How President Aquino can assure a win for his pick in 2016

binay-roxas rappler

Our future president? [Photo source: Rappler]

Thanks to reader chit navarro for inciting this blog.

The Philippines is comprised of two distinct voting populations: (1) the middle class, and (2) the poor:

  • The middle class votes based on security and opportunity. That is, they want non-corrupt leaders who can get things done and who give them promise of a better, richer day ahead.
  • The poor do not have much opportunity. They live day to day and will happily cast a vote for another day’s well-being. That is, they will sell their votes for food. Who gets elected is irrelevant to them as they get little from anyone. Things don’t change. The poor subsist.


Seven ways to win

Let us assume that President Aquino would like his “straight path” initiatives to continue. That is a fairly safe assumption. Let us further assume that he will select Mar Roxas as the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate in 2016. That’s what most are guessing.

President Aquino has at least seven ways to promote success for Secretary Roxas:

  1. During the campaign period, actively advertise Mr. Roxas and the steps he would take to help the poor. Add the president’s endorsement to back him up. Maybe it would work. Maybe not.
  2. Project Mr. Roxas as a visible friend of the poor as is now being done as he hands out relief money for Yolanda reconstruction. This is a weak approach because the money benefits local governments, not the poor, directly.
  3. Persistently display Mr. Roxas doing responsible deeds as head of DILG. This so far has been widely offset by Mr. Roxas doing irresponsible deeds, like throwing temper tantrums on golf courses and elsewhere.
  4. Institute dramatic improvement in the conditions of the poor between now and 2016 so that they can TANGIBLY associate improvement in their lives with the straight path. This is hard to do because the need is so great and time so short.
  5. Prosecute vote buyers from the last election, and/or put in place a framework to prosecute vote-buying in the next election, so that vote-buying is less likely to influence the outcome in 2016. This could have dramatic results to diminish Mr. Binay’s “friends of friends” popular appeal. Mr. Binay is unlikely to buy votes directly, but his friends know how to butter their bread.
  6. Promote a network of families extending out from the middle class to their poorer relatives to convey one simple message: vote buying is why the Philippines is not richer.
  7. Establish a network of popular supporters in vote-rich provinces, people whose voices will match those of Mr. Binay’s likely loud popular local backers: Marcos, Romualdez, Garcia, Estrada, Enrile, Revilla, Arroyo,  Pacquiao and others.

The absolutely strongest approach, of course, is to pursue all seven of these initiatives with a great sense of purpose.


Ways that will work . . . or won’t

My guess is that all the advertising money in the world, and even the President’s endorsement, will not influence the poor that much. Advertising will garner support from the middle class, yes. But it is unlikely to break through to touch the great need of the impoverished:  another meal.

Nor will Mr. Roxas being visible help if the opposition from Mr. Binay during the campaign keeps harping on the shortcomings of Mr. Roxas.

The roster of backers for Mr. Binay is like an all-star team. Who among the “clean path” advocates have equal star appeal? Robredo . . . uh . . . uh . . . Aquino . . . uh . . . uh . . . and I dunno. Certainly such a team should be put together, but I fear the popular appeal rests with Mr. Binay, and his polls reflect that. His local mouthpieces – the dukes and duchesses of Binay – command an almost insane loyalty in their home province, a loyalty that does not recognize incompetence, lying, gameplaying or even theft as bad character. Name and reputation and being “from here” is everything.

The absolute best way to break through is to remove the barrier that today keeps the poor from relating to a “clean government” campaign. That is, remove the purchase of votes from the entire election dynamic.

This can be done by prosecuting vote-buyers from the last election, or by laying the groundwork for prosecuting them in the next election, and doing this in a very visible way.  If ever there were a time to break the back of this corrupt practice, it is now.

If done properly, the initiative will make a connection between a meal obtained now by selling a vote, and no jobs in the future because vote buying uses good money the wrong way.

“In one hand, out the other . . .”

“Don’t get fooled . . .”

Each vote that is not purchased is a vote Mr. Roxas can fairly claim.


The most certain way . . .

Of course, absolutely the most certain way for President Aquino to assure his pick wins in 2016 is to back Grace Poe. Then he can paddle downriver with these same tactics instead of fighting upriver . . . at great risk to the Philippines. Grace Poe has the credibility and appeal needed to gather a huge cast of famous “name” stars and personalities who will endorse her. Will the stars and personalities endorse Mar Roxas?

