The lady who said ‘Yes’ and the lady who said ‘No’

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In the game of courtship, be it in politics or in life, you can say “yes” too soon. You could miss much better opportunities.

And you can also say “no” too quickly and too often. No one may come around anymore to seek your hand, when you have lost your bloom.

I see these hard lessons of life playing out in the unfolding drama of the politics of 2016 as would-be candidates mix and match in order to fashion the best tandem for the coming balloting.

You would think that Vice-President Jejomar Binay and former local government secretary Mar Roxas, having formally declared their candidacies, would each have found by now a suitable running mate.


But oddly neither has had much luck.

Binay, the acknowledged frontrunner in surveys since pollsters first started to ask voters, has found no one to dance with him. Everyone he’s offered the slot to has turned him down.

Roxas, taking a different tack, has set his sights on getting a woman politician as his running mate. Alas, he’s like a fresh college graduate who cannot find someone attractive to hook up with him.

Roxas has literally gone everywhere offering his hand in political marriage and has been turned down.

The situation is so odd and troubling, it is spurring analysis and speculation, not just by pundits but by the gentler sex.

The lady who said ‘Yes’ to Roxas
The lady/woman who said “Yes” to Mar Roxas at the altar – onetime broadcaster Korina Sanchez — is silently stewing in her seat, as her loved one flails wildly to get a running mate for 2016.

“Why,” Korina must be wondering, “can’t Mar find someone to dance with him? He’s healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Roxas first offered the slot to Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares, not once but several times, and has been coquettishly refused, not once, but several times.

Next, he offered it to Batangas governor and one-time movie superstar Vilma Santos-Recto. The offer raised speculations that they could be a popular tandem. But Vilma, on the advice of her husband, Senate President Protempore Ralph Recto, declined. The prospect of a Senate presidency for Ralph is not inducement enough.

Next , Roxas decided to offer the slot to Congresswoman Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur, the widow of former Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo. Roxas was joined by President Aquino no less in Naga City to try to persuade Leni to run with him. The lady politely turned them both down, pleading the exigencies of local politics in her province as requiring her to stay home.

With three high profile suits coming a cropper, Roxas is now reduced to finding another lady, or settling instead for a politician of his own sex.

The situation is so dim, it’s now being seriously suggested that Roxas should offer the vice-presidential slot to chief peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer.

Ms. Ferrer negotiated the deal between the Aquino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) that produced the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) bill.

Media observers say that Ferrer has a vote base in Muslim Mindanao because of her exertions for the MILF’s dream state. President Aquino may give this pairing his blessing.

Korina is not amused.

The Lady who said ‘No’
Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares is intently watching developments in Mar’s search for a running mate.

She has framed offers of a vice-presidential spot against the background of her own itch to run for president in 2016. This has served as a blinder that simultaneously makes her both unseeing and clueless.

While she plays hard to get, the possible candidacies of other rivals are slowly but surely catching fire. Most notable are the possible bids of Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

These are serious possibilities looming on the horizon. If ever Marcos and Duterte decide to run together, they could unleash a political tsunami as big as typhoon Yolanda. The politics of 2016 will be totally transformed.

I wrote some three weeks back that Grace Poe could become yesterday’s news if she does not grasp the nettle of the choice before her.

She has played deaf and dumb about the serious criticism leveled against her by columnists, and the recent complaints against her before the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the Commission on Elections. She has made no effort to coherently answer questions about her citizenship and residency status.

She plays both the coquette and kiss-and-tell in her talks with presidentiables and matchmakers. After failed negotiations, she invariably tells the media what has been discussed or not discussed.

Perhaps she is hoping to get an offer she cannot refuse. Opportunities are flitting by her.

She looked on nervously when the Roxas-Recto tandem was floated and headlined by the media.

When President Aquino and Roxas both flew to Naga to court Robredo, Grace thought her gig was up.

These telltale signs that Roxas is moving towards a decision soon has made Grace realize that she could disappear completely from national politics, if she does not play her cards right.

