WITH the computerized elections, the count and the transmittal of the results of the elections in both the national and local levels were swift. Before the sun could rise the day after the elections, many of the winners in the local elections had already been proclaimed. The trend in the senatorial polls was also established.
In the senatorial elections, Bong Revilla landing in the winning circle of 12 distressed many. So too the shutout of the opposition bets of the Otso Diretso-Liberal Party slate. This was not actually surprising considering the surveys and history. In the case of Bong Revilla, for example, the fact that he had long been a senator and was with the administration was crucial. In the previous midterm election when Noynoy Aquino was president, the opposition senatorial bets also got shut out. That was a bad precedent for Otso.
That Bong Revilla is facing a plunder case apparently was not factored in by those who voted for him. This has prompted some to call the Revilla voters “stupid.” I won’t go that far, of course. It is unfortunate but could not be dismissed simplistically via name-calling. Having a candidate already jailed for plunder and still winning can be the fault of the electoral and judicial setup.
This may not be about voter stupidity but could be about voter immaturity. The electoral system laid down by the 1986 Constitution favors not the merely intellectual but the merely popular. It is less about programs of government and more about the person of the candidate. Revilla is an actor and backed by a still popular administration. One consolation there is that at least he is not the top vote-getter.
The good news in some localities is that well entrenched members of political clans got trounced. The Estradas, for example, lost in Manila and San Juan cities, their traditional bailiwicks, to “newer” faces. I have to place that in quotation marks because Isko Moreno in Manila my be younger than Erap but he has been a minor politician for the longest time already.
In Cebu City, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella edged the veteran Tomas Osmeña for the post of mayor while Junard Chan finally ended the reign of the Radazas in the Lapu-Lapu City Hall. But there are returnees. The Garcias won big-time in the province with Gwen Garcia retaking Capitol and Duke Frasco, husband of Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco, ending the decades-long representation of the Durano clan in the House of Representatives. In Mandaue City, a member of the Cortes political clan, Jonas Cortes, has retaken City Hall, defeating Luigi Quisumbing.
One positive thing I could point out in this development is that this could be good for Metro Cebu. I can see Garcia and Labella leading in the effort to forge a united front of Metro Cebu leaders to address the metro’s major concerns like traffic and garbage. That was not possible before because Osmeña was not open to such a united front.
As they say, you win some, you lose some.