Ping and Miriam: Rekindling their dormant presidential dreams

Marlen V. Ronquillo

Marlen V. Ronquillo

Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson is so preoccupied with learning the business of large-scale, Marshall Plan-scale rehabilitation and reconstruction work that he has very little time for things not related to that. But it is safe to say this: Once in a while—and in a tangential manner—he is reminded of his failed presidential run and maybe thinking of 2016.

Looking at 2016, let us be clear about this, is not a major preoccupation of the former senator and failed presidential candidate. But it is something that he cannot pluck out of his system. Especially now, and under his current circumstance, he cannot but look at 2016 with moist eyes.

The work of a rehabilitation czar is truly significant for many reasons, and the least of these reasons is the cabinet rank it carries. If the rehab work succeeds in a dramatic fashion, he will be instrumental in literally lifting out lives and entire communities from the rubble. On a personal realm, he will reap many rewards from the success, in an awesome fashion, of the rehab work. The has-been tag, the loss of his son in Cavite politics, the age factor and many other negatives will all be obscured.

The success of the rehab work, once properly managed by his political aides, will be his opening into another presidential run. Who knows? As his mistahs often say, dreams don’t die.

Clamor for a leader
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago does all the cozying up with student leaders in the various campuses in a context of what she perceives as a leadership void. The young are clamoring for a leader who can speak in the language of the 21st century and who can articulate their dreams and their hopes and Miriam sees no other leader who can do that but herself.

Who knows where the standing ovations in the campuses would lead to? And 2016 is a real possibility.

The good government and anti-corruption issues, issues from time immemorial, have found their traction now and across all sectors, particularly the youth, the issues resonate deeply. Miriam has been busy advocating these issues. She is, in the process, hitting two birds with one stone. She can step up on her bitter war with senate colleague Juan Ponce Enrile and position herself as the lead political leader at the forefront of an anti-corruption crusade.

Miriam, who claims she won over Ramos in 1992 but was cheated of her true votes, does not carry out her crusades with 2016 uppermost in mind. Far from that. In a sense, she is just like Lacson. If there is an opening and the circumstances favor a presidential run, why not?

The operative word here is “ opening.” Had there been no release of a special COA audit report, Senator Santiago could not have taken the high ground on anti-corruption issues. Had there been no Yolanda, Lacson will not be where is in today – the reconstruction czar with the chance succeeding, which in turn, would help him recapture his old political gravitas.

That Senator Santiago and former Senator Lacson are now in a position to rekindle their presidential dreams injects a fresh dimension into preparations for 2016. Right now, 2016 is a simple formulation. Vice President Binay will run and is doing most of the preparations. He has the money, he is popular and there is a perception among the political class that he is the “inevitable president.”

Also eyeing a run
DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is the unanimous choice of the LP leadership and his President Aquino preferred successor. Should he run, he will have the ruling political coalition behind him. And on that basis alone, Roxas will be a viable presidential candidate. To rule out Roxas as a viable contender in the 2016 race is a bit premature.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is likewise preparing and the fact that he will be the third candidate does not even faze him and his aides. There is a gung-ho quality to his preparations, patterned after President Obama’s insurgent campaign in 2008. A big money man, who backed Lacson earlier and backed Manny Villar in 2010, is the principal money man behind the young Cayetano.

Who among the three expected presidential candidates will be affected by the entry of either Lacson or Santiago or both?

In case Santiago makes another run, she will have to share the anti-corruption plank with Cayetano, who first shot to national attention by accusing Mike Arroyo of having a large stash in foreign banks. Miriam is more articulate but Cayetano can point out to a solid track record in that area.

Lacson’s possible campaign narrative—that he can get things done—is claimed by neither Binay nor Roxas so he is alone in that area.

Talks of 2016 are still premature and the political map may be altered dramatically by the time the campaign period commences. Still, it cannot be denied that the circumstances have opened the possibility of Ping and Miriam reviving their dormant presidential dreams.

If an opportunity is present to be president, why not? Old dreams never die and their embers are just waiting to be rekindled. It is as simple as that.


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  1. Miriam, being the only independent one, no political dynasty or baggage, and from the masses herself can understand, and effect massive changes in govt…

    Imagine having a fresh crop of cabinet secretaries who ARE REALLY QUALIFIED, and not just because they are political allies…nor friends…

    She should not worry so much about NOT having much money, because this time, I am sure, the next ELECTION will be a different, a la OBAMA type of election, real grassroots..

    Let us let the younger generation select new leaders and chart their future…

    We have always chosen wrong,because older voters are always emotional, sentimental voters…

    It is a fact, the future belongs to the young…let us support their choice…

    Miriam almost became a president, anyway…this time she will succeed, I for one will be willing to gamble on her…

    After Pnoy….that should not be so frightening….

    MIRIAM 2016! Clean the govt and the corrupt system…

  2. If PING succeed, its not yet the time for him to run at this time, people will think he will be an OPPORTUNIST. He will further do more work to enhance the reconstruction of the region. They best time will be the next presedential election whereiin he had built enough for his ambious plan to rebuilt our BELOVED philippines. Its not ripe for him to run this coming presedential election.

    If he succed in the REHABILITATION of this typhoon plagued areas, his next moved will be THe BUREAU of CUSTOMS which our country needed immediate reforms. In this regard the goverment will be able to collect the needed taxes due to goverment.
    and also we needed YOUNGER generations to run our different agencies and start weeding out those CORRUPT officials.

  3. Miriam will do good to run as independent to avoid political indebtedness to party member who are expecting to be appointed to various government position in the executive branch. Bayad utang or pabor ika nga. The politicians in imperial Manila is making our government a laughing stock. We need Miriam, fearless and decisive to execute a genuine change in the government.Tiyak hindi matuwa ang mga negosyanting nag monopoliya sa ating enerhiya at langis.They will spend there millions to support a politician that serves their interest. Take a look at the Aquino government….isn’t it funny that a mere Mall robbery would get there ass out of Malacanyang instead of Tacloban and of the whole Visayas region. What a shame and funny too because they are like clowns of the owner of SM Mall…

  4. Swak again ang opinyon mo Mr. M. But will u please give us a hint who is the wealthy one who back Villar who is himself very wealthy? I don’t know if Binay noticed that Tanda and Bigote are now heavy baggage in his Presidential run and do something about it pronto before it’s too late.

  5. Yeahhhh! Only Miriam Santiago can straighten out all the mess that the LP and Pnoy have brought to bear on our hapless citizens…

    She is smart, disciplined, truly fearless, woman-of-action, and very importantly, NO political dynasty, and is from the masses, NOT an oligarch butt-kisser like the others…

    Only Miriam/ perhaps with Briones, or Bongbong Marcos…as VP…

    She is the only one “sane” enough to be president…

  6. We preferred Sec. Lacson as a President. Good luck sir, do your new task to rebuild the Eastern visaya with success. Don’t fail our kababayan to your leadership and credibility.

  7. Of those mentioned, in my opinion, Miriam D. Santiago will do the most good for the nation. She seems to embody the ideal of “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
    In 1992, she ran for Pres. because of the clamor for her to do so. The other people mentioned in this article will be running because of personal ambition, not because of a deep desire to help the country.
    The Philippines has had too many leaders who were corrupt and spent most of their time stealing gov’t. funds. This has gone on too long. Santiago will be different from the usual Commander-in-Thief.
    So she gets angry at people sometimes, so what? Her anger is directed at stupidity, time-wasters, the corrupt. It is righteous indignation. Most honest people in her position, being exposed to all the corrupt Senators and time-wasters, would get angry, too.