Hmmmmm . . .

41 Responses to “How President Aquino can assure a win for his pick in 2016”
  1. chit navarro says:

    Good morning Joe. What a nice way to keep warm in the chilly morning in Welly seeing my name at the top of this article. Thank you. My take on this:

    1. Items 1 & 4 are interrelated through the CCT – conditional cash transfer. The government has poured in millions of pesos into this DSWD incentive but I doubt greatly if it will bring in votes. For one, it’s the mind-set of the Filipinos :” I did not benefit from this so why will I vote for you/your candidate?” Additionally, implementation is left in the hands of the local executives and not properly audited if beneficiaries are all deserving or are just handpicked by the barangay captain.

    2. Items 2 can not negate the fact that Mar Roxas is a hacendero – comes from the landed gentry, studied in Wharton, etc. and will never know how it is to be poor. It’s not only the Yolanda victims he is handling out cash to now; also the upgrade of police stations. But it’s not going to win him votes because people will just say :”He is simply doing his job as a responsible head of DILG” (item 3).

    Contrast this with VP Binay’s pro-poor projects when he was the City Mayor of Makati : free education with matching school bags, uniforms, shoes, school supplies; 1:1 computer ratio for Makati schools; free medical through the yellow card; free movies & birthday cakes through the Senior Citizen’s card; burial assistance with matching visit from the Mayor during the wake; patronizing the carinderias of Makati. Plus the gifts he gave to sister-cities/municipalities. Hard to beat at the grass roots level and I am sure they will be capitalizing on this.

    3. Item 5 – isn’t it too late in the ballgame to do this? The government has its hands full with the plunder issue. Perhaps they can use this come election time – “Mar Roxas is already RICH – He does not need to enrich himself in office, but will SERVE”… to that effect.

    4. Item 6 – promote a network of middle class families to teach voters about the ill-effects of vote buying AND electing artistas, etc. I have advocated this idea for quite sometime in CPM. Targeting even just the OFW’s will give a substantial network for this voter education especially with the aid of social media…. it seems everyone with a family member overseas has a Facebook account and if we can only be so committed to do this, it can be a catalyst for not having a Binay presidency. Bottom line : there should be an excitable candidate for this group to accept and endorse… : (Grace Poe, the daughter of Da King).

    5. Item 7 – you forgot to include the uncel of the President, spouses Cojuangco (Peping & Tingting) as having supported his bid for Vice Presidency.

    Yes, you are right. Grace Poe is the PERSON TO BEAT… destined to be the next President. The masa can totally relate to her – an adopted daughter of the King & Queen of Philippine movies who, despite their riches, live a normal life and made it to the Senate. She, whose father was robbed of the Presidency, is now seeking the position to continue the dreams of her father to uplift the plight of the Filipino masa…. and no baggage of questionable riches!

    As you said, Destiny must be grasped at the moment it comes into one’s life.

    • Joe America says:

      Edgar Lores would be proud of our enumerations, and yours are succinct and to the point. Your point 4 is a nice elaboration to what I had in mind. Your item 5 suggests why Mar Roxas would have a hard time getting endorsements. Binay is so good at personal networking, he has a lot of the big voices and big backers in his bag. Grace Poe, on the other hand, would find her vocal backing both among the established (Santiago, Osmena) and the glamorous (the entertainment names). So let Binay keep his trapos, and Poe will demolish their old-school cacophony with her modern, hip enthusiastic fans.

  2. macspeed says:

    @Joe AM,

    I am with you for PNOY to back-up Grace Poe, she is a triple crown contender which every sector of industries such as movie, sports and manufacturing will surely endorse her. Even the small scale business such as beauty parlors, barber shops, street vendors, retail store in suburban areas will automatically switch on for Grace Poe as the President to be…

    For Vote buying prosecution, it will be so easy with the implementation of PCOS machine where-in a voter has to provide a thumb mark on a voters pad which is on paper. The wrong thing with it was, the thumb mark was compared manually. It can be done automatically via a thumb print reader and it will tell in a matter of seconds if the voter has voted twice. For manual voting, it will be so hard to determine which one has voted twice or which one has sold his/her votes. Perhaps is to provide an advertisement such as the COMELEC shall pay a two or more months with the message such as “Jail the vote buyer, Reward for exposer”, say 10,000php money reward.

