Last Friday’s and Saturday’s newspapers bannered stories about Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares “overtaking Vice President Jejomar C. Binay as ‘frontrunner’ in the 2016 presidential race.” There was also a report about the non-performing President B. S. Aquino 3rd regaining his political “rating” from the ocean floor. Those reporting and writing the news treated the non-event as a major event. Many were instantly deceived. But the whole thing was a farce.
The stories were based on alleged surveys conducted by our two most notorious propaganda pollsters. Pulse Asia is known as “False Asia” to many Filipinos, while SWS is owned and operated by Grace Poe’s adoptive uncle, Mahar Mangahas, whom many like to call “Mahal Mang-Ahas.” Their survey “ratings” do not come for free; they are normally handsomely paid for, except that the arrangements are never disclosed.
Who paid for the surveys? Why were they conducted? We will never be told. In the US and Europe, these are the first things they disclose to the media and the public before they are allowed to disseminate their “results.” Not in these precincts. We are caught in a perverse propaganda and mind-conditioning game, in which whoever pays the fiddler calls the tune. But the fraudsters will never confess who are paying them. They even managed to get a court ruling in their favor, saying these transactions are strictly confidential.
Those who had earlier suspected that Binay had locked himself into a permanent arrangement with the fraudsters since 2010 are now saying he was finally outbid and outmaneuvered by Malacanang and the oligarchy which would like to make Grace Poe president despite her not being qualified for the office under the Constitution. Something like this happened to Sen. Manuel Villar, the surveys’ early favorite in the run-up to the presidential elections in 2010.
Then, as now, it was a mind-conditioning game. Villar was the most moneyed candidate with the most number of TV ads about his rise from his own version of the “log cabin.” He had a brother who was reported to have gone to school with Mangahas, and this reportedly explained why he led all the propaganda surveys in the beginning. Former President Erap Estrada had a fair share, but former defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro, a topnotch lawyer with an immaculate government record, who gave the most intelligent answer to every question put to all the candidates on TV, was nailed to a small percentage in the ratings game, just because he was Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s official candidate.
When finally the unremarkable Sen. B. S. Aquino 3rd entered the race upon his mother’s death, without any special qualification other than being his celebrated parents’ son, the two polling firms with interlocking directorships related to the Cojuangco-Aquinos, quickly gave him a suspiciously high rating, which later shot past the roof after his camp accused Villar of being GMA’s “Trojan horse,” calling him “Villaroyo” (for Villar and Arroyo). Villar’s rating instantly crashed, and Aquino took the lead.
Thereafter, Aquino claimed he would lead his closest rival in the elections by five million votes, except that GMA would cheat him, so he would be forced to claim his “victory” through “people power.” This panicked GMA and her financial backers, led by the same RR who is reportedly leading the current charge in the business sector to make Grace Poe president, to enter into some kind of political “pre-nuptial agreement” with the Aquino camp. Comelec Chairman Jose Melo led the effort to divest the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) voting machine of all its security and safety features and accuracy mechanisms in order to deliver to PNoy his claimed five million votes-plurality over Erap, his closest rival.
The same formula is apparently being used now to shoehorn Grace Poe into the people’s consciousness. Thus, the stupid surveys. There is only one reason for these surveys, and Malacanang does not even have to say it. Do the people believe them? They are no longer as naïve and gullible as Malacanang believe they are. But it would be good to have a totally untainted polling firm run a survey with several thousand samples and ask this question: “Do you or do you not believe what Pulse Asia and SWS have been saying to the voters?
The fraudsters’ failure to disclose vital information about their surveys is not the first reason why I call the whole Grace Poe exercise a farce. The more important reason is that the surveys are based on patently false assumptions, which are primarily meant to deceive. Let me explain this. There is, as of now, no presidential race to speak of. And there are as yet no presidential candidates from which to pick a possible president. The “samples” (individuals) interviewed—assuming real people were interviewed—were reportedly asked to choose a “possible successor to Aquino” from a short list prepared by the pollsters, of individuals who may have paid to be included in the list, rather than an open-ended list of individuals qualified to become president.
Although Binay had been leading the “trust ratings” for years, assuming the trust surveys were honest and scientific, what was being measured in his case was the public’s trust in him as a vice president, and not public support for him as a “presidential candidate,” which he is not yet. In simple English, he was a “frontrunner” in the trust surveys, but not a “frontrunner in a presidential race,” which doesn’t yet exist.
Now, if Grace Poe is not even a natural-born Filipino, how could she possibly be a “frontrunner” in any presidential race, where only natural-born Filipinos are qualified to participate? It is simply absurd. The situation would not have been any different had the fraudsters included Hillary Clinton in their surveys and then said that more Filipinos, who did not know the President has to be a natural-born Filipino, and did not care whether or not Clinton was a natural-born Filipino, preferred her to anybody else as a possible presidential candidate. The numbers, even if true, would be simply irrelevant and immaterial because she would not be qualified to run at the end of the day.
