The political termites are coming out of the woodwork
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2009-10-11

How do you solve a problem like Noynoy Aquino? Just imagine the stress that Noynoy’s presidential rivals are going through these days.

How do you solve the classic problem of having to face the man people regard as good when it so happens that as a presidential candidate you are only suitable to be offered as the lesser evil?

How do you bring down the phenomenal poll ratings of a presidential candidate that is threatening to attain a majority vote — over 50% — in a multi-party era where the best ever registered victory was 38% in 1998? How do you cope with the aura of the son of two contemporary national heroes - a son whose entire 10-year public service career is untainted?

Since Noynoy’s rivals are faced with a problem of not being able to improve their respective “product” features, they are left with no other option but to make Noynoy look like another “inferior” product. From being good, Noynoy must be made to also look like a lesser evil.

But how could they do that to a guy who has not shown any ostentatious or subtle display of opulence despite the fact that his mother had been president for six years? Noynoy even lives in their old Quezon City home when the sons of lesser public officials have moved to mansions in the posh subdivisions.

And so, as to be expected in Philippine politics, the political termites, the demolition operators, have been mobilized and they’ve started to undermine the Noynoy presidential locomotive. They are now found on the internet spreading their poison on Facebook, egroups, blogs and so forth.

The internet is very convenient for termite activity. There are no editors to impose journalism standards and delete unsubstantiated statements. The termite can hide under a pseudonym like one termite that calls itself “Juan Tamad” and sends opinion writers like your Chair Wrecker poison emails.

Rather stupid when you think about it — do they really expect a writer to just gobble up any poison coming from an obvious termite who does not even have the guts and the decency to reveal his identify? Only another paid hack like the termite will find use for that rubbish. Luckily, “Explainer” Manolo Quezon knows the culprit and told your Chair Wrecker. The mercenary termite even has the gall to use a “konsyensangbayan (nation’s conscience)” user ID.

Per Manolo, one group alone established several blogs to undertake the same demolition agenda. Obviously, their goal is to make it appear that there are many out there who share their anti Noynoy sentiments. They will attempt to place a negative spin on every act that Noynoy does or anything that Noynoy says.

Another termite even manufactured a fraudulent Inquirer cover page in order to place Noynoy in a bad light. Forwarded to us by Manolo Quezon, this termite redesigned an Inquirer cover to inject the political poison — thus making it appear that Noynoy was called to task by the publication.

We are seeing only the tip of the termite iceberg. As Election Day nears, they will become more desperate and this will manifest in the poison they will be spreading. Expect anything from these termites. Who knows — they might pin the blame for the executions of Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio on Noynoy. They might even say that Noynoy sent operatives to open the dams during Tropical Storm Ondoy’s downpour to create the anti administration backlash. Desperate situations produce desperate measures.

Just as your Chair Wrecker warned in an earlier column, expect those mercenary pollsters to emerge from the woodwork. These mercenary pollsters will manufacture a bogus survey that suits the political agenda of a paying patron.

Based on immediate pressing needs to derail his momentum, Noynoy’s rivals would want a poll that will show that Noynoy’s ratings dramatically dropped. Their objective is to show that Noynoy is sputtering while their client (the candidate who is really paying for the survey) is gaining an upward momentum.

In the 1998 presidential election, one such odd-man-out pollster sprouted and produced the only poll that predicted a Joe de Venecia victory. My friend Ed Malay of The Center informed your Chair Wrecker recently that the man behind that ridiculous 1998 survey is now with the latest pollster in the block — the new polling firm that calls itself Stratpolls.

Recently, Stratpolls was in the news announcing that Noynoy is down to a 33% rating, an erosion of more than 30%. Any political watcher will know that a presidential candidate does not suffer an erosion of 30% from his 46% to 51% ratings in other surveys in just two weeks without an earth shaking event causing it. In contrast, my friend Conrad de Quiros told me last week that the latest SWS nationwide survey will show Noynoy widening his lead over his rivals.

It is wise to rely only on the SWS and Pulse Asia surveys as they have the proven track records and are in the polling business for the long haul. If you notice, the SWS and Pulse Asia surveys tend to show similar findings, especially in rankings. They tend to vary only in percentages. The suspicious pollsters have the knack of producing radically different results like the 1998 Joe de Venecia victory prediction.

Presidential elections being a high stakes game, the SWS and Pulse Asia must ensure that their ranks are not infiltrated by those who may want to sabotage their polls in order to serve a particular candidate’s agenda. In a closely contested race, a 10% sample alteration could make a winner appear to have lost ground and pave the way for a loser to get away with cheating.

Cheating in the 2010 presidential election is almost impossible if Noynoy maintains a lead of more than 10% over his closest rival. Cheating can only attain a semblance of believability if the margin, as seen in the credible SWS and Pulse Asia polls, is no more than 5%.

If Noynoy maintains anywhere from 40% to 51% ratings, any attempt to cheat him or even stage a failure of elections will trigger People Power. Such a brazen attempt will leave the military with no choice but to side with the Filipino people and ensure that the Constitutional process is not brazenly violated.

Noynoy’s rivals will have to reckon with the credible SWS and Pulse Asia surveys if they are to get away with cheating. Even five other mercenary pollsters claiming that Noynoy will lose will not be believed if the SWS and Pulse Asia polls show Noynoy holding an over 10% lead.

Expect the political termites to tenaciously attempt to infiltrate the SWS and Pulse Asia or bribe some of its present personnel in order to produce the bogus survey results that will make cheating believable.

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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