Presidentialitis: the most contagious disease in the world


No one would spill the beans–the full story rather, on the PNoy-Poe meeting  but some details are emerging, courtesy of Senator Grace Poe herself. Here they are:

• They met, talked about politics, and President Aquino did not categorically ask Ms. Poe to be the Liberal Party standard bearer in May 2016.

• Rather, Mr. Aquino beat around the bush and told her, obliquely perhaps, that  the LP might look for alternatives given the poor polling of the party’s  fair-haired boy, Mar Roxas.

• Ms. Poe was thrilled by the meeting. Even without a direct acknowledgement on the part of the President that Mar Roxas  might be set aside in favor of a competitive candidate, there was that hint that the  LP’s coronation of Mr. Roxas did not generate enthusiasm from Mr. Aquino.

Parsing through the polite and guarded  conversation between Mr. Aquino and Ms. Poe, political junkies can  nonetheless feel  what was couched  by the words said in that civil conversation. That was the  sense of desperation that the LP is in right now, just a year before the next presidential election.  The words of assurances  that Mr. Roxas is the  unanimous party choice to run for president have all but foundered with the PNoy-Poe meeting.  Had there been no real doubts about Mr. Roxas’ ability to win,  that meeting would have not taken place.

The PNoy-Poe meeting admitted in so many words  that so many things remain  in play in so far as the LP presidential draft is concerned.   And that the statements about the “Chosen One,”  which came from real heavyweight Frank Drilon to imaginary heavyweight Edgar Erice, should all be taken with a grain of salt.

In Philippine politics this is the norm. The final decision on who gets to run for president rests on the  incumbent president of the republic and the PNoy-Poe meeting  all but suggested  the internal tensions that  are right now  tearing apart  the LP. It spoke of a dominant political party, the head of the ruling coalition, looking at a very bleak post-2016 scenario.

Or, we can put it this way. A party looking for a savior in the person of Senator Poe.
Senator Poe has been in the headlines these days, the result of the LP’s search for an alternative to Mr. Roxas. But to the Manila Times, it is old news. The  first commentary that she was  the most  viable challenger to Vice President Binay in the presidential race  came from the Manila  Times and that was written in this space way, way back.  The headline of that column  was something like this: “Poe and Opo are Mr. Binay’s nightmare words.”  The column was not one of political prescience but rather a simple realization that the LP, despite Mr. Aquino’s soaring approval ratings then, lacked a viable and winnable presidential candidate. And that all presidential wannabes had to reckon with the daughter of the late Fernando Poe Jr.

What was actually the new thing about the PNoy-Poe meeting was Senator Poe’s reaction to the meeting. Before, she had this Elizabeth Warren-like resolve not to run for president.

Senator Poe did not, like Warren, threaten to put an exclamation point at every sentence that declared her lack of interest in the presidency. Like Warren, however, her sworn lack of presidential ambition  was done on a sustained basis. She said she wanted to stay in the Senate and learn.

Now, it is all too clear that while she sounds coy about her political future, Ms. Poe is open to changing her mind, and, if  and invitation comes,   she might accept a draft from the LP.
No one, even the most level-headed, cannot but catch the deadly virus called presidentialitis.

If Ms, Poe is hard-hit by that virus that also  goes by the name “Pasig-Yearning,”  and does so  with the official anointment of the LP,  she will  be a formidable candidate.  Right now, a section of the mainstream media  is boosting her up. This is the same section of the media that has thrown every corruption story at the Binays, whose patriarch is the putative frontrunner in the 2016 election.

One of the so-called “ Wise Men” of the country had said positive statements about her and that “Wise  Man” has an enormous clout within the business community. A non-stop reruns of her father’s action films, which a giant network is currently doing, would also be of immense help.

With all these things going for her, the question is this: Are these enough to topple Mr. Binay?

The  recent surveys have brought Mr. Binay’s figures down to earth but he remains  the candidate to beat.  A lesser candidate would have not survived the incessant accusations of massive corruption but Mr. Binay has.

In 2016, should Ms. Poe gets the LP draft, we are guaranteed of a competitive fight. Forget the other wannabes. Think of them as the Carly Fionas and  Ben Carsons of the Republican Party primaries.


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  1. Si FPJ sa mga movie niya at ang icon niya ay “isang bala ka lang” Kung si Da king ang naging president noong 2010, baka siya ang sabihan ng mga magnanakaw sa congress na “isang bala ka lang”

  2. As I have predicted, Senator Grace Poe will never be the Official Presidential Candidate of the Liberal Party in 2016. Senator Poe fell into the tongue trap of the President by giving her false hope that the Liberals are looking for somebody who could continue the reform the Aquino government started. What reform anyway?
    Senator Poe and her supporters must think hard, because the Liberal Party needs a faithful and not a principled ally on their side as their official Presidential candidate next year.

    • Lahat ng TELE serye na gawa sa ABS CBN ay advertisement para sa mga Aquino..Sana ang papalit sa pangulo ay imbestigahan kung paano nabalik sa mga Lopez (Questionable) ng walaNG BINABAYARAN. Di rin natin masisisi ang mga Lopes dahil may personal deal sila ni Saint Cory in exchange for free return of ABS CBN

  3. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    20 May 2015

    It is too soon to think that Grace Poe, the apparent choice of President Aquino to be his successor, will be “IT” as the LP candidate by next year.

    Realistically, the situation is still “fluid” as far as who the final opposing presidential bets will be. It cannot be certain that it WILL be Jejomar Binay against Grace Poe.