    At this stage, I don’t know why so many articles are up against VP Binay, perhaps this is electioneering? Politics seems so ahead right after an election has ended. Losers seems has plan B or whatsoever….this is because of the Pork Barrel funds and awarding projects with sure winner contractor has supported so and so….Well if PNOY will be able to provide the law guarding the Government funds from corruption, then, early electioneering will be limited to few such as those who will a contracts from government officials who will win a seat.

    • Joe America says:

      Good ideas regarding clamping down on vote buying. I like the slogan and the reward idea, although I think P10,000 per case might break the budget. I think the buyers are funded by governors and mayors or their cohorts, and the money ought to be tracked back to the source. Someone along the pipeline should go to jail for a long time and the sponsor should be incarcerated in that rusty boat the navy operates way out in the ocean.

      I think the Vice President is in the news because the energy for the election is starting to build, and the “playing politics” charge regarding those accused of plunder and graft tends to get people to think about Binay. I prefer to think, well, like birds flock together and UNA is well feathered with crooks.

  3. Gerardo Vergara says:

    Roxas would never be president of this country because his image as a rich boy who never tasted a life of want and need would never endear him to the poor or even to the middle class. Binay should never be president; he should not be allowed to file his candidacy by the Comelec due to the dynasty he had built and is slowly building not only in Makati but also in the whole country.
    He should never have been vice-president if my letter to the late columnist, Mr William Esposo was printed in his column or he forwarded it to the Comelec. It did not happen because he was for Binay. Below is the copy of that letter:
    Vice presidential candidate Jejomar Binay had a winning edge over Senator Mar Roxas because of his superior ground organization. I saw it up close and even took video footage of the evidence. I went to the town of Tinglayan in Kalinga province after the elections and my host told me of stories of vote buying, from the municipal to the congressional positions. I was not surprised as it happened in so many places around the country.
    Then he told me that Binay won in the barangays in those mountains because of a strategy that was quite unusual from the norm. Each household was given gifts, packages, should I say, that he said came from the Red Cross.
    I asked him about the contents of the package and he said that I saw one in the bathroom: the Safeguard bath soap. He then deftly enumerated to me the other items which consisted of 2 plastic pails, 2 bars Mr Clean washing detergent, 2 tubes toothpaste, 5 toothbrushes, 2 razor blades, 2 bundles ear buds, 5 face towels, 1 box sanitary napkin, 1 nail cutter and 4 more Safeguard soaps.
    Those items, I know, could not be considered tools for vote buying. They are cheap. The one thing that piqued my interest was a shovel, a new, still unused shovel which is very valuable for him because he is a subcontractor of the road project in the town, aside from being a farmer.
    The label was still attached to it and it clearly said Belgium Red Cross and in another sticker was the name of the manufacturer; Belgium Development Corporation.
    When he said that the items were from the Red Cross, I thought he meant the Philippine National Red Cross.
    The gifts were given May 7, 2010, a clear violation of election laws, and a clear violation of the use of donated materials for campaign purposes.
    Well, some people do not think that there would be someone like me who delve into details, however small they can be. And it was not a small detail because it was a donation from an organization from a foreign country used to gain votes from ignorant people who accepts anything that will help them.
    Well, I am hoping the Belgian Red Cross or the Belgian embassy would look into this matter. This is an unforgivable offense that should not be left unnoticed. Or maybe the Comelec can investigate as this is a very serious case of vote-buying.
    I’d be available anytime to help settle this matter.
    Thank you.
    Like I said above, he was for Binay so he did nothing to my complaint. I sensed it in his subsequent columns that he was against Roxas.

    • Joe America says:

      Gerardo, thank you for sharing your letter to Mr. Esposo. It reflects the reality of what it is like in the outlying barangays, where personal loyalties and small favors do buy allegiances. The groundwork is going on in my own barangay now as the locals meet to receive various gifts from “Bullion Buyers” or other unidentified sources. The allegiances – and the debts of gratitude and obedience – are being formed.

