» » » » GAME OF THRONES 2016: Who Just Might Replace President Aquino?

Shortly after the previous presidential election, I became increasingly disillusioned about politics in general and President Benigno Aquino III, in particular. I became so disillusioned that I eventually decided to refrain from writing about public affairs. Lately, I have come to see politics in a fresh new light. Perhaps a fermenting of my pessimism into political maturity ---  or just a natural sign of ageing. Whichever it may be, I believe it's high time to weigh in on the game again. 


The mudslinging has been on for some time now but it's only today that it is officially in full swing.
And here are the official presidential contestants (in no particular order):

  1. Vice President Jejomar Binay
  2. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago 
  3. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte 
  4. Senator Grace Poe 
  5. Administration bet Mar Roxas


Despite meeting people who are die hard fanatics of each candidate, the overwhelming sentiment I get these days is precisely that Filipino voters seem underwhelmed by the choices for president. No one seems just good enough.

The latest Pulse Asia Survey generally reflects this scenario:

  1. Poe regains the top rank at the survey with 30 percent 
  2. Jejomar Binay ranked second with 23 percent
  3. Roxas and Duterte each scored 20 percent
  4. Defensor-Santiago has 4 percent voter preference

Any which way you look at it, these numbers are weak, if not pathetic. These numbers imply that any candidate who can muster the genius or the luck to capture the popular imagination even late in the game can play wild card and dominate the polls.

Here are a few random thoughts thin slicing inside my head:

Poe has her citizenship case dangling over her head up to now -- and I bet this will be so up to the last minutes prior to elections, if only because it would be to all her opponent's collective advantage. That's the penalty for being an early topper. Her citizenship, as well as the way she handles her citizenship crisis, have eroded her credibility and perceived desirability.

Binay has been known to pull out last minute, under the rug surprises (remember the Noy-Bi phenomenon?) 

Duterte may be tied with Roxas now, but his unique brand and strong unapologetic message could prove deadly for his opponents. He also happens to enjoy the "new kid in town" advantage.

Roxas has been a bottom dweller, consistently shooting himself in the foot. It would take, I dunno, no less than a catastrophic miracle for him to land a victory. He has a huge image problem that I would love to see him fix whether or not he wins.   

Defensor-Santiago is, as far as numbers go, a non-player. For sure, she should have won a long time ago. But now she's but a faint echo of a thunder long gone.


The final stretch will be a duel between Binay and Duterte.

I believe the underwhelmed majority will eventually warm up to the rivalry of the two.

Poe will be a strong third player, until her natural momentum get sucked by Binay vs Duterte narrative. Naturally, if Poe can win her citizenship case with finality much sooner than later, that would offset the general landscape.

[Posted in JOURNEYIST]

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About the Author JOE VIZCARRA Google+

Joe Vizcarra is a Manila-based independent writer. With an A.B. degree in Communication Arts, his professional background includes writing for local TV news channels, a PR & marketing agency, and a national government agency.


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