MANUEL “MAR” ROXAS 2ND and his godfather now sitting lamely in Malacañang are nonchalant about, on the one hand, and dismissive of survey results, on the other, showing Mar trailing behind Sen. Grace Poe or Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The former Interior secretary and President Benigno Aquino 3rd shrug such results off as a poor indicator of the sentiments of the electorate, whose real appreciation of whatever it is Roxas—standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) in the May 2016 elections—stands for as a candidate for the highest post in the land would supposedly translate into votes for him as the next president of the Philippines.
If the respondents’ replies to questions from the pollsters, however, do not rub Roxas the wrong way, he would attribute the people’s perceived faith in him as being borne of daang matuwid (straight path), the good governance mantra of the Aquino administration.
Unlike the LP bet, Poe thanks voters, telling them that, to use her apparently favorite word, she is “humbled” by their casting their ballot for her if presidential elections were held today.
Seemingly wiser than Roxas, who seems to have a penchant for repeating or explaining himself too much, she just shuts up if the numbers rank Binay, not her, as No.1 in the surveys.
The Vice President, like Poe, an independent presidential candidate, also expresses gratitude to the electorate when he is up there in the polls and nothing more, except perhaps vowing to deliver on his campaign promises.
Poe’s tack seems to have been adopted by her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, who also just thanks the people for their apparent vote of confidence, especially after topping the latest Pulse Asia survey.
Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., a rival of Escudero in the vice presidential race in the balloting three months from now, apparently also knows that humility works in showing genuine gratitude to those who believe in him and what he espouses as a candidate for Vice President.
In the same Pulse Asia poll, Marcos took second spot, with his fellow senator nursing what looked like an insurmountable lead (33 percent against 23 percent).
But some quarters have other plans for him.
A group of leftist activists has threatened to bring Marcos down–hard, they swore—and so he has a really serious catching up job to do on Escudero.
These radicals, so-called martial law babies, apparently have not been big believers of surveys, especially when it comes to who should lead this country in the next six years.
When the poll numbers were unkind to Marcos, Judy Taguiwalo and company seemed not to give a hoot about his candidacy, perhaps seeing that the senator does not stand a chance in whatever of making it as the No. 2 official of the Republic.
But when the surveys began to show that the only son of the man despised by these Marxists may actually pull it off, Taguiwalo, a University of the Philippines professor, and apparently a few others formed Carmma–Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang.
It looks like Carmma is joining the anti-Marcos front a bit late in what seems to be a throwback to 1986 when the Philippine Left was said to have been poised to seize Malacañang, only to pay the price for its buntotismo (literally, tailism, in the radicals’ jargon, to go with “adventurism,” “opportunism,” “sexism,” etc.)
The Left is still hurting from that unfortunate fiasco nearly 30 years ago and it seems to think that it can make amends for their supposed dilly-dallying to mount an insurrection at the time against the Marcos regime through Carmma, whose own mantra apparently is Bongbong or bust.
Purportedly, that rebellion should have led to a “digmaang bayan” or “people’s war,” and eventually to the establishment of a “national democratic” state.
On February 5, Taguiwalo was quoted by a “fearless” broadsheet as saying, “We are not anti-Marcos because we want to be in Malacañang. Our motivation has always been true freedom and democracy.”
Earlier, she was reported by the same daily newspaper to have been agitated when asked by a television reporter if a certain politician was bankrolling the anti-Bongbong campaign.
Her reply: “If you know what we had gone through under martial law, what we have given up and what we have suffered, you would not even dare ask that question. I really feel insulted that you think there’s a politician prodding us to organize this.”
What she and the others may have gone through, what she and the others may have suffered are a tribute to what they stood for at the time, no questions asked.
But what they supposedly gave up is lost on me.
Taguiwalo, for example, was able to go back to UP but others were not as lucky to be able to do so, either dying for the “kilusan” (movement) in some battlefield in the “kanayunan” (hinterlands) or returning to where they left off in the 1970s and worming their way back to Yale and other Ivy League schools or the local corporate world.
If she gave up what she thought had to be given up, that was solely her decision.
Nobody told or forced the UP professor to give anything up, so she should stop the reproaching.
Walang sumbatan, you were dealing with a “dictatorship,” so you knew what to expect.
Anyway, Carmma thinks that Bongbong has to pay for the sins of the father and it is dead serious about pulling the rug from under the vice presidential candidate’s feet.
Telling off the senator that it means business, Carmma (rhymes with karma) on February 9 (Chinese New Year), or just four days after Taguiwalo’s encounter with the TV reporter, took out two full-paged ads in two of the country’s leading broadsheets (The Manila Times not one of them) and four full-paged ads in as many tabloids.
We learned that a full-paged ad in each of the four tabloids costs P45,000 and a similar ad in one of the broadsheets costs P185,000 (we were unable to get the rate for the other broadsheet).
Pretty expensive for Carmma, which was supposedly organized by hard-up and aging “martial law babies.”
But you do the math.