POLITICAL STRATEGIES FOR THE CAMPAIGN SEASON


There are a growing number of people drawn in by the wave of sympathy for the Aquino family upon the death of former President Aquino that morphed into support for Noynoy’s bid for the Presidency, that are now having second thoughts about his candidacy. The newfound doubts and misgivings stem from the fact that to date, five months into the death of Mrs. Aquino, they have yet to hear a single argument in favor of Noynoy that does not mention his mother or father.  They lament the fact that while his opponents present to the electorate their respective track records, accomplishments, and vision,  praises given to Noynoy by his supporters have little to do with him but  are, rather, traits attributed to his parents. It is true that emotions are quicker to react than the intellect  to any given situation, so it is the hope of Noynoy’s handlers that the emotions that accompanied the death of the former President will still be the in the minds and hearts of the majority come election day. If by May 10, 2010, Noynoy’s handlers are able to make Cory’s death seem like it had happened “only yesterday” (they will be counting on their ally, ABS-CBN, to do their part), then their campaign strategy would have succeeded. Their work is cut out for them.

According to a friend of ours, it was reported in a tabloid that a certain Jesus Nazareno, who claimed to be the “son” of the Black Nazarene, has asked the Liberal Party to advise Noynoy Aquino to withdraw from the race so that he (Mr. Nazareno) can replace him as the Liberal Party’s standard bearer. Nazareno explained that since the procession of “his father” was larger than that of Cory’s, that should make him more qualified than Noynoy to be President and able to attract more voters. Well, we guess that since we are all children of God (Jesus, the Black Nazarene), that should qualify Mr. Nazareno as, indeed, a son of the Black Nazarene. Only in the Philippines!

If one were to look objectively at each Presidential candidate’s intellectual capability, track record, and credibility, it should not be difficult to conclude that Gibo Teodoro is the most qualified among all of them to be the next President of the Philippines and, one might add, has the potential of a great leader. Sadly, voters, and not a few, will resist voting for him if only to send a message to GMA that they have not forgotten the numerous accusations of graft and corruption involving the first family. Many also still remember her involvement in the alleged cheating (Hello Garci) in the last Presidential elections. And for these reasons, it is a pity that the country would have missed-out on the chance of good if not great leadership from a candidate whose only fault is his association with GMA. There’s no other way to put it: his affiliation with GMA is proving to be the “kiss of death.”  Gibo will have to convince the electorate that a vote for him does not translate to forgiveness of GMA’s “sins.”  How he manages that, the gentleman that he is, might require the cooperation of GMA herself which in turn will require a large dose of humility from her. In other words, she will have to accept public utterances coming  from Gibo that assures the voters that if he wins, he will not interfere or intercede  on her behalf in the graft and corruption charges that may be filed against her or her family after she has stepped down. His work, requiring the most delicate political “balancing act,” is, likewise, cut out for him.

It is beyond comprehension how some people try to hold Congressman Ferdinand Marcos II (Bongbong) “responsible” for his father’s declaration of Martial Law almost 40 years ago especially now that he is running for Senator. Bongbong was barely fifteen years old when Martial Law was declared in 1972 not to mention he was in England attending to his schooling, perhaps, worrying about tickets for the  Rolling Stones concert as most youngsters his age were concerned with or the likes of it. As for the entire period of the controversial Marcos Rule, it would be best to leave to historians the rendering of a dispassionate accounting of that period in the history of our nation. Bongbong Marcos, in fairness, has declared that he is ready to be judged by the voters not based on anyone’s actions nor even on his father’s achievements, but based on his own performance the last 15 years he has been in public office – nine years as Governor of Ilocos Norte and six years as Representative of the 2nd district of the same province. His sterling performance during those years in office and the enviable transformation of his province under his leadership speak for themselves, and should the voters decide based on that record, then he will surely be elected to the Senate in the coming elections, half a century after his father was first elected to the same post. As the sun rises, so also will the son.

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