Friday, September 25, 2015

Presidential Race: BI RO POe (Binay, Roxas, Poe). No joke!

The Presidential Race


Vice President Jojo Binay is in the race. He became a presidential candidate the moment he took his oath as Vice President. As promoted by the NoyBi (Noynoy-Binay) supporters, he was perceived as a loyal part of the PNoy Team and administration. He was given the luxurious Coconut Palace as his VP office and assigned two Cabinet portfolios (Housing and OFW Concerns). In 2013, he showed his true colors by forming the opposition coalition named UNA together with Senator Juan Enrile and former President Erap Estrada. UNA supported Senatorial and other candidates opposing those of PNoy’s “Daang Matuwid” Team. But he maintained his Cabinet portfolios even after the elections. It was only recently (after 5 years) that he gave them up and started attacking the PNoy administration that he was part of.

After enjoying top presidential preference for about 5 years, he was finally relegated to a lower rung by the voters. This is probably because of the corruption allegations hurled against him at the Senate investigations and those of the Ombudsman. The fact that he is no longer perceived as part of the PNoy Team could also be a factor.


Former Senator and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is also in the race. In fact, he is PNoy’s anointed and the LP (Liberal Party) standard bearer.  He is credited for being the co-pilot of PNoy in conceiving, planning, and implementing the relatively successful “Daang Matuwid” and anti-corruption campaign programs. Of course, he was also considered a partner of the PNoy Team that is credited for the country’s unprecedented economic recovery and growth as recognized by international agencies.

A former Congressman and Senator, a former Trade Secretary under three Presidents, a former Transportation Secretary, and lately, DILG Secretary, he has plenty of record to check - his experience, achievements, and mistakes. His record could then be compared to those of Binay, Poe, and other candidates who may still declare.

His anointment by PNoy was expected as he was indeed according to the President, “in the best position to continue the Daang Matuwid program of government.” The latest SWS survey now shows that he is no. 2 in the race. Another poll shows that he is statistically tied with Poe and Binay.


Senator Grace Poe is definitely in the race. A former Chairwoman of the MTRCB, she is now a Senator - having topped the 2013 Senatorial elections. She is also the top presidential preference of the voters according to the last surveys. But at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), losing Senatorial candidate Rizalito David is now questioning her qualifications. It is focused on whether she is a natural-born Filipino citizen by virtue of the fact that she is a “foundling”. I have expressed my legal opinion on this matter previously. I maintained that there were no laws, both local and customary international law, that would support any assertion that a Filipino foundling like Grace Poe could be considered natural-born.

I listened to the Oral Arguments at the SET. I heard the questions asked and the answers of both the counsels of the petitioner (David), and the respondent (Poe). The questions and the conclusion derived from SET Chairman SC Justice Antonio Carpio was most revealing. He said after a series of questions: “Grace Poe is a naturalized Filipino citizen but NOT a natural-born Filipino.”

Probably to neutralize the impact of such a conclusion, Poe’s lawyer announced that his client had undergone some DNA tests and would release the results soon hoping to prove that Poe is indeed a natural-born Filipino by blood.

Other qualifications

Amidst the existence of certain legal requirements as provided in the Constitution such as Age, Literacy, Residency, and Citizenship, a maturing democracy like the Philippines seems to demand a little more in the choice of the presidency. We have had models that experienced running or helping run a large government bureaucracy.

Senator Serge Osmena III, a veteran lawmaker, close adviser of Grace Poe and one who helped her in the 2013 Senatorial elections had this to say:

"She would make a better president, if she has six years of vice president, because she’s fairly new in this game. This is not all about national politics and winning the elections. After that, the big work comes, the headache comes, running the country. At nakikita natin, napakahirap noon. If you stumble around, then the whole country stumbles with you”.

Her own cousin, Sheryl Cruz, daughter of Rosemarie Sonora and Ricky Belmonte, also expressed this view: “It’s a bit abrupt for her to run in 2016, and popularity cannot be translated into capability. She’ll make a fine president come 2022.”

Cruz said she did not want to “belittle” her cousin’s capabilities, but neither did she want “to leave the country’s future to chance.”
“The lives of its citizens are not a game of chance,” she added.

Of course, PNoy, Mar Roxas, Butch Abad, and the Liberal Party also wanted her included in their long-term succession program by grooming her to be Vice President first. This is for her to prepare for the Presidency. Hours, nights, dinners, and plenty of discussions and presidential efforts to convince her did not overcome her ambition and the influence of Chiz Escudero who wants to be Vice President.

I even devised and proposed a formula that would guarantee her to be President after Roxas.

She probably thought that if she is that “good”, why wait? Walang Forever!


  1. This is just a HAT TIP to a patriot! Mabuhay BEN!
    The EQualizer

    1. Thanks. Is the EQUALIZER POST active again?