It's all over but the lying, the faking and the cheating
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-04-29
With just ten days of campaigning left, we can safely say that it’s all over for the 2010 presidential elections except for the persistent lying and faking by desperate losers and the suspected attempt to cheat. It’s all over except for the proclamation of the Liberal Party’s Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III as the new president of our country.

Posting a lead of anywhere from 12% to as much as 18% over his closest rival, the Nacionalista Party’s Manny Villar, there is no way of reversing Aquino’s lead without provoking People Power. Sure, they can try the feared “electronic Garci” cheating operation — especially with this Comelec (Commission on Elections) that has established a track record of producing anti-Liberal Party decisions. But that would be suicidal on their part to try it.

It has never happened in Philippine elections since 1992, when we adopted the multi party system, that the presidential candidate with a double digit lead in the last two weeks of polling had ever lost the presidential election. Even Fidel V. Ramos, with a very narrow low single digit lead in 1992, went on to win that presidential election. In the case of Joseph Estrada in 1998, he was the dominant brand and was never threatened.

It was only Madame Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s (GMA) proclamation (your Chair Wrecker believes that was all it was, not an election) in 2004 that created doubts — especially after the Garci Tape surfaced. Easily 60% of Filipinos believe that GMA stole the 2004 presidency. But the 2004 controversy happened because of the closeness of the presidential race and the political naiveté of the late Fernando Poe, Jr.

Like Joseph Estrada in 1998, Noynoy Aquino is every bit of what is called in marketing as the DOMINANT BRAND in this presidential election. Aquino led from the time he entered the presidential race in September and never lost that lead to anyone in the SWS (Social Weather Stations), Pulse Asia and Manila Standard polls. The closest it ever got between Aquino and Villar was a two point lead held by Aquino during the January and February polls.
However, starting with the March polls, Aquino picked up steam again like the so-called second wind in sports competitions and has now posted expanding double digit margins in the credible polls. To exacerbate Villar’s situation, his ratings have been dropping since the March polls. From the mid-30s, Villar has dropped to the low-20s. In fact, if this downward trend continues, it is very likely that Joseph Estrada will overtake Villar in second place.

Estrada has been benefiting from the drop of Villar’s ratings. Both Villar and Estrada are positioned against the mahirap (poor). Thus, it is not surprising that Villar’s loss tends to become Estrada’s gain. It is also not surprising that Estrada is now actively attacking Villar.

Villar’s drop in ratings is an indication that the many issues that were hurled against him had gained traction. That fake psychological report which ABS-CBN attributed to Villar’s camp backfired and added to Villar’s bad image. If that was not bad enough, a Villar ally, Guido Delgado, attempted to peddle another fake psychiatric report last Tuesday which can only backfire again on Villar. With Estrada vigorously pressing the Vista Land IPO issue against Villar — like a shark following a trail of Villar’s blood — Villar is forced to be in a defensive position.

In the event that Estrada manages to dislodge Villar in second place, it is doubted if the former president can seriously threaten Aquino — not with only 10 days left of campaigning. Estrada trails Aquino even in the D and E socio-economic classes and he does not even have the machinery of Villar.

When Local Government Secretary Ronnie Puno was interviewed on ANC regarding the irregular presscon of Andal Ampatuan, Jr. — Ronnie mentioned the comparative political machineries of the Lakas Kampi CMD, Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party. Per Ronnie, the administration party has a presence of around 70% in all contested areas compared to around 55% for the Liberal Party and 30% for the Nacionalista Party. Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masa Party has much less than the Nacionalista Party.

It’s not inconceivable that many of those who defected to Villar could still make last minute deals and abandon him if they perceive that Villar will surely lose. Those who are vying in district (congressional) and local positions are the most prone to defecting to the perceived winner of the presidential election.

To further boost the political stock of Aquino will be the tendency of the Gilbert Teodoro, Richard Gordon, Eddie Villanueva, Jamby Madrigal, Nick Perlas and JC de los Reyes followers to shift to Aquino. Most of these voters are from the classes AB and C and are not the type who will shift to the mahirap positioned candidates. Traditionally, the bulk of the undecided will gravitate to the dominant brand — Noynoy Aquino.

On an upward momentum, Aquino could well hit a 42% vote total.

* * *

  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

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo