Roxas 2nd has become an object of ridicule, a butt of jokes

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Whatever the recent presidential-preference surveys say, the President’s bet, and  the declared candidate of the ruling Liberal Party, Manuel Roxas 2nd, is really out of the race – roughly the current version of the 1992 ruling-party bet Ramon Mitra in that year’s elections.

In both cases, the early talk was that a strong party machine and overflowing finances would push them from the No. 4 and No. 5 ranks to the winning spot on election day. From the 20 percent levels Mitra was registering months before May 1992, he finally ended up fourth, with just  14 percent of the votes. Meanwhile, former Philippine Constabulary chief Fidel Ramos won with his 24 percent and the firebrand Miriam Santiago, the runner up with 20 percent. Both had tied at the No. 1 slot for months before the elections.

But Roxas is in a much, much worse situation. Browse the social media and you can’t miss the conclusion: Roxas has become a figure of ridicule, the butt of very funny jokes and Facebook memes. And nobody, of course, takes a circus clown seriously.

Vice president Jejomar Binay is accused of corruption during his term as mayor of Makati; Grace Poe Llamanzares is weighed down by issues regarding her citizenship and lack of experience; Duterte by his Dirty Harry thinking and empty braggadocio.


In contrast, people no longer  bother to discuss Roxas’ culpability in the “Yolanda” aftermath, or for his bungling of the MRT-3 project, which had made Metro Manilans’ daily commute a hellish experience, or for his paralysis while 44 of the elite police troops under his command were being massacred in Maguindanao. He is, instead, being laughed at, or ridiculed, for his “epal” attempts to endear himself to Filipinos by portraying himself as Mr. Palengke and Mr. Kargador, even for falling off his motorcycle in a post-Yolanda episode.

Indeed, I can’t fathom why Roxas would allow photos of him taken in such ridiculous situations – lying down in what appears to be dry ice in a warehouse, pretending to be a tricycle driver, furiously directing traffic in a drizzle, carrying a sack of onion or rice.

Two of the funny Facebook memes vs Roxas.

Two of the funny Facebook memes vs Roxas.

His  silly attempts to portray himself as not a rich brat but a man of the masses have been just too much for Filipinos not to laugh at.  That is precisely the common thread in comedy: an egoistic person’s failed attempts to be somebody else, as exquisitely portrayed in Charlie Chaplin’s “The Dictator.”

What if I eat…
That he is now the butt of social media jokes was demonstrated in a cruel Facebook meme showing Roxas in deep thought, with a thought bubble in Filipino: “I’ve run out of gimmicks, what if I eat shit?” (see image). Vulgar as that may sound, the meme was posted on a lot of FB walls.

Another recent example is a photo of him supposedly in a Cebu university enthusiastically waving to students crowding several floors. On nearly each of those floors, though, were posters of Duterte. I myself had believed that picture to be authentic. However, the FB post turned out to have been “photo-shopped” by Duterte’s supporters, and the unaltered photo didn’t have the Duterte posters. That it didn’t enter my mind, and that of most FB viewers, that the funny photo might have been altered is proof that I had also begun seeing Roxas as a bungling fool.

A presidential candidate being ridiculed is the surest sign voters no longer consider him a serious candidate. At best, he would be someone from whom they wouldn’t hesitate to accept a campaign T-shirt or even money, but would think  demeaning for them  to vote for. Manny Villar in 2010 was ridiculed as the rich guy who claimed he “swam in garbage” in his youth, while Joe de Venecia in 1998 was dubbed the “mouse.”

One of Roxas’ big mistakes was leaking through a PR man his information that Duterte had cancer of the throat and would unlikely finish the race. Other than the fact that that PR guy’s Facebook page had all praises for Roxas, it didn’t, of course, require much sleuthing in to find out who was financing the PR operator. A smart candidate would have leaked that kind of information to another candidate. As a result, Duterte was livid, and for a few crucial months threw all his deadly vitriol against Roxas.

Now, what candidate would cross swords with a street-smart politician from Davao (or for that matter Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City)? People from that area (and in Tondo as well) have developed amazing skills in the art of ridicule, and the Filipino translations of their Visayan tirades even underplay their hilarity.

