Sizing Up The Noynoy Aquino-Mar Roxas Ticket
They are either quaking in their boots or talking through their hats.
I’m referring to the back to back reactions of the administration party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition to today’s fiesta-like affirmation of the Liberal Party’s Noynoy-Aquino-Mar Roxas ticket.
A friend who was at Club Filipino today described Sen. Mar as being “every bit a statesman and looking re-energized while Sen. Noynoy was brimming with confidence that their tandem is going to indeed be the team to beat on May 10, 2010.”
In contrast, House Speaker Prospero Nograles can barely hide his group’s trepidation:
No doubt that it looks like a good team except that their only focus is to attack the administration to get sympathy or votes.
Mr. Nograles betrays his fear that the legitimate issues against their outgoing regime will power the opposition’s electoral victory.
Palawan Representative Antonio Alvarez, on the other hand, can offer only a lame reference to political pedigrees of Aquino and Roxas :
Remember, they are the descendants of men whose names and face grace our money.We hope that competence, not genes, will frame the election. This is about the road ahead, not a trip down memory lane.
Valenzuela Representative Rex Gatchalian, the NPC spokesman, is trying to earn his keep:
The NPC tandem that we will announce will definitely eclipse other parties’ tandem.
Our national tandem, Senator (Francis) Escudero and Senator (Loren) Legarda, have been registering very good survey numbers even if neither has made any official candidacy announcements. This is proof of their individual and implicit strengths as candidates, what more if they are paired together on a Chiz-Loren or Loren-Chiz line up.
One subtext to this is the fact that the administration ticket is headed by the nephew of Mr. Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco.
Although he is known to be bank-rolling the Escudero run, the NPC remains a coalition ally of the Arroyo administration.
Mr. Cojuangco is widely speculated to also give generous support to Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.
So he will, in truth, be straddling both sides of the political battlefield in 2010.
It will be foolhardy to to assume that the Aquino-Roxas ticket has the race all sewn up given that reality that the Liberal Party has to fully rebuild its provincial pary machiner, specially in Mindanao, along with its political war chest.
The handlers of Senators Aquino and Roxas can ill afford to be cocky.
There is well-grounded hope, though, that more than money, it will be the yearning of Filipinos for true change that will drive the LP bandwagon.
The fight should move forward in earnest, but with its feet on the ground .