The opposition-LP senate campaign is a fiasco in the making, please read to know why and how we can help…
* * * * * * *
(The administration of Duterte is hell-bent on winning the senate election to gain absolute majority – its very survival depends on it. Look at their tentative senate slate. With several reelectionists and some well-known newbies, it is, whether we like it or not, a powerhouse team to beat. And this is where our problem starts…)
The Opposition Senate Campaign – a Total Fiasco in the Making… ..without P-noy & Mar
Just Compare the Opposition and the Administration Senate Slates and You’ll Understand Why
1. The Possible Administration Candidates
(Pardon me for the repeated candidates on the two photos.)
From these, they can form a formidable slate:
The incumbents and an ex-senator:
1. Koko Pimentel
2. Pia Cayetano
3. Sonny Angara
4. Cynthia Villar
5. JV Ejercito
6. Jinggoy Estrada
7. Grace Poe
8. Nancy Binay (Will she run under the administration? Let’s hope not.)
Take note, experience shows that the reelectionists are difficult to beat.
And the Formidable Neophytes
9. Sara Duterte
10. Bong Go
11. Imee Marcos
12. Francis Tolentino
13. Bato de la Rosa
And don’t forget, they have unlimited resource to back up their campaign…
There were reports that Duterte talked with Willie Revillame for hours few months ago. If he is asked to run, and accepts, Mr. Revillame would be an almost sure winner.
…And the other not-so-honorable mentions are Freddie Aguilar, Robin Padilla, Mocha Uson, Harry Roque, Tulfo Brothers, Geraldine Roman, and not to mention ex-senators, Lito Lapid, Sergio Osmena III.
…and compare them with these…
2. The Possible Opposition Candidates
You have probably noticed that most of them are not familiar faces to most ordinary people, especially the new generation of Filipinos…
Opposition’s Biggest Obstacle: Idealism vs. Winnability – the Need to Rethink Their Senatorial Slate and Strategy
The opposition has come up with its own tentative senate slate and indeed, they are all excellent, idealistic candidates that the country needs. But the real question is, will they win? I hate to say this but I will have to be very brutally frank about it – most of them will not make it! Please remember, win-ability is everything in an election. Sad to admit, elections here are still popularity contests and no amount of idealism will win an election if the candidate lacks familiarity (including name recall) and popularity with the electorate, both qualities which translate into win-ability. To prove my point, look at the past senate elections results. I hardly see any unfamiliar face there. All of them were popular personalities during their times.
“To prove my point, look at the past senate elections results. I hardly see any unfamiliar face there. All of them were popular personalities during their times.”
The only somewhat unfamiliar candidate who won is Sherwin Gatchalian. There is such quality as charisma that led candidates like Sherwin and Joel (Villanueva) to win in the last elections. But assessing such quality is highly subjective and it is hard to recognize except until after the elections. Therefore we must be realistic – we need to find candidates who are well-known, popular, and if possible, who are, or who seem to be, charismatic. But sadly, we sorely lack candidates with those qualities. This is the major reason that I had been promoting Kris Aquino for the senate (I even wrote a blog about a year ago promoting her candidacy). But now, I’m having second thoughts. Out of respect for her, I will not mention as to why, as, at any rate, most people know the reason. But then, the question is, do we have a choice not to include her?
Aside from you – Noynoy, Mar, and Bam – there are only few winnable prospects but I’m not confident enough to say that they are sure winners, except one – a popular celebrity, Dingdong Dantes. Though people like Agot Isidro, Leah Navarro and Jim Paredes have natural charisma as celebrities, they have been inactive and somewhat forgotten, so they must work hard to rekindle their old celebrity flame. But let us be realistic about it, being a celebrity doesn’t automatically guarantee victory, as past elections have clearly shown. And besides, the administration has its own share of old celebrity candidates to match them; with the backing of government’s unlimited resources, they have the upper hand. …I see a spark of charisma in Attorney Florin Hilbay but it must be kindled with a well-presented campaign to make it shine more resplendently, just as Sherwin Gatchalian had done with his “win” campaign.
1. Noynoy Aquino
2. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II
3. Bam Aquino
4. Dingdong Dantes
5. Nancy Binay(?) (The opposition must try its best to get her but it will be a very hard task. She might opt to run independently under her father’s U.N.A. party – that will be good enough for us.)
And also take note, Bam Aquino has been at the fringes of the winning circle on surveys, coming in and out of the magic 12. Because of this, he has been the favorite target of the administration social media hit-men, including some of their infiltrators lurking within our ranks. Thus, he must work very hard to get more public attention by presenting himself to the public as much as he can. Fortunately, I’ve been seeing him doing just that, so let us help him.
6. Maria Lourdes Sereno
7. Florin Hilbay
8. Agot Isidro
9. Jim Paredes
10. Leah Navarro
11. Gary Alejano
And there are few other familiar faces like Hilario Davide, Erwin Lacierda, Dinky Soliman, Romulo Macalintal, but will the people today still recognize them?
As you can see, kulang talaga. Without Noynoy and Mar, there will be only three winnable candidates, and therefore, the inclusion of Noynoy and Mar is a must for the opposition to give even just a decent fight.
