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Ninez Cacho-Olivares

Separate ways?

Friday, 31 July 2015 00:00 Published in Commentary

First, they appeared to be inseparable as a presidential tandem: Grace Poe running for president, while Chiz Escudero runs as her vice presidential candidate.
Now they are both saying that they will not decide as a packaged team, but will make their own decisions, which means if she does not run, Chiz can run without her.
What their latest version of their indecision can be translated into is either Grace Poe may have belatedly changed her mind about not running as the presidential anointed Mar Roxas’ vice president should yet another meeting with Noynoy clinch it, which can mean that Chiz runs for the VP slot as an independent, which is not likely, since he will then be running against Poe, in this scenario.
More likely, following her latest spiel of “we will decide separately” may mean her not running at all with Chiz running for the VP slot, with his anchor, Poe, supporting him all the way, which will be a hard sell for any party — even for the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
Or, in another scenario, both Grace and Chiz have gotten a case of cold feet and will opt out altogether from the 2016 presidential race, with Noynoy and the Liberal Party (LP) all out for Mar, which means the full government resources will be at play and will work to Mar’s advantage. As stated many times, Mar Roxas, with the entire government resources behind him, along with the Commission on Elections and the PCOS (precinct count optical scan) machines, plus the yellow surveys, should never be underestimated.
Of course, all these resources and big money backing him, do not mean that he can’t lose, since the presidency is always a matter of destiny.
Poe only had one survey that quickly made her a contender and front runner in the presidential race, which gave her a good bargaining position in her bid to get the sitting president to endorse her as his, and the LP’s standard bearer, but she probably played her cards wrong, as surveys are ephemeral and at such high ratings, the probability of drops in the surveys are higher than retaining the high numbers.
Poe and Chiz have three more years in the Senate and both can run for re-election. If she runs for the presidency and loses, she retains her Senate seat. But should she run and lose, it’s all over for her in 2022.
This is what happened to Sen. Loren Legarda and Chiz Escudero. Both senators under the NPC were gunning for the presidency, with neither one deciding to give way.
In the end, even as Escudero made an early bid for the presidency, he backed out, and so did Legarda, who eventually settled for the vice presidency, in tandem with then Nacionalista presidential standard bearer, then Sen. Manny Villar. Both lost, and neither Legarda nor Villar is being seen as presidential and vice presidential timbers today, or even in 2022.
Both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations surveys are hardly a reliable gauge of the public’s sentiments, as has been proven too many times and these two survey firms were proven to have been manipulated the numbers too. They brought down the numbers of then former president with another run, to ensure that he is denied contributions for his campaign. He was a poor third in the surveys, but ended up as number two, and would have won had the Iglesia supported his candidacy and if there was no wide scale PCOS fraud.
It should be a good lesson to learn from the campaign and loss of Villar.
Villar had the billions in his campaign chest. He had a party. He had a slew of mayors and governors belonging to other parties on his side. He even had the two survey firms putting him neck and neck with Noynoy Aquino, as the LP standard bearer’s high survey ratings dropped. The LP played dirty, with its black prop of his being the “secret bet” of Gloria Arroyo while being called “Villaroyo.”
At the same time, the yellow media, which served as the propaganda machine of Noynoy, did everything to kill the genuine but damaging psychiatric and psychological report on the yellow bet, to the extent of their manufacturing a fake psychological report to destroy the Noynoy genuine psychiatric and psychological report, which is now being validated. His ambition, his lust for power to take vengeance against those who hurt him and his family. His acts are all being proven accurate by the Fr. Bulatao report.
In much the same way, Mar, as Noy’s VP candidate, was at the top of the VP race, but his numbers tumbled, and Jojo Binay ended up the winner.
Grace Poe, out as an LP bet, also has a big constitutional problem regarding her American citizenship, which was renounced only in the Philippines in 2010, but officially no longer a citizen of the US in 2012. She also last used her US passport in Dec. 27, 2009, as recorded in the Immigration records.
It will also be very difficult to prove, in her case, that she has fulfilled her constitutionally required 10-year residency for both top posts even as she claims that she has been a resident since 2005. Perhaps, but certainly as an Amercian citizen until 2016. How can she say that it was her intention to become a permanent resident of the country, when she never gave up her US citizenship?
This would definitely be brought up during the campaign, which could derail her bid for the presidency in 2016, should she decide to run for the top post.
But, that’s all up to her, whether she runs or not. As she now says, decisions will be made separately. The duo can go separate ways. It is their political life at stake.