      I agree with the point that this soft “gift” form of vote buying will be hard to prosecute. Very different from hard cash. And so stopping it may be very difficult. Frankly, I believe Mr. Binay has an enormously effective machine on the ground across the nation. It’s akin to Obama using the power of the internet to reach the masses to win election; Binay has that kind of network person to person.

      And I agree that Mr. Roxas would be paddling up a mighty big river.

      • Gerardo Vergara says:

        I am thinking of an idea to help thwart the bid for the presidency of Binay. There is a draft of a letter that I am finishing that I plan to distribute to colleges and universities all over the country through the Internet, Facebook and any other social media. Hope you can or any other the same minded commenters give me a feedback/comment/critique if the words and the way I presented it and the the timing are appropriate.
        Here it goes:
        To the youth of the land,
        Corruption in our political system had reached unimaginable levels but the indictment of the corrupt politicians will not stop others from thinking of new ways to use taxpayer’s money to enrich themselves.
        ‘Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan,” was the call of Dr. Jose P. Rizal to the youth of the land then to take the lead in building a nation free from the shackles of foreign domination. You are not different from that generation, you are the youth of the land in these present troubled times being called to be active participants in the country’s affairs to make it a better place to live in and be worth dying for.
        I addressed this letter to you for you to mobilize to bring about lasting reforms for good governance. And there is no better time to start it than now because the social ills we had seen for a long time is badly in need of changes that you yourselves are capable of transforming into reality.
        Here are a few suggestions for the course of action that you can follow:
        1. Educate those who voted for people not qualified for the position(s) they ran for to enact laws and ended up the lawbreakers themselves;
        2. Engage in a relentless campaign to explain to ignorant people that any amount of money (lately called coordinator’s fee) or any kind of gifts from political candidates in exchange for their votes is compromising the future of the children and the future generations; that popularity should not be the basis to elect a public servant;
        3. Demand that all government records be open to the public anytime soon, that there is no need to enact the Freedom of Information bill into law because our government is a democracy which is defined as a government for, by and all the people so there is no need to keep all transactions a secret because it is our money, it is the people’s money (only records of national and other sensitive matters as enumerated in the bill would remain unavailable to the public.).
        4, To vigorously campaign to make people understand about the anti dynasty provision in the Constitution;
        5, To be totally vigilant in ensuring clean and credible elections;
        I wrote this letter because I have no doubt your intelligence and courage to completely change the culture of thievery, greed and shamelessness perpetuated by old traditional politicians, because I I believe you are much more matured in thinking about the good of the nation and would be much more responsible in preparing for a legacy of a good, transparent and honest government for your children and succeeding generations.
        Thanks in advance to those who could help me refine or reword the presentation if there is still a need to do such.
        Paging Dee/Juana Pilinas!

        • Gerardo Vergara says:

          The line ;”compromising the future of the children and the future generations” should end “to the devil.”
          And the last paragraph “I have no doubt about your intelligence”…was lost.

        • Joe America says:

          A very admirable initiative, Gerardo. I’m thinking that you ought to provide an e-mail address where people can contact you directly and confidentially for their inputs. It is hard to edit here in the blog discussion thread. You need not use your personal e-mail address, but can set one up specifically for this project. Then you can roll out the revisions to each person who engages with you.

        • chit navarro says:

          excerpt from the column of F. Sionil Jose in Phil. Star, June 8, 2014
          “Why We Are So Corrupt”
          The last question: Is there no hope for Filipinos then?

          The answer is with our youth. I always tell them, our heroes who wrote our history with their blood were all very young, in their twenties and thirties. For sure, many of the ilustrados joined the revolution for themselves. But Rizal, Mabini, Bonifacio and so many others did not.

          And we are a talented people, as illustrated no less by Rizal. No country in Asia has ever produced a man like him. When we celebrate his birthday next week, just remember, he was a novelist, a sculptor, a medical doctor, a scholar, a teacher and a martyr at 35 when the Spaniards executed him.

          • Joe America says:

            I read that this morning, too, picking it up on a comment to Raissa’s blog. That is an excellent article. It will go into the “Must Read” box, right column.

            He also points out that the “cause” is us, our apathy or fear of challenging the powerful and corrupt.

            Rizal was also a civic planner and builder of aqueducts. An amazing man.

