Thu. May 19th, 2022

By Ado Paglinawan

Part 2 of 2

So now we confirm that Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao has been hostaged by political “kingmakers” with no strategic plan in the horizon, except to win by virtue of divine intervention translated into their candidate’s fame with the masses.  

Whether this is vox populi or deus ex machina, however, one can hardly judge from what Pacman has recently manifested in public, more indicative of a loose cannon or a bull in a china shop.

The grapevine hints this is the doing of Ron Munsayac, who definitely has no hint of savvy in how they have used the Pacman as a cannon-fodder for the opposition against the country’s most popular president, over complicated issues that are much above the level of commonsense that the candidate claims he has.

How that commonsense picks on Rodrigo Roa Duterte who is not running anymore for the presidency as a punching bag, perplexes me. He is not in contention to be reelected or to seek a new mandate, but only to succeed onto the presidency as a spare tire. If his bid for vice president pulls through, would all the sticks and stones thrown at the president’s direction find their mark?

That is not sustained by Digong’s lead the VP surveys.

It seems that Pacquiao has been sold the idea that he needs a political party of the suit of PDP-Laban. That is why Koko Pimentel has been grabbing him by the collar.

Nobody needs any political party to survive a presidential candidacy as the political party system working in this country is not built on principles but personality and money.

A Pacquiao-type has both, so he can even run independent. Some go to the extent of saying he does not even have to advertise because his has a built-in name recall.

Better yet, the grapevine has it that he is being bankrolled by the top two richest Congressmen of their time, both declared billionaires in their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth.

Mikee Romero has a good financial pedigree from his father Reghis, At 30 years old, he worked in venture capital in Singapore where he structured investment deals and reportedly earned his first P100 million. Ten years ago, he became chairman and president of Globalport 900 Inc. which develops and operates major port facilities in the Philippines including Manila North Harbour and Harbour Centre.

Albee Benitez became extremely wealthy chairing the listed gaming firm Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LRWC), and Brightlight Productions that is in business with Manny Pangilinan’s TV-5 network. His family has also amicably settled with STI Education Systems Holdings the thorny foreclosure of the Philippine Womens University, the erswhile heirloom of the Benitez clan in education.

But again, as I have always tagged Noynoy, one cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip. Manny says he has a spirituality, but fails the first test of a seasoned spirituality – that of discerning the spirits at work in a situation.

Pacquiao should have noticed he was being conned by this Koko-Mikee-Albee triad, as early as when they chose a headquarters that was inside a gated top-class Dasmarinas Village. How does he expect his constituencies to go to millionaire’s row?

Can’t it be reached by his touted strong commonsense that if he is not his own man now, he would be pawning the country later on to the vested interests of this wannabe oligopoly?

The problem is the candidate. A case of political schizophrenia? He claims to speak for the poor, but he is bed with the nouveau riche.

Politiko: ‘Di ginamit kokote! Duterte blames Koko Pimentel for PDP-Laban mess –

So what about his August 22  boxing match with Yordenis Ugás?

My reflexes, however, has become slow at 73. Koko Pimentel has to educate me how winning and losing that fight has something to do with “patriotism”. All I know is that the payouts guarantees the 42-year-old a purse of $5 million and his total earning could be around $25 million depending on PPV sales. That can even grow to two billion or more in Philippines pesos, if we factor ensuing product endorsements.

What could have been plainly patriotic is that the triad should have just bankrolled entirely the conversion of a professional boxer onto a president of a country, so that he would not have to shell out equity by risking his life and safety in the ring.

Again as a senator he is on country time. This is also precious time for him to be properly tutored about running a country that today is in the midst of a war with a pandemic, barely surviving a recession.

That would have been more patriotic to me.

But no, they simply regarded a man with a good heart, as human capital, from whose power they will draw the greedy dividends they need to enlarge their kingdoms, a budding oligopoly.

PDP folly: BBM Gain

“Fait accompli.

“That’s how PDP-Laban president Alfonso Cusi describes President Rodrigo Duterte’s planned run for the vice-presidential post in 2022.”

Thus begins my friend Charlie Manalo’s analysis of where PDP-Laban is headed to. I will quote his article here verbatim and with his permission:

“Earlier, Cusi bared the party will nominate Duterte in their national convention this coming September 8 as Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s running mate in next year’s elections. While the Constitution prohibits a president from seeking reelection, no law bars him from running for a lower post including the vice presidency.