Perils of politics

Thursday, 30 July 2015 00:00 Published in Commentary

From bits and pieces of what Grace Poe discloses to the media, it appears that through all her meetings with Noynoy, what she really wanted and hoped for was for her to become the anointed of Noynoy.
Not that she really believes his anointment would be the be-all to winning the presidential race, but because the government resources and network would be opened to her for her presidential run.
Now she says it is not surprising that Noynoy would endorse Mar Roxas as his anointed, although she added that from those meetings, she got the impression that Nonoy wanted her to slide down to become Mar’s vice presidential candidate.
There is however, something not quite right in what she has been relaying to the media about her four meetings with Noynoy. She disclosed, after the first meeting, that she and Noynoy spokes very candidly, although he never mentioned which position he wanted her to have.
But surely, if candor marked the talks in Malacañang, why couldn’t she have asked Noynoy directly just what position was he was offering her, which he could have answered directly.
What she said after the first or second meeting was that she would like to remain independent and that she is more comfortable with Chiz Escudero as her running mate. Wasn’t she then giving the wrong signals to Noynoy by saying she prefers to remain as an independent and that she wants Chiz as her partner, if she were being candid about the whole thing?
More likely, Noynoy did want her as a presidential bet, under one condition: Which was for her to become a Liberal Party member, which she had rejected, with her claim of her wanting to remain independent even as an LP standard bearer, and for her to choose her running mate.
Her statement saying that she is more comfortable with Chiz compared to Roxas, already put finis to Mar wanting her to become his running mate — unless of course having her to run with him would be due to political expediency, but a trusted VP to Mar, she would not likely be.
Somehow, it seems that Poe gambled her political future as a vice president in 2016, and a possible presidency in 2022, unless of course she still hopes to be anointed as Noynoy’s VP bet in 2016.
This is probably the reason she and Chiz tried to look strong as top post bets with the Nationalist People’s Coalition willing to support their candidacies, which is their sort of threat to break up the Palace coalition, with the NPC going its own way.
But apparently, the LP does not take that possible break up with the Nationalist People’s Coalition that seriously.
From what the LP stalwarts have been saying publicly, Mar has many vice presidential bets from which to choose, disclosing names such as Vilma Santos Recto, who certainly is qualified, considering her nine year stint as Batangas governor, which translates to her having solid administrative experience, and another possible VP bet in Sen. Alan Cayetano, who is a Nacionalista Party member. Chances are, Cayetano may well be a better choice for Roxas, if only to retain the NP as a coalition partner.
There were earlier murmurs from the NP that they may go for Grace, which could have meant an NPC-NP combine.
It is also evident that Chiz is prepping himself up for a vice presidential run, even as he and Grace continue to play coy, with Poe’s claim of still not being decided on running for the top post as she continues to “discern” whether she can tackle the job or not.
Goof grief. If she ever wins the presidency, the nation will be witness to a teka teka president, who takes forever to make a decision.
Worse, she would have as her political partner, Escudero, who can’t decide either whether he is running or not, as everything, he says, depends on Grace. Omigod! Two running mates who can’t decide on their own and firmly!
However, what it really looks like is their made up portrayal as “reluctant candidates” who are not ambitious, which no longer works.
There are at least three scenarios for Grace Poe: One is that she and Chiz run as a tandem as independents and propped up by the NPC, which may not be that united in its support as provincial governors and mayors have their own choices for president and VP bets; or two, she does not run at all but will support Chiz’s VP run, since she knows that she has a big legal problem of probable disqualification on her lack of the constitutionally mandated residency of 10 years for a vice presidential and presidential run; or three, she hopes that despite Mar being anointed, she could still be lured b Noynoy to become his vice presidential bet.
After all, as a presidential bet, she will be attacked for her lack of residency and her American citizenship from all political corners as another presidential candidate. As Mar’s VP, she may even be ruled by the courts as a qualified VP candidate. There are many instances when our Comelec and courts of law become politically influenced and go against what the Constitution requires and mandates.

