Friday, August 21, 2015

Philippine Presidential Elections: Winners and Losers

I am reiterating my suggestion regarding the formidable Roxas-Poe tandem for the 2016 Presidential Elections in the Philippines. I am still convinced that on a long-term basis, it is best for the country, and for the Filipino people. The necessary consequence is also beneficial to PNoy’s legacy, to the candidacies of Roxas and Poe, the Liberal Party, its allied parties, the Yellow Army and supporters from the civil society.

Although certain circumstances and reactions since I made the suggestion are beginning to becloud my judgment, I am still sticking to it. I know of fewer facts to claim a more enlightened discernment.

This is also because PNoy and his anointed presidential candidate Roxas continue to believe in the viability and winnability of the tandem for the sake of continuity and long-term stability of “Daang Matuwid”. They have looked at Grace Poe from a different and higher perspective as well as greater empirical exposure that we just have to give them our trust.

Of course, I am fully aware that as PNoy and Roxas are patiently waiting for Grace Poe’s decision, they and the party organization already put Plan B and even Plan C in operation. Poe and her group remain as Option A but regardless of her decision, PNoy, Mar, and the LP machinery are ready, no doubt about it.


Grace Poe on the other hand has her own options. First, she has to decide whether she should run for a higher office or not. Second, if she decides to run, should it be for President or Vice President? Third, if Vice President, should it be with Roxas or as an independent? 

Poe has a self-imposed deadline for her decision. She refuses to tell the press but I suspect that she must have told PNoy and Roxas. Winners appropriately do! Losers do not!

There are questions regarding Poe’s residency and citizenship qualifications. The spokesman for UNA and VP Binay openly brought it up. Some legal luminaries and experts that include a couple of law school Deans and one respected international lawyer support the views of the spokesman. VP Binay also shares similar views. A defeated Senatorial candidate named Rizalito David filed a case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal as well as one before the COMELEC.

A team of top-notch lawyers is defending Grace Poe – Romulo Macalintal, Katrina Legarda, and Lorna Kapunan.  Several legal experts led by former Supreme Court Chief Justice Art Panganiban share the opinion that Poe possesses the residency and citizenship qualifications.


Winners usually face the issues, fight the challenge confidently and find solutions. Losers look for people to blame. What Grace faces are legitimate legal issues that should be properly resolved. Confronting Roxas if he is behind those questioning her qualifications is an action more appropriately attributed to a “loser”, sorry to say.

PNoy and Roxas offered her the Vice Presidency – convinced of her qualifications. I have expressed the view that while I find no problem defending her residency qualifications, I see the citizenship part to be a little bit tricky. But I made the Roxas-Poe tandem suggestion anyway, and actually proposed a couple of solutions for her legal problem that PNoy, Roxas, the LP and its allies in Congress could actually help deliver. These are actions of confidence on Poe and those of “winners” not “losers”.

The only relevant and accepted principle in International Law involving “foundlings” is the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The problem is that the Philippines is neither a signatory nor has it acceded to it. The solution is for the Philippines to sign and accede to it or if it cannot be done immediately, take some steps that indicate acceptance to the principles that the convention provides.

There are two bills in the Senate that protect the rights of “foundlings” – that of Senator Poe and the other of Senator Lapid. Pushing the former would be perceived as self-serving but passing the latter with some amendments would be an added solution.

Either the international or domestic legal solution may turn out to be unnecessary but either guarantees a clearer interpretation and legal cover supporting Poe’s cause.

POLLS/Market Surveys

Polls like market surveys help measure the demand or marketability of the product that is for sale at the time the survey is taken. The numbers change depending on what the customers know about the product, the competition, the places surveyed, and the dates when the surveys were taken. It is about measuring the demand for the product as the people perceived it.

“Winners” take notice of the surveys and use them to devise or revise their sales and marketing plans. “Losers” rely on the surveys alone to determine the viability or marketability of their product. They do not consider the need for a broader distribution channel and a larger, organized, committed, and well-motivated sales force.

“Winners” plan, organize, lead and control efficiently and effectively. They recognize the need for well-oiled Machinery; sufficient Monetary and Material resources; a large and committed army of volunteers and paid Manpower; a clear, catchy, and resonating Message; and an efficient and competent campaign Management. Those who do not recognize these are “losers”. 

PNoy is a winner by all standards. He aptly portrays the meaning of this quote:

            “Watch your thoughts, they become words;
              Watch your words, they become actions;
              Watch your actions, they become habits;
              Watch your habits, they become character;
              Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

His “Daang Matuwid”, “Walang corrupt, Walang mahirap,” and “Walang Wang-Wang” were words that became actions; actions that became habits through the GPS (Government Prosecution of the Sleazy); habits that built his character and those of his Cabinet led by the “Furies”; and a character that guides not only his personal destiny but also most especially that of the Filipino nation.

PNoy anointed Mar Roxas not only for the words that they share, but their common commitment to action. He is convinced that Roxas is “in the best position to continue the gains of Daang Matuwid.” 

Both personify the right character for the Presidency: Honesty, Humility, Hope, and Honor. PNoy has chosen a winner because he is a winner. The current surveys do not bother him. He will lead the strongest sales force or campaign machinery like no other. He and this machinery will promote his anointed “horse” by informing the public of his record and how he was and is an effective partner of the still unfinished “Daang Matuwid”.  He and Roxas will create a new and greater demand.

Grace Poe? She should start acting like a “winner”. She should not put things off. She should understand the value of time. Life is limited and every moment counts. Spending endless discussions with President Aquino and his potential successor Mar Roxas about her plans could have been spent more productively.

She claims to be preparing a “Platform of Government”. Running the Philippine Government with all its extensive bureaucracies is not running a Student Council. I know whereof I speak. PNoy and Roxas are offering her a winning, ready-made and successful platform resulting from experience, empirical studies and learning from mistakes. She is given 6 years to experience and learn the art of governance as preparation for an eventual Presidency.

For fear of being dubbed a “loser”, I am repeating my suggestion involving the Roxas-Poe tandem for the last time.

Grace Poe: Be a Winner!

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