            • chit navarro says:

              Yes, that’s where I picke it up. And I just shared it in my FB page so I can keep a copy. Great article indeed.

              My Scottish-friend has been telling me then that one of the main problem of our country is that the wealth is contained only in the hands of a few oligarchs… and this article articulates it so well….

    • Joseph-Ivo says:

      The Belgian Development corporation (BTC/CTB) left the Philippines in July 2007 at the end of their BIARSP projects in regions 7 and 9. Shovels in Kalinga in 2010?

      • Gerardo Vergara says:

        Well, I could only deduce that those items were not distributed to agencies/offices intended to receive and found by Binay’s boys. I was really taken aback upon seeing them so I had to write the letter to Mr. Esposo.
        I did not vote during that election so I really have no interest on whoever wins/won. It;s just not fair to the people that there was something they should have known but was kept a secret by that columnist.

  4. manuel buencamino says:

    Endorsement is not as great as it seems. An endorsement from Aquino or Binay, regardless of their popularity, will not make an unpopular candidate win. Pollsters have told me that data does not support the commonly held belief about endorsement. They say look at previous election results. Popularity they say is not transferrable. But names are transferrable like Aquino, Binay, Estrada, Poe, etc etc. So Mar can win if PNoy endorses him and if he changes his name from Roxas to Aquino. 🙂

    The thing about Roxas is the president has been trotting him out for some time now. He put him in charge of Zamboanga, of local calamities and all that. He handled those crises well but he failed to impress. He ratings did not go up. Why? Because he does not connect with people. People do not identify with him, he can’t get them to believe that he is the one they can hang their hopes on.

    Against Binay you need a stark contrast, an alternative. Who is the candidate who has a different narrative and who can translate that narrative as the vehicle for the people’s hopes and dreams?

    Binay’s narrative is already out there. It is a construct like Villar’s 2010 narrative and it can be torn down because it is a myth. But to destroy a myth you need a larger myth and that unfortunately is not yet out there.

    Grace Poe for all her protestations about her father being cheated did not campaign for her dad. She was in the US during the campaign. Her opponents can capitalize on this, paint her crusade as cynical. Secondly, her most trusted political adviser is Chiz Escudero. But still and all between her and Binay, I will vote for her notwithstanding her close association with Chiz Escudero.

    • Joe America says:

      You confirm my dire fears about President Aquino wasting his endorsement as I doubt Secretary Roxas will change his name from that wide and elegant boulevard in front of the American Embassy. If Grace Poe gets in the race, I hope she goes big time, not small time, and gets a big time adviser and marketing pro. I think there are ways to deftly handle the “in the USA” criticism.

      • manuel buencamino says:

        1. endorsement helps but it is not the key to winning.
        2. In a presidential campaign, negative campaigning is effective that’s why opposition “research” is expensive but of course there are many ways to handle criticism and that’s expensive too. Sometimes negative criticism is thrown so that valuable time and funds are used to counter it instead of it being used to advance the campaign message. It’s a question of who is better at it.

        • Joe America says:

          Well, I’d say Mr. Binay can be worked from the negative angle if his opposing candidate is so inclined. Poe would have to deal with the “Marcos offspring” accusations, her lack of experience, and leaving her family for the US (countered by her enduring, loving husband and family). It is hard to be rough on a lady who puts the welfare of children front and center in a lot of what she does. Plus her natural charm should neutralize the attack dogs somewhat. She maybe has to be willing to get nasty if that’s the way the campaign goes. It would be a fun campaign to track. Her big vulnerability would be if there were other candidates who split the “straight path” vote.

  5. Bert says:

    Could be that we are wasting some efforts here for Senator Grace if a hunch lurking in my mind is correct. And my hunch, based on old stories I heard, is that Binay has a deep family ties/friendship with Cory and family and specially with Pres. Noynoy that started way back from the early days of Cory’s presidency after she installed Binay as mayor of Makati. So deep the relationship was that Pres. Noynoy can’t possibly extract himself from it without being labelled as ‘ungrateful’ to the max. That means that Pres. Noynoy if and when given a hard choice between Senator Grace and Vice-pres. Binay, this relationship will bear much weight on the president. (Please bear with my English, guys. I’m scraping the bottom already and having difficulty, nahihiya naman akong tagalogin, kasi puro English kayo, heheh.) Another one…Vice-president Binay was FPG’s campaign manager during the election and also a family friend of FPG.

