FVR provides the key to Gilbert Teodoro's political future
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-03-11

With less than two months left for the campaign period, the 2010 presidential and vice presidential races are realistically down to the top three combatants in each contest.

For the presidential race, it is a fight between leading Senator Noynoy Aquino, Senator Manny Villar and former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada. For the vice presidential race, it is left for Mar Roxas, Loren Legarda and Jojo Binay to win.

The top three of both races also happen to be in tandem. The tandem of Aquino and Roxas of the Liberal Party (LP) are leading followed by the Nacionalista Party (NP) tandem of Villar and Legarda while the Estrada - Binay tandem of the Pwersa ng Masa are in third place.

Outside of these top three contenders for each position, the fourth placers will need Jesus Christ to return to earth, walk on the waters of Manila Bay and endorse them. The impact of that could drive up their ratings and make them serious contenders, if not winners.

The Lakas Kampi CMD (LKC) funding brouhaha last week demonstrates the helplessness of the administration party’s presidential and vice presidential bets to avert political disaster. Up to the middle of 2009, the LKC was still proclaiming their mantra of: “We will overwhelm them with our political machinery.” We hardly hear that nowadays. They could not even field 12 Senatorial bets.

Gilbert Teodoro may be enjoying a high conversion ratio but rising from 1% to 7% with a margin of error of 2% hardly merits serious consideration as a possible winner, not with less than 60 days left to campaign. The percentage increase may appear dramatic but in real number of voters, Teodoro is about 12 million votes behind Aquino.

Teodoro has to skyrocket by 500% in order to tie Noynoy Aquino, based on Aquino’s 36% and Teodoro’s 7% ratings in the February 21-25 Pulse Asia survey. Teodoro would do well to concentrate now on how to minimize the damage from this misadventure and reinvent his political career for a future presidential election. Teodoro should prepare for a graceful and political career saving closure from this misadventure.

Teodoro is still young and his political career does not have to go down with this presidential election like the captain of the Titanic went down with his ship. In a different time, under different circumstances where the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) kiss of death does not cripple him even before the race has started, Teodoro can be a top contender. But that will now depend on how Teodoro manages this political Waterloo and how he sets the stage for the next presidential election.

Former president Fidel V. Ramos (FVR) could provide the inspiration for Gilbert Teodoro’s political future. That is not to suggest that FVR’s endorsement will reverse the political fortunes of Teodoro in this presidential election. No way. FVR has just about lost his political capital after supporting the GMA regime despite its biggest transgressions.

This is also not to suggest that FVR should launch a coup or People Power in order to install Teodoro as president under a revolutionary government similar to the 1986 government that took over from the Marcos regime. They do not have the numbers as FVR is now only good for EDSA Day events and will be lucky if he can still attract a crowd of over 1,000 to mount another EDSA.

Teodoro should learn from the political reinvention of Fidel V. Ramos and how, after making a crucial decision, FVR catapulted to the 1992 presidency. Had FVR not made his dramatic decision on February 21, 1986 and joined Cory Aquino’s Yellow Army, he would have gone to political oblivion after having played a key role in the Marcos dictatorship.

No politician closely identified with the Marcos dictatorship could win in national elections up to the term of FVR. In the 1987 Senatorial elections, only Joseph Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile survived the Cory administration juggernaut. Estrada’s showbiz celebrity and non-involvement in the big sins of the Marcos regime against the nation won it for him. Enrile’s role in EDSA I redeemed his major involvement in the Marcos regime.

The 1992 presidential election was contested by two candidates who were both allied with the Cory Aquino administration — FVR and Miriam D. Santiago. Marcos regime major player — Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. — only placed third.

Teodoro is in a position to know what sneaky plans are in the works to frustrate the will of the people in this election. He can expose those plans and like FVR — make the nation owe him one. Teodoro is in a position to exert his influence on the administration and its operators to stop whatever plans there are to create a failure of elections.

Like what happened in 1986, a failure of election could throw our country into civil war. We were extremely lucky in 1986 to have avoided that possibility of civil war — thanks largely to Jaime Cardinal Sin and Cory Aquino for their commitment to active non-violent means.

Today, the socio-economic conditions of our country are much more desperate compared to 1986. Many Filipinos are hungry and angry. We no longer have Cardinal Sin and Cory. Our country needs every hero who will rise to the occasion.

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