BEHIND THE LINES: The presidents PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 09 January 2015 11:42



Los Angeles, CA. — Binay. Poe. Santiago. Escudero. Cayetano. Estrada. Revilla. Roxas. These are the surnames that may appear on the ballot in the 2016 presidential elections.

In the most recent Pulse Asia survey, Vice President Jojo Binay leads the flock of “saviors” with 26 percentage points with an estimated votes equivalent of 14.3 million, down by 8.25 million votes. Sec. Mar Roxas, obviously the choice of Malacanang, is way behind the pack with six percent, which has an equivalent of 3.3 million votes, definitely not an ideal number for victory. Sen. Grace Poe is second with 18 percent, behind Binay by 4.4 million votes. Poe is gaining points because of Binay’s declining popularity as a result of allegations that he made tons of money in several Makati contracts. Running third is Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago. But she said she will only run if she’s healthy. (I hope her cancer disease isn’t a prank.) I don’t see the name of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the surveys yet. But his name will crack up once the December surveys are out.

So now, we have a wide choice of candidates (good and bad) to replace the present occupant of the palace along the Pasig river. Who will be PNoy’s anointed one will be announced by mid-year. There will obviously be only one administration candidate, and from the looks of it Mr. Roxas is it no matter what the surveys reveal. The opposition will likely have two or more candidates. How the electorate will vote in 2016 will depend on how much money is thrown at them by the candidates and how efficient the PCOS machines work. Don’t worry about the teachers manning the voting centers. They’re as incorruptible as the Pope.

VP Binay claims to be the architect of Makati. Not so fast, hijo, counters Vicky Garchitorena, an former executive of Ayala Corporation. In her rebuttal to columnist Perry Diaz who contributes for U.S.-based Philippine Today, she argued: “It is not true at all that Binay made Makati what it is. As everybody knows, Makati was already the premium city before Binay even became mayor in 1986. Makati was the vision of Col. Joseph McMicking (who is he?), which the Zobels continued, built on and modernized from generation to generation.”

She continues: “In fact, the very large part of what Makati is known for is within the Central Business District (CBD), which has been constantly refreshed and redeveloped by Ayala Corporation and Ayala Land in coordination with the Makati Commercial Estate Association (MACEA), an association of all the companies and businesses in the CBD. For example, the underpasses and pedestrian overpasses were primarily funded by the MACEA.”

Having said that, what then has VP Binay contributed to make Makati the number one city in the Philippines. I’m sure the list is also long, for he would not have stayed in power for a long period of time. I’m also sure that VP Binay will publish his accomplishments a day after he formally announces his presidential bid.

And what of my new-found idol, Rody Duterte? I’ll let his spinners take care of that — including former President Fidel V. Ramos who, with then Presidential Assistant for Mindanao Paul Dominguez, engineered the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines (BIMP) East Asean Growth Area (EAGA) road map of diplomacy, trade and economic advancement.

The Liberal Party, like the U.S. Republican Party, or the Establishment, has a tough time picking its presidential timber. Right now, the LP is stuck in the quicksand with PNoy’s best dish, Sec. Roxas. PNoy wants his promise to Roxas made in 2010 unbroken. Roxas then must survive the “torture” of being ostracized by his own party-mates, the Taclobanons and the media. He is bringing up the rear of presidentiables. But, who knows? It might be a story of an underdog leaping over a pitbull.