Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas will not be running unopposed on May 9, 2016 elections as Noynoy Aquino and other “bright heads” at the Palace designed it to be.
There was widespread anxiety that Malacañang would go for the kill and push the disqualification of Senator Grace Poe and the jailing of Vice President Jojo Binay.
And then, a little more tweaking in the paid poll surveys and a flood of disbursements from Noynoy’s presidential pork barrel for LP “epal” projects would have done it for Roxas.
I have nothing personal against Roxas, who served as a distinguished senator alongside senators Miriam Santiago, Kiko Pangilinan, Chiz Escudero and Juan Ponce Enrile.
But Noynoy’s dictations, or whoever dictates on the President, do not serve Roxas’ best interests.
Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte’s shocking announcement on Monday, the first day of filing of certificate of candidacy (COC), that he was not running after all saved Malacañang a lot of trouble.
If Duterte decided to go for it, maybe no amount of tweaking on survey ratings and a deluge of cash from the illegal Disbursement Acceleration Program would surmount his popularity like that of a rock star.
Duterte die-hards have, in fact, shaved their heads to push their unassuming idol to show up at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices to file his COC today.
It’s the moment of truth.
But, with or without Duterte, the ever-feisty Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago was expected to turn in her COC for the presidency.
This would be her second run for the top post since her controversial loss to former President Fidel V. Ramos whose vote counts skyrocketed after a massive brownout.
So, with this development and more, Noynoy’s designated heir apparent Roxas does not stand to run unopposed.
In fact, Santiago will give Noynoy and cohort a run for their money.
This development, too, will only legitimize what was becoming to be a farcical moro-moro on May 9, 2016, what with all the kenkoy nuisance candidates filing their COCs.
How about a Duterte versus Santiago for a main event?
Hold your breath for today’s moment of truth!
Tolentino a public servant through and through
Meanwhile, I would like to commend my friend, erstwhile Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino who turned in his COC for senator.
The highly-educated lawyer wants to serve the nation, period.
Tolentino, who was initially included in LP’s Senate slate, is running as an independent after he asked to be removed from the 12-member ticket following the “Playgirls” controversy.
He was unduly blamed for some LP members’ impropriety, as well as that of the performers, during their number at Mar Roxas’ induction of some 40 new LP members in Laguna.
Tolentino said he wants to move forward from the controversy with his Senate run.
If elected, Tolentino said he will prioritize disaster recovery and rehabilitation and urbanization problems.
Tolentino was a well-loved mayor of Tagaytay City before he accepted the MMDA post. He is a public servant through and through.