Today the orphan, who they badger with citizenship and residency issues, Senator Grace Poe is Â now on her launching pad to be the third woman president of the Philippines.
The latest SWS survey conducted September 2-5, even before she declared her candidacy at UP Diliman on September 16, showed the reluctant candidate zooming on top at 47% (almost half of the voters) , up 5 % points from June’s 42%.
The LP candidate Mar Roxas, riding on an endorsement of one of the most popular presidents of recent memory in Noynoy, galloped his way to 39% (+ 18 points) Â now No 2 and eclipsing erstwhile leader VP Jojo Binay who stayed at 35%. It was a rude awakening for the vice president.
Davao city mayor, the swashbuckling Rod Duterte had given up the presidency and slid from 20% in June to 16% in September. Where do you think Duterte’s votes would go?
We had earlier forecast that Grace Poe ,who topped the 2013 senate elections with an unprecedented 20 million votes, will make a historic announcement this September.
The four conditions for her magical ride to the presidency Â may have been fulfilled. Her prayers for discernment answered- Â sensing that the authentic, unadulterated voice of the people is often also “the voice of God”. Her total family support which was at first thin. The structuring of a platform of government that will continue Pnoy’s Â Matuwid na Daan.Â And a recent independent survey Â that confirmed that by September ” she has not been stopped on her tracks and has, in fact, Â become a runaway train” (previous verbatim Editorial wordings).
LP strategists were quick to taint her candidacy by saying that Â Grace Poe -by running not under the LP- had strayed away from the Straight Path. Anticipating that, the 47-year old mother of three, said in UP Â that “no one has a monopoly of the Matuwid na Daan”. Â Making sure, the people know Grace and Noynoy were reading the same page, she vowed to spare Aquino any personal attack and will champion the causes he espoused.
The LP strategists’ labeling of her 20-point agenda at UP as a mere “cut and paste” (copycat) of the LP agenda, only served to confirm that a Poe presidency is perhaps a continuation, not a disruption of Noynoy Aquino’s anthem. Aquino had confirmed Poe’s adherence to his reform agenda by inviting her many times to a dialogue regarding their possible collaboration for the Â 2016 polls.
One opinion maker even had his take that “Aquino’s heart is for Mar; his brain and entire body is for Grace”. And concluded Aquino, the economist Â is a believer in numbers and trends.
Everyone and his uncle are aware that there is a burgeoning political “coalition” that may prop up Poe’s candidacy. After the LP convention by the end of September -naming their candidates- those who will be left behind are certain to join the Coalition-for-Grace; only very few to what is now perceived as a slowly sinking ship of Binay.
Star columnist Alex Magno calls this the new LP: translate “Lipat Poe”.Â
The soon to be released Pulse Asia Survey , to our mind, will merely confirm Poe’s hold on No 1. What will be important to also Â note is where the direction of the votes of the Â other candidates in the past like , Bongbong Marcos, Alan Cayetano and Miriam Santiago would likely go-since they may Â not be running for president?
But what is certain is that the bombs and mortars to be detonated in the direction of Senator Grace -will likely intensify as she has now opened herself as Â fair game by declaring her candidacy. Â Expect the citizenship and residency issues to reach the Supreme Court.
But the Â popularity of Senator Grace is not just a spin-off the national appeal of an FPJ for he has long been gone in 2004 – but it is also Â the perceived Â purity of her intentions. Up the last few weeks to September, she was truly having some sleepless nights -contemplating both Â the burden for her and the promise of the presidency for the teeming masses of the people.
When we introduced her as our Keynote Speaker in the 60th anniversary Â of The Bohol ChronicleÂ at the Bohol Tropics in May 2014, we spoke of her, thus:” The presidency of this country should be given to the person who least desires it.” And so that march of history may have begun.
Apprised of the new survey results, Sen Grace said this is a “validation that our agenda for transparency, efficiency and honesty Â resonates well with the people.”.
In June this year, a Pulse Asia Survey showed the senator , who we will see in a campaign uniform of white tops and jeans, as the most trusted of all Filipino public officials with an incredible positive rating of 93% and only less than half a percent against.
Of course, there are miles to go and one week in politics seems like forever.
We Â also do not want to trivialize Philippine politics by deifying the song and dance routine. But the lineage and personal background of Poe would likely gather one of the most attractive assembly of showbiz stars in the campaign. People love that.
An LP Â Roxas-Leni Robredo tandem, on the other hand, Â is a politically correct duo- combining the Aquino Legacy and the “Tsinelas good governance” of the late Jessie Robredo. The task at hand is for the LP to make sure that the good mix of such delectable combo rubs on soon enough on Mar Roxas.
There are Johnny come lately political Â pundits who are likewise pushing the loquacious and media savvy actress and presidential sister Â Kris Aquino to team up with Roxas as possible Â vice president. Â That will not likely Â happen- because last we checked Kris is not necessarily enamored with a Roxas presidency and has burned her bridges with the Binays after they attacked the president.
Wittingly or unwittingly, some Â people espoused the theory that Â a Roxas and Poe running simultaneously Â could divide their votes and pave the way for a Binay presidency. Â But based on trends, that may not happen.
It could be a Roxas and Poe race to the finish line- both having six months Â to go to convince the 50 million voters out there that Â “I am the better heir of the Â Matuwid na Daan”Â legacy.
Who is your choice, ladies and gentlemen?
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