Friday, May 15, 2009

Politics in the Philippines Election in 2010

By Joe Espiritu

    We should have been writing on the changes of flora and fauna in our environment but we seriously doubt that this would be interesting to our readers. The hottest topic today is politics. There are people who would ask us about the present local political situation every time we meet. It we do not always have up to date information, we would ask them in turn if we sense that the question is rhetorical. From this we learn a lot.

     Since the local political situation depends usually on the national scene, we would start from there... The administration is not yet firm on who would be the standard bearer. Though opinion pollsters rate VP Noli de Castro as a front runner, administration handlers are still open to Sen. Manny Villar. Villar had declared himself as an oppositionist. But since the opposition is not one solid body but a conglomeration of splintered groups Villar might form his own party or join the administration.

     Though Noli is an honest, plodding do gooder, free from controversy – except for the running gun battle with his comare Loren Legarda – he is less colorful than Villar. The latter, with his considerable logistics would make and ideal presidential candidate. Besides another opposition presidential aspirant Sen. Panfilo Lacson is after his scalp. Then there is another hopeful in the person of Sen Mar Roxas. If Villar jumps the fence, Noli would be left out in the cold and if his sympathizers object, then it will be the turn of the administration party to be splintered.

     Nearer home, we have no information on who will run for congressmen in the First and Second Districts. We can only speculate that Erico Aumentado would want his old post as congressman of the Second District. Rene Relampagos has three options. He could run as congressman of the First District, governor or mayor of the City of Tagbilaran. Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap is interested in the congressional seat of the Third District. He would be a formidable opponent of Boy Jala...

     The Edgar Chatto – Roberto Cajes tandem would be the administration gubernatorial candidate. That is; if Cajes agrees to play a second fiddle to Chatto. Since both were congressmen of different districts, equal in rank but different in localities, there would be an intense horse trading before the team will be formed. They will be opposed by VGov Julius Herrera and Provincial Administrator Tomas Abapo. 

     By geographical considerations, they are evenly matched. Chatto and Herrera are from the First District while Cajes and Abapo are from the Second District. However, exposure-wise .Herrera and Abapo has the edge since they had been holding provincial offices. How to translate that advantage into votes is another story. The gubernatorial dark horse will be Cesar Montano. Never count this Baclayanon out. This multi awarded actor, director, producer had not earned such distinctions through acting alone but by using his administrative and managerial skills to produce successful projects.

     In Jagna, the contest boiled down into a three cornered fight between Fortunato 'Bicbic' Abrenilla, Joseph Rañola and Paris Macarayan. Capt Cipriano Madera has faded out of the picture. While Abrebilla attends to his political fences personally, Rañola has his Jagna Renaissance. Macarayan, who has recently come home fro abroad on the other hand, has his cadre of seamen working for him. Bicbic and Paris are both about to retire... Rañola on the other hand can simply move his operations within the reach so he could serve Jagna effectively if elected.

     Since Abrenilla would be the administration candidate for mayor, his governor would doubtless be Chatto. Rañola is for Cesar Montano while Macarayan would wait for one who comes to him. He seems to be sure of his assets. Since the starting gun had nit yet gone off, we could not say who has the edge. Partisan say they have but those are just speculations. The situation is still fluid. Logistics, campaign strategy and sustained effort would decide who will win. 

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