WHEN the fight is tilted, bases loaded and fair play is an exception not the rule, the unopposed strategy of the LP is bothersome to candidates, campaigners and the voters at large. The unopposed strategy focuses on removing opponents to a Roxas candidacy. Removal can be in so many ways but the end goal is to have a weakened opponent that would have no pulp by Eday.
Both Erap and Duterte launched warning shots on the 2016. Erap launched his before the filing of the COCs with the statement that removing Binay and Poe would mean Erap running for the presidency. Then Duterte issued his on the last day of the filing week again with the statement, “yung isa ididisqualify at yung isa naman ay ikukulong…” Duterte further hit the LP camp on the underhanded play LP paid hacks executed about the so-called sickness of the Davao City mayor. Duterte even issued a salvo that he will reveal the truth behind Roxas and that he will not vote for him. Telling signs as LP sets to fry everyone to make the anointed candidate, Aquino 2.0, fly and win the elections by May 2016.
Why are people exposing the unopposed strategy of LP? Is it because Roxas is weak and the only way for him to fly is to decimate the opposition? Is the LP boxing in Roxas so he cannot depart from the Tuwid na Daan narrative? Is a rigged election in the design? Would an Andy Bautista in the Comelec allow such design to prosper?
Or, is Roxas a changed man after the 2010 elections? The man that got out from the forest is still consumed by the bitterness of the 2010 elections that he is showing to everyone, I can play your game. Some LP members are even saying that the presidency is a birthright for Roxas; a statement, when uttered showed disdain to the anointed. Is LP gaming 2016?
Clearly, LP leaders wanted Poe to be their vice presidential candidate. There were no issues about residency when the VP was offered. With rejection, the operatives went to town and exposed Poe. LP is telling voters that they are all dumb and they will not see through the operations. The requirements for any presidential and vice presidential candidates are the same. So why go on overdrive when Poe said no? Why would LP want a Poe for VP with “residency issues”? Why did they get Poe to be candidate in the Senate last 2013 when they knew already the risk? Look at the trajectory of her poll numbers and you will see the impact of that operation.
Then you have Binay who was ahead of everyone a year and some months ago. His “crime” is said to have been done while he was mayor. The Senate was used to obliterate Binay. For 24 hearings, the longest in the history of the Senate, Pimentel, Cayetano and Trillanes pummeled Binay. Binay’s ratings went down at 20%, the lowest ever but the so-called Three Stooges’ ratings also went down. Hardest hit was the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee, who never really shared the lights with the Three Stooges. Guingona’s rating went down such that he is in an alarming position for a re-electionist. Sad because Guingona started well with all his legislative measures and infographics explaining and doing public consultations on the measures he has been filing. He was roaring on the Lumad killings but ended up with a whimper as the heat got nearer certain personalities.
The double-barreled attack on Binay hit the Vice President and the mayor of Makati. Imagine the timing of the dismissal of Junjun and the ruling by the OMB on the perpetual disqualification from holding public office made on a Friday and near the filing of the COCs. These two rulings were made despite the fact that the cases are on appeal. Then guess who filed as LP candidates for Makati? Pena-Mercado, now how clear is that for all to see? Need the public ask for more proofs of how LP plays?
Roxas of 2004 was a decent man. He never designed campaigns to hit opponents. His was a case study on political campaigns but something happened to him in 2010 and he is exacting revenge for that defeat. Revenge against Binay for the NoyBi; revenge against Escudero for the Machiavellian and clinical execution right under his nose and the willingness to be framed by an Aquino to ensure victory come 2016. Mar, as an investment banker and with all his private sector experience is more than a Noy. The reality though is he cannot shine more than his principal in his appointed capacities. As DOTC and DILG heads, he floundered the rising pyramids. Previous to this, talk about Roxas and you talk about innovation and excellence. Today, he is far from that man and yet he insists in playing the gallery with TND just to get him pass the end line. The barometer keenly looked and studied by all is the support from Capiz, the bailiwick of the Roxases. And the alarm bells have been sounded.
Why would a Santiago and a Duterte run be important in 2016? Because a 4th and a 5th candidate would derail the unopposed strategy being implemented by LP. It is not easy to hit Santiago, especially with strong bases in Iloilo and the millennial generation . Will LP use the “Brenda” tag on Santiago, knowing she just came out from a cancer bout? Would LP train their guns on the husband, Jun Santiago? Would LP even touch the issue of Santiago’s dead son? Heartless, but as one LP insider said, “it needs to be done.”
Same with Duterte. He has a base in Mindanao and the Duterteserye seems to remain enchanted with their candidate, imagine a public chant in a Makati mall when Duterte suddenly showed up Sunday evening. Duterte has up to December 12 to push the envelope further, all bases covered. Can LP beat Duterte in his game? Can LP launch an attack to a declared mayor candidate? Will LP search deep into the perceived sins of Duterte? Will a mud-free, well-funded Duterte, by December do a switch? Unopposed? Throw it out of the window. Santiago and Duterte have the upper hands for now.
The default conclusion of a 4-way or 5-way race is that we will have a minority president, if not plurality. True, but it should be the challenge of campaign teams to try to exact majority to ensure the viability of democracy, 2016 and thereafter. Binay has the ground organized but it needs cohesion. Rallying it to the max is a function of resources and the freezing of accounts is a challenge. Poe is popular but a DQ, played in a timely manner, could crack the knee. Santiago? How do you solve a problem like Miriam? Hit her, you hit Ilongos, right?
Even before LP’s endgame scenarios are played, the clearing operations need to be implemented. To LP, proceed with caution because an Erap-Duterte combined isn’t hunting season. Then you have a gathering storm with #abstain4president2016, settle for less or voters take a stance for nothing at all? “Promises to get beyond partisanship are the most perfunctory sort of campaign rhetoric, almost as empty as the partisanship itself.”