The first loser

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Benigno Aquino III’s former transportation and then interior secretary Manuel Roxas ranked as the 13th senator in a field of 12 in one recent latest poll. Technically he heads the longer list of losers that includes a motley and mixed menagerie of nuisance candidates, has-beens, wannabes, legitimate and illegitimate “do-gooders,” clowns and other crazies.

Folklore, myths and superstition have long established the number 13 as cursed and unlucky. In the case of Roxas, the whammy was on the public. That Roxas occupies the first loser’s slot adds a whole slew of reasons that might now not simply add to the supernatural foundations of bad luck but actually deepen it by adding unfortunate factual reality.

Certain that Roxas is now crossing his fingers and rubbing rabbit’s tails that the plus and minus three percent statistical margin of error might slip him into the apostolic 12 rather than cast him farther away, it compels us to analyze the mathematics if only to substantiate superstition with some quantitative realities.

Let us start with numbers so that we immediately launch and accelerate from what might be considered as pure superstitious speculation.

Unlike the slimmest margins enjoyed by the Vice President over her closest rival for the post in 2016 — one rendered ever more dubious given the overwhelming evidence of fraud and ballot box tampering — Rodrigo R. Duterte left Roxas eating dust and breathing in emissions from his tailpipe with a definitive margin of approximately 200 percent.

Given that there were only five legitimate presidential candidates in 2016 who divided the electorate five ways, Roxas had effectively only obtained a mere 23 percent of total votes cast for the presidency. That’s a mere three percent spread over 20 percent, the minimum that he should have gotten if we simply divide the total votes cast by the number of candidates.

Seen from a different perspective, as much as 77 percent not only rejected him but, going by votes cast, they preferred both Duterte and even Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Leonor Robredo to him.

Given similar requisites for the presidency, as unqualified and inexperienced as was Robredo, the electorate gave her more votes than they did Roxas, thus thinking her better qualified for the presidency over a proven incompetent long-experienced in serial failures.

Ceteris paribus, should the perspective of the electorate in 2016 be extrapolated to 2019, specifically the analysis of Roxas as president against Roxas as a senatorial wannabe, then Roxas should be able to bank on at least nine million votes given a field of five.

Unfortunately, the senatorial field for 2019 is not a contest among five. The field of options is much larger given the number of candidates ranking 13th and over. This renders a bailiwick of nine million votes sorely inadequate.

Note likewise that the number of votes necessary to rank among the twelve’s upper tier is nearly 200 percent to 175 percent of the number needed to win the presidency among five candidates in 2016. In the 2016 senatorial race the highest voted senator had 18 million votes while the senator on the tail-end had 14 million votes. Now compare that tail-end number of votes with Roxas’ pathetic 9 million. He falls short of five million.

Review these numbers. Roxas has a lot in common with the former MMDA chairman, the 13th placer in 2016 who, with 12.8 million votes, garnered more votes than Roxas who, ironically, had the full backing of Aquino, the Liberal Party and mommy’s millions.

What quickly dawns on us is that Roxas’ pathetically inadequate mandate as a presidential candidate in 2016 cannot land him among the Magic 12 for the Senate in 2019.

If even the most sophomoric arithmetic can explain his ranking as the foremost loser today, then a qualitative analysis of his track record can only validate if not deepen the unfortunate reality of Roxas as a constant failure on one end and on another end, a traditional politician whose self-indulgent grandiose ambitions the deeply discerning electorate constantly rejects and denies.

Reviewing the record of productivity of each of the first 12, Roxas’ historic failures can be so overwhelming the electorate now pegs him beyond the tail-end.

Sharing the same margin of error at the 13th slot, albeit with a distinct possibility of moving up are two other candidates. Unencumbered by serial failure, incompetence and ineptitude, a vote for them would not be wasted. Unlike a vote for the first loser.

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