Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said that in due time, he would reveal something that people don’t know about the administration candidate for President, Mar Roxas.
This was after Duterte said that Roxas was behind the rumor that he was suffering from throat cancer, which compelled him to withdraw from the race.
I don’t know what Duterte said–about that “something” that people don’t know about Mar. We can only guess.
Now comes Mar’s wife, Korina Sanchez, posting on her Facebook wall that she was falling in line at Naia 3 on her way to Cebu for a speaking engagement. She sure takes pride in her humility.
It comes as no wonder that the handlers of Mar do not want Korina to be seen in public with him. She says the wrong things at the wrong time. And she has done it again.
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With the filing of Senator Miriam Santiago of her Certificate of Candidacy for President, it is said that the presidential race in 2016 becomes a four-way fight among her and Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jojo Binay and administration candidate Mar Roxas.
With eight months more to go until Election Day, I’m inclined to say that it could, in the end, continue to be a two-way fight between Binay and Mar as it was for the vice presidency in 2010.
Why do I say this?
The disqualification case against Mrs. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares, now pending at the Senate Electoral Tribunal, is serious and cannot at all be discounted. The SET decision is expected to be handed down by November 10, but of course it could still be elevated to the Supreme Court.
There are also cases filed at the Comelec against Poe for allegedly failing to meet the residency requirement of 10 years under the Constitution. One is by a former lawyer of the Government Service Insurance System, and still another one by former Senator Kit Tatad.
These citizenship and residency issues raised against Mrs. Llamanzares are so serious that I have been told that businessmen who had promised to fund her campaign have now withheld their support until she is deemed qualified to run for President. So how can a presidential candidate move without money?
Miriam Santiago for her part has said she is cured from lung cancer, and is suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome that prevents her from attending Senate sessions. Can we expect her to run a stressful presidential campaign?
Ask any oncologist, and they will tell you once you have a stage 4 lung cancer, that is already a death sentence. Miriam tells us that she is already recovered from it. Well, Miriam may now be in a stage of remission, but no one can predict how long that can take.
I believe that Miriam has the track record and qualification to become President. But we need a strong and healthy President, who must hit the ground running after election. We cannot afford to have an ailing chief executive.
This is why I see a two-way presidential race between Binay and Mar Roxas.
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The results of the latest Standard Poll on senatorial candidates once again validate what I have said that it would be a tight race for newcomers and also-rans.
The survey showed that among the top 12 picked by respondents for the Senate are old faces: Senators Tito Sotto and Ralph Recto, followed by Senator Bongbong Marcos, former Senator Ping Lacson, former Senator Kiko Pangilinan, former Senator Migz Zubiri, Senate President Frank Drilon, Senator Serge Osmeña, newcomer former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former Senator Jamby Madrigal, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar.
If we erase the names of Senator Bongbong Marcos, who is running for Vice President; Madrigal, who has not filed her CoC for the Senate; and Mark Villar, Las Piñas representatives who withdrew from the race, then Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, who is running for reelection, former Senator Dick Gordon, followed by Taguig Rep. Lino Cayetano, PhilHealth Director Riza Hotiveros, and Manila vice mayor Isko Moreno would have a chance in the Magic 12. The cliff-hanger is Senator TG Guingona, who is placed by the poll survey behind Moreno.
Name recall is the name of the game in the Senate race. This is so because a voter has so many names to choose from. Comelec records show that in many instances in the provinces, voters can only write seven names on their ballots.
This is why those aspiring for the Senate must have their names in sample ballots distributed by political parties. Those running as independents may as well forget their Senate aspirations.
Among the “balik-senado” I would like to see is Dick Gordon, whose track record in the Senate speaks for itself. I would also like to see Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, whose qualifications as Philconsa president and track record as congressman are outstanding. I am also supporting resigned Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francisco Tolentino, who was the most hardworking MMDA chairman I have ever known.
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The significance of the 130 “presidentiables,” among them clearly nuisance candidates, is the need to review the qualifications of those aspiring for top positions.
What should be erased from the Constitution is the provision that anybody who can read or write can aspire to be President. This should be replaced with the need for a formal education or college degree. Presidential candidates should also be given a mental test.
If we cannot learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it.