JIGGY Manicad resigned as GMA News reporter to join the Senate race. Good? I initially thought a former legitimate media person would be an asset in the Senate considering his or her close contact with issues and the people. I failed to reckon politicking. Now Manicad’s name has been crossed in my list. The man is too immature and ambitious to be on the level with my Otso Diretso Senate bets.
Manicad became a “star” in the GMA News coverage team when supporters of the ousted president Joseph Estrada attacked him during his team’s coverage of the so-called “Edsa 3.” Two names stood out then for me, Manicad and Maki Pulido (my interest went as far as finding out that “Maki” is short for the Tagalog word “makibaka” or to wage a struggle).
Manicad may be a good reporter (he and Pulido were eventually given a GMA television segment “Reporter’s Notebook” and their news gathering skills blossomed even more). But politics, especially the Senate is obviously too high a jump for him. Loren Legarda, another former legitimate media person who made it to the Senate, also has flaws but there is no question about her maturity.
When your views get swayed by the side you have chosen to be with during the campaign, then your political maturity and even your intellect can be questioned. Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao is an example. Remember when he was used by his party mates to bring down Sen. Leila de Lima. His puppetry must have made the veteran politicians in the Senate smile. Cebuanos have a cute term for that: kiko-kiko.
Manicad’s flaws were exposed when candidates were asked to outline their views on certain issues, media freedom among them. His defense of the Duterte administration’s assault on some legitimate media outlets and personalities was a turn off. The turnaround can be traced to politics. He is, after all, with the administration group. But he could have done that without sacrificing the principles he must have learned from the “legendary” Jessica Soho.
Because of that, Manicad’s star has fallen considerably. This is unfortunate because while he is a legitimate media personality, he still is not a crowd drawer, or should I say vote-getter. He is not a Noli de Castro or Mike Enriquez or Mel Tiangco or Korina Sanchez or Soho or even an Atom Araullo (a sort of “crush ng bayan” for his looks and talent). He lacks the so-called name recognition. He could have gotten it bit by bit had he been more politically mature and intellectually endowed.
Or he could have gotten the sympathies of his former comrades in the profession, who can be influential in their own small ways. But how could he when he is sounding more and more like your neighborhood DDS (diehard Duterte supporters). When you sound like a Mocha Uson clone, how can his former comrades in the profession be sympathetic to him?
Obviously, Manicad won’t get my vote (I have a confession: after decades of boycotting bourgeois political exercises, I am finally a registered voter). I won’t waste my vote on unprincipled candidates who change their views in an attempt to cozy themselves up to their patrons. And there are many of them out there.