With Poe in the race, who wins?

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Who gains from the Supreme Court decision allowing Senator Grace Poe to run for president? The quick answer is, of course, Poe and her supporters. Disqualification would have denied her the presidency, just like losing the election, so reversing the DQ ruling enables her to possibly win, especially with the publicity and funding boost from the SC ruling.

Besides Poe, however, other winners in the 9-6 HIgh Court vote aren’t so obvious.

A day before the Tuesday ruling, there was front-page speculation about P50 million purportedly offered to each justice by the Palace and a billionaire businessman, to affirm Poe’s disqualification. That seemed to rule those powerful players out as gaining from the HIgh Court ruling.

Think again. President Benigno Aquino 3rd and his Liberal Party allies have, in fact, long been seen as secretly backing Poe as their Plan B to stay in power and out of jail, in case LP standard bearer Mar Roxas loses, as his lagging survey ratings portend.


As for the tycoon, the only billionaire with a direct political stake in the elections is Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco. He is said to be bankrolling Poe and her running mate Senator Francis Escudero as candidates of his Nationalist People’s Coalition, Escudero’s former party.

But if Aquino and his Uncle Danding actually want Poe to run, why the news about their camps inducing justices to keep her out of the running? Answer: it’s a ploy to counter all the talk about the two Cojuangco kin pressuring the Supreme Court to let Poe run.

The same disinformation tactic may have been used at least twice before. During the 2010 election campaign, there was false news spread about Aquino’s psychological report, which Ateneo de Manila University, the purported source, denied. That made any other documents about Aquino’s mental health, even genuine ones, no longer credible.

And in the search for ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona’s successor in 2012, there was talk that Malacañang favored then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. It stirred so much public opposition, people were actually relieved when Aquino named his classmate Maria Lourdes Sereno as CJ, even if her judicial experience and legal knowledge paled beside far more senior and accomplished justices.

The coming political shifts
The big question now is: Will Poe’s court victory lead to triumph at the polls?

Her ratings will likely go up in the survey right after the High Court ruling, thanks to the media boost and the influx of voters who were undecided or had favored other candidates when Poe’s candidacy was in doubt.

Most returnees would come from Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, whose ratings rose while Poe’s declined in recent months. But not all who switched would go back. A good number would have learned good things about Binay and Duterte, and may stick with them.

Many who gravitated to Duterte probably found his tough-guy, straight-talking persona attractive. Poe may no longer appeal to them. As for voters who switched to Binay, they may have concluded that the corruption accusations against him are weak. Remove that taint of graft, and Binay’s long government record may outstrip Poe’s limited stint.

On top of survey gains, Poe will get more funds from wealthy supporters who wanted to be sure she could run before committing cash. With the flood of new money, expect her broadcast, print, poster and billboard campaign to escalate.

What about politicians? More will support Poe, not only because she could win, but also because she can help them win by generating goodwill for her backers, and by providing campaign cash from her growing war chest. Many of the new Poe-liticos would likely come factions in the Aquino administration which are not impressed with standard bearer Roxas.

The next survey would be crucial: If Poe shoots ahead by a big margin, Roxas and Duterte could lose political and financial support. Binay will likely hold his own, having ample funds and a nationwide network cultivated over the years and far more durable.

After elections, the real battle
So is the presidential race down to Poe and Binay? Hang on.

Duterte remains the top presidentiable in Mindanao, and as noted, his crime- and graft-busting character may seem more effective in addressing national ills than nice-lady Poe. And he came out ahead in the first presidential debates last month.

Roxas, meanwhile, still has massive resources and the Liberal Party machinery, which could keep him within winnable distance of the survey leaders. Indeed, while his camp may have wanted Poe out of the running months ago when she spurned his invitation to be his running mate, her candidacy is now instrumental in dividing the opposition vote.

Hence, if Duterte, Binay and Poe keep one another’s ratings at 20-something percent, Roxas could be within five or so percentage points behind, give or take the survey margin of error. That gap could very well be erased by election day mobilization and “special operations,” as the black hats call it.

So far from foiling the rumored Palace and billionaire schemers, the Supreme Court decision has in fact kept the administration’s Plan B alive, while giving Plan A a better chance with three, not two, top opposition candidates contesting the adversary votes.

Hence, the way to beat the Aquino camp is clearer than ever: The opposition must unite, as mooted in this column in January (“A formula for opposition unity”, at http://www.manilatimes.net/a-formula-for-opposition-unity/239280/ ).

Let’s hope the forces needed to turn back the escalating lawlessness under Aquino can come together to win not just against rival presidentiables, but the crime, smuggling and graft syndicates threatening to take over the nation after six years of burgeoning political clout and illicit resources. That’s the real battle facing Filipinos.

