First it was Kris Aquino’s marital problems made public due to her confrontation with her husband’s supposed “admirer” that caught the media’s attention. This was followed by the leak of the Senate’s Ethics committee report on the “C-5 re-routing, insertion, over-pricing” controversy censuring Villar for unethical behavior. Then there was the filing of a strong protest with the Comelec by the Liberal Party on the inclusion of KBL Acosta as a legitimate candidate for President. (The inclusion of Acosta dislodges Aquino’s name from top of the ballot’s list of Prsidential candidates to choose from printed in alphabetical order.) Soon after came the junking of the petition to disqualify Erap as promulgated by the Comelec’s Second Division; and more recently, the Live coverage of the Senate hearing on a couple of propositions regarding the ethics issue against Villar that turned into a shouting match between the anti and pro Villar factions and a walk out by Senator Santiago after she castigated the entire senate, Senator Enrile in particular. Enrile in turn accused Villar of attempting to bribe him in connection with the same Ethics report with Villar vehemently denying this. All of these developments occurred in a span of only a week. When the official campaign period begins, the candidates will be allowed to use the V word (vote) and their commercials, no longer “infomercials,” will inevitably be more pointed and direct. With more than three and a half months to go before the May elections, the old dictum, “in politics a week is a long time,” rings truer as the campaign begins to heat up. Unless there’s been a miraculous change in the behavior of most politicians, expect to witness nasty mudslinging coming from the various political camps making candidates vulnerable to drastic changes in the way they are perceived and, consequently, steep fluctuations in subsequent surveys to come. If a week is, indeed, a long time in politics, three and a half months can seem like a lifetime; and in this country, especially, anything can happen…short of presidential candidates Acosta and De los Reyes leading the pack in the next survey. Abangan…
It would seem the so-called youth vote is again beginning to gel after it fragmented when Senator Chiz Escudero withdrew from the Presidential race. The reason for this is the youth’s growing attraction to the candidacy of former Secretary Gilbert Teodoro. What’s happening is that every student campus Teodoro visits gains him more and more admirers and committed supporters among the students that are able to see him and listen to him. That should not be surprising because Teodoro is the most articulate among the presidential candidates and has the best grasp of the issues and problems besetting our country today. His physical demeanor, his good looks and that of his wife, of course, also add to the attraction. The youth vote, if it can be harnessed to act in unison as a solid voting bloc, is, by sheer number, bigger and more powerful than any other sector, political party or machinery existing in our political landscape. The youth, comprising close to 60% of the registered voters, may yet be Teodoro’s key to victory, even more so than the much touted Lakas-Kampi CMD machinery which, on the other hand, could provide him the edge in case of a close fight. It would be extreme folly for his opponents to count him out this early in the game.
As part of the preparations for the procession of the Black Nazarene that took place last January 9, 2010, the PNP announced that they had installed a GPS device on the float carrying the statue of the Black Nazarene to know its exact location at any given time. That’s like trying to determine where a full-grown elephant is within a basketball court. This was a procession involving hundreds of thousands of frenzied devotees screaming and jostling to get as close as possible to the float traveling at a snail’s pace speed of about 1 km/hr, and weaving through streets covering a radius of not more than 10 km. The event was covered Live on radio and TV. Ahhh…siguro naman hindi na kailangan ng space-based global navigation satellite system to know its precise location, no? Meanwhile, three procession-related deaths were reported that day. GPS?! Riiight! Nice try, though.
It’s quite clear that Kris Aquino has the propensity, proclivity and insatiable appetite for taking attention away from whoever in her family is in the news – during her mother’s term as President; during her mother’s illness; during the wake and burial of the former President; and now, during the campaign of her brother Noynoy. Based on that pattern, this won’t be the end we will be hearing of her love life and tribulations for the duration of the campaign period; and, if Noynoy wins, expect to be watching more of her “reality show” in the next six years. The problem with that is the narrative is neither unique, remarkable or educational; the story is rather common to, and typical of many couples’ quarrels minus the celebrity status. It has little entertainment value in itself if not for her being the daughter of Cory and Ninoy, a TV celebrity (thanks to being daughter of then Prez Aquino when she debuted in the industry), and now, sister of presidential candidate and survey front-runner, Senator Noynoy Aquino. The real tragedy in this drama is not to be found in her story but in the story within the story: why media gives it the attention that it does.