actor Edu Manzano flaunted his romantic relationship with popular TV broadcaster Pinky Webb, obviously a gimmick to capture millions of TV viewers. The ruse did not work.

His advisers badgered Senator Mar Roxas to marry his fiancée Korina Sanchez in the hope the celebrity wife would catapult Roxas to the vice presidency.

Their wedding was a glittering ceremony covered by ABS-CBN. The rousing union was politically futile. Can Secretary Mar reverse the jinx in 20l6?

In recent memory, with actress Kris Aquino as his lover, Paranaque City Mayor Joey “Tsong” Marquez lost his reelection bid. The comedian suffered bad luck after a violent quarrel with Kris in Clark. She reportedly wounded Tsong severely with a blunt object that he was stitched at the Mt. Carmel hospital in Balite. When news of the lovers’ quarrel broke out, it spelled his political doom.

Now let us see and watch how Senator Chiz Escudero will make or meet his fate with actress Heart Evangelista as his trophy girl or wife, as the case may be. Chiz may now be having his cake and eating it, too. Soon he will have to choose between marrying the girl as Filipino culture expects or breaking off when he gets bored of the affair. It’s a win-lose proposition for Chiz.

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President Noy, after mentioning his legacy to the nation, was almost tearful. The reason is he has no one- a deserving heir- to leave his “daang matuwid” to who will continue the moral transformation. Not to Roxas and Binay who have a separate and distinct agenda as future chief executives.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on July 30, 2014.

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