You might unknowingly vote for a GMA 'clone' in 2010
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-01-29

The support for Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) fluctuates from survey to survey between the low 20% to the last high of 29% in the SWS net satisfaction ratings released last December. Over 70% of Filipinos either rejected GMA or were wary of her in that last survey.

However, because of the multi-party system that is now in place, we have been getting a spate of presidents elected by a plurality. Unfortunately, we don’t have runoff elections to ensure that the winner is elected with a majority vote.

Even Joseph “Erap” Estrada who was considered to have been popularly elected in 1998 could only muster 38% of the total votes cast. Fidel V. Ramos was elected president with only 22% of the votes cast in 1992. In 2004, many of us even doubt that GMA really got the winning plurality.

It cannot be ruled out that, despite remaining extremely unpopular, GMA still has a good chance that her ‘clone’ could end up winning the 2010 presidential elections. Five Opposition presidential candidates running against one administration candidate could easily result in an administration victory — even without cheating.

The 70% anti-GMA voters divided by five Opposition candidates will average to a mere 14%. The average 25% pro-GMA voters will still win. Easily, there are Manny Villar, Mar Roxas, Loren Legarda, Panfilo Lacson, Joseph Estrada, Chiz Escudero and Jojo Binay from among the Opposition who are eyeing the 2010 presidency.

In fact, even if the Opposition miraculously manages to rally around one presidential candidate, people may not know it that the Opposition candidate could be a GMA ‘clone’ in sheep’s clothing! This Chair Wrecker thinks that there is one such ‘Opposition’ presidential candidate who perfectly fits the bill — Loren Legarda.

Why does this Chair Wrecker think that Senator Loren Legarda has the makings of a perfect GMA ‘clone’? Let me assure you that the coincidence that both Loren Legarda and GMA are women has not even been factored in that assessment.

First of all, let’s set the parameters for seeing a 2010 presidential candidate as a potential GMA ‘clone’. Won’t you agree with this Chair Wrecker that a person’s character and values form the best gauge for determining that?

Our actions are determined and influenced the most by our character and values. Compare, for instance, the character and values of Cory Aquino and GMA. Is it any wonder therefore that Cory Aquino spent her entire term stabilizing and preserving the institutions of our democracy while GMA spent hers eroding and destabilizing these democratic institutions?

Now what exactly has Loren shown us to be perceived by your Chair Wrecker as a potential GMA ‘clone’? Allow me please to explain.

A good gauge of character and a person’s values is that person’s loyalty to a cause. How do GMA and Loren rate in that department?

From LDP when GMA ran in 1995, she has since raised the political banner of Kampi and Lakas in 1998, the People Power Coalition in the 2001 elections, K4 in 2004 and Team Unity in 2007.

Who were with GMA when she came to power in 2001 and how many of those are still with her? She owed her ascendancy in 2001 to the civil society groups who clamored for REFORM AND JUSTICE. Well, did we get reform and justice?

Loren Legarda was with Lakas and actively prosecuted Joseph Estrada during his impeachment hearing in the Senate. She even did the ‘crying lady’ bit when the pro-Estrada Senators killed the opening of the Jose Velarde envelop.

From Lakas, she jumped to the Estrada-associated Opposition and ran as Fernando Poe’s Vice President in 2004. To do that, she had to eat humble pie and eat her own words. Loren renounced her role as an EDSA II player in order to be accepted by the Estrada forces and have a shot at being Fernando Poe’s Vice President.

After having lost the 2004 elections for Vice President to Noli de Castro and after winning in the 2007 midterm elections as an Opposition candidate, she did another GMA ‘jump ship’ stunt and joined the NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition) of Danding Cojuangco — a no ifs and buts GMA supporter.

In the recent Senate coup, Loren Legarda was among the four chief plotters from the Opposition bloc (Panfilo Lacson, Mar Roxas and Jamby Madrigal are the other three) who allowed an administration man — Senator Juan Ponce Enrile — to sit as Senate President. The coup plotters did this in order to unseat Manny Villar who leads in the 2010 presidential polls.

Are you surprised that when Cory Aquino made that ill-timed joke last December 22, Loren Legarda was quick to support the so-called apology to Estrada whose endorsement she seeks in 2010?

Legarda was quoted as saying that Aquino did the right thing. “There is nothing wrong in saying sorry. In fact it shows your humility, it shows your humanity,” she added.

GMA and Loren, Loren and GMA — tell me just what exactly the difference is! Is it not obvious that they share the same values? I called the years of GMA in Malacañang Palace as the era of Harlot Politics, the era when allies and causes were scandalously traded for political gain. Tell me why we should not extend the era of Harlot Politics if and when Loren Legarda occupies Malacañang Palace?

If you were driven to cynicism by GMA, just why will you think that Loren will bring you and our country any hope?

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