Among the probable presidentiables, it’s probably Sen. Grace Poe who has the biggest dilemna. To run or not to run, for what position and with whom?
As the surveys have shown, she’s leading. If we have the elections tomorrow, she’d win. However, we still have months to go before election time and barely 3 months to go before the filing of COC. This means, she has a short time to decide and think things through but a long time to go either further up or further down. And by the looks of things, it’s more likely that she’d be pulled down. Why? Let me enumerate:
1. Track Record. ‘nuf said. Of course one can argue that Cory Aquino was just a plain housewife when she ran and won against Marcos. Different time. For one, Marcos and his record was the only enemy and the only issue at that time. The stars have aligned for Cory primarily because of the people’s desperation to get rid of Marcos. Two, she was percieved to be everything Marcos was not. Pnoy, although having a similarly mediocre track record, was benefited with the passing of Cory who still has a mass following. And let’s not forget the legacy that his father, Ninoy, had left to scores of Filipino consciousness. Rightfully or otherwise, those factors got Pnoy the votes.
Grace Poe is no doubt intellectually endowed. She’s an alumnus of UP Manila and Boston University. And it stops there. Her only public service record was her stint in the MTRCB, a token appointment where she can never go wrong whether or not she does anything. Her stint in the Senate was only given notice in her handling of the Mamasapano massacre probe. Which, for all intents and purposes, was an easy stand given the clear fiasco of the operation. In fairness, she handled it objectively and seem to spare no one, not even Pnoy himself. But still, the issues were clear cut and the emotional factor of the country favoured the indictment of the president’s handling–a lack of coordination and the insistence of Pnoy to tap an operationally-challenged suspended PNP chief.
One can argue that she’s the daughter of the presumed winner of the 2004 presidential elections, action-king FPJ. But who cares? FPJ was not known as a political leader who was known to have fought for any socio-political issue prior to his run. He died in a gathering of friends while having a few bottles of beer and not on the streets fighting for something or on any political platform that would endear him to his constituencies. He was cheated in the elections and soon after he passed. Both events have little or no relation to each other. Raul Roco would have had a better “emotional” impact during his own death.
2. Citizenship Issue. This makes her vulnerable to legal attacks. The merits of the law may favour her in the end but one thing is a fact, she turned her back on her country by pledging allegiance to another. That may be legal but to many Filipinos, it doesn’t sound well that their president (if she runs and wins) was once a non-Filipino.
3. Chiz Escudero. There’s a term I heard in one of the AM radio programs that describes him. Political Photobomber. Although he has a better than average track record in Congress and Senate, it is still lacking in substance that one can say that he enabled game-changing legislation to benefit a cross section of society. Binay has Makati, Duterte has Davao, Mar has the Cheaper Medicines Act, while Escudero has Heart–but even that has its own bad publicity. And of course, he’s a good speaker. I used to like it how he presents his arguments by saying one thing and contradicting it with another and concludes with a rebuttal. But it’s gotten trite and corny. And also, check out his wedding sponsors. Ongpin, Ramon Ang, etc. Would he be crossing horns with them if and when the time comes for him to pick a side between them, his ninongs, and his people? 2nd Poorest Senator wed in Balesin. Bigyan ng jacket ‘yan.
So what am I saying? Whatever Grace Poe decides, it is hoped that she has the interest of the country in mind. Not her ambition or not just her deep yearning to vindicate her father’s memory. She should be discerning enough to listen to advises that matter and shun those that are lined with vested interest of the advise-giver. Great powers come great responsibility, as has been said. Her lead in the survey and her position in government, among other things, have endowed her with great powers over our people and our nation, may she not drop the ball but instead further distinguish herself as a new breed of truly non-trapo, independent and integrable leader.
Postscript: If she runs for president with Chiz, then it’s Chiz who would have the easiest run in 2016!