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20 Comments

  1. Rubbish! PNOY is safer with Roxas and even if he doesn’t win, putting PNOY behind bars is a wishful thinking. He is not corrupt like GMA, Napoles, JPE, Revilla, Jinggoy, Binay, etc. PNOY is not the kind of a leader who would to pay off a jurist to get a favorable ruling. He didn’t pay the SC to ensure that the Truth Commission should get to its track of running after the crooks. The alleged pay-off to LP leaders to oust Corona was done to rid the SC of its number one crook. The money was for the development of their districts anyway and it was part of the allocation already. In the case of the jurists, when will the money come from? It would be big joke to pay off the jurists with PDAF.

  2. You very right not like mr Florencio fienza of Manila standard he got his logic the opposit

  3. napakahirap gawin ang MAG UNITE ANG OPOSISYON. this was the problem the anti-makoy sr had before the snap elections then. pare parehong matataas ang ihi ng mga kandidato at tingin ng bawat isa ay sya dapat ang maging common candidate. it took guts for doy laurel to slide to vp. only a united front can the opposition win with benito boy sisi looking like having 2 candidates and the magical hocus pcos machines.

  4. Before, Joseph slid to a VP post. Hence, a Binay-Duterte tandem will be very hard to beat. Those anti-Bonget may gravitate to Duterte on top of all the Duterte fans. Greg can be given the Secretary of Defense post later and Digong the DILG. However, if Digong does not want to slide down, he may just as well team up with Bonget. At this point, it may be better for the LP to junk the mama’s boy and go out in full support of Grace and Leni. If the LP wants to win at all cost, it may have to bite the bullet and let go of Señor Kho Rheena – and they can just reimburse all his expenses. Surely, queso (de bola kasi bolero naman talaga) who may just be out for the campaign funds from Mr. Dan Dean anyway will support Jojo.

    • Thank you for your comment. It refers to the statements below, which are about possible views of Binay supporters, not the columnist:

      “As for voters who switched to Binay, they may have concluded that the corruption accusations against him are weak. Remove that taint of graft, and Binay’s long government record may outstrip Poe’s limited stint.”

      Thank you.

  5. comment lang.. on

    sa aking opinyon parang wala ng kahalagahan ang eleksyon,ang pagboto ,at ang iboboto,unang una hindi lingid sa atin na ang eleksyon ay marumi,hindi rin natin maiaalis na me dayaan lalo na ngayon na ang namumuno ay kayang paikutin at manduhan ang mga pinamumunuhan lalo na ang mahistrado sa palno nyang kasamaan, ang pagboto, dito natin dapat buhusan ng pansin pagsusuri ang bawat kandiadato para sa kabutihan ng bansa,sa ngayon dadalawa lamang ang nakikita kong pwedeng iboto unang una dahil hindi sila mapapikot sa kamay ng abnoy at ng mga allies nya , pangalawa,may alam sa batas kapag sinabing me alam ,pinagaralan ang batas hindi un ngayon palang uunawain ang batas, kahit iboto natin ang me nalalaman sa batas kung pamumunuan ni SATANAS ang ibang kandidato wala din ,,,kawawang PILIPINAS,30 years na naghihirap, ginagao,at winawalanghiya ng mga namumuno at mas lalo pang kakawawain ng ibang karatig bansa kung tuta pa din ni abnoy ang iboboto nyo..GISING na mga PILIPINO, wag kaung magpadala sa mataamis na salita ,kasikatan at pagbibigay nila ng suhol na salapi sa atin ang inyong isipin dahil isang araw lang yang binitawang salita mas kawawa taung PILIPINO kung sila ay uupo dyan ng mahabang panahon,PAGPILIAN nalang po natin SI MIRIAM SANTIAGO ( na kahit cnasavi nyong nd mgtatagal pero sigurado tayong me magagawa bago xa pumanaw (sana nman’y hindi ng maayos muna ang bansang PILIINAS)) AT SI DUTERTe na sinasabi nilang violator ng human rights( na me kinalabsan naman ang lugar nyang kabutihan) WAG LAMANG PO C GRACE AT MAR (NA MIYEMBRO NG DILAW NA KULTO NA MAGHAHASIK NG KASAMAAN SA PINAS ) AT BINAY ( NA MASYADO NG MAYAMAN NA HINDI MO LAM KNG PANO YUMAMAN), kanya kanya lamang po tau ng opinion so do respect mine.