Roxas even fell for Duterte’s taunts, which not only made him more ridiculous but also a wimp, somebody from a convent school pretending to want to fight a street-smart hoodlum.  “Pinatulan” is the Filipino word difficult to translate exactly into English but which best describes Roxas’ clumsy responses to Duterte’s threat that he would slap him if he saw him on the campaign trail. (Roxas said slapping was for girls and that he preferred a fistfight. Duterte retorted by challenging him to a gun duel, which silenced Roxas.)

Of mice and men
Aquino’s plan to set up a Yellow Dynasty by having Roxas as his successor has, indeed, become a classic story whose essence is captured by that famous quote from Robert Burns’ poem: “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

Starting 2014, they undertook a full-blast campaign with the Senate and the Ombudsman as tools, to bury Binay under a hail of corruption charges, and they spent nearly a year and a half for such an expensive operation.

Either it was too early, or was based on really very flimsy grounds, or appeared to be so much of an Administration plot that people ignored it. Proof of that is Binay’s 33 percent voter-preference rating (Poe has 23 percent), the highest among the candidates in Metro Manila, which has by far the most developed media infrastructure that disseminated efficiently the charges against him.

The character-assassination campaign failed, with the charges believed  only by Aquino’s naive core yellow supporters, mostly from the upper classes, who, however, make up less than 10 percent of the voters. After retreating at the height of the attack, Binay’s ratings rebounded – at the best time possible, which was a few months before election.

And election campaigns (as well as basketball games), as most political strategists (and coaches) know, are games of momentum.

The Aquino-Roxas duo also didn’t realize that Grace Poe-Llamanzares had enjoyed the taste of  power so much that she refused their offer for her to be Roxas’ running mate, which they thought was a done deal and the dream team.  Llamanzares as presidential candidate instead eroded much of Roxas’ base, which already had been battered by his Yolanda ineptness, corruption at MRT-3 and drastically, by the Mamasapano massacre. And now, if Llamanzares is disqualified, her votes – private surveys show – won’t go to Roxas or Duterte, but to Binay.

With their hubris, Aquino and his Yellow Cult had believed surveys of the President’s high “satisfaction ratings” that they were unable to sense the public’s disgust, especially that of the poor, with them. To package himself as the Daang Matuwid champion has been Roxas’ monumental error, forgetting that Aquino wasn’t voted to office because of his principles but out of sheer sympathy over his mother’s death.    Duterte – from all places, a frontier town – emerged, rallying around him the anti-establishment crowd. Totally unexpected, Duterte has become Roxas’ deadly nemesis, and Binay didn’t have to do anything in terms of negative campaigns, which is what most voters want a candidate to be, i.e., somebody who doesn’t pull another one down.

All the while,  Binay has been doing the crucial ground-campaign, not only handshaking with and hugging the masses, but touching base with mayors and governors all over the country, who, time and time again, have proven to have the power to tell their constituents whom to vote for.  Duterte doesn’t have time, physical energy, and finances to export his charisma and ground campaign outside Mindanao. Voters will smile and nod as they take Roxas’ money, but they’ll laugh at him as soon as he turns his back. If nothing drastic happens in the next 62 days that would hit Binay in a big way, and if Llamanzares is disqualified, we’re likely to see a landslide victory for the vice president, as President.

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com

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59 Comments

  1. Crisden Canonce on

    This is a very rational, fair and intelligent point of view. The issue with Roxas is that he cant really relate to the people and vice versa. If LP wanted to create a dynasty, they must have a better campaign strategy. People nowadays cant already be fooled by the trivialities that Mar Roxas has been doing in the past and portraying what he is not. It would have been better if Mar has been presented for what and who he is, then focus on what he has achieved and will achieve. Another action that the LP and administration is the continuously POLITICAL ASSASSINATION to the oppositions. Right now, almost all the opposition candidates have pending cases certain branches of court. If the Aquino administration wanted really to be appreciated by the Filipino people, THEY NEED TO PROSECUTE ALL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS (both appointed and elected) who have been accused of wrongdoings. The problem with the current justice system in the Philippines is that as long as you are allied with the LP, then you will have no case BUT if you are in the oppositions, rest assured that filing of cases, suspensions and termination. In the end, there is only one thing that is TRUE—-FILIPINOS WERE FOOLED AND NOW VERY DISAPPOINTED about the LP tagline used during the last Presidential election which is TUWID NA DAAN…Waalng mahirap pag walang kurap.. IT IS A MYTH..and, the Filipinos have already been RECOVERED FULLY from INCANTATIONS of that MYTH….

