Ad Lib -- Greg B. Macabenta
Depending on which radio commentator you listen to, which newspaper you read, and which columnist you believe, the sure winner in the May 10 presidential election is Erap Estrada unless the victory is wrested by Gibo Teodoro who is a sure winner because of his party machinery unless Noynoy Aquino retains his lead over Manny Villar or unless Villar buys out all the voters and overtakes Aquino or unless God finally listens to Bro. Eddie Villanueva or unless Dick Gordon’s Bagumbayan volunteers finally step out of the shadows.
It looks like the only sure losers are JC de los Reyes and Nick Perlas, unless the voices of the true blue reformists are finally heard, above the din of jingles and commercials. Don’t hold your breath.
Of course, one has to consider the fact that Villar is the person who appeals most to the masses because he rose from poverty and from bathing in garbage to bathing in billions that he earned honestly through sipag at tiyaga and by land grabbing and using his influence as congressman, House speaker and Senate president to pull off the billion-peso caper called "C-5 at Taga," according to Joker Arroyo who accused him of violating the Constitution and committing high crimes which makes him the ideal president of the Philippines, because he has set a great example for the poor in the country to emulate according to his loyal supporters Joker Arroyo and the Cayetano siblings.
But still maintaining a slim lead or a growing lead, depending on which survey you want to believe in, is Noynoy Aquino who is the Great Hope of the Country for an honest and committed government, in line with the spirit of EDSA and the martyrdom of his father, Ninoy, and the sainthood of his mother, Cory, except for the fact that he and his family took advantage of the poor tenants in Hacienda Luisita and they lobbied to have the SCTex highway pass through their lands which makes him no different from Villar who really did not make any money out of the C-5 project except a measly 5 or 6 billion, which makes Aquino a sure winner in the presidential elections.
But Erap Estrada should not be counted out because he could still win and the pollsters could all be wrong or could all be right, depending on how you want to read the survey results showing Erap Estrada trailing at third place but gaining 6 points to Villar’s loss of 6 points to Aquino’s drop from 40% to 36%, except that the people can no longer be fooled by the Erap Para Sa Mahirap pitch which, on the other hand, is more sincere than the bogus poverty story of Villar because Erap was raised loving the poor people of San Juan while Villar was raised by a middle-income family in Tondo and Erap never stole money from the government but made his money legitimately from jueteng, besides he was unjustly ejected by someone who turned out a worse thief than Marcos and is now the secret supporter of Villar.
Gibo Teodoro, according to the college population composed of intelligent, idealistic voters who are impressed with the candidates’ good looks and especially that of his vice-presidential candidate, Edu Manzano, could be the surprise winner in the election because he has a greater mastery of the issues in the election, unlike his cousin Noynoy who can only count on the advice of his sister Kris, besides Gibo has the full support of the political machinery of the Lakas-Kampi party which is secretly campaigning for Money Villarroyo who has committed to make Gloria Macapagal Arroyo speaker of the House, which is why Gibo is steadily increasing in popularity while all the rest are decreasing and he will emerge the winner on May 10 unless Villar wins or Noynoy wins or Erap wins.
Dick Gordon is, in fact, the most qualified among the candidates based on his track record in Olongapo as mayor and as chairman of the Subic free zone and as secretary of tourism which launched the highly successful WOW campaign besides which he has been doing great service to the country as head of the Philippine Red Cross and he is a no-nonsense public official who will not brook incompetence and will not hesitate to fire crooks and idiots which is why people dislike him and he is not rating well in the surveys which he does not believe in anyway because they are commissioned by moneyed candidates and Dick’s supporters are just waiting to emerge from the shadows to cast their votes and make him win, unless Arroyo and Villar steal the elections or Erap pulls a surprise victory or Noynoy demonstrates the Power of People Power.
Bro. Eddie Villanueva cannot accept the results of the surveys because he has millions of loyal supporters who are praying to the Good Lord every day and swearing by the platform of honesty and good government of Bro. Eddie who just made a trip to Hong Kong and was met enthusiastically by the domestics which does not show in the surveys which is why the surveys are wrong and he will win in the end because Right always triumphs over Wrong.
And as for JC de los Reyes and Nick Perlas, well, the trouble is that the columnists have not been writing enough about them and therefore there have been fewer occasions for them to be inconsistent in their opinions about the two noble candidates, one of whom is Don Quixote and the other is Sancho Panza. Take your pick.
But lurking in the shadows are the Machiavellian schemers and plotters of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, among them Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales and AFP Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Delfin Bangit, who have guaranteed the citizenry a clean, honest, and peaceful election where the military will not allow itself to follow illegal orders which is something Arroyo never gave, anyway, because the orders to Garci to pad the votes to the tune of one million were not illegal, and Arroyo has promised a smooth transition from an administration of great achievements to another one of questionable qualifications, which is why the Comelec is not averse to the idea of a failure of elections that will allow Arroyo to continue in office in order to pursue her good works in the spirit of the would-be- president-for-life, Ferdinand Marcos whose son Bongbong wants to continue his noble tradition in the Senate.
Meanwhile, the Comelec has assured the people of an efficient and flawless automated electoral process because all of the necessary preparations have been made except for a few dozen kinks that may result in some areas having to vote manually but not to worry because the proper safeguards have been put into place so that whether it is manual or automated voting the results will still show the candidate of Arroyo winning, unless there is a failure of elections because there is no power in Mindanao and how can there be an election when the votes of the people in Mindanao, especially in Lanao and Maguindanao are not counted in which case Arroyo will be constrained to remain as a holdover president.
Of course, the Catholic Church, which faithfully respects the separation of church and state and will not do anything to interfere in partisan politics, has already warned the faithful against voting for candidates who are spending tons of money to buy votes and keep media practitioners, columnists, and commentators in their payroll, as well as bribe the military, the police, and the local politicians but all in the spirit of the separation of church and state while performing the duties of citizens of the Philippines, which is what every priest, bishop, and cardinal in the Philippines is.
All of these developments are being closely monitored by the United States and other freedom- loving countries of the world who would like to see a smooth transition from the Arroyo government to a new government in an election that members of the US Congress intend to closely watch so that no cheating is pulled off although in the spirit of respecting the sovereignty of the Philippines, they really should not be meddling in the democratic exercise of an independent nation that has been a dear friend of America through the glorious years of Ferdinand Marcos.
And so we have a citizenry anxiously waiting to vote in the May 10 elections but no longer knowing whom to believe, what to think or what to say because the media and the most prominent, most influential, most intelligent, most committed, most concerned opinion makers in the country are confusing them.
In fact, try asking them: "Who do you think will win?"
Their unanimous response: "Manny Pacquiao!"