Six out of 12 names in Erap's list of senators will win. Jinggoy will be up there, in the top five. Manong Johnny Ponce Enrile -- the old, durable warrior -- will be down there, in the last two slots. Fate is karmic: again, he would have to contend with being in number 12, like in a previous election, or if he is luckier this time, number 11.
Motormouth Miriam will still win, in the last six of the slots, along with Mr. Clean Serge Osmena.
The young gun Koko Pimentel will also win, as well as the Young Turk Adel Tamano. I wish my dear friends well, and want them to win, just to add a burst of IQ and young blood in the geriatric senate.
That is six names.
The rest will lose.
Showing a few of his cards, former president Joseph Estrada on Monday named a possible senatorial line-up of the opposition in the 2010 elections.
At the Kapihan sa Manila Hotel, Estrada said his initial list included Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, his son and Senate Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and former senator Sergio “Serge” Osmeña III.
Lawyer Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who is still contesting the victory of Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, is also in the former president’s list, as well as United Opposition spokesman Adel Tamano.
He also mentioned journalist Ted Failon; Gina de Venecia, wife of former Speaker Jose De Venecia Jr.; Fernando Poe’s daughter Grace Poe; detained rebel Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim, and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño and Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez.
According to Estrada’s spokesperson, Margaux Salcedo, this is just “an initial list that he is considering.”
Subject to bargaining
It is subject to bargaining. Estrada said that if the opposition succeeds in fielding only one candidate for president, then those who will give way will definitely be prioritized for the senatorial line-up.
Estrada’s trial list is apparently aimed at speeding up backroom bargaining among opposition factions for a unified opposition slate.
At the Kapihan, Estrada also took a dig at the administration’s unity, saying some of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s own Cabinet members have approached him for a slot in the opposition slate in the 2010 national and local election.
Estrada said more than 20 personalities—including Cabinet members, congressmen, and senators—have as early as January this year expressed interest in running for public office under the opposition banner.
He refused to disclose names but added that Vice President Noli de Castro, a consistent topnotcher in political surveys, was “not yet” among them.
“In fairness to Kabayan, he has not yet talked with us,” said Estrada, who was ousted as president in a people power revolt in 2001, convicted of plunder in Sept. 2007, then pardoned a month later by Ms Arroyo.
A former movie star, Estrada remains one of the most popular opposition leaders.
For his part, former senator Ernesto Maceda said he was almost certain that the administration would be fielding more than one candidate for the presidency.
Kiss of death
“I am 90 percent sure there will be more than one candidate. Other administration candidates will run since no one is rating that high (in the surveys). It is possible that President Macapagal-Arroyo will bet on two horses,” he said.
Maceda said that just as in the last elections, an endorsement by the President remained a “kiss of death” with administration candidates obligated to defend her acts and decisions and assure the continuity of her policies.
Estrada mentioned Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro as the strongest administration bet, adding that “Vice President Noli de Castro has not shown any effort in declaring himself as a candidate for the administration.”
“We do not know yet his position... if he will be running on the opposition side,” he said.
As for the so-called ‘moral force’ led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, he remarked, “I commend them for forming the group. But anybody can claim to be moral, even GMA (Ms Arroyo)”
On whether or not he would seek the presidency again, Estrada said his legal team has seen no obstacle to his running. He said he was still holding back on his decision to run as the opposition was still trying its best to unite under one candidate.
Estrada said that the opposition would be meeting in June to decide on a single presidential candidate in the 2010 polls.