The 2010 Presidentiables

April 12, 2009 at 7:55 am Leave a comment

The 2010 Presidentiables are: Noli de Castro, Manny Villar, Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Mar Roxas, Ping Lacson, Joseph Estrada, Miriam Santiago, Richard Gordon, Bong Revilla, Jojo Binay & Bayani Fernando ( in the order of survey ranking). I would add Sec. Gilbert Teodoro, though he was probably excluded yet as an item for the surveys.

This early, the 2010 Presidential hopefuls are starting to position themselves. Some are already going around some strategic places in the country to make their candidacy known, though still subtly and not yet announced in the open, but already obvious. Some disguised in such public appearances as speaking engagements in inaugurations, foundations, anniversaries, graduation ceremonies, etc.

As we try to scrutinize each one of them, we are constantly reminded by concerned nationalistic and moral groups to make the wisest of choice. The irony is that, except for one or two, our choices are limited to the traditional politicians that they are. So far, we are presented with 12 personalities to choose from though this is still open to changes as some of them may just settle for the Vice Presidency as the deadline for filing of candidacy draws near. Those who are most probably falling into this category are Chiz Escudero, Bong Revilla, Loren Legarda and Bayani Fernando. Still, others have some pending conditions that would compel them to run. Those falling into this category are Joseph Estrada, Miriam Defensor Santiago, Richard Gordon and Bayani Fernando. With this scenario, I would consider only five of them as the most serious aspirants to the Presidency. They are Noli de Castro, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Ping Lacson and Jojo Binay. The sixth would be Sec. Gilbert Teodoro but KAMPI has yet to pick him as its standard bearer.

There are five variables that play around a candidate’s winning. These are 1) ranking in the surveys, 2) political machinery or dominance, 3) public demand, 4) name recall, and 5) the ability to mount and sustain a national campaign.

Survey

Survey ranking has been a consistent indicator except in the election where Fidel Ramos won despite trailing behind in fourth and fifth places in the surveys. In this area, we know that Noli de Castro and Manny Villar lead over the other aspirants.

Political Dominance

With respect to political machinery or dominance, Lakas has the widest network and has the most number of elected local officials followed by KAMPI. The Nacionalista, Liberal and UNO (United Nationalist Opposition) share the third spot among themselves. Lakas will have Noli de Castro for its standard bearer, Nacionalista has Manny Villar, Mar Roxas for Liberal, and Jojo Binay for UNO. I have a very strong feeling that, although KAMPI, Pres. Arroyo’s Party, is closely aligned with LAKAS, it will put up its own presidential candidate this time. Pres. Ramos, LAKAS’ founding Chairman, has distanced himself from Malacaňang and this was made more manifest when he expressed discontentment over Pres. Arroyo’s non-appearance during the EDSA Revolution anniversary last February. My best guess is that KAMPI will settle for Sec. Gilbert Teodoro.

Public Demand

By public demand, I mean the clamor of the majority for change no matter what givens and variables are we talking about. Pres. Obama won because it has come to a point where the Americans would consider anyone but Bush and his Party as the best choice. Pres. Cory Aquino won (though she was clearly cheated) because the Filipino people considered anyone but Marcos as the best choice. In this election, my gut feeling is that majority of Filipino voters would consider anyone but the administration candidate as the best choice. With KAMPI and LAKAS representing the Gloria Administration, there is the greater possibility that De Castro and Teodoro will be rejected by the voters. The Filipino people are fed up with issues of corruption under the Arroyo administration and its ineptness to manage the economy, handle the Moro problem and contain terrorism. With this one, Manny Villar, Mar Roxas and Jojo Binay shall be left as the better choices. Ping Lacson, aside from being a consistent loser in the presidential race before, suffers credibility with the issues of his involvement in the Kuratong Baleleng rub-out and Dacer-Corbito double murder case still looming over him plus his controversial human rights records while he was with the Metrocom which was largely thought to be one of the executioners of Marcos-Imelda devious martial law orders.

Name Recall

Narrowing the choices among Villar, Roxas and Binay, the two (Roxas and Binay) have relatively better public records than Villar who was accused by fellow Senators of designing a folly in the General Appropriations Act of 2009 to benefit his real estate business over the C-5 road projects. That was thought to have cost his Presidency of the Senate.

Now between Roxas and Binay, Roxas has a small edge on name recall from the illiterate voters because the name Roxas had become a household name from the time of Pres. Roxas to this day. Jojo Binay’s leveling advantage will be when he will be supported by Erap and Joe De Venecia. This is a very likely possibility especially if these two prominent political figures see UNO as the dominant opposition group. An Erap-De Venecia support for Jojo Binay will also make him at par with Mar Roxas with respect to the ability to mount and sustain a national campaign.

Ability to mount and sustain a national campaign

The Party and Candidates who will be able to mount a thorough national campaign are the following: Sec. Gilbert Teodoro if he becomes the official candidate of KAMPI; Noli De Castro of LAKAS; Manny Villar of the Nacionalista Party; Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party; Jojo Binay of UNO if Erap and Joe De Venecia support him; Erap may be limited by his physical condition; Ping Lacson, Miriam Santiago, Bayani Fernando, Richard Gordon and Loren Legarda are all dependent on the support that they can get from the business sector. I would like to believe that Chiz Escudero and Bong Revilla should better be seeking the Vice Presidency first. They are popular but they are not yet ripe for the Presidency. Popularity alone is not the absolute guarantee to the Presidency.

Thus all five variables discussed, we are now in a better position to make judgment on election day.

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