Our people’s will in our election on May 9

boholano-thumbIt was a very long and contested kampanya. Gusto man nato o dili, we know who won and who lost.

For hinigugmang Bohol,  I am happy and satisfied by the reelection of Governor Edgar Chatto, Tagbilaran Mayor John Geesnell Yap; Congressmen Rene Relampagos, Aumentado, and Arthur Yap.

I regret that Vice-Governor Concepcion Lim lost. I was aware of her leadership, and especially her support of my campaign for Bohol to be a nonkilling province in a nonkilling Philippines!   And I must know her successor.

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The election of Davao Mayor Digong Duterte as our new President! Let’s see again the partial unofficial tally as of 9:45 P.M. May 11, 2016, representing 96.65% of Election Returns.

DUTERTE     15,879, 761

ROXAS            9,663,869

POE                  8,913,006

BINAY             5,301,756

SANTIAGO     1,417,450

SENERES             25,066

Among all the presidential candidates, Vice-President Jejomar Binay started his presidential campaign when he was elected Vice-President in 2010! He was the earliest, and probably the most determined and confident candidate for President. He had defeated Mar Roxas for Vice-President in 2010. This made him hopeful if not certain to defeat him again. He had considerable resources for the very expensive nationwide campaign.

He probably did not realize that the intensive investigations into his alleged corruption as Mayor of Makati would reveal his vulnerability as presidential candidate. That he lost to Mar Roxas by 4,362,000 suggests how badly wrong Binay had been in his estimates and confidence. Moreover, Binay could not get a better candidate for Vice-President: Senator Honasan got the least votes among his rivals: 757,121.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago did poorly again in his second candidacy for president; the first was in 1992 when she lost badly to Fidel V. Ramos. This time she was hopeful because she chose Senator Bongbong Marcos as her candidate for Vice-President. But she did badly, in 5th place, with 1,417,450 votes with, or even with, Bongbong’s help.

Earlier in the 2016 presidential campaign Senator Grace Poe was the hottest candidate. She was a fresh political face who had topped the senatorial campaign in 2013 as the adopted daughter of the late movie hero Fernando Poe, Jr. and movie queen Susan Roces. She had a hot story to tell as a foundling baby in Iloilo of unknown parents. And a presidential candidate to defend the heroic name of Fernando Poe, Jr. who allegedly had been cheated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 2004 presidential race.

Grace Poe became more popular by her role in the Senate investigation into the so-called “Mamasapano massacre” on January 25, 2015. But doubts arose on her qualification as a natural born Filipino citizen, her U.S. citizenship which she said she had renounced, and her required residency as a candidate. And she seemed strengthened by popular and glib running mate, Senator Chiz Escudero and his celebrity wife, Heart Evangelista. The Commission on Elections declared Poe was not a qualified candidate for president, but the Supreme Court ruled that she was constitutionally qualified. Finally, Grace Poe emerged in third place for Vice-President with 8,913,006 votes.

Former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas finished in second place as the Liberal Party presidential candidate by winning 9,663,869 votes. Highly qualified, honest, and dignified as a political leader, Mar drew respect in the campaign and presidential debates but still lacked charisma. He did prove right in persuading Representative Leni Robredo, to be his political party’s and his own candidate for Vice-President. As “a lame duck” outgoing President, Benigno Simeon Aquino III was not so helpful either.

Leni Robredo is an economist, lawyer, and the widow of the celebrated Naga Mayor Jesse Robredo who served as DILG Secretary but perished in an airplane crash in 2014. Leni proved very persuasive and lovable as a candidate for Vice-President and in neutralizing Senator Bongbong Marcos.  Thereby she boosted Mar Roxas in the presidential race. And, dramatically she won as “the best woman for Vice-President” in her own words.

Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte won by a virtual landslide: 15,879,761! How did he do this among his rivals and with the voting public? I’d let U.P. professor and “public intellectual” Randy David help us as he did in his commentary in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on May 12.

Randy noted that Duterte “came from behind and from the margins, literally and figuratively. Those who had been cruising on the same highway didn’t see him coming. Then on a bend, as the road began to tighten, he picked up speed and barreled his way to the finish line. …

“… to account for Rody Duterte’s phenomenal success…none is more interesting than his incomparable way with crowds. xxx The complete opposite of the stirring orator, he gave rambling monologues. Yet, he was a gifted storyteller: He had perfect timing, and was outrageously irreverent.

“To a jaded public that expected nothing much from politicians, he was a delightful rogue who constantly tested the limits of civilized demeanor and speech. He mocked every institution. No figure of respect was exempted from his habitual cussing.

“But, in this unorthodox manner, Duterte was able to give full expression to deeply felt resentments that the average Filipino too timid or too scared to verbalize. He taunted the ruling elites, the guardians of morality, and the defenders of the status quo.

“In so doing, he brought out the defiant, the repressed, and the incorrect in his audiences wherever he spoke.”

And so did he stand out and stand taller than all the other candidates for president.  (By Jose “Pepe” Abueva)



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