Never fought the good fight

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 00:00 Published in Commentary

There Noynoy went, in his two hours, 15 minutes of his State of the Nation Address (Sona), wasting the people’s time by harking back to the past, and criticizing his No. 1 political foe, former President Gloria Arroyo, laying the blame of his and his administration’s mess and shortcomings to her.
And it wasn’t only Arroyo he was painting black, as usual, perhaps believing that as long as he paints Gloria and all his political foes black, he would look cleaner than clean, even if the general public knows that to be untrue.
He never mentioned the mess he made with the pork barrel scam and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), where parts of it was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC), yet he fulsomely praised himself and his Budget chief, while talking about his straight path.
How straight can that path be when he thanked his Cabinet, many of whom have plunder complaints lodged against them, but quickly absolves them, with nary an investigation.
And the reason they have not been charged at all by the Ombudsman, is clearly because she is a certified puppet of Noynoy.
Yet in the case of his political foes, especially the former SC Chief Justice, Renato Corona, whom he ordered his members of Congress to impeach and convict, and were bribed with hundreds of millions by him and his Budget secretary, taken from the infamous DAP. Corona gets clobbered by Noynoy and made out to be a crook, while Noynoy refuses to admit that he committed a very crooked and corrupt act by bribing the legislators to oust Corona, simply because Corona refused to bow to him and grant him and his family more billions for the sale of the Hacienda Luisita to the tenants, and for Corona and his court thumbing down his Truth Commission, where he wanted Gloria Arroyo to be flayed.
He again convicted the three detained opposition senators, whom he made as his public exhibits in claiming success for his straight path, despite the fact that they have not even undergone proper trial and should be deemed innocent until proven guilty and he, as the President, should know that. However, being the vindictive president that he is, he couldn’t stop himself from using his detained political foes and the former Chief Justice as his trophies and achievements, which many of them are ghost achievements.
He never mentioned in his long goodbye speech, the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the DAP, despite the fact that, apart from his allies who have also been listed in the same selective audit but are still being protected by Justice Chief Leila de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morale, that the PDAF and DAP have been resurrected in the 2016 national budget.
He never even mentioned the fallen 44 Special Action Forces (SAF) commandos who were massacred by the Moro Islamic Liberation rebels and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters. Nor did he admit that it was he who should have blood in his hands, as he gave his military orders to stand down, leaving the SAF troopers to die.
He refused to admit that these 44 SAF members were massacred because of his and his pal, then suspended Philippine National Police Chief Alan Purisima botched the Oplan Exodus, giving a suspended Purisima the power and authority to direct the operations.
And to think Morales quickly absolved him from any liability, despite the glaring proof that he is definitely liable and accountable for the deaths of the 44 SAF troopers.
He mentioned how the economy grew under his watch and bragged again about the many times international ratings agencies upped the country’s credit rating, as if this does anything for the economy, since all this means is that the country can borrow more loans at a lower rate, which still send the people to the poor house, as those debts have to be paid. And has Noynoy been borrowing, like there is no tomorrow.
He also bragged that his conditional cash transfer program is a success, as poverty has been reduced and even heaped praises on Dinky Soliman, despite Commission on Audit audit reports showing the leakages and missing billions in the CCT budgets.
But ironically, on the same day, a survey showed that 50 percent of Filipinos felt that they are poor.
He got back at Vice President Jojo Binay by asking Congress to pass an anti-dynasty law, knowing that this would never pass in the legislature, as there are too many of his allies who are dynasts.
He boldly said that the 2016 polls will be a referendum on his six years in office.
What this means is that Noynoy will cheat again, as he did in 2013, for his senatorial bets.
Noynoy claimed to have fought the good fight. He lied again. He never did. He fought dirty and is still fighting dirty.

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