.
Political Tidbits is the prestigious column of Belinda Olivares-Cunanan that ran for 25 continuous years in the op-ed page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the newspaper that she helped put up with its multi-awarded founder, the legendary Eugenia Duran-Apostol, in December 1985, just two months before the EDSA Revolution.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Interesting facts raised by special Pulse Asia poll of Metro Manila: who’s pulling up, going down and stagnant among the “presidentiables?”


Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares

Vice President Jejomar Binay
Former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is reported by a major newspaper as leading in a special Metro Manila survey by Pulse Asia, just after his recent announcement that he’s throwing his hat into the ring as presidential candidate of PDP Laban. Report of Duterte’s topping this  survey is interesting from many angles. For one, his declaration is quite controversial as he wants to substitute for Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and former barangay chair Martin Dino, who was about to be declared by the Comelec a nuisance candidate for president.

The whole world already suspected that Dino was just warming the seat for Duterte and that their one-two act was a moro-moro; legal luminaries, notably former UE Law Dean Amado Valdez, are now opining that such substitution is thoroughly open to question inasmuch as Dino was never considered a “serious” candidate. 

XXX

But the fact that while Duterte topped the Metro survey among all the social classes but scored BIGGEST among the ABC classes (38 %), indicates one significant point: people in Metro Manila, ESPECIALLY THE WEALTHIER FOLKS who are getting hurt by the high criminality rate, are upset at the namby-pamby way the administration is responding to it. They find Duterte’s “kamay na bakal” attractive. Note, too, that it’s only Duterte among the presidential candidates who gained points from last September to this month (7 points), whereas all the other candidates lost ground.   

Disenchantment with the administration’s handling of criminality is especially true in the “Laglag Bala” case in NAIA which President Aquino and his subalterns have consistently refused to acknowledge and take responsibility for, despite credible victims presenting strong testimony against it. 

Last night I fetched some relatives at NAIA 1 and I noted that majority of  arriving passengers, who appeared to be mainly OFWs, had their luggages tightly wrapped in plastic bubble. This meant added costs and of course, the OFWs nurse resentment that this scam evades sensible solution UNTIL NOW. 

XXX

Another fact about the recent Pulse Asia survey: Grace Poe’s following dropped from 31% in September to 26% this November. I ascribe this to the united opposition of the three justices sitting in the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), led by SET chair and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, to her emotion-laden argument that foundlings deserve political recognition and opportunity to serve in the highest post, even if no evidence is presented about their being "natural-born;" that deprivation of this privilege to Grace Poe constitutes a grave injustice to all foundlings.

SC Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro, who sits in the nine-member SET, bluntly disputed in her dissenting opinion the majority decision---evidently politically-motivated----of five senators---that seeks to allow foundlings to run for the highest office sans verification of parentage. Said Justice de Castro: “The definition of a natural-born citizen, under Sec. 2, Art. IV of the 1987 Constitution, cannot be met by a foundling even if the disputable presumption is applied, because before the said presumption can operate, the fact of being a foundling must first be established by a legal proceeding, according to RA 9523.” (emphasis BOC's). 

In other words, De Castro argues, the privilege of running for the highest office CANNOT BE AUTOMATIC FOR A FOUNDLING.  

It’s easy to predict that the well-articulated opinion of SC/SET Justices Carpio, De Castro and Arturo Brion on the quo warranto proceedings in the SET would influence the thinking of their colleagues in the SC on the eligibility of Poe to run for President in 2016---especially since she made the mistake of slamming Carpio’s dissenting opinion in the SET in media. 

XXX

Legal luminaries reviewing the arguments of Grace Poe stress, however, that more than the foundling issue, A BIGGER HURDLE for the late movie icon Fernando Poe's daughter is the RESIDENCY issue against her, which is backed up by documented evidence of inaccuracies. As former UE Law Dean Amado Valdez argues, Poe-Llamanzares only renounced her US citizenship in October 2010, so that her move does not answer the 10-year residency requirement of the Constitution for those seeking a senatorial seat or the highest office. Thus, experts point out that Poe will still lack five to six months to overcome the 10-year requirement by the elections of 2016.

I can see a looming disqualification of Sen. Poe from the presidential race, but another complication being whispered about is: how fast will the DQ be handed down? There’s talk that Poe’s strategists are praying for a delay so that come the printing of ballots late next month, her name would still be in those ballots; thus, should she win, it could be argued that it’s “Vox Populi” as well as an “act of God;” the DQ then becomes moot and academic.