    That leaves three questions:

    1. Will Senator Grace runs against Binay?
    2. What chance has Senator Grace winning the presidential election without the support of the present administration, assuming that the president, being a Liberal, stick with Roxas who I think will definitely run for president also?
    3. With those two questions above, both dampers for our endorsement of a Grace Poe presidential run, are we not whistling in the dark here?

    • Joe America says:

      Absolutely fascinating, the linkages. Your excellent English makes that clear.

      I rather think that if Senator Grace Poe did not run because her family is too close to VP Binay, then she would prove that she, too, is just another of the entitled “power and favor” crowd. So I’d think, okay, good that she did not run. Then I would give up on the Philippines and retire my blog. They are all the same, why bother.

      Same if President Aquino endorsed Mr. Binay.

    • chit navarro says:

      Relationships –
      would this so-called deep relationship with the Binays go deeper than the family ties the President has with his uncle Peping and auntie Tingting? When Mrs. Cojuangco ran for senator, did the President endorse her? And we also read some articles about this family ties gone sour because of un-approved political requests?

      Come on, let’s give the President a greater heart that beats more for his country and for the people he serves…

      On Senator Grace’s independent mind – did she not favor the Liberal Party over that of UNA during the senatorial race? She put aside the friendship of her father and ex-Pres. Erap plus the issue with VP Binay and campaigned with the Liberal Party of the President. She also mentioned then that she had Senator Osmena as one of her mentors.

      And let’s pray that Mar Roxas is now seeing the light and will give way again to a winning candidate…

      • Bert says:

        CHEERS to you, Chit, for that very contagious optimistic assessments of the present political realities going to the 2016 presidential election. Because of that, and for the sake of our beloved country, my fingers are now crossed.

    • parengtony says:

      My answer to your questions-
      1. Yes, absolutely. Grace Poe owes Binay no “utang na loob”: it is the other way around.
      2. Let me put it this way: Even with the support and endorsement from PNoy, Roxas has no chance of winning over Grace Poe or Binay. Thus, if he and PNoy really want Binay not to be the next president of our country then Roxas will pull out from the race and PNoy will endorse and support Grace Poe.

      But even without the support of the present administration, Grace Poe is the only candidate who can and will beat Binay.
      3. Pardon me but your premise is wrong. The Grace Poe phenomenon is real and continues to snowball. Binay, Roxas, Bongbong, Manny Villar, Allan Peter, and Mirriam all know that she is the candidate to beat. Basic number crunching clearly show Grace Poe will be hard to beat in a one-on-one fight with Binay, three-way fight vs Binay and Roxas, or, more so, in a labo-labo like the 1998 Erap presidential victory.

      • Bert says:

        Why would Pres. Noynoy not want Binay, a family friend, president of the country, can you tell?

        • parengtony says:

          Simple answer: Binay and his allies have enriched themselves in office.

          • chit navarro says:

            another SIMPLE ANSWER: Pres. Pnoy would love to have his “tuwid na daan” initiative go on a longer way and keep China out of the country’s territory. With a Binay presidency, can we expect him to have the moral ascendancy to go against China? Baka naman ngayon pa lang eh nandiyan na yong kanyang pangampanya in 2016….

            another answer that maybe persona and close to the President’s heart – ayaw niyang mailibing si Marcos sa Libingan ng mga Bayani. With BInay as a President, that would definitely happen.

  6. Mariano Renato Pacifico says:

    Aquino’s pick is not Filipinos pick. Filipinos prefer colorful candidates. Colorful means controversial.

    A Good politicians do not garner headlines. Therefore, politically unknown.

  7. janice says:

    I quite find it amazing how voting habits are different in the US and PH. In the US, it’s a lot based on being a republican or democrat. in the PH, it’s if you are famous or not. Political party is irrelevant.

