Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Elections: You Win Some, You Lose Some!

The most recently held elections brought mixed feelings to a lot of Filipinos. This is because as in most, if not all battles, there are losers and there are winners.  If one identifies with a specific winner, he will surely feel good.  If with the loser, he will feel the opposite.

In general, we should really feel good for the right to participate in the democratic process.  For the first time since I started exercising my right of suffrage in the Philippines, I knew the winners for the Senate within 24 hours after the elections.  I understand that they may also be proclaimed sooner than expected. COMELEC Chairman Brillantes managed the electoral process quite well and deserves some credit.  There were some glitches in the electronic angle but not unexpected and were therefore resolved.

I was quite happy to access the data loaded online and got to analyze the results per region. I was even happier that the data, up to the precinct level in every locality, were made available. Being several thousand miles away from Rosales, Pangasinan, it is really a treat to access the results of my hometown online.

Team PNoy vs. UNA

This election pitted the chosen candidates of PNoy, on one hand, against those of VP Binay, Former President Erap Estrada and Senate President Enrile, on the other hand. It was a battle for Senate seats, Congressmen, and local government officials. In this article, I will focus my analysis on the Senate results.

It looks like as of this writing, it is going to be 9-3 or Team PNoy has 9 winners while UNA has 3.  Except for the ranking that really brought some surprises, the actual results seem to reflect the pre-election surveys.  Poe being no. 1 and Ejercito Estrada being no. 11 were indeed surprising.  Honasan is currently on the 12th spot beating Gordon, Zubiri, Enrile, and Magsaysay.

While it is still mathematically possible for Gordon, Zubiri, Enrile, and Magsaysay to catch Honasan, I believe that it is statistically improbable for any of them to do it. The question is, where would they draw additional votes to lessen Honasan’s lead?
Of the 17 regions in the Philippines, Gordon is in the Magic 12 only in 5; Zubiri in 6; Enrile in 5; and Magsaysay in only 3. Honasan made the Magic 12 in 10 regions.

Honasan would probably increase his lead by drawing more votes from 10 regions compared to the others trying to catch up. Gordon and Magsaysay are making it to the Magic 12 in some initial and partial results from Overseas Absentee Voting which is not configured yet in published reports. The problem is Honasan is also in the Magic 12 there. Furthermore, the number of absentee voters is not that many to make a real difference.

Gordon and Zubiri who are UNA candidates have better chances than Magsaysay who is with Team PNoy.  So the 9-3 will still stand if the improbable happens.  Zubiri cannot hope for “Magic” in Mindanao the second time.  Honasan supporters will not allow it!

As I have written in previous columns, blogs, and notes, I would have wanted Jun Magsaysay to win.  He would have served the country well as a Senator as he had done earlier.  But the people have spoken.  It makes me sad but their voice and decision must be respected.

Jun Magsaysay made the Magic 12 only in Region VI (Ilonggo speaking), Region VII (Cebuano speaking) and Region VIII (Waray speaking).  Ironically, he did not make it in his own Region III.  Neither did he make it in Ilocano and Ibanag speaking Regions I, II,  and CAR which are natural sources of votes for an Ilocano or son of an Ilocano.

The Visayans and the Bicolanos delivered 10 winners for Team PNoy and only 2 UNA. The Mindanao provinces including the Muslims delivered 9-3 while NCR and all the Regions north of it delivered 8 – 4.

The Bicolanos made sure that 7 of the 9 UNA candidates led by Estrada and Enrile would not make it to the Magic 12. The Ilonggos and the Cebuanos also made sure that 7 out of 9 UNA candidates led by Estrada and Enrile would not make the winning 12.  The Warays included Binay and Ejercito Estrada as the only 2 from UNA.

What this means is that the Visayans led by Roxas and Drilon delivered to deserve the 2016 Presidential endorsement and the Senate Presidency, respectively.  It also means that the Bicolanos led by Escudero, Robredo and LP followers delivered to probably deserve and reserve the Vice Presidential seat for their region in 2016.

PNoy and his team are clear winners. His allies will now capture the Senate Leadership at the expense of Johnny Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Vic Sotto.  Mar Roxas is a winner because, together with Drilon, he delivered the Visayan vote to Team PNoy 10-2 - more than the other regions. The final 9-3 result could also be credited to him, the LP and the coalition that he helped form with PNoy.

UNA as a group are clear losers.  Only 3 will become Senators.  In this sense, the Three Kings are losers too.  Senator Enrile is definitely a loser - first, because he will now surely lose the Senate Presidency and second, his son lost the Senatorial race.  The vaunted political machine UNA hoped to have in order to elect majority of their candidates failed him.

Former President Erap Estrada won the Mayoralty race in Manila.  His son JV Ejercito Estrada will join his other son in the Senate.  Erap should be happy to complete his political comeback.

VP Jojo Binay is considered a winner as far as his family is concerned. His son Erwin Jun Jun was reelected as Mayor of Makati.  His daughter Abigail will be a Congresswoman again.  And now his daughter Nancy will be a Senator.

But did he succeed in building a machine that would propel him to the Presidency in 2016?  Will he retain his Cabinet position under PNoy after he had formed an opposition group?

Both Houses in Congress will now be supportive of PNoy’s legislative agenda. An analysis of the results in the local elections would still be made but I suspect that they will most likely be supportive of PNoy’s policies too.  DILG Secretary Mar Roxas will help in making them tow the line.  The mandate has been given.

I am sure that Mr. Palengke will be more visible in the next 3 years.  meeting with local executives will probably include visiting the palengke in each town.  Just make sure that the prices of commodities are affordable and reasonable.

It is hard to argue against Performance and Success.  If the last 3 years are any indication, things should be better in the next half of PNoy’s term.

CORY successfully chose an “R” (RAMOS) as her successor.  PNoy will also choose an “R” (ROXAS) to replace him.   REFORM or peaceful REVOLUTION as an agenda is a continuing process!


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