SECRETARY Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), who is trailing in surveys, won’t suffer the same fate former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Jr. had in the 2010 Presidential Elections, Dasmariñas Representative Elpidio Barzaga expressed on Tuesday.
Barzaga, who is the vice president of the National Union Party (NUP), said his alliance is yet to decide on whom to support for the 2016 Presidential race.
The lawmaker pointed out that while a candidate’s competence is not really easy to sell among voters, Roxas is not in the same position with Teodoro six years ago.
Barzaga said President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who has remained popular even with less than a year to go before his term finishes, would boost Roxas’ campaign.
Teodoro, on the other hand, was endorsed by then-President Gloria Arroyo whose ratings were at rock bottom when she reached her 10th year of office because of massive corruption allegations.
“This is like selling a product. The product must be good. Both Mar and Gibo are intellectually qualified, highly educated and had solid government [work]experience. But they have different circumstances because GMA (President Arroyo) was really unpopular at that time. Given the situation, we also had a weak lineup [for the Senate slate],” Barzaga, who supported Teodoro in 2010, pointed out.
The lawmaker, however, said history has shown us that competence and formidable machinery—something that Teodoro had and Roxas has right now—would not be enough to win the Presidency.
Barzaga said elections, especially the Presidential polls, are similar to going to war wherein you should have an army [political leaders], ammunition [logistics], soldiers [supporters]and strategy.
“We have seen that if you have the mass appeal, you can be elected regardless of your qualifications. It’s about time that we change that and our approach to voters. Emphasize that everybody, professional or not, educated or otherwise, should participate during elections because each vote will all count equally: as one. It’s just unfortunate that those who can discern the candidates more would rather not participate,” Barzaga, a lawyer, argued.
“But why should we really vote for somebody? Should we vote for candidates because we are relatives, kumares or friends with them? We should vote for someone for his/her experience, performance, vision and intellect to do good things for our people,” he added.