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September 5, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Ronald Roy — 2012 September 5

Further to last week’s column titled Time—which said that the Liberal Party bigwigs, instead of appropriately hailing a hometown hero that the late Jesse Robredo was to Nagueños, created a national hero (perhaps patronizingly) on whom to anchor a campaign for the midterm elections next year and, indubitably, for the presidential derby in 2016—it was not at all surprising that the future LP presidential standard bearer himself, Mr. Mar Roxas, was appointed Interior and Local Government’s Secretary.

But what was surprising, if information reaching me is unadulterated, was how the FIRM-Backed Boys (FBB) managed to have a reputable major daily to publish a story that Pres. Noynoy had already anointed him as his choice for the position even if he had not yet done so, thereby making him feel he had no other alternative than to announce Mar’s appointment as a matter of formality.

It sucks that these guys couldn’t even be decent enough to allow the President the courtesy of announcing his choice without any secret maneuverings taking place behind his back. Viewing P-Noy as a lame duck, they just had to make sure he would not appoint someone else, not just anybody to the department that is so charged with stemming peace and order problems through the local governments and the Philippine National Police, that it has to be the most powerful instrumentality to boost the “winnability” (I hate this word) of LP candidates in both the 2013 and 2016 elections.

No, not just anybody like UNA’s Vice President Jejomar Binay (Jojo), Mar’s main opponent for the presidential face-off four years from now, whom P-Noy once considered to head DILG, and who in the eyes of his countrymen is ideal for the post, if his storybook record as Makati City’s illustrious Mayor is any indication.

It is this very same record, lest we forget, that was the principal reason why Jojo scored an upset win in the vice- presidential derby over Mar in 2010.

Additionally, giving the FBB importunate migraine attacks is Jojo’s unwavering poll-survey position as the most popular public servant in the country today, sideswiping no less than Sen. Pres. Juan Ponce Enrile and P-Noy by very wide margins.

According to my informant, these are some of the circumstances why the FBB are engaged in frequent planning sessions. Expect from them the good old muckraking tactics characteristic of trapos.

Last August 24, in her radio program “Rated Korina” aired over DZMM, veteran Radio-TV broadcaster Korina Sanchez, wife of Mar Roxas, described Jojo in vernacular Tagalog  as a small black demon salivating for the position of DILG Secretary. Now, wasn’t that the most moronic thing she ever did as a professional media personality and the wife of a potential Palace occupant?!

Not only was her radio spiel a breach of ethical standards, it upgraded Jojo’s popularity even more. When Korina denigrated Jojo the way she did, it was Mar that was seen as calling Jojo a small black demon; and poor Mar is certain to pay a political price if this sort of booboo persists.

When you look at short and dark-skinned Jojo, you’re looking at millions of Filipinos. Congenial, engaging and “un-plastic”, Jojo attracts like a magnet in whatever the setting because: he is Jojo Binay, the personification of business power nestled at the heart of Makati’s financial district—alas, a symbol of national prosperity, albeit a mirage to the knowledgeable!

And people all over the country, very especially the poor and the elderly, go bonkers over him. He’s flesh-and-blood real, and when they touch him, they’re touching their hope, and that’s why he’s widely viewed as the next President of the Republic, their President!

If Mar has to make a dash for the 2016 finish line, he has to reinvent himself, not in the mold of Jesse Robredo, but in his own rich-kid persona projected by a documented preparedness hewn out of the finest technocratic schools in the world and two distinguished stints as a cabinetman and senator.

Replying to reader Larry Bustos from Cavite, I am certain that, if Mar can so much as cause the indictment of that high profile marijuana farmer from Ilocos and that notorious Jueteng lord from Pampanga, he will almost surely realize his political dream.

A Florsheimed and necktied or baronged President is what the country needs in a fast-changing world whose leaders are often embroiled in cliffhanging contretemps. The notion of a Filipino President clad in a T-shirt, shorts and thongs addressing the United Nations General Assembly is an absolute inanity.

Mar and his FBB handlers must now consider reflecting that his poor-man image was a kind of deception that probably caused his loss at the VP race with Jojo. People don’t like being treated like idiots. Every living soul knows that Mar is a scion to the family crown jewel identified as the Araneta Commercial Complex in Cubao.

So how in heaven’s name can they insist that, after his corny Mr. Palengke and Padyak misrepresentations led to mediocre results, his cornier oversized-tsinelas gimmick will catapult  to renewed glory the Liberal Party that his grandfather, the revered Manuel A. Roxas, founded in the forties, and will propel him across the finish line ahead of Jojo four years from now?

In my personal view, Mar can be a good President for a hundred million Filipinos, sans mudslinging and dirty tricks, PROVIDED one: he effectively pursues the reforms of Jesse Robredo (whatever they were, as detailed in documents still held under lock and key on orders of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima) and two: he resorts to no more preposterous gimmickry.

Incidentally, with respect to gimmicks, CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno may have used one that bordered not only on the ludicrous but also on the blasphemous. The maiden address she delivered—before her colleagues, officials and personnel of the high court during the flag ceremony on the morning last Sept 3—was subtly provocative  when she enjoined her listeners to set aside intrigues in deference to God who, she cockily intimated, anointed her for the position. Hmmm… shades of Gloria Arroyo, eh?!

Her remarks aroused serious questions regarding her youthfulness and psychological fitness. It is neither normal nor customary for government officials to couch their communications in religiosity—let alone of the intimidating variety—when she said, in effect: “Don’t mess with me because God put me here to produce results!”

Is this what we are to expect for the next 18 years?!

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