SWS Easter shocker: Opposition winning local races!
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2007-04-08
Easter is mankind’s great moment of victory and news of the resurrection must have struck the hearts of the Pharisees like a thunderbolt. It must be the same feeling for the Arroyo regime when news about the results of the April 4 release of the SWS (Social Weather Stations) survey broke. The survey pointed to a forthcoming victory for the Opposition in the congressional, gubernatorial and mayoralty races.

The good news for Filipinos seeking a way out from this Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) era of poverty, corruption, repression and killings is that salvation is near. The bad news is that despite the overwhelming anti-GMA sentiment, the Opposition seems impotent in framing the relevant issues and inspiring public passion.

Many may have been shocked — except this Chair Wrecker who always underscored that the anti-GMA sentiment is an overpowering reason for an Opposition sweep — to read the SWS survey (fieldwork done February 24 ‑ 27) which showed the following poll trend:

1. GO (Genuine Opposition) and Independent (Ind) candidates lead Team Unity (TU) by a margin of 36% (GO) — 26% (Ind) — 28% (TU) in the congressional races, with 10% undecided.

2. In the gubernatorial races, the trend shows 28% (GO) — 21% (Ind) — 25% (TU), with 12% undecided and 13% not applicable as in Metro Manila.

3. In the mayoralty races, the trend is 35% (GO) — 23% (Ind) — 33% (TU), with 10% undecided.

4. Even among those inclined to vote for TU local candidates, only 4 to 5 TU senate bets are in their magic 12. Among those inclined to vote for GO or Ind local candidates, only 2 to 3 TU senate bets are in their magic 12.

Now let’s see how the regime’s salamankeros and apologists try to explain that. Let’s hear them boast about their vaunted local support when even their local candidates are poised to lose. Hardly any of these administration congressmen, governors and mayors will still plug for GMA and her cause when they see this overwhelming anti-GMA trend. True to the nature of Philippine politics — they’ll start paddling their own bancas and try to steer clear of the political tsunami that GMA has generated.

Those are sobering numbers, to say the least. Combining GO and Independent numbers, that is 62% versus only 28% TU votes in the congressional races, 49% versus 25% in the gubernatorial and 58% versus 33% in the mayoralty contests.

Somehow, those GO and Independents combined votes of 62%, 49% and 58% jibe with previous survey findings of:

1. Over 60% who do not think GMA is the legitimately elected president.

2. Over 60% who want GMA removed.

3. The 53% who rate themselves as poor.

4. GMA’s consistent negative satisfaction ratings, often showing a mere 25% support base.

The regime must have been tracking these poll numbers even before the election campaign started. No wonder then that military troops have been assigned to the Metro Manila depressed areas which by no coincidence are also heavy support bases for the Opposition.

No wonder then that the regime has gone to such lengths as to brazenly try to disenfranchise highly popular Party List groups even as it is allegedly executing deceitful maneuvers to field allies in hastily organized Party List groups.

No wonder then that the insecure Arroyo regime saw the need to revitalize Kampi. If they know these realities in the local level, they would indeed fear a Lakas-CMD that could altogether decide to join the Opposition in order to survive the coming political tsunami.

Trust in the survival genius of Speaker Joe de Venecia to know when to shift allegiance. No wonder then that Senator Ping Lacson talked about on-going negotiations with Lakas-CMD, for them to join the Opposition. Where there is a bandwagon forming, there will be turncoats coming out of the woodwork.

No wonder then that Ronnie Puno, who had a moist eye for the House Speakership, suddenly decided to abandon his congressional seat and remain in the DILG. That seemed rather odd considering that Puno could not secure approval from the bi-cameral Commission on Appointments. But in the light of the coming political tsunami, why should he go down in defeat when there is a DILG option?

Now we also wonder if that fire at the Comelec had indeed been intentional, possibly to justify a failure to conduct the elections. Now we also wonder if all these printing errors in the National Printing Office relating to Comelec requirements are not part of another plot to alter the election results.

No matter how the regime tries to prop itself, the odds are too heavily stocked against GMA now with the prognosis. As if it was not enough that their much-touted advantage in the local level was exposed as imaginary, GMA’s woes are compounded by the Lakas-CMD - Kampi intramurals. Imagine a house with two shaky pillars about to be hit by a tsunami.

If the Opposition had been short of funds before Holy Week, expect a flood of donations to now come their way. If the Opposition could hardly fill all the local positions up for grabs in this election, expect them to now be inundated with offers to switch sides, courtesy of your friendly neighborhood political butterfly.

The Opposition does not deserve this political bonanza. They hardly earned it. GMA brought the political tsunami upon herself. Now the question is — can the Opposition take advantage of it and win with it?

  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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