A short list of three?

ALTHOUGH BSA3 has given the go signal to use machinery and resources to promote the presumptive candidate and every event is being used to extol the presumptive’s qualities, we now know that it seems being on top of the list is not assurance of endorsement despite the calls of party leaders and officers to already make a declaration.

ALTHOUGH BSA3 has given the go signal to use machinery and resources to promote the presumptive candidate and every event is being used to extol the presumptive’s qualities, we now know that it seems being on top of the list is not assurance of endorsement despite the calls of party leaders and officers to already make a declaration.

Not declaring could probably be due to two reasons, lessons learned in sliding and not winning in 2010 and mud throwing. On the lessons learned, Mar Roxas should all the more declare and bring his case to the people. Roxas should work for it and define himself early on as his own man. He cannot allow others to define that for him.

Alas, from Mr. Palengke and his market economy principles and what could have been to Mr. Padyak, a problematic extension of a branding. Mr. Palengke could have been a 2016 narrative had the promise been fulfilled. No rebranding can be most powerful than being his authentic self and that Roxas will have to continue from a high note of service to country and the sacrifice he made in 2009. Add to that the narrative of being lost in the forest for that stunning defeat in 2010, from being the so-called water boy to presidential candidate-in-waiting.

From the pains of betrayal and a big letdown of being dumped by operatives, Roxas needs a soaring storyline to once again capture the imagination and the hearts of voters. And that narrative is not in the continuity plane. But as others would often say, “Roxas carries the burden and the sins of this administration.” True.

Will it be continuity, as the battle cry of LP? Or change? Continuity of what? The voters must know and that is where a national conversation can be made. Unfortunately, Roxas is allowing everyone to define him to his detriment. As have been stated early on, continuity is status quo while change is the ability to use leadership to usher in just even one drop, a page, or one stone to a foundation that could unleash the power of inclusive growth. Will Roxas be the oligarch’s bet, where the “40 riches families in the country account for 76 percent of the country’s gross domestic product” or would he roll up his sleeves and solve what economist Bernardo Villegas described as “scandalous” when more than a quarter (26%) of all Filipinos live in poverty versus less than 10% poverty rate in Asia? Can Roxas ask his class to be less greedy? Can Roxas embrace what his party derisively call as bobotantes? Filipino voters are not stupid Mar. They are the most rationale if only you can be authentic with them.

Much has been said that Dinggoy was a better politician than Mar. Probably, but Dinggoy never had Mar’s experience. From 1992 to 2015, that’s 23 years of being an insider and surely by now, he knows what is wrong and can put together possible solutions for inclusive growth. Being in the arena offers one unique opportunities of seeing things using a different prism. Again, unfortunately, the Roxas today may no longer be that of 2004. Not known for taking risks, Mar has to lay it on the line for 2016.

But even as Mar Roxas is being talked about in relation to his viability as a candidate and not his winnability (a concession not worth making public), the buzz is loudest with two other names in BSA3’s apparent very short list: Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero. Every mention of Grace Poe is an erosion on Roxas’s stock for Poe is positioned as presidential. Every mention of Escudero is often in relation to Poe (political twins) while Roxas shares the sins of this administration from five years of hospital arrest of former PGMA, impeachment of Chief Justice Corona, PDAF and DAP, Yolanda, Mamasapano, Purisima, lethargic stints in DOTC and DILG, among others. Escudero has been given a new luster with his glue-like association with Poe. Poe, on the other hand, is now being seen as too ambitious and trapo. Sad.

Many have said that Roxas might again be denied that chance to offer himself to the nation because of the so-called amazing Grace and the shrewd political player Escudero, who can thrust a knife and twist it. Three names in a very short list. Three names that BSA3 is said to be meeting one after the other, save for Roxas who is part of the official family. One, a true yellow Liberal and two independents. One who stayed belatedly with the GMA group and two who have been with the opposition, making a name there with one, being heir to the Panday throne while the other, milking the association since he became spokesperson, but that is a different story altogether. Would we see a Roxas-Poe with Escudero as Executive Secretary? Or a Roxas-Escudero ticket (highly improbable but possible) or an Aquino endorsed Poe-Escudero independent ticket?

LP these days is talking of 18 continuous years of administration. People always make snide remarks about Aquino. These five years is proof that we have the most wily, if not cunning political mind. To plot for two administrations after him is something not often done. Most would say that the presidency is destiny, campaign science say it’s not. BSA3 could probably be looking until 2034. Not easy. Not often done but possible. With the same players plus one, and that last name is a deeper play.

“Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.” Stop with the play and being coy. Stop with looking through surveys or working via ads to increase survey results then decide. When you allow media to play you around, and this is true also for Duterte, you allow others to define your commitment to service. If you want to serve, declare and let’s start with the issues that really matter — the future and our country.

 

Published in Manila Times on June 15, 2015:  http://www.manilatimes.net/a-short-list-of-three/192229/

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About the Author
Malou Tiqiua is the Founder/General Manager of PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. A noted political management expert in the Philippines and Asia, she brings over 20 years of professional experience in public, private and the academe combined. Author of the comprehensive book on electoral campaigns in the Philippines, "Campaign Politics", Malou is a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a Political Science degree and a Master of Public Administration. She completed her second master's degree (MA in Political Management) from the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University.
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