Mar, Imee and chips off the old block struggling in surveys


Continuing our brief sketches of some Senatoriables, the come-backing Mar Roxas easily comes to mind. The heart-break kid of the 2016 presidential elections, Mar could have won that contest hands down were it not for the unorthodox politics of then-Mayor Duterte which caught most conventional politicians off-guard. But what  Mar did after his loss defined him as a leader. His defeat could not have been more devastating than that of VP Binay, but Mar simply disappeared from the public giving the impression that he was hurting terribly. He could have taken a more active role as leader of the opposition or simply as a reference point for every alternative to Duterte’s perceived flawed policies.  He too could have taken the moral high ground and people will listen. But he was out of touch with the public for so long only to appear lately as “aming ekonomista”  promising all cures for all sorts of woes.

But in an election remarkable for its lack of campaign depth, Mar stands out as one who could make sense of our myriad problems and use his experience in previous Cabinet posts to come out with sensible solutions.

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There is no escaping the Marcoses in our lives. From FM to FL, from Bongbong to Imee, when will the line end? Gov. Imee has been around for as long I can remember. Obviously, people in her northern political bastion like her, and some say, even adore her. But not, of course, the family’s political nemesis, former  Majority Leader Rudy Farinas, who once hailed the Governor to the House to explain certain flawed government transactions.

Imee has the heaviest baggage in this campaign as she alone has to explain the family’s alleged stolen wealth, a task made even more difficult by the recent Sandigan conviction of the former First Lady for graft. Gov.Imee, however, is the only candidate I know who has a platform for the farmers. Her LIFE  ( Living Income for Farmers in Emergencies ) program provides safety nets for them at times when these are most needed.

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Senator Sonny Angara is a living proof that one need not be flamboyant to get elected as Senator. Humble and even timid to a fault, Angara has come up with a solid performance in worthy of another run. Of course, he will be long remembered by Palawenos as the Senator who made possible the speedy approval of the Bill creating three new Palawan provinces.

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Sen. Benigno “Bam” Aquino, IV,  former Sen. Serge Osmena, III and former  Rep. Lorenzo Tanada, III – all chips off the old block –  have one thing in common these days. All of them are struggling in the surveys – a testament that even a vintage political pedigree cannot assure one of a Senate berth. Of late, the political landscape has gone bonkers with empowered netizens flaunting their might and trolls gathering hay for the rainy days. Virtually unknown candidates who are propelled by massive social media mileage and TV exposures have landed in the winning column to the detriment of more competent candidates. Solid performance unless talked about may not even be a factor in the elections.

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All told, as all midterm elections go, this one is essentially a referendum on the sitting president. PRRD has fired his loose cannons, targeting “Otso Derecho” candidates as obstructionists who are all bound to hell. Daughter Sara has been roaming every nook of the political terrain as if her very survival depends on the victory of Hugpong hopefuls.

Sadly, while our top leaders are on election mode, the countryside is reeling from an early onslaught of a dry spell which has already dried up farms in rice-producing regions. Tough times are ahead for the most vulnerable sector of society. Unless the government takes hold of the problem, the coming elections may have no meaning at all to poor electorates whose first order of the day is how to put food on the table.

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