Thursday, October 4, 2012

Drawing the Battle Lines; Defining and Delivering the Message

Hearing and reading the public announcements of the Senatorial candidates in the Philippines, my barber concluded and echoed the public perception, “Same old, same old, the return of mga Anak ng PoTra (Trapo)”

The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states in Article II Section 26, "The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service, and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law." 

There is a pending bill that would enable the said constitutional provision defining the prohibition of political dynasties.  But the former never had the chance of passing primarily because of the strong presence of the dynasties in Congress. It looks like it would continue to be so based on the candidates offered by the coalition of parties of both sides of the aisle.

The Cory Constitution provides another way of passing a law if the people cannot expect Congress to do it due to conflict of interest. The provision on People’s Initiative would do the trick. We will discuss this in a separate article.

Right now, Real Politick understandably rules and governs the strategies of all interested parties.
My barber asks, “How do you draw the lines and differentiate the apparently indistinguishable coalition candidates?”


PNoy actually defined his group’s message clearly – both in words and in action. His is the group that would follow and continue theDAANG MATUWID principles and programs. “Walang Corrupt, Walang Mahirap” remains a compelling message. PNoy and his group will continue to fight corruption and in the process alleviate poverty.  Eliminating the “Wang Wang” mentality that perpetuates impunity and arrogance by the powers that be is as forceful.

The opposing group would have to either show that they could do better or define a completely different message.

DILG Secretary Mar Roxas also explained his group’s approach to the election campaign and governance: “Decency, Honor, Integrity.”

The message combined do not differ with what the Aquino-Roxas tandem represented as I described during the Presidential elections of 2010: 4 Hs – Honesty, Humility, Honor, and Hope.


Battle of the Shepherds: The Daang Matuwid Team is shepherded by PNoy, the Anti-Corruption King. The other groups are shepherded by deposed President and convicted but pardoned plunderer Erap Estrada; by VP Binay who was beset with corruption charges when he was Makati Mayor; and Senator Enrile, former Martial Law Administrator of the corrupt Marcos regime.

Battle of the seniors and what they symbolizeFormer Senator Ramon Magsaysay, Jr. (74 yrs. old) vs. former Senator Ernie Maceda (77 yrs. old). Both represent experience and wisdom. Magsaysay symbolizes positivism and hope. He embodies the Daang Matuwid message and personifies the 4 Hs.  An Engineer by profession, he pioneered the cable TV industry and authored laws protecting the E-Generation. Maceda, on the other hand, symbolizes negativism, always looking at the dark side espoused by the naysayers. A former Executive Secretary of Marcos, he is known for being “Mr. Expose”. The late Mayor Arsenio Lacson of Manila delivered the famous, long-lasting remark about then Councilor Maceda,  “So young yet so corrupt.”

Battle of Military Rebels:  Senator Antonio Trillanes vs. Senator Greg Honasan. The former is with the PNoy group while the latter is with the opposing group. Trillanes rebelled protesting the corruption and election cheating of the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) regime while Honasan launched several attempted coups against President Cory Aquino – temporarily disrupting the country’s economic and political advancement. 

Battle of the Magsaysay Legacy:  Former Senator Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay vs. Rep. Mitos Magsaysay.  The former is the original having been a Magsaysay by blood and birth. A decent, honest and honorable man, he is a known supporter of  PNoy and the foremost believer of his own father’s advocacy, “Those who have less in life must have more in law,” and that of the Pope’s “Preferential option for the poor.” The latter is a Magsaysay by marriage – no Magsaysay blood in her veins.  A naysaying negativist and a staunched critic of PNoy, she is more known as an aggressive defender of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Battle of Mindanao – Between the Victim (Senator Koko Pimentel) vs. the Beneficiary (former Rep. Zubiri) of Electoral Fraud.  The former was robbed of his election as a Senator due to electoral fraud. He had to suffer for four years of being deprived of his rightful place. The latter enjoyed the benefits and perks of being a Senator as the former suffered. A Bar Topnotcher, Koko knows his law and how to make laws. He also knows how to interpret the law as shown in the impeachment proceedings of ousted CJ Corona. He is Mindanao’s best hope for the country’s leadership.

Battle of Senatorial Brothers: Senator Alan Cayetano is the brother of Senator Pia Cayetano vs. Rep. JV Ejercito, brother of Senator Jinggoy Estrada. Already a proven and experienced Senator and a good lawyer, Cayetano should be preferred over Ejercito. Cayetano belongs to the Daang Matuwid Team. The voters might decide to elect or reject both, not a question of electing either.

