Hahahaha! The wicked laughter of the witch is the only sound that emanates from my room. Among these guys, only Bong Revilla and Ralph Recto will win, if at all. Lito Lapid of the Comite de Silencio in the Senate will certainly lose, Leon Guerrero buried in lahar. I like Sonny Belmonte and am friends with his children, but I do not know if the grand old man who turned QC around would still like to join the fray in 2010. And the rest? They will not even make it to the plus, minus three percent that is the margin of error in surveys of 1,200 respondents. In short, they will get less than 2 percent of the votes to be cast for senators.
As for Mikey? Ano ka, hilo? And remember this line from Bayani Fernando: It only takes one sound-bite. . . to make people appreciate GMA all the more.
As the great Elizabeth Ramsey would put it: "Magapatuka na lang ako sa ahas!"
And so in this country, wonders never cease. Read on...
The election bug has bitten the ruling Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrat (CMD) party as it started forming its senatorial ticket for the 2010 elections.
Not to be outdone, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando jumped the gun and insisted that the administration party shall have no other standard-bearer but him in the 2010 elections.
Party officials yesterday presented to Speaker Prospero Nograles in a closed-door meeting the list of possible senatorial candidates.
Nograles is Lakas president.
The list includes re-electionist Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Lito Lapid, Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, former senator Ralph Recto, and Representatives Edcel Lagman of Albay, Abraham Mitra of Palawan, Eduardo Zialcita of Parañaque, and Monico Puentevella of Bacolod City.
Also in the list are Fernando, former presidential chief of staff Mike Defensor, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr., former Surigao del Sur congressman Prospero Pichay, and former Ilocos Sur governor Luis Singson.
Pichay, Defensor, Singson, and Recto were part of the losing administration Team Unity senatorial ticket in the May 2007 elections. Only three administration senatorial candidates made it in 2007: Edgardo Angara, Joker Arroyo and Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Nograles said another possible Lakas senatorial candidate is presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo.
Yesterday’s meeting did not consider who would be the party’s presidential standard-bearer, but Fernando had already announced his plans to run for president under Lakas.
Lakas executive director Ray Roquero said party officials also discussed preparations for Lakas’ merger with Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi).
“Party officials decided to conduct regional consultations to sound off leaders in the provinces on the planned merger,” he said.
He said the consultations would begin on June 16 in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“We see no problems in merging with Kampi. The goal is to have just one administration party in 2010,” he added.
Defeated Team Unity senatorial candidates had blamed the Lakas-Kampi rivalry in the local level for their embarrassing loss in 2007.
“We want to avoid a repeat of that debacle,” Roquero said.
However, a spokesperson for former President Fidel Ramos said a lot of Kampi officials are against the proposed merger, citing an incident where a Lakas candidate defeated a Kampi contender in the 2007 provincial elections.
Speaking at last Sunday’s Balitaan sa Tinapayan weekly forum, Ed Malay said the proposed merger started as early as 1998 when President Arroyo was still running for the vice-presidency.
“The problem is more on the local level. There are Kampi officials who are against the fusion. But we are still hoping it will happen,” he said.
Malay added that Lakas is already engaged in a nationwide buildup campaign to forge linkages with various civic society and non-government organizations as part of its preparations for the 2010 elections.
He said Nograles will be Lakas’ general campaign manager for the coming elections and the party is eyeing Fernando as their possible presidential candidate.
“As of now, Lakas doesn’t have a candidate that can keep up with the popularity of Vice President Noli de Castro, Senators Mar Roxas, Loren Legarda, and Chiz Escudero, but we have people that are willing to rise to the challenge. And these are chairman Fernando and (Quezon City) Mayor Belmonte,” he said.
He added that in a recent survey they found out that Fernando has an awareness vote of 95 percent. The challenge now is to convert that to electoral votes.
Malay said Fernando is their possible bet because of his leadership skills and political will.
“At first, we were thinking about Senator Mar Roxas because of his experience and popularity. But then, lately parang wala na siyang ingay (he has been silent). Then we’ve thought about Guilberto Tolentino, he is more experienced. But lately, Bayani seems to be it.” Malay said.
“But then, it’s only a possibility. It’s nothing final yet.”
I, myself and me
Speaking before the national conference of local government administrators in Davao City, Fernando said he would not settle for anything less than the presidential seat in 2010.
“I am an administrator. I am more of an executive rather than a legislator. I have been offered to run for the Senate twice already. But I refused because it is not my cup of tea,” Fernando said.
The former Marikina City mayor also expressed confidence that the party would not get anyone from the outside.
“The party is strong in itself and will get somebody from the inside for its presidential candidate and it would be me,” Fernando said.
He likewise shrugged off insinuations that the Lakas-CMD has virtually become a weak party because of its poor showing in the May 2007 senatorial elections.
“Lakas-CMD is a formidable party and is a very strong organization,” Fernando said, pointing out that President Arroyo is definitely an asset to his candidacy in 2010.
Fernando debunked the popular belief that Mrs. Arroyo’s endorsement in the next elections is a “kiss of death” as shown in the poor performance of the administration senatorial candidates under the Team Unity ticket in 2007.
“No. It would not be a ‘kiss of death.’ Her endorsement would be something positive and would help a lot,” said Fernando, claiming he is sure to emerge as the Lakas-CMD standard-bearer in the 2010 elections.
He emphasized that the President’s rating could go up between now and 2010 with the help of the right “sound bite.”
“It is a matter of right timing. It would come. One good sound bite could last forever,” Fernando added.
The MMDA chair said he is now establishing a formal organization that would support his presidential ambition in 2010.
He said more than party machinery and presidential endorsement, it is still the performance of the candidates that matters.
Fernando maintained he has an edge over other presidential aspirants as recent surveys showed that 45 percent of Filipino voters go for pro-poor candidates, 35 percent for those who adhere to law and order, while the rest go for other considerations.
“If that is the case, then I have the entire 35 percent to myself and the other candidates have to share the 45 percent slice of the pie because they all claim to be pro-poor. Me, I have always been for discipline, law and order,” Fernando said. – With Sandy Araneta, Edith Regalado