The Importance of Breaking the Senate Majority Votes
To be realistic, we will not even think about gaining a majority in the senate. But instead, we will think about getting enough numbers to break the majority votes – 3/4th and the more difficult 2/3rd majority, votes. Being able to break the majority votes could help us stop all the unjust and inequitable proposals (laws) of the administration, proposals that will need the approval of the senate majority. We have only four senators not due for reelection; they are Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, and Franklin Drilon. Assuming we have a full 24-member senate, we will need nine senators (or five more) to break the 2/3 majority (impeachment, etc.), and seven (or three more), to break the 3/4 majority. So the barest minimum of additional number of senators we will need to make a difference in the senate voting would be three, and to make a real difference, five, which seems like a near impossible task without P-noy and Mar.
The Dire Consequence of Duterte having an Absolute Control of the Senate
This is exactly what I am trying to prevent. With absolute control of the senate, Duterte can do almost anything he wants legally without resorting to dubious legal actions like the quo warranto. He can even remove our Vice President through impeachment. With the Supreme Court and the senate firmly under his control, he can make anything legal and I’m not joking because what the S.C. says is always right, legally – just like how they “legally” removed the chief justice through quo warranto. These are some of the dangers of Duterte’s having absolute control of the senate. (More on this later.*)
At any rate, we should keep in mind that it will be an uphill battle for the senate race for the opposition led by the L.P. and thus, they must work very, very hard to win the next elections.
But all is not lost for the opposition, we can fight them with issues, and fortunately for us, we have many issues we can exploit against this failing administration…
Our Major Weapon…
Fortunately, We have Many Issues to Exploit Against the Duterte Administration – This will be Our Main Weapon
With many relatively unknown or unfamiliar faces, the opposition must exploit the issues against the administration to the max to gain as much advantage as possible. Fortunately, there are many such issues. These are some of the most pressing issues the opposition can exploit:
- Price Increase (inflation) – a potentially explosive issue.
- Rice Shortage – It has two sides to it, the consumers’ side and the farmers’ side, which must be tackled separately.
- Anti-drug war – Killing almost exclusively of the poor pushers and addicts but leaving the big drug lords almost untouched. (See the related issue next)
- Drugs – Is the administration really against drugs or is it actually a protector of big time drug lords, while sacrificing the small-timers as its cover? Why was everybody involved in 6.4 billion peso shabu smuggling case cleared? Why did Mr. Duterte himself dismiss the strong possibility of drugs smuggled through the magnetic lifters found in Cavite? There are many more questions that need to be answered.
- Anti-corruption – Duterte’s clearly misleading and ambivalent anti-corruption drive. While the big ones are released, the small or the dispensable ones in the government are fired. But hardly any of them are charged or asked to return the stolen money. On the other hand, some of the fired officials have been reappointed for other positions – anong kalokohan ito?!
- Dictatorial tendency – especially in dealing with small-time criminals and in dealing with its top critics, like Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV, and several critical media outfits like Rappler and Inquirer.
- West Philippine Sea and China issue – the opposition can ignite the Filipinos’ nationalistic fervor by pointing out to the administration’s reluctance to strongly pursue our just claim to W.P.S. against China, and Duterte’s cozying up to our “enemy” China.
- Marawi City’s total destruction – a case of burning the entire house to catch a mouse (few hundreds of rebels).
In a general sense, the opposition may point out the administration’s double standard in treating almost every problem, from anti-drug war to corruption, where only the poor always get the brunt of Duterte’s ire, while the rich and powerful are almost always untouched.
Incorporating these issues in their campaign and presenting them in a convincing manner to the public could be very effective in helping voters to turn against the administration candidates. But you, the opposition, will need P.R. experts on this – they know how to exploit the issues to the max and most effectively. Try to get the best from the industry, from the advertising sector..
The People’s Petition – Our Urgent Appeal to Benigno Aquino III & Manuel Roxas II
As you have seen, Messrs Aquino and Roxas, without both of you running for the senate, the opposition campaign will surely turn into a disaster. And therefore, there is no choice for you but to run for the senate in order to save the country from Duterte administration’s total domination or control of our country, ultimately, through the Senate. Only you and your boys can stop it! So we, the concerned citizens of the Philippines are pleading with you to run for the senate. *We must break the administration’s absolute majority in order to stop them cold in their tracks. There are fears of railroading the administration’s pet projects, like the tampering of the constitution through cha-cha, federalism and the consequential change in the form of government. We desperately need to stop them. Only you, P-noy and Mar, can do it, for us and for the country. Please hear the urgent plea of your suffering people, please run…
We urge all justice-loving Filipinos to join this campaign to call on P-noy and Mar to run for the senate – this is one of the best things you can do for the country today. The deadline for filing of candidacy is October 17; we have less than a month to go. So this campaign is very urgent…
* * * * * * *
Update, September 23:
Pulse Asia came out with a senatorial survey yesterday, Sept 22, two days after I wrote this blog, and it, more or less, confirms my fear. But there are certain aspects of this survey that look a bit suspicious so it is better to wait for the S.W.S. survey, which is a bit more credible, for confirmation…