The Liberal Party is claiming Senator Noynoy Aquino’s campaign will be conducted in a non-traditional manner – volunteerism, “people’s initiatives,” street fund-raising, participation of “reform organization’s,” etc. Their intended message in doing so is to create an image of Noynoy as the antithesis of a Trapo, of a “leader” that will not be beholden to any special interest group or party, and one that is incorruptible. Before the death of President Cory Aquino, the Liberal Party did not think much of Noynoy as a candidate for President, or even Vice President for that matter, simply because they did not think he was ready nor did he have the credentials, experience, and wisdom to lead the nation. Those attributes, they saw in Mar Roxas, and if you compare Noynoy to Mar, they were right to pick Mar and completely disregard Noynoy as their candidate. Noynoy himself admits to having had no plans or inclination to be the Liberal Party’s standard bearer, perhaps, because he himself did not feel he had it in him – not yet, at least. Another reason he did not even bother to make himself available for a higher position was because his mother (mother knows best?), while alive, would not have allowed him to do so, and this we know from the earlier statements of his sisters.
But all of a sudden, the landscape changed with the passing of Cory where an outpouring of affection from a great number of people materialized in the streets leading to the final resting place of the former President. It was a manifestation for Cory the simple, the religious and the honest leader in the face of, and in contrast to, a succession of widespread corruption scandals, deceit, and profligacy involving the first family. Though Cory stepped down from the Presidency with a not very high approval rating, people now appreciated the fact that she, at least, did not try to hold on to power as they’ve seen the present leadership repeatedly scheme and attempt to do so.
This outpouring for Cory “alerted” and elated the politicians, the “Kamaganak,Inc.,” and the Cory For President ‘86 remnants, who all dreamed and reminisced of crowds such as the one that came out for the wake and funeral of the late President. The mourners, “assisted” by broadcast media, remembered how Cory had lost her husband through an assassin’s bullet and who, after her rule as President, had continued to support causes against corruption while continuing to live simply and piously — often seen in the presence of nuns and priests.
Meanwhile, the big crowds that poured out continued to mesmerize the politicians and “political handlers” and what they saw was too precious to let pass without anyone (alive) “owning” it…and leading it to the polls next year. Since the crowd was for a dead person, the closest one, perhaps, the only living one, to “logically” lay claim to it was Cory’s only son, Noynoy, and that’s how the “Noynoy for President” idea was born. Never mind that he was not even in the Liberal Party’s radar up to the day his mother passed away; never mind that he was, up to only recently, not considered qualified by his own party-mates; never mind that they already had a candidate (Mar Roxas) who was, arguably, the most qualified among the “Presidentiables;” and, never mind that some people might see it as political expediency and opportunism – “trapo” traits to be sure. The “campaign scenario” (as contrived as Cory’s in ‘86 was spontaneous) that would see their “instant” candidate lodged in Malacanang next year was plausible, available, and too tempting for them to let pass. This was the “spark” all “Presidentiables” had been hoping for and it was within the grasp of the Liberal Party to foster and claim it as their own, through Noynoy. Alas, never mind what the Liberal Party was supposed to stand for; their “spinners” would take care of that by declaring from the onset that this was not a “traditional” campaign or candidacy (give us a break!) but rather, a “groundswell clamor” for Noynoy to be President.
This sudden “enlightenment” and “illumination” that brought about the revision in the Liberal Party’s choice for it’s standard bearer have posed questions begging to be asked: how did Cory’s death bring about the “realization” that Noynoy was, after all, not only qualified but the more qualified (more than Mar) to be the Liberal Party’s standard bearer? Would this “realization” have come about if the former President had not passed away when she did and what does one have to do with the other? Or, is the Liberal Party about fielding the candidates that have the best chances of winning rather than fielding competent leaders that are ready to lead this country in these most difficult times?