Battle of Senatorial Sons: Rep. Sonny Angara (Son of Sen. Ed Angara) vs. Rep. Jack Enrile (Son of Sen. Johnny Enrile). The former is with PNoy’s group. A smart and sharp lawyer, he was a very effective spokesman for the House Prosecution Team in the Impeachment of CJ Corona. He is deemed to be his father’s replacement. The latter, as admitted by his own father, still has some issues haunting him when he was young. This will probably be ventilated in the campaign trail. He is deemed to join his father and to take advantage of his father’s newly earned popularity brought about by the impeachment proceedings.

Battle of the Return of former Senators and Ex-Presidentiables:  Former Senator Jamby Madrigal vs. former Senator Richard Gordon. The former is with PNoy while the latter is with the other group. Madrigal is a descendant of former Senator Pacita Madrigal Warns who was identified politically with the late President Ramon Magsaysay, Sr.  She is known for her advocacies relating to women’s issues. Gordon was a supporter of Marcos and GMA. He was an effective Subic Bay (SBMA) Administrator during the Cory and Ramos administrations.

Battle of Political Wives:  Rep. Cynthia Villar (wife of Sen. Manny Villar) vs. Former Gov. Tingting Cojuangco (wife of former Rep. Peping Conjuangco).  The former represents her husband’s NP in the coalition with PNoy’s group. She is also there to replace her husband who cannot run for Senator in this election. The latter represents the Binay group in the Noy-Bi campaign that elected both PNoy and Binay.  She belongs to the “Kamag-anak, Inc.” that tarnished the Cory Aquino regime.

Battle of the Party List Leaders on the Left: Former Rep. Risa Hontiveros of Akbayan vs. Rep. Teddy Casino of Bayan Muna.The former is with the PNoy Team who almost made it to the top 12 in the last elections. The presence of actor-celebrities among her opponents deprived the Filipino people of her services. Her work merited a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in the past. The women are expected to rally behind her this time around. They need her in the Senate. Casino is really an independent who does not belong to any of the coalitions. His positions on issues should help enlighten the citizenry.

Battle between the Future and the Past: Bam Aquino, 35 years old, is the youngest of all the candidates. He is part of the PNoy Team and represents the E-Generation.  A former Chairman of the National Youth Commission and an active leader of the National Youth Parliament, he would be representing the interests of the Filipino youth. A digital native, he would be concerned with education, electronic media and communication, economic programs, environment, electoral reforms and other issues affecting the E-Generation such as entrepreneurship, equity expansion, equality of opportunities, employment, electronic entertainment, empowerment, and all elements of innovation.  He symbolizes the FUTURE. The other group is fielding the oldest candidate at the age of 77, Maceda. He represents thePAST and would most likely focus on experiences, records, and memories.


MTRCB Chief Grace Poe Llamanzares, Senators Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero decided to join the Daang Matuwid Team and to campaign with the group. But the other camp also adopts them as their guest candidates.

Indeed, there is poetic justice in Fernando Poe, Jr. being the victim of electoral fraud. A President FPJ would have put his VP Loren Legarda and his spokesman Chiz Escudero in the highest corridors of power.  Making them the most popular Senatorial candidates and adopted by both camps is also a tribute to the late Movie King and cheated Presidential candidate.

Of course, making his daughter, Grace, a Senator would even be a greater tribute and, as some would say, “God’s way of giving just compensation.”

This is my attempt to draw the Battle Lines to satisfy my barber’s curiosity and to the interested and appreciative readers. Because of the Message, the electronic voting Method, the Organization and the Resources of the respective coalitions, it could encourage STRAIGHT VOTING.  In the 1987 elections CORY’s CHOICE was very effective. I wonder if it will also happen with PNoy’s CHOICE.

Otherwise, it would be one against the rest. The practice of “single shooting” would continue and the rich candidate would give to all the local candidates just to be included in the magic 12 probably at the expense of the Common Candidates.

1 comment:

  1. The difficulty is in part that the families have advantages that commoners don't. A pedigree education, often in the U.S., connections, and money. So they have credentials. A boxing champ can make it, just as he jumped from sergeant to colonel on the strength of his boxing record. Nevermind that he doesn't attend any meetings or author any bills.

    Games Filipinos play . . .