Ben and I were walking our way along Makati Avenue to an obscure street facing a chapel on Buenavista Hill to buy his daily paper as he makes sure he has a copy of all the big three broad sheets: PDI, Star, and Bulletin, everyday. For what reason? That I will have to find out.
From nowhere, “Who are you gonna vote for president?” I asked him.
Without any trace of hesitation he flatly replied, “Roxas.”
Having your opinions on Philippine politics is tricky if not altogether futile. As one is about to step on a stable ground, thinking that everything is going to be all right then he will realize that he stepped on a quick sand. So it is suggested not to have anything definite, especially opinions (well opinions are often changing), regarding politics in the country.
Let’s pick as an example Mar Roxas’s case. Weeks ago, we read on the news his pathetic performance in both polls made by the Social Weather Station and Pulse Asia, number six and seven, respectively. This week came and we found him abdicating the official endorsement of his Liberal Party, giving way to Noynoy Aquino (his childhood friend) to bid for the highest post in the land as their party’s standard bearer.
All of a sudden, people are talking about Roxas’s statesman-like character, his discernment, his virtues. Solita Monsod in her column even praised the senator and presidential wannabe.
Now let me share you an opinion by somebody raised and who still remains unweaned from Philippine pop culture:
This is a grand telenovela plot. Noynoy Aquino has no plan whatsoever to run as president. He knows his capability and he knows he’s not cut for the job. His parents’ heroism, unlike their Hacienda Luisita that has remained untouched by the Agrarian Reform Law, is non-transferable. Since Roxas’s popularity is trailing behind the rest he can use this to his advantage, as he finds out that marrying the high profile newsreader Korina Sanches is not enough to do the task. So he’ll be a thespian for a while, appearing undistraught in giving up his party nomination “for the country’s sake”. A mark of a true statesman.
Noynoy will then be back from his week-long retreat in a convent in Zamboanga, feeling all refreshed and ready to face his fate. And on national TV, teary-eyed he’ll declare that the post of the president is not for him, but will be content being the vice president in the mean time. He will add that somebody more worthy (as if it is a privilege), definitely not he, can do the job. The camera will then pan to Roxas feigning an unassuming posture. “Mar Roxas shall be the Liberal Party’s presidential nominee, and I will be just behind him as vice.” Noynoy will then do the cliché raising of Roxas’s hand.
Well, opinion do change, but Philippine politics seems to remain as is.