MAYOR DUTERTE’S DIFFICULT QUEST FOR THE PRESIDENCY
Don’t get me wrong. I will vote for Mayor Duterte in the coming 2016 election for the Presidency. But my vote is not enough to make him win. Why?
Listen to this. Government has announced that it will increase the salary of all government workers almost 20% across the board on top of other incentives. And bureaucrats vote as a block when favored. I know, I was once in government. The one campaigned for or rooted by administration has this advantage. That means that more than 2 million votes would fizzle out from possible Duterte kitty. This is one edge which Mar Roxas has at the start of the campaign period. He came from the old rich and may have the discipline and principles of leadership, but that is not enough. The fact that he was endorsed by the incumbent carries with it some entitlements. May bentahe ang administration ticket along this line. Pamandin, ang tao naniniwala at pumapatol kahit sa kwento lang. And, salary increase is at the moment at the realm of fairy tales pa nga lang.
Furthermore, if surveys were a snippet of an indication, the candidacy of Grace Poe has captured the hearts of students, young professionals and the so-called masa. Duterte will find it hard to snatch this group. Well, only a Miriam candidacy could wreak havoc on the preference of students because of her knack for one-liners which the youth virtually loved to quote. And students are the backbone of the voting population. Kalahati ng voting population comprise the youth—those whose ages range from 18 to 30. Make that 40%.
VP Binay, or whatever remained of his integrity after having been warped and demonized in Congress and media, has the traditional turf not only in Makati but in most provinces and municipalities where he generously shared the surfeit of Makati resources through sisterhood political arrangement. This may look a bit askance and far-fetched but he won the Vice Presidency through this silent relationship. 25% of votes are traditionally in his favor, give or take the rest who are still smarting from innuendoes thrown at him on every corner. Kaya miski anong banat kay Binay, hindi bumababa sa 25% ang kanyang resident political following.
The Philippines has a 38 million registered voting population. 75% of this number comprises the average voter turnout per election experience last 2010 and 2013. Out of this universe, the calculated majority preference will gauge and determine who will be the winner.
Filipinos also has a penchant for picking on the “llamado.” Seldom would they throw their last penny on someone seen as dejado. They never love a loser; they never appreciate a dud, more so, one who is trailing behind.
Although traditionally, electoral exercise in the country means a considerable hefty war chest for the candidate, it does not however follow or make a difference. During the 1998 election, Ramon Mitra had the entire bureaucracy under his command but he lost. In 2010, Manny Villar, the richest among the contenders lost. His resources if at all a gauge for victory did not get any trophy at all. Give and take possible cheating scenarios at the local municipal and provincial level like “lagayan”, “dagdag-bawas”, tricks, the electoral exercise in effect would only be a contest on the top two contenders.
Those behind would just be eating dust in the process unless of course the candidate would garner an astounding landslide preference like what happened to Erap Estrada’s triumph in 1998. Or the tsunami effect of sympathy vote which President Aquino received in 2010.
Mayor Duterte’s move to declare his entry into the Presidential race in Cebu is a calculated move to court the 2.5M voting universe, the biggest among the 10 listed vote rich provinces in the country. But Cebu’s political instinct is not that naive. They vote with their mind and soul at the last minute. So whoever has sustained their impression amidst the sea of controversies and strengths which the candidates exude will receive their mandate. They are that unemotional like other vote rich provinces and urban areas in the country.
While Duterte’s star shone brightly and has dimmed so many in the front line, his pronouncements on not running made a number of people felt jilted in the process. A good number went on to look for a better alternative or just plain replacement. It meant a big percentage have abandoned the stage to review on those left at the lime light.
Finally, he threw his hat at the gauntlet. “The die is cast.” he said, paraphrasing Julius Ceasar. And those, who before mulled and wished for his candidacy, may have renewed once again their interest in him. These are people who lost their belief in a corrupt system, those who cannot stand weak leadership, those who despise unethical and incompetency in governance. They look up to Duterte as their only card to secure the country’s integrity. I stand among those who are smitten at Duterte’s brilliant record as a local chieftain. To our mind, he can duplicate the same verve and accomplishment on a national level.
Mayor Duterte’s final reckoning however did not come in a blaze. I expected him bearing arms and brimstone challenging terrorists never to cast their attention on the Filipino or they get their comeuppance from him. People expected not only threats but statesmanship, a firm manly resolve. He gave however the foremost reason to enter the field because of SET’s decision on Grace Poe. Maybe he is correct but it turned off a lot of people. He may have shown detest against the devil but not to a lady. He merely opened the floodgates of sympathy in favor of Poe’s camp. My friends, a lot of them, went this way leaving me behind wondering if I placed my wager correctly.
I could sense modifications in political alignment unfortunate to my candidate and hope to see positive changes ahead in his favor. Until then, my fingers are crossed.
But let it be said that even if in only a wish fulfillment, I will vote in favor of good governance, on the belief that the leadership would banner an approach even if outside of law but always on the side of order and prosperity. Israel had David Ben-Gurion and China had Deng Shao Pin until their countries became advanced and developed.
I am not voting for myself this time but for my family and their future.