    While it is true that Jejomar Binay is still ahead of the polls right now, his poll numbers are on a downward trajectory with all those revelations of ill-gotten wealth which could total in the billions of pesos. Anything can happen between now and May next year.

    And what about Grace Poe?

    Again, she may be right on top as of now, especially with President Aquino obviously favoring her. But her political “plus,” being “clean” because being a Neophyte as far as corruption is concerned, may actually work against her when push comes to shove. And it does not help her a bit when she declared recently that if elected President, she would take her DIRECTION from President Aquino. What? This can only mean that President Aquino, after retiring, will be enjoying a virtual additional 6-year term as President “behind the scenes” with Grace Poe as his marionette!


  4. Who really is Grace Poe Lamanzanares(?) She is being projected as the rising star of Philippine politics. But who is she really? Nothing much have been said about her other than she is an adopted daughter of FPJ and Susan Roces, that she studied and worked in the U.S. One cannot believe the fairy tale that FPJ/Susan found her in Church somewhere in Iloilo. They know her biological parents but wont tell. But are the few information about her enough to trust this woman. Was her past few performances in the Senate enough for the entire public to trust her with the affairs of the Philippines? For our future? Everything is up in the air and the people of the Philippines deserve to know who Grace Poe is. Until we are satisfied of her background, we must not allow ourselves to be used by PNoy for his own sake.

  5. Amnata Pundit on

    There is an even worse disease and it has no name. Its symptoms are blind belief in the cheapest of the cheap Yellow propaganda. This time, the yellows have succeeded, again, through their lying surveys spread through the lying and /or gullible media that the choices are limited only to Binay and Grace Poe. You would think that after so many years of mal and misgovernment by a succession of yellow presidents especially the last two, GMA and this retardate, the people will want to have a non-yellow president this time. But it seems the people are hopelessly masochistic they still prefer a yellow to take over this latest yellow, and of all the yellows possible they narrowed the choice between a Pinoy Al Capone who comes complete with a dynastically inclined family and another Cory and whose crude opportunism is betrayed by her only qualification and that is that she carries the name of FPJ. Do we know anything about this woman’s spouse who is being carefully hidden from public view? Is he another Mike Arroyo or Elenita Binay? You can bet the farm that either Binay or Grace Poe will be the next president if nothing is done about the Comelec cheating machines, which means as far as the yellow regime goes, we have not seen the bottom of the barrel yet ! For whatever its worth, the most anti-yellow combination possible is Erap with Bongbong Marcos as his Vice-President. Walang pantapat ang mga dilaw diyan, lalo na ang LP(Lapiang Palpak). THERE IS NO HOPE FOR CHANGE AS LONG AS THE YELLOWS ARE IN POWER !

    • Yellow is a Chinese skin color. Bribing is a way a Chinese got a deal right away…yellow yellow

  6. The best combination – binay and duterte.
    Simply because they would break the vicious circle which has taken the philippines nowhere in 50 years, and because it would reduce control from the US, and might decentralise government from imperial manila.
    They could play a bad cop, wannabe cop scenario and shoot up pnoy aquino et al.
    It would be a political earthquake which would shake the foundations of the establishment.
    Personally i don’t like either of them, but change, like medicine, can sometimes be unpleasant, but necessary.

    Poe would only be another puppet. She would hardly make the grade as an HR manager in the corporate world.

    • That tandem would be beneficial to those seeking to strengthen the LGUs and eventually push for federalism.

  7. Dominador D. Canastra on

    Very good column as usual, Mr. Marlen Ronquillo. God bless you and your piggery and farm. Anf the common people of Pampanga and our whole country.

    • Ibalik ang issue ke Binay para makalimutan ang citizenship issue ke Poe,parang sa Masasapano..Mga trolls against Binay U are all weakening now do more demolition please

  8. Nag-uumpisa ng kumandidato si senator Grace Poe at bistek,inuumpisahan na ang kani-kanilang Tele serye, upang lahat ng masang pilipino ay hindi malimutan ang kanilang pangalan!
    Gaano kalaki ang binayad ni kay coco martin at ang abs-cbn ang lahat ng nagplano nito! Dahil ito ang pinakamalaking bussines ang nakikinabang kay Aquino!
    Ang anak ng panday ang taga pagtanggol ng dilaw na kulto at ng pamilya Aquino!
    Habang maaga dapat magising itong si Poe na ginagamit lang siya!
    Kaya lang parang lumalabas na kinikilig siya na maging pangulo!
    Halata sa mga binibitawan niyang mga salita!
    Kapag nanalo si Poe,para na rin nakawala si Aquino sa lahat ng nagawa!!

    • tama ka marcospolo, si boy sisi ay naghahanap ng kanyang ‘insurance’ pagbaba nya sa poder. kay boy pickup ay wala syang maaasahan kasi tiyak hindi mananalo si boy pickup at kulungan ang babagsakan ni boy sisi. kay biNoy, baka isalba sya pero definitely hindi isasalba ni biNOY sina bff lolo (NG) frankiski, abadingding, proscy, lolo sb. lalo na si lolo (NG) franksiski na sya, sa pakilasa ko, ang nagdidirektor sa aksyon ng 3stooges sa senado laban kay biNOY

    • Marcospolo–Itanong mo ,ang daming qualified as Chairwoman sa MTRCB, baket si poe na regular ang ang naging buhay sa USA ay na appoint ni Beho..Siguro ay gustong ma exposed sa public,hindi kase puwedeng maging artista dahil buko na ang klase ng gimmick na yon