To make the point clearer, the Philippine presidential race will happen, if it happens, only in May 2016, when we elect a new president. It will begin when and only when the official campaign period begins six months before the election. Candidates will be required to file their official certificates of candidacy in October. For now, there are only presidential “aspirants,” men and women wanting to run for president. They are all self-nominated, and will remain self-nominated until they run. All of them are trying to procure favorable “survey ratings” to help them promote their self-nomination. But however high their ratings, they could run only if they are qualified to run, under the Constitution.
In the case of Grace Poe, she is simply not qualified to run for president or vice president or even to remain as senator because she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen and she does not meet the residency requirement for presidential candidates. Most Filipinos do not know this, and most of them, including PNoy, RR and a few other tycoons, do not seem to care. But the fraudsters knew this or should have known it, and should not have included Grace Poe among the possible “choices.”
Instead of excluding Sen. Bongbong Marcos from the possible choices, they could have put him in, if only to see if people had any real appreciation of the patriotic stand he has taken on the Bangsamoro issue where Grace Poe and all the others have simply buried their heads in the sand. This makes the whole Grace Poe survey exercise absolutely outrageous and damnable. But why oh why did they do it?
I do not want to believe my own sources when they tell me the reason for this utter madness. But they have never given me any false or erroneous information before, and now they tell me that PNoy and his cronies are convinced that with their money and political clout, they could use the conscript media, the NGOs and other organizations to create an artificial clamor for Grace Poe that would drown all opposition, including all appeals to common sense and the Constitution, which provides that “no person may be elected President (or vice president) unless he is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines, a registered voter, able to read and write, at least forty years of age on the day of the election, and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election.”
I believe I have established, in this column, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the fact that Grace Poe Llamanzares is not a natural-born Filipino citizen. “Natural-born” is not a medical term to describe a baby born the natural way rather than through the Caesarian section. It is a legal term, which Section 2 Article IV of the 1987 Constitution defines as one who is a citizen of the Philippines from birth “without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect (his/her) Philippine citizenship.” Those born before Jan. 17, 1973, of Filipino mothers, who elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority are also deemed natural-born citizens.
Born stateless as a foundling found by a pious woman inside the Jaro Metropolitan Cathedral in Iloilo City on Sept. 3, 1968, Grace Poe was adopted by the actor Fernando Poe Jr. and his actress wife Susan Roces soon after they were married on Dec. 25, 1968. It is not known how she became a Filipino citizen, since her parents and their nationality were unknown. But this obviously involved a legal process, which prevents her from claiming she was natural-born, pursuant to the Constitution. She later renounced her Philippine citizenship to become an American citizen. She became a Filipino citizen again, after renouncing her US citizenship in 2012.
According to the US Federal Register, the daily journal of the US government, this happened during the second quarter, ending June 30, of 2012. Did she pay the US government $450 or P2,350 as “severance” fee, and was she issued a certificate of loss of US citizenship? There are no details. But this was supposed to have happened two years after she became chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, which requires a Philippine citizenship, and one year before she was elected to the Senate, which requires a “natural-born” Philippine citizenship, and a residence for at least two years immediately preceding the election.
Numerous lawyers have pointed out that although she claims to have returned to the country in 2005, she continued to use her US passport until Dec. 27, 2009, was issued a new US passport in 2011, and she lost her US citizenship only in 2012. Therefore she was not qualified to run as senator in 2013, and is not qualified to run for president or vice president in 2016.
Why then are PNoy and her backers pushing Poe for 2016? Because they believe, my sources insist, that with a maddening media-generated clamor for Grace Poe to run, and with the PCOS machine completely under the control of Malacanang, any legal attempt to stop Poe from running would be quickly overtaken by the results of the hocus PCOS operation. The cries of “voxpopuli, vox Dei” (the voice of the people is the voice of God) would then inflame the air, even if the results were simply manufactured by Smartmatic and the rigged PCOS machine.
There is a more important reason. I wrote about this, completely tongue-in-cheek, in my column last Friday. Completely unbeknownst to me then, a few hours after I had written what I thought was a joke, PNoy and his sisters were reported to have talked about the infinite merits of his running as vice president to Grace Poe. This apparently is the latest political brainstorm. It would be risk-free. The PCOS machine would take care of everything, and after the election, Aquino would take care of Grace Poe. Whether or not she is finally disqualified, she would have to step down, leaving Aquino to reoccupy the presidency.
This is clearly insane, but insanity and criminal ambition recognize no limits. Aquino is determined to rob us of everything— our basic liberties, our inherent dignity, our essential sanity and common sense, our hard-earned right to have a government and a country. And he seems to believe he has already won, just because so many of us will swallow the grossest nonsense from the stupidest surveys.