Ditch it

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The latest Pulse Asia pre-election survey results show certain senatoriables gasping for dear political life.

For one, incumbent and reelectionist Sen. Bam Aquino was horrified to find himself in a pathetic 20th place. When asked for comment, Bam blamed it on the inclusion of his cousin, Kris Aquino (ranked 21st place) in the survey.

The lame excuse was that this divided the votes of the respondents. Oh please, Mr. Senator, the Filipinos were not born yesterday.

Bam clearly shows his malicious prejudgment of the Filipino voter, as if they are too dumb to realize the difference between him and the now Holywood actress cousin—thanks to her cameo role in the highly successful film, Crazy Rich Asians.

The media darling, known more for her flamboyant personality than her acting talent, has denied plans to run for the Senate, knowing that she has no place thereat. Take note that Ms. Aquino, like her acting in Crazy Rich Asians, didn’t have to do anything at all to achieve such rank in the Pulse Asia survey.

Imagine if Ms. Aquino did pre-election campaigning as heavily as Bam. Good thing she announced that she is not running. We would be better off seeing her in the sequel of Crazy Rich Asians than in the Senate.

We feel the tension in Bam’s camp. It was most definitely a total letdown after all the build-up they made for the #NeverAgain to martial law campaign that culminated on 21 September.

In all likelihood, Bam was expecting a huge jump in the survey results. After all, the Aquinos and the Yellows have always relied on perpetuating the so-called “horror stories” of martial law for their political existence.

Unfortunately for Bam, the tried and true yellow strategy did not produce the desired results. The tactic was tried and found wanting. And it was also true—a true failure. Time to change his strategy.

Maybe, it is time to rethink his color scheme, but that would be impossible for him to do so since yellow is deeply associated with being an “Aquino.” Maybe it is time for him to refrain from opposing every single act the administration is doing, with the continuously surging popularity of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Maybe he should stop being too vocal on martial law since the sentiments against it have been diminishing over the years. That is evident in the fact that Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos landed at a far better spot a 7th place, within the Magic 12.

At the cusp, we see losing presidential candidate, former Secretary Mar Roxas, barely making it by the skin of teeth, in 12th place. Actor Robin Padilla, currently at 13th place, can easily overtake Roxas, should he decide to stage more publicity stunts.

Roxas made news recently over his comments on social media, giving suggestions to address the problem of rising prices of commodities and rice, in light of the impact of typhoon “Ompong.” Ironically, Roxas began his Facebook post by the disclaimer that his comment is made in a “time out” on politics. Mr. Failed President must be kidding us.

As a person who lives, breathes and eats politics, Roxas can never do a “time out” on politics, even during the worst of all crises. Remember, “Yolanda?” His acts there were all calculated and dictated by politics.

His claim he was on “time out” on politics is an obvious attempt to sugarcoat the embarrassment he brought upon himself through his famous “You are a Romualdez, and the President is an Aquino” line made in the aftermath of typhoon “Yolanda.” That comment definitely marred (pun intended) the Aquino administration’s efforts at that time.

Going back to the survey, it was notable that those in the top 5 are all women namely: (1) reelectionist Sen. Grace Poe; (2) reelectionist Sen. Cynthia Villar; (3) former Senator, now House Deputy Speaker, Rep. Pia Cayetano; (4) reelectionist Sen. Nancy Binay and (5) Mayor Sara Duterte.

Mayor Sara reiterated she will not run for Senate and would rather keep her current post. Yet, her political blessing is most sought after by local politicians. Former Senate President, Sen. Koko Pimentel (reelectionist, 9th place), even predicted that Mayor Sara can possibly overtake Sen. Poe at 1st place.

Other notable newbie senatoriables are reporter Mon Tulfo and Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa, who figured in 15th and 16th places, respectively. Should Mayor Sara and other higher ranked and undecided senatoriables decide not to run, these newbies could find themselves into the Magic 12.

The campaign season is fast approaching with the filing of the certificates of candidacy just a few weeks away. The Pulse Asia survey and the upcoming SWS survey results, will make or break the political plans of a senatorial hopeful.

Case in point – ousted Supreme Court Chief Justice Sereno already declared that she will not run for Senate, despite previously giving clear signals that she would.

The same is true for the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party, composed of wannabes and unknowns. Is it time for them to ditch it, or risk it?

With the rock-solid support President Duterte enjoys, as shown by the survey showing eight out of ten Filipinos supporting his anti-drug war, senatorial hopefuls from the ranks of the yellows are likely considering the ditch as an option with the least risk.

What are your thoughts?

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