  6. This is definitely a wake up call for the Opposition.
    I hope that Binay and Duterte should start talking, both candidates seem to have a better understanding of finding solutions to the increasing problems of our country.
    If Binay wins , he should get Duterte to head the DILG . He would be good to take this tough position.

    • You chose a corrupt Binay instead of Mayor Duterte to be president? What is wrong w/ you? Mayor Duterte was offered a DILG by many president and he refused it(Erap, Gloria, and Panot). Why would you think that the good Mayor will accept that deal. If I’m the Mayor I will not try to make a deal w/ a corrupt VP.

  7. I hope duterte will withdraw and forged a deal with Binay. DILG post for Duterte if binay wins (if Digong lead this agency he can surely clean not only the criminals but also the hoodlums in uniform) in exchange for his support for binay….. i hope and pray that both camps of Digong and Binay will unite to defeat poe whom i think is will become another puppet president like cory and pnoy if she wins… god bless the philippines.

    • No you are wrong there! Mayor Duterte should not forged a deal w/ a corrupt VP. Mayor Duterte will win w/out the help of VP Binay. People want change and this is the time. Get rid of corruption, criminality, stupid politician, and illegal drugs and peace and order will follow and good economy will follow. DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENT!

    • In the contrary, it would be better if Binay will withdraw in favor of Duterte..Binay is plainly corrupt and he can not institute firm anti corruption measures in government. Wala syang moral ascendancy to talk about corruption, because he was charged of it. Remember, Binay is a lawyer. Lawyers sometimes lie to cover the truth..Yes there is no convincing evidence against him, for pieces of evidence can be burned or hidden under lock and Key. But there is a reliable witness of his corrupt activities.Vice mayor Mercado will not risk his person it he is just talking falsehood. Mercado was his former operator, whom he assured to succeed him when his term as mayor of Makati is over. The sentiments of Mercado were normal to a man who works harder for a promise but later on was betrayed. The saying that your best friend today might be your best enemy tomorrow is true, but it does not mean that your best friend who became your enemy is a LIAR..In fact a betrayed man is more reliable source of truth.

  8. Talk of political psywar.
    Some are more deceiving than the other. As in that so-called bribe talk to have SC rule against Poe which as you said almost suceeded in fooling most people until the 9-6 vote in her favor showed that it was just a ruse.
    But that against Binay was/is primal to say the least. Halatang halata ang timing. And the Ombudsman seems to want us to believe that out of the thousands of LGUs in the Philippines, the prosperous Makati City under Binay is the worst.
    Thanks for the information. Now we should know better than just reading instead reading into, what the administration through its media minions and spinsters has been putting out as “news”.

  9. Antonio Villar on

    It is too late to change what is inevitable. Binay will win. In the final stretch of the campaign, Duterte will back out and endorse his minions to Binay. The rest of the votes will split 3-ways to Poe, Roxas and Santiago. Brilliant strategy. Bong-bong Marcos should win. Otherwise, a Binay will rule Malacanang for the next 36 years.

  10. Let us face reality, Grace Poe will be the next president of this country. Binay is the only main contender. Duterte and Roxas are out of the race. With the newly release COA reports, Binay is surely connected with the Makati parking bldg. scam with the budget of 200 plus millions ballooning to 2 billion plus expenses. Also Amlac report of 2 billion of Binay bank account was transferred to a foreign country, Binay has not responded to these allegation. He is betting that he will win and immunity from charges on a sitting president is his only escape. Binay and family will surely go to jail. I pray that Grace Poe will let justice prevail . Remember what you learn in the US, do what is right.

    • laguatanlawfirm on

      Look at the momentous crowds at the internet who meet Duterte in every campaign sortie, is actually electrifying. The media controlled by the administration does not show this for public consumption. Don’t be bias. Open your mind and eyes Max. The SC decision is biased and tainted with malice and favoritism. The law on the matter is crystal clear, yet the Sereno Supreme court twisted the spirit of the law and threw it to the winds. May their tribes decrease.

  11. john mandaya on

    Saludo po sa inyo Sir. Parang sinabi nyo sa huling talata na kay Duterte na tayo. Saludo po sir!

  12. margie moran on

    Naniniwala ako na si Grace Poe lang ang mananalo. wala namnag duda yun, kita namasn sa mga tao ngayon na si grace poe talaga ang nasa puso nila

  13. Felix Sevidad on

    Lawlessness had just begun initiated by these nine justices who raped and trampled our Constitution. Watch out the next in line is the comelec Andres Bautista’s hukos Pukos will be use again in favor of GP just like 2010 and 2013 where the hukos Picos used in favor of Pnoy. If this happens again, people will be once again up in arms, to seek justice not court.