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Loren of Arc

Of course, Loren is running as president in 2010. That is why I was laughing when the so-called political analysts were accusing her of milking the Ces Drilon kidnapping for all it is worth. Their analyses are so self-evident, even sophomoric. Magulat kayo pag hindi yan tumakbo!

But did you see how swift the response to Loren is? A calibrated, well-funded, wide-ranging text message campaign villifying Loren of Arc. What I found funny was how could the banker Edgardo Espiritu have said those words in the text message? This guy is a banker, a well-respected man whose profession demands discreetness in word and action. I am sure he would not have said those words against Loren in public.

The Lucida skin-whitening backlash seems to have been bleached (pun intended) with Loren's latest coup. Say what you want about the girl, but what Loren wants, Loren gets.

I remember I was a senior editor at the Sunday Times Magazine in 1996 when my editor, the redoubtable Jo-Ann Q. Maglipon, assigned me to interview David Bunevacz, then the so-called great, brown hope of Philippine athletics. Jo-ann assured me that it was an exclusive, and David did not want to talk to anybody else, except the Times. But lo and behold! When I arrived at ULTRA, Loren was already there, interviewing David, then her camera man taking footage of David, running like a blur in the track field.

Loren then looked at me and smiled, and I waved back at her. Mabilis talaga ang isang ito, ha! Whatta gurl.

Of course, the campaigning for the 2010 elections has begun. All those tarpaulins and billboards and ads prove it. Everybody has geared himself or herself up for the campaign mode. The candidates are now criss-crossing the country to touch base with the electorate. Niche marketing, in case you haven't yet known it, is now the name of the political game. The earlier you clinch that niche, the better for you. So you can move on to the next niche, in the next province, in the next region. Databases are now being dusted off, updated, and collated. Alliances with LGUs are now being forged. Prices of giveaways to be made in China are now being listed down, from wristbands to headbands, from pencils to ballpens, from instant noodles to clocks.

By May of 2009, the presidential candidates with truly deep pockets (only two of them, not counting Lakas-CMD-Kampi) would have fully paid for the TV and radio slots for their ads to be aired beginning January of 2010. To pay early is to make sure you would get the rates cheap, with big discounts. If you buy airtime a month before the elections, the rates would already be laced with arsenic, separated from you by barbed wire. This is the great, big, all-encompassing air war in the tri-media (but most especially TV) that will include ads not only for the presidentiables themselves, but also the ads that will include their VP and senatorial candidates. That is why everybody wants a strong, winnable senatorial slate. Which, of course, is difficult to form. If you study the pattern of victories in the senatorial elections since 1992, a party would be truly lucky if five of its candidates won. That is why the Genuine Opposition victory last year was astounding.

I foresee gazillions of money for ABS-CBN Channel 2 and GMA Channel 7 and their respective radio stations, DZMM and DZBB, as well as the only satellite-fed, truly national radio station in the country, DZRH.

Kaya sa mga friends natin, do not feel bad when everybody is doing his or her small or great bit for 2010. Matakot kayo pag walang eleksyon!

At this point, I am quoting an excerpt from a column of Annie Pamintuan, one of my editors at Philippine STAR and one of the most astute commentators on the Philippine political scene.

Here it goes. Put your tongue on your cheek ;-)



The other target of ugly speculation arising from the kidnapping is Sen. Loren Legarda, who belatedly came into the picture and then, in vintage Loren, tried to hog the limelight following the release. It was hard to find photos where Loren didn’t look glued to Ces – or maybe that was part of a deal, the better for Ces, in her unmade-up (though no less attractive) state, to hide her huge insect bites from the cruel medium of TV.

This should teach Loren a lesson on the merits of keeping self-glorification to a minimum, especially in a case where her initial boast about an “unconditional release” resulting from “firm negotiations” is increasingly being shown up to be a big, fat lie.

As of yesterday, with the PNP announcing that more ransom money was delivered in two duffel bags in Sulu after Angelo Valderama was freed for P5 million, the story going around was that Loren herself had nagged ABS-CBN to pay P15 million. About P10 million was reportedly traced to the Isnajis; no one knows what happened to the P5 million. Loren is sure to deny this and blame the nasty talk on her political rivals. But after the “unconditional” release turned out to have cost at least P5 million, she should start distancing herself from this mess.

With just two years to 2010, and with President Arroyo plumbing new depths in performance ratings at every quarterly survey, Loren should dispel perceptions that apart from the same gender, she has something else in common with the President: ease in lying. In dealing with so-called friends, Loren should also remember that oft-repeated admonition that those who lie down with dogs


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