  2. Listen up people of the Philippines and ignorant of technology, remember that PCOS machine is in control of the programmers. If a candidate can afford to buy the codes for him, then he wins.

  3. Bakit ang mga pinoy hindi pa din natututo pumili ng taong mamumuno s bansa nya?ilang presidente n nagdaan, pare pareho lang sila. nagbabago lang pangalan.this country is run by the elite for long time now.umunlad b ang pinas s democracy?i hope filipino will wake up and choose the right leader not because of personal gain wag n po tyo magpabola s mga corrupt at incompetent n leader.nilumot n s gobyerno pero hanggang ngayon lugmog p din s kahirapan,droga,krimen at corruption ang bansang ito.ang presidente po ay isang serbisyo publiko hindi po ito sindikato.

  4. If poe is DQ’ed, that doesnt necessarily mean botes will go to binay. You are just biased and trying to condition the mind of the readers. Whatif poe is DQ’ed and she announce support for another candidate other than binay the anay?

  5. Maribel A. Calanda on

    By this time of the campaign period, the people has already made a choice. It is Roxas to blame if he is the butt of jokes now. At the first presidential debate, he was kind of rude against Binay in particular. As if Binay is really the man to beat. Besides if God is with Binay, what else can we do? God has His own choice too. He loves us all, His leaving creatures. Hence, He does not abandon the choice of His heart. That is how I feel in this whole thing.

  6. I agree with most of Mr. Tiglao’s analyses about Roxas. What I didn’t share is his view that Noynoy was elected because of the people’s sympathy on the death of his mother, Cory Aquino. I know the sentiment during that particular period in May 2010. The people voted for Noynoy, myself included, as we are looking for somebody that will change the deterioration and the corruption and mismanagement of the country perpetrated by Gloria and Mike Arroyo and their toadies. In short, what the voters look after is someone who is exactly the opposite of Arroyo! Not the “Daang Matuwid” “Daang Matuwid” na ‘yan.

  7. I believed that if Grace Poe is disqualified, no one will vote for her. Tama ba?

  8. Emmanuel Yap on

    Even if he was. This is the truth. Binay’s ground campaign is solid and widespread. If a lot of our citizens are only after dole outs Binay will win. And i don’t like it.

    • Looks like Binay will be the next president. There is a big possibility the Grace will be DQ. There are a lot of Filipinos that are poor and rely on dole outs. Look at Makati. Roxas do not stand a chance. Poor Philippines, from one incompetent president to the next corrupt president.

  9. Emmanuel Yap on

    It is normally expected to be higher as Roxas has the Billions of campaign funds, mainstrean media (ABSCBN) and current administration support. Basically it is value over money, all he got was a measly 21% after all the spending, effort and campaigning.

    Your vote is precious and sacred. Learn to determine corruption by yourseld.Google Mar overpriced vehicles.

  10. I am not for VP Binay but sobra naman talaga ang ginawa nila kay VP Binay kahit wala ebidensiya ginawa nila puro katarantaduhan.si Koko Bar Topnotcher anong nangyari at bakit nagpa gamit siya obvious naman na humiwalay si VP Binay sa kanyang partido PDP-Laban,

    Partido ni Evil Dictator Cory at pinalakas ni Adolf Hitler Pnoy at kung maalala ninyo nag tayo siya noong congressman pa siya pangalan ng partido kung hindi ako nagkakamali Partido Laban ng Bayan isinama niya sa PDP Laban.

    Ngayon obvious ba?

    • Napakayaman sana ng Pilipinas pero mula Presidente (namahinga lang noong term ni Cory) to senators and mayors and generals puro kurakot. The cases are submitted with proofs. Totoo po lahat yon.Philippines economic growth is at all time high at 6 percent while almost all other countries are at negative and still in financial crises.Those lost quadrillions should have been for each of you Filipinos.