“While the party membership is ecstatic over the proposed tandem believing they have a surefire winning ticket, not everyone is convinced. And that includes a core member of Duterte’s 2016 campaign group: Peter Tiu Laviña.

“According to Laviña, PDP’s insistence to field the Go-Duterte ticket will force presidential daughter Inday Sara out of the race, resulting in administration allies fending for themselves.

“It could be recalled that a number of major political parties, all of them allied with the administration, have expressed support for the younger Duterte, appealing for her to seek the presidency next year.

“Leaders of Lakas-CMD, the Nacionalista Party, the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, and the National Unity Party have all expressed intention to coalesce with Sara’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago should she decide to run.

“While Laviña says he believes Sara is “the strongest candidate and likely winner” if the elections were held today, it would be awkward for her to run against her father.

“With regard to Go, Laviña says his chances are very slim. This is validated by numerous surveys showing Go at the tail end. And Go himself, acknowledges he is among the weakest of the probable candidates as he, on several occasions, have declared he would only run for president if the elder Duterte would be his running mate, as if admitting that without the president, he is non-existent as far as his political ambition is concerned.

“Unfortunately for him, a vote for the elder Duterte, who is the strongest vice-presidential candidate at this point, will not necessarily translate into a vote for him.

“In the post-EDSA elections, only the tandem of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro emerged victorious. And that is precisely because Arroyo, that time, already has her established command vote, which she only needs to reinforce via de Castro’s popularity as a television news anchor.

“In Go’s case, he has no solid base to count on.

“As such, PDP-Laban’s ambition to remain in power could actually spell a debacle for them, which on the other hand, could solidify another candidate’s quest for the presidency – that of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. or simply BBM to his followers.

“Aside from the support of the other major political parties “displaced” in PDP’s Go-Duterte tandem which BBM could now court, the former lawmaker could also count on his loyal supporters – estimated to be around 15-million strong – who have been with him since he ran for senator in 2010.

“Different surveys have shown him to be a strong contender, placing consistently in second place, next to Sara.

“And the latest survey, conducted by radio station DZRH shows BBM slowly picking up, racking up 17.7 percent voters’ approval even as he has yet to declare his intention to run and for what post he will be running. Take note that the elder Duterte did not also start at the top of the survey but slowly climbed into the ratings after he officially declared his candidacy in the last week of November 2015, replacing PDP-Laban’s original candidate, Martin Diño.

“Actually, the Go-Duterte tandem could also open the possibility of BBM partnering with a Duterte.

“While Laviña said BBM could adopt the older Duterte as his running mate, making the former senator the strongest candidate for next year, this writer sees a possibility of the former senator teaming up with the president’s daughter instead.

“It’s common knowledge that the relationship between the presidential father and the daughter is not an ideal one. There were times when Sara would even cross paths with her father.

“Remember the famous Speakership change in 2018 when Sara orchestrated the removal of her father’s staunchest ally in Congress – former Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and had him replaced by former President Arroyo?

“For the 2019 elections, Sara fielded her own senatorial candidates, putting up her own political party, the local HNP, to national limelight. In fairness, Sara adopted the senatorial candidates of father, but not those running for local posts.

“Clearly, if Sara really wants to spite her father, she will stop at nothing, even facing him head on for the vice-presidential race, instead of seeking the top post.

“Even BBM sees this possibility. In an interview with television and radio host Anthony Taberna on Tapatan ni Tunying over YouTube, Marcos, while saying he is prepared to run for whatever position in the May 2022 presidential polls, including the presidency, he added he was open for a BBM-Sara or Sara-BBM tandem, when he was pressed to comment on the matter.

Has Bong Bong time finally arrived to follow his father’s footsteps?

“I am running for something in May of 2022,” Marcos declared during the interview, although clarifying he has yet to decide on what position.

“But if there are proposals for him to team-up with Sara, Marcos says he is open for talks on such an idea.

“We have to look at what is the best for everyone, that’s the idea behind all of these,” Marcos said.

“The basis would be what is good for the country, work for the betterment of the country and not for any political purposes,” he stressed.

“A Duterte running mate for Marcos, whether the father or the daughter, would make him an instant frontrunner in 2022. By forging such partnership, Laviña says BBM will “gain a foothold in Visayas and Mindanao in addition to his strong bases in Luzon and the National Capital Region,” a belief shared by other political pundits.

“Laviña then proffers another observation, which again is shared by political experts: Whoever wins in Metro Manila, wins.”

With a solid north-solid south ticket, tapos na ang boksing!

With all due respects for Koko Pimentel, that is how patriotic I could get.


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