This has led her and her handlers to frantically grab at straws to sustain her political relevance and popularity. This shows in the banality and amateurism of her recent moves, such as:

Floating a statement by her eldest son that his mother is close to making a decision about her presidential candidacy.

Grace blaming Mar Roxas and his partymates for the charges before the SET and the Comelec.

The confused handling of her supposed alliance with the Nationalist People’s Alliance (NPC), which is now wracked by desertions into the Roxas camp.

Do the lady who said yes and the lady who said no cancel each other out?

Perhaps. It increasingly appears that Grace Poe does not have the political smarts to navigate effectively through these choppy waters.

Her best options could now be behind her, not in front of her.

In the volatile and unpredictable politics of 2016, some “presidency-or-nothing” politicians will become irrelevant. And new contenders will surface and get to the frontline of the race.

yenmakabenta@yahoo.com

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14 Comments

  1. Our best hope for the future of the country in the next six years is for Duterte and Marcos to run for president. If they don’t, then I will leave the space for president and vice president blank.

  2. Please do not vote for this woman, Grace Poe Llam
    anares. Gising mga Pilipino huwag tayong tanga. High time to unite stop this woman!!.

  3. Christopher Robbins on

    Are you sure that the VP slot was offered to both Santos and Robredo?

    There is nothing in news that Roxas has indeed made any offer. It was floated as an idea like what he did in jest with Garin but no formal offer. All guessing game at best. What Roxas said in record was he will not look at alternatives until Poe makes a categorical turns down the offer.

    • Christopher Robbins on

      “…What Roxas said on record” “…until Poe categorically turns down…”

  4. Duterte-Marcos tandem is okay. They both have disciplinarian genes to repair and restore for good the rotten moral fibers of our society. They also both have the guts to face China, the eagerness to prevent the creation of a “state within a state” the MILF really want to have, and the clear determination to restore death penalty for drug lords and druggists alike.

  5. This nation under Grace can not confront China if the present danger escalates further.

    If Pnoy can not throw those innocent garbage back to Canada, how much more for Grace to drive away China from our own backyard?

    She can not use her other passport to fetch help from the other side of Pacific.

  6. How about her being campaigned for , her campaign being managed by foreigners
    like her son (American ) and Jim Paredes ( Australian ), arent they violating laws by engaging in local politics ?

  7. Vic Penetrante on

    The difficulty of finding running mates for Roxas and Binay is a bad sign for each of them. The surveys could be right, as Jose Rizal said, “Filipinos love to gamble.” People always gamble on a newcomer, considering ‘political experience’ even bad. ‘What could be worse than their present life’ is their way of thinking.

    • Binay has no difficulty finding a running mate…usually, those eyeing to be VP are the ones seeking out from the presidential wannabees….Roxas is the only exception to that as we can see happening now….

  8. “Her (Grace Poe) best options could now be behind her, not in front of her.”
    I like it. I am actually frightened of a Grace Poe presidency. I am quite sure she will bend the law in her favor, not unlike the present one. Just look at how she confronts the citizenship and residency issues. It also puts her honesty and patriotism in doubt. She seems to be an opportunist. I even doubt her capacity to govern. How will FPJ help her? In her infomercial which comes out frequent, she brings out her father as “matolungin” among other virtues, prompting my wife to blurt out, “Ay naku, matagal nang patay tatay mo, ginagamit mo pa.” Would it help her in governing the nation? I just pray to the Lord, to have pity on the Filipino people and spare us of a Poe, Roxas or Binay presidency.

    • Matulungin sa kanyang mga pelikula. It’s all make-believe and Grace Poe wants us to believe that all those make-believe attributes of FPJ would carry the day for her.

  9. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Grace is nearing irrelevance. Her questioned credentials are basic and very fundamental. What she needs is to face the issues squarely and truthfully and if necessary be humble enough to admit her fault of persistent lying. Only then could she recover and recovery might be very slow because politics and justice in the country are taking time. May she and the others not forget, country first before self interest. God bless the Philippines.

  10. Her hubris and ego serves her right. So new to politics, so Trapo.TUTA pa ng big business. So likely TANGA pa.