Editorial: Not-so-hidden intentions

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Saturday, February 15, 2014

PRESIDENTIABLES start building their nationwide political machinery and hugging the limelight one to two years, or even earlier, before the presidential election. In this sense, it would be good to watch out this early for them and know their not-so-hidden intentions when they participate in public discourse.

For the 2016 polls, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay started peddling themselves earlier than the rest.

Roxas backed off in 2010 and gave way to Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, who ended up becoming president. The understanding was that 2016 would be his turn with the backing of PNoy. He was eventually given a Cabinet post that has allowed him to stay in the limelight while strengthening the machinery of his party.

Sun.Star Cebu editorial cartoon for February 15, 2014
Sun.Star Cebu editorial cartoon for February 15, 2014


Binay’s vice-presidential run in 2010, on the other hand, was considered preparation for his presidential bid in 2016. Unlike Roxas, Binay has taken a “safe” Cabinet post, one that won’t bring him much trouble.

Still, Roxas and Binay have been dragged into controversies that have dimmed their luster a bit. And because they exposed their cards early, everything they have been doing has been considered politicking.

What is interesting is that the perennial also-rans like Sens. Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda have made no effort to grab the limelight or do the rounds of the country yet. Are they still at it?

Legarda vanished from the limelight altogether while Escudero is talked about only because he snagged actress Heart Evangelista. It would be interesting to find out when they will finally make their move.

In the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the pork barrel scam, one senator, Alan Peter Cayetano, is grabbing the limelight and has been going around the country.

He has also been targeting Binay on various issues. In the hearing, he specifically mentioned the vice president’s attempt to discredit the testimony of Ruby Tuason and defend his beleaguered allies, Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada.

Then there’s Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who many people believe is also targeting the presidency even if he has refused to talk about his political plans for 2016. But the body language is obvious.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is taking a different route. He has a cult following among netizens and sectors that admire his stance against criminality in his city.

But he sounds hesitant to take the plunge, which is understandable, considering his lack of nationwide machinery and logistical support. But he may yet make a run for it if a major political party adopts him, so we will continue to watch out for his change in demeanor.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 15, 2014.


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