“And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight
Where ignorant armies clash by night.”
– Dover Beach by Mathew Arnold
President PNoy, before Senator Grace Poe declared her candidacy for the presidency of the Republic of the Philippines in the elections of May 2016, if it comes, wooed and serenaded Senator Poe to run as the most sought after vice-presidential candidate of former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas. The well publicized wooing by the President of the demure Senator is quite historical since it is unprecedented in the politics of this country.
The PNoy move has many implications. First, that Senator Poe is a necessary element in the prospective victory of Mar Roxas. Second, that Poe constitutes a serious danger to the candidacy of Secretary Roxas. Third, that Roxas is not attractive enough to Senator Poe or anyone to run as Roxas vice-presidential candidate as Roxas’ chances for victory are as dim as sunrise at midnight, unless PNoy cheats in the elections and benefits from the Smartmatic-PCOS machines, and/or flood the country with money to insure a Roxas’ victory, including the purchase of mainstream media and survey groups, almost all of which are buyable. Fourth, that there is a subliminal partnership between PNoy and Senator Poe.
Why? Though the partnership is not publicly admitted by both parties, it is easily perceivable based on the body language of PNoy and Grace. On the part of Grace, it is almost obvious. First, Grace never attempted to criticize PNoy in her short career in the Senate. Second, in her draft of the committee report on the Mamasapano incident coupled with her well-documented tri-media statements, she concluded that the ultimate responsibility on the Mamasapano fiasco lies with PNoy, yet she did not submit the formal report of the committee to Senate for plenary discussion and approval. Third, she had a series of conferences with PNoy with the specific subjects of the conversations not revealed to the public. Fourth, in the launching of her presidential candidacy at the UP Bahay ng Alumni, she praised PNoy’s matuwid na daan policies. Fifth, as a dig at Secretary Roxas she categorically stated that no group has a monopoly of matuwid na daan. On the part of PNoy, he appeared not to be worried with the announcement of Grace’s candidacy for President. He also announced that Grace promised she would not attack him in the course of the campaign. The behavior of both PNoy and Grace speaks a thousand words.
Both are traditional politicians
As a traditional politician, no matter how short is her career in the Senate, Grace knows the extensive power and influence of the presidency. Promising not to attack PNoy is the surest way of holding PNoy at bay from extensively and intensely campaigning for Mar Roxas. Assuming that she has succeeded in soft-pedaling PNoy, she virtually solved half of her campaign problems.
Like any traditional politician, her only objective is to win. It makes no difference how she gets to the finish line first; it is enough she achieves her sole objective – winning. You might say she is quite Machiavellian but who is not among traditional politicians?
In the case of PNoy, he has only one interest – that either one of his candidates wins so he does not go to jail after the elections. He is betting on two horses – one who could win only by cheating and/or massive vote-buying and the other because she is popular and her popularity may just catapult her to the presidency.
His behavior is very traditional and opportunistic. But who would not be traditional and opportunistic to escape the pain, ignominy, sadness, boring and constrictive life in prison? PNoy is not the type who would go to prison for a principle not even for a principal, unless his other instinct would make him happy in the company of deprived masculine inmates.
Both Grace and PNoy have made very smart moves.
Where does this leave Mar Roxas?
Yes, where does this leave poor Mar Roxas? He is left on the lurch. But the man is not dense. He is the son of Senator Gerardo Roxas and the grandson of President Manuel Acuña Roxas, both outstanding graduates of the University of the Philippines. He is, therefore, no patsy. Add to that the fact that he has a colony of advisers from UP – all young and innovative except Congressman Raul Daza, who is a veteran of political warfare both in UP and in the wider expanse of this country.
So you cannot rule out Roxas! In my view, if elections go through, Roxas has aces on his sleeves – the oodles of money of the administration and the most effective cheating tool, the PCOS machines. They are tried and tested. They produced the anticipated results in 2010 and the 2016 elections. So the results are sealed for Mar Roxas. He would be the next President, with a big IF.
The big IF lies with PNoy – if asperger syndrome works for Roxas as usual. We will know all these in the coming weeks – if PNoy will intensify his campaign for Roxas. If he does not, this could only mean that asperger syndrome has started to work for the subliminal partnership between PNoy and Grace. And if it does, Roxas is a goner. There are precedents in the past. President Gloria M. Arroyo endorsed Gilbert Teodoro as her candidate for President but during the campaign it was bruited about that GMA entered into an alliance with NP Presidential candidate Manuel Villar. This alliance was known as Villaroyo. It was a ruse because according to knowledgeable circles the true alliance was forged in Honolulu with the PNoy boys and finally in the office of Congressman Butch Pichay and a sister of PNoy and her husband. When I confronted Congressman Pichay who is a friend about the Aquinoroyo alliance he confirmed that he met the couple at his office but they were talking business.
I asked him: “Monkey business?” He replied with a Mona Lisa smile –deceptive but confirmatory.
Another precedent is the endorsement of President Fidel Ramos of presidential candidate Speaker Joe de Venecia. I warned Joe that the endorsement did not mean full support of Ramos but De Venecia insisted that the “Old Man” would support him to the hilt. Well, the rest is history because as I told Ramos in Davao City the only way De Venecia could be President would be by flooding Mindanao with money and cheating in the elections. Ramos did not do both because if Joe would have been elected, he would have outshined Ramos who comes from Joe’s province – Pangasinan.
So Roxas better guard PNoy well just like the way Robert Jaworski guarded his opponents in the basketball court. If he fails to do that, Grace will likely breeze through him as the next Philippine President – either because of popularity or the magic of the PCOS machine or both.
But the support of PNoy will not guarantee a Roxas or Poe victory. The man who has the most chances to become President before the May elections in 2016 is the dark horse who needs no shadow because he is a shadow himself – VP Jojo Binay. The only hindrance to achieve that objective is his bunch of advisers or God himself.
Next Saturday, I will discuss the citizenship of Grace Poe and the chances of VP Jojo Binay.