  11. It wouldn’t be so bad if Mar’s online supporters (a.k.a. trolls) behaved in an adult and logical manner. Instead their posts are full of ad hominem attacks against anyone expressing an opposing view that sounds out of place in mature discourse and more like kanto boy taunting. But what can you expect when they have no logical defense? What can you expect when their master is given to profanity himself? There are even some trolls who will copy/paste verbatim the same comments on every article attacking Roxas and the LP, usually concluding it with specious logic or outright non-sequiturs.
    That said, we shouldn’t let our guard down despite the bufoonbish antics of Mr. Roxas and his minions. There is always the magic of PCOS…

  12. Si DUTERTE ang alternative na kandidato para sa 2016.

    Huwag kayo’ng mag PA UNGGOY sa Magnanakaw na Binay – at sa Judas na Balasubas na INUTILE na Mar Roxas na ka clone nang Lahi nang mga Traydor na Noynoy Aquinoy…

  13. Garci and Hocus PCOS will win the presidency. With all the money from Customs and Yolanda who do you think will win?

  14. Because the writer is mature and has wisdom. He knows that the allegations against Binay may not be true and just demolition job by his political enemies.

    After 5 years or more, wait for the news if Binay will be convicted by the Sandiganbayan, and ask yourself what happened to the evidence or accusations previously hurled by Binay’s critics and political enemies.

  15. marco del rosario on

    BECAUSE ALL SURVEYS WERE TAILOR-MADE FOR THEM BY THE SURVEYING COMPANIES OWNED BY THEIR RELATIVES OR KKK AND OF COURSE, BY HUGE SUMS OF MONEY! WHATEVER THEY DO, IT WILL ALWAYS TURN OUT, THAT ROXAS WILL NEVER EVER BE A PRESIDENT! IT’S THE END OF THE YELLOW REGIME! JUST VISIT THEM IN JAIL!

  16. it is so shameful for roxas to be center of redicule, i have seen alot of FB post in regards of him. poor man trying to reach out but its too late. i never trust him and never will. no presidential candidate is better, it is another 6 years of miserable philippines.

  17. I will vote for Mar. but, Not this coming election! maybe after he can really prove he is ready for the task.

    • Ang inutil kahapon at inutil ngayon ay siguradong inutil pa rin bukas. Kaya sorry di mo na maboboto ang idol mo.

  18. Pro C Edillo on

    Why should Pres. Aquino fear whoever is elected president of the country? Has he plundered the government coffers or has he committed a non-bailable offense(s) during his term in office?

    • In 2 mos. time his immunity from suit will be lifted and the avalanches of administrative and legal cases will coming in from north-south-east and west. I am resigned to the idea that whatever happened to GMA after her downfall will surely be imitated but this time with extreme pain and harshness. And the same group of friends and balimbings will be the terminators as they will turned their backs on their master as usual to keep the dynasty alive (Hindi pa Na sila kukunin Ni Lucifer)…

  19. This time we need a president to bring up the moral of our country. President with iron hand. PEOPLE MUST VOTE WISELY.

    • If its going that way. But if going to ther way Binay gonna cry on his way to jail if its proven that he corrupt during his term as a makati mayor few years ago.

  20. Alden Sindac on

    Binay the kurap will hit the big way??? Gods must be crazy !!! God forbids na wag si Binay— si Santo Rodrigo na lang sana ;)

  21. From your lips to Gods ear…and to the masa’s vote. We need to send those freaking yellow-tards to jail.

  22. It is obvious that you are rooting for Binay! If Poe is disqualified you said that votes won’t go to Roxas or Duterte, but to Binay. how sure are you about that? Maybe you hope but the game is on! You described binay as .”touching base with mayors and governors all over the country”, as if other candidates are not doing it. Truth? They are all doing it! If you look at pages and pages in facebook, duterte who of course is my candidate, has been everywhere. Yes, you said that he doesn’t have time, physical energy, and finances to export his charisma and ground campaign outside Mindanao” but fact is, the people who want real, honest, true change are doing so many things for him IN the US alone, he has so many supporters, and their impression of Binay? “Oh no, not another corrupt man!”. I defended him saying there is no ruling in court as to his guilt, but NO, people who came across him or lived in Makati for a long time argued with me. To say therefore that Poe’s votes will go to Binay, yes, that is your hope, fervent hope, but you know that this preference rating of binay is not fool proof right? That is a fact! So you can only wish, as we do the same, but for us not another politician with no clean record, but to a new guy who may have a 50/50 chance of improving the country, but much better than binay’s 30% chance of honest change.