    There indeed is a conflict between the interest of the middle class and the poor voters in the PH. A good long term planner vs a seasonal “Santa Clause”. It is very frustrating. I want to see the PH move forward but the lack of wise voters makes me lose hope. A lot of poor Filipinos have really a bad view of spending money. There is no concept of “help myself” or “save for the future”. It’s usually splurge within a day..a mentality which translates to voting patterns. Poor Filipinos tend to vote those who “splurge” rather than vote those who have solid long term plans.

    what I fear with Binay is the efforts by this current admin would be undone if he gets elected. I especially fear his stance regarding China. Aquino, at least, had the self respect last seen during WW2 by not allowing Taiwan and Hong Kong to step on our dignity as a sovereign nation.

    It almost makes it necessary to cheat the elections to overcome this. or “harsh” implementation against votw buying. The PH was just lucky or had “tsamba” with Aquino…although some were better candidates than him, he wasn’t as bad as I expected with him coming from an oligrachy.

  8. chit navarro says:

    from the column of John Nery, Phil. Daily Inquirer, 24 June 2014
    1. A validation that Grace Poe is the best bet…

    If survey front runner Vice President Jejomar Binay shares this view, we should expect him to look for a running mate among his strongest rivals for the presidency. This, rather than the plunder and graft cases which have brought Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to the Camp Crame custodial center, may be the real reason Binay is (reported to be) considering other candidates. Sen. Grace Poe may be the ideal get; she looks like the only politician capable of beating Binay for the presidency one on one. But former president Joseph Estrada can use the same arithmetic to his son’s advantage; a threat to run against Binay (credible, in a multi-candidate race) might force the Vice President to run with Jinggoy instead.

    2. That the next President should be one who can continue the gains of this adminsitration:

    Despite the criticism against President Aquino (some of it well-deserved indeed), I find it hard to credit the notion that the 2016 elections will be a referendum on him. It’s still early stages, but 2016 might turn out to be not about change, but continuity.

    • Joe America says:

      Interesting. I had figured that Poe’s biggest problem would be a split of the “continuity” vote if people like Roxas and Cayetano stayed in the race. But Binay has that problem, too, with Estrada. Chess it is as the empowered push their levers and pull in their debts.

      • parengtony says:

        The “get nasty” role will more than ably be played by Susan Roces.

      • parengtony says:

        IMHO the “masa vote” far outweights the “continuity or the straight path vote”. Erap, Jinggoy, Loy, Bong R, Lito Lapid, and, most recently, Grace Poe have repeatedly proven this. Grace Poe will take more than 50% of the masa vote plus an overwhelming majority of the youth vote, the women vote, and the intelligent vote.

    • Janice says:

      ” That the next President should be one who can continue the gains of this adminsitration:”

      This is one of the main problem of Philippine politics especially if those who won are from the opposition. They totally get rid of the former administrations good projects and good plans.

      They may not like the previous admin but successive admins should try their best to be at least objective and adapt the good projects

  9. Bert says:

    Poe’s biggest problem would be the absence of a credible political party with sufficient logistics to make her the party’s standard bearer. Without Senator Poe in the picture will be a win-win situation for Pres. Noynoy—Roxas is his protege and Binay is a family friend. Which brings us to the question: Can Senator Grace win without the support of the administration if she runs?

    Granting that the Nationalista Party make her their standard bearer, what will be the positives going for her and the negatives against her if that happen?

    Will we here in Joe’s blog support her in that kind of scenario?

    • Joe America says:

      The Nationalista Party is anchored by Manny Villar. It has not been very influential during recent national elections, being rendered asunder by this split or that. But it has some notables on its roster: Manny Villar, Senators C. Villar, P. Cayetano, A. Cayetano, Trillanes, Santiago, and Marcos. Reps Imelda and Imee Marcos are also members. Both Senator A. Cayetano and Trillanes have expressed an interest in the presidency. So I presume they would have to step aside to back Grace Poe. I’m not sure either is so inclined, and even Manny Villar may still harbor presidential aspirations. So it seems not to be an easy deed to get Grace Poe as their candidate.

      I think Grace Poe could win as an independent, but having the Nationalista backing would obviously clear a path and give her some additional credibility, assuming Senators Cayetano and Trillanes threw their weight behind her. Frankly, I think she would do more to resurrect the party than the party making HER successful. Cayetano and Trillanes would have to be offered prominent roles in the administration (e.g., VP, Secretary of Defense). This is all top of mind speculation. Most interesting conjecture . . .

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