Nothing is certain about the 2016 presidential elections at this point, despite noises from politicians from both sides of the political fence.
If elections were held today, Vice President Jejomar Binay would surely become president. He enjoys high approval ratings, higher than the numbers for President Benigno Aquino III. But since May 2016 is a long way off, many things can still happen. I believe the presidency is a matter of destiny.
As I see it, the battle in 2016 won’t just be between Binay and the anointed one of the President, likely Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II. There are others vying for the post as well. There is Senator Bong Revilla who is banking on his popularity as an actor despite his involvement in the pork barrel scam.
And then you have Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano. This one does not have much to show in terms of track record and accomplishments, but he can sure talk and criticize a lot.
I remember that Cayetano and his sister Pia were once aligned with former President Gloria Arroyo but they abandoned Mrs. Arroyo when the latter’s political fortunes started slipping. Well, that’s Philippine politics for you.
There is also Senator Francis Escudero. Either Cayetano or Escudero is being eyed as the running mate of Roxas but it seems Escudero is more favored.
There’s also Senator Bongbong Marcos waiting in the wings. Don’t forget that the name “Marcos” is still a political threat. We only have to consider not only Bongbong, but his sister, Imee as Ilocos Norte governor and former First Lady Imeldific as congresswoman. Then, there are the Romualdezes of Leyte to reckon with. House Independent Bloc head Rep. Martin Romualdez is also fast becoming a political giant in his own right.
Observers and analysts say that former President Joseph Estrada could have won in 2010 had not the influential Iglesia ni Cristo gone for President Aquino instead.
I have been hearing that Joseph Estrada may just go for the presidency another time. If this happens, Binay’s vote would be split because he and Estrada have the same mass base.
In fact, according to my sources, LP stalwarts met with the President recently to analyze the political situation. They concluded that Erap could spoil Binay’s bid for 2016. The strategy was to put pressure on Estrada’s son, Jinggoy.
Personally, I don’t think Erap will fall for this ploy since he’s not a “bagito” or newcomer in politics.
This brings us to the Vice Presidential race. Who will be Binay’s running mate? Will it be Jinggoy or Batangas Governor Vilma Santos? Vilma is very popular not only because she is an actress but because she has great track record in local politics.
The name of businessman Manny Pangilinan also keeps coming up. It is said that Binay once told MVP—“You take care of business, finance and the economy, and I will take care of the rest.” This combination would be good not only for the country but for the international community! My sources say that MVP demurred, however.
Binay is also reportedly considering Manny Pacquiao and Cebu’s Gwen Garcia.
My gulay, the election is looking like it would be a very expensive one! Will it rely on the pork barrel system and the conditional cash transfer program? There’s also word that smuggled rice from Vietnam and Thailand would play a big role in the polls.
I’ve covered presidential elections since the Quirino-Laurel fight in the early fifties, and nothing much has changed. This time around, perhaps it would be more transparent because of social media.
That’s why I’m not predicting anything just yet for 2016. I just hope that the candidates remember that the issues of poverty, unemployment and corruption should be at the top of their agenda.
They can’t fool all the people all the time.
People want change and they can’t get it from the President and his administration. The presidential polls in 2016 will give the people that change.