by Antonio C. Abaya
from Standard Today
Within ten days after Sen. Mar Roxas’ withdrawal from the presidential race in May 2010, in favor of Sen. Noynoy Aquino, a bandwagon of sorts is off to a creaky start.
First to announce their withdrawal in favor of Noynoy were Pampanga Gov. Among Ed Panlilio and Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, both contenders massaged by the Kaya Natin! movement under Harvey Keh in the Ateneo. But how much of a plus was this?
In the nationwide public opinion survey conducted by Pulse Asia between July 28 and August 10, 2009, Gov. Panlilio drew only 0.4 of one percent (or only about 72 votes out of a universe of 1,800 respondents).
Gov. Padaca was not even included in that Pulse Asia survey. She had apparently been enticed by the expectation that she would be the vice-presidential candidate of Gov. Panlilio. When that expectation did not materialize, like a true-blue Pinay, Gov. Padaca formed her own political movement called Kayang Kaya! which nominated her as its presidential bet in 2010, and her farmer-supporters contributed to the party kitty by donating pigs, chickens, vegetables and other agriculture produce.
About a week later, another presidential contender withdrew in favor of Noynoy, this time it was J.C. de los Reyes, municipal councilor in Olongapo City, the presidential candidate of the Ang Kapatiran party organized by my friend Nandy Pacheco in 2004.
But in the Pulse Asia survey, JC drew only 0.10 of one percent (or only about 18 votes out of 1,800).
Evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, who drew only one percent (or about 180 votes out of 1,800) refused to withdraw. Environmentalist Nicky Perlas who scored zero in the Pulse Asia survey (or not a single vote out of 1,800) also refused to withdraw.
Perlas instead urged Noynoy to resign from the Liberal Party and lead a citizens movement for what he calls New Politics, not necessarily as a presidential contender.. .
So as a result of these three withdrawals in his favor, Noynoy, who was not included in the survey, won 90 votes (72 plus 18), or half of one percent, from those 1,800 respondents. Assuming 40 million voters in May 2010, Noynoy could get 200,000 additional votes from the supporters of Panlilio, Padaca and JC.
Of course, Noynoy is going to win many times more than 200,000 votes in May 2010, assuming he decides to pursue his presidential ambitions, which – as of this writing – seems quite certain. Especially since he is the favorite candidate of media giants ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
But my point is that unless the major players – Manny Villar, Noli de Castro, Joseph Estrada, Chiz Escudero – withdraw in his favor, the Noynoy Bandwagon will not be able to gather enough momentum to cross the finish line ahead of everyone else. Will any of the majors withdraw in his favor?
Manny Villar, who drew 28 points (or 504 votes out of 1,800) definitely will not.
Noli de Castro, who drew 16 points (or 288 votes out of 1,800) is not likely to do so either. It is possible the Lopezes of ABS-CBN can exert moral pressure on someone who owes his political career to them, but he would likely ask to be Noynoy’s vice-presidential candidate. Where would that put Mar Roxas?
Joseph Estrada, who drew 19 points (or 342 votes out of 1,800) and who has said many times that he would run for president if the opposition cannot unite under one candidate, is also unlikely to withdraw in favor of Noynoy.
But hope can spring eternal.. Perhaps Noynoy’s aunt, Tessie Aquino-Oreta, an Erap ally, who famously danced her jig when the Senate tribunal voted down an order opening The Envelope during Erap’s impeachment trial, can prevail upon the convicted plunderer to withdraw in favor of Noynoy. But in the unlikely event that Erap agrees, he would most likely demand that his son Jinggoy be Noynoy’s vice. Where would that put Mar Roxas?
Or Noynoy’s handlers can woo Erap by reminding him that Noynoy’s mother Cory publicly apologized for leading the street protests in January 2001 calling for the ouster of Erap. The sentimental Erap may succumb to such entreaties, but he would likely still ask for the VP position for Jinggoy. Where would that leave the statesman Mar?
Chiz Escudero, who drew 12 points in the Pulse Asia survey (or 216 votes out of 1,800) would probably be the easiest to sweet-talk into withdrawing in favor of Noynoy, because Noynoy’s uncle, Danding Cojuangco, “owns” the Nationalist People’s Coalition, of which Chiz is the presumed presidential nominee.. No money, no honey…. for Chiz.
Noynoy is probably Danding’s favorite nephew since Noynoy (and his mother Cory) have publicly absolved Danding of any complicity in the assassination of Ninoy, despite the testimony of at least one convicted participant that Danding was involved, and the unexplained participation of one solitary civilian, Herminio Gosuico (now dead), said to be connected to Danding, in the otherwise purely military operation. .
There is one other possibility that Noynoy’s handlers can cultivate to give the Noynoy Bandwagon more mileage. And this would be to woo former President Fidel Ramos and former House Speaker Jose de Venecia, who are said to be on the verge of breaking away from President Gloria Arroyo’s Lakas-Kampi-CMD coalition, the PaLaKa coalition.
When the trapos of Lakas (which Teddyboy Locsin calls “the party of thieves”) smell the imminent sinking of the Superferry Gloria, they would not hesitate to clamber on board the Superferry Noynoy, to save their own skins and protect their feudal dynastic fiefdoms.
Yes, there is a Noynoy Bandwagon, propelled by Yellow Fever from aging Corystas and their clueless offspring, and steered by believers in Magick
But my sense is that the earnestness and enthusiasm of middle-class do-gooders are not strong enough to carry the Noynoy Bandwagon to victory in 2010.
In 1986, the situation was more dramatic, Cory the Widow was the sole opposition leader against a hated regime strongly suspected of having masterminded the 1983 assassination of her husband, a beloved political icon. It was truly a Battle between Good and Evil.
But even in that epic struggle, Cory Aquino was not a run-away winner. In fact, she did not win the snap elections. Ferdinand Marcos did, according to the Comelec. In the tabulation of votes by the pro-Cory Namfrel, Cory was leading but only by a small margin that continued to shrink as more votes from the rural areas – the bailiwicks of the party in power – trickled in.
The pro-Cory Namfrel stopped the tabulation of votes with 28 percent of the precincts, mostly rural, still unheard from. Cory Aquino was elevated to the presidency by an insurrectionary development (in which my three children and I were active participants), not by an electoral victory.
In 2009, no political icon has (so far) been assassinated, Noynoy’s beloved mother Cory died from natural causes, and there are at least 12 opposition candidates of whom only the three most inconsequential have withdrawn in his favor.. The hoopla for Noynoy in 2009 does not approach even a fraction of the hoopla for Cory in 1986.
This is not a Battle between Good and Evil. It is just another intramural squabble between the Ins and the Outs, between competing dynasties in Philippine feudal politics.
To reach the finish line victorious in May 2010, the Noynoy Bandwagon needs the heavyweights to withdraw in his favor and/or the power brokers to throw their support behind him.
But if and when he engages in horse-trading with the likes of Noli de Castro, Joseph Estrada, Danding Cojuangco, Jose de Venecia and Fidel Ramos, Noynoy loses his political virginity and he becomes as soiled and sordid as the rest of them. *****.
I received the following email today: NOYNOY AQUINO WOULD ANSWER EACH QUESTION DIRECTLY. AND I AM 100% SURE THAT SENATOR NOYNOY AQUINO WOULD COME OUT WITH ANSWERS IMMEDIATELY AND WITH RESULTS YOU AND I WOULD BE PROUD OF.
I am all ears. ACA