    • agree ako!

      ang mga taong naniniwala kay Poe na hindi kurap, ay mas malamang na lilipat kay Digong than Binay…sa impression, may common denominator (Poe and Duterte) pa ang dalawa than Poe and Binay.

    • Platform of Duterte and Cayetano is more than enough to give hope to the Filipino people especially from the Extreme North, South, East and West of our country. God bless Duterte and Cayetano the hope of the oppressed people of the PH.

  23. Because the ordinary people see the hypocrisy, incompetence and inefficiency of Roxas. Sorry to say but only the kultong dilaw will vote for him

  24. Because the ordinary people see the hypocrisy, incompetent and inefficiency of Roxas. Sorry to say but only the kultong dilaw will vote for him

  25. I still believe that plan (b)inay to save panotsky is in progress. It’s obvious, right?

  26. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Wrong projection, timing, advocacy, platform, etc. The “daang matuwid” has totally become the “daang masukal” puno ng masalimuot na sanga-sanga. God save the Philippines.

    • Better check with Aquino and Smartmatic since they will pick the winners in the next election just like in 2010 and 2013.

  27. If G. Poe Llamanzares is disqualified. Her voters will be logically split among remaining candidates. Miriam rating will shot up 1% and Roxas 1% up too (maybe). The other 2 candidates (Binay & Duterte) ratings will rise also by mere 6% each only.

  28. What is it with these rich kids and their mothers? Cory pushed her unico hijo into politics, despite knowing full well he was not up to the task. When he ran for senator, his campaign line was “Lagot ka sa Nanay mo”. When Mar’s politician brother died young, his mother called him back from NYC where he was enjoying a bachelor’s life (never mind if he was a small-time investment banker). She wanted to him to fulfill her dream of him becoming the president Gerry Roxas never was. Had Mar been more diligent in his job instead of pretending he did this and that, he might have had a chance.

  29. Sino ang matinong pilipino ang gusto sa karagdagang 6 na taon ng paghihiganti,kapa bayaan(Yolanda,bohol lindol,etc),panunuhol(CJ corona,etc.),pagmamasaker(SAF440) ,smuggling(rice,onion,etc),paglala ng huweteng etc.Kasi si NOYTARD ay lahi ng traydor(lolo ay makapili noon panahon ng mga hapon) at lahi ng mga balasubas(ninu no niya ay niloko ang bansa sa pagkakuha sa Luisita) kaya walang matinong gagawin sa kapakanan n masa ang gago.

  30. Asa pa more….if Grace is disqualified her supporters would vote for Binay? Hahahaha……Funny so funny…the truth of the matter is….Digong will have the last say!

  31. Laughing stock of history.Pnoy had been trying so hard to put one of of his YELLOW clone,to evade all the errors he have done to the Philippines, and to the people. Now he is desperate to put anybody or do anything.Mar Roxas take the bait from his former boss. In what cost?..I saw Binay doing his part to be a leader,but what I have been seeing is… He goes only to the Barangay or captains mayors peoples with already has so much money. Binay to have done nothing for Yolanda.Its time to change you guys do not put Pnoy’s clowns ever again..

  32. Do those yellow clowns think that L they flash with their hands means Liberal Party or something ?

    It means Loser.

    The whole world knows that it means loser except the yellow tards apparently.

  33. juandelacruz on

    I beleived that Grace Poe if she will be disqualified her vote will augment Digong candidacy.

    • itaga mo sa bato si senator grace poe is the next president at si digong mo ,si binay ,si muramar ay talo .

    • one of the objective of grace is to release jingoy. erap is part of una including binay. ask erap about this. fpj run for pres. cause erap is incarcerated.

    • I’m sorry but I beleive that Poe will not be disqualified. With Danding and San Miguel finances, 3 justices will be swayable plus Noynoy’s dirty 5, that will be majority. Itinapon na sa basura ang constitution.