I’m sure, however, that the SC justices are well aware of this possible complication and would not delay resolution of this issue---in fairness to both Sen. Poe and the electorate.

XXX

VP Jojo Binay’s case, according to Pulse Asia's special poll, is interesting on several counts. While he slid down from 26 percent in September to 22 percent this November, it’s evident that Binay continues to enjoy a solid 21% of Class D and a whopping 32% of Class E---the working classes. 

A senator told friends that in a visit to Boracay recently, he made an impromptu survey of the waiters in several resorts and they turned out to be all for Binay. In other words, it’s indisputable that Binay has a lock on the masa vote; but the question is, would the working folks be able to vote on election day? This is where party machinery comes in: does Binay's Partido ng Masang Pilipino have the wherewithal to move the masses to vote?

On the other hand, I hear from some quarters that despite the parade of corruption allegations hurled at the Veep from the perceived as too-biased Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, he seems to be increasingly scoring well, too, with the upper classes (14 percent). This is because the perception among them is that more than the issue of corruption, they want someone WHO CAN TAKE CHARGE OF THE COUNTRY AND RUN AND GOVERN IT.  Binay is perceived as having a better grasp at governance due to his long experience in the executive branch. 

Binay is also seen as having solid backing from organizations he had nurtured, such as the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and the sister-cities relationship across the country, as well as with the OFWs due to self-appointed missions on their behalf that he has undertaken. He is also an indefatigable campaigner: celebrating the anniversary of Yolanda in Tacloban the Veep hopped over next to the tiny municipality of La Paz in Leyte with its 15,000 population! Walang patawad in wakes too.  

XXX

This is the dilemma that haunts the well-endowed Liberal Party. President Aquino’s image has been found wanting on issues of governance and in resolving problems affecting the citizenry's welfare, e.g., mass transport, traffic, the airport mess, etc. Because of his closeness to P-Noy, LP presidential bet Mar Roxas is being affected by this wimpy image of the administration. Ironically, however, when Mar was excluded from the planning and execution of the Mamasapano operation, the citizens were sore at him for not resigning on the spot when it blew up. 

That the Wharton-trained technocrat is in a tight dilemma vis-a-vis the administration is borne out by the Pulse Asia survey that shows him in the cellar, with only 13 percent from the ABC class (Binay even beat him in this class  by 1 percent), 12 percent from the D class and five percent from the E class. Mar also lost two percent between the September and November surveys.

Projection is everything in the elections and Mar just has to project more dynamism and distance himself a bit from the administration. This scion of two wealthy clans also has to find ways to connect more genuinely with the masa.  

(Next, the crucial question: if Digong Duterte’s candidacy is disallowed and Grace Poe is disqualified, who profits from votes of their followers?).

6 comments:

  1. An excellent analysis of the political climate. I hope Mar heeds your advise because he truly deserves to be our next president

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment, "Unknown." Mar is obviously failing to connect to various sectors, and one big reason is that he's too attached to the administration of P-Noy, which is so unpopular. Pls. share my blog. Many thanks, kind regards.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Duterte Cayetano is the only Hope of the Philippines. All the rest are trapo and Philippines will still be the same or will get worse. If Duterte will become the next President, then all Pinoys living in different parts of the world will for sure will be thinking of retiring in the Philippines because of the improved peace and order, no more corruption, padrino or Utang na Loob scenario being done by Pnoy and Philippines will have a parliamentary form of govt (Federalism) like Canada, Australia, UK etc. I might changed my mind and will visit the Philippines again if Duterte will be the next President.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paano tayo dadalhin sa langit ng taong umamin na nagpapatay siya kahit wala sa batas, nambabae kaliwa kanan, tapos e minumura pa ang Santo Papa?

      Hibang.

      Delete
  4. Duterte Cayetano is the only Hope of the Philippines. All the rest are trapo and Philippines will still be the same or will get worse. If Duterte will become the next President, then all Pinoys living in different parts of the world will for sure will be thinking of retiring in the Philippines because of the improved peace and order, no more corruption, padrino or Utang na Loob scenario being done by Pnoy and Philippines will have a parliamentary form of govt (Federalism) like Canada, Australia, UK etc. I might changed my mind and will visit the Philippines again if Duterte will be the next President.

    ReplyDelete