Thursday, December 11, 2003
The item below is not meant to spread malice or defame anyone's character. This is just a bowlderized presentation of "voting logic" as used by some members of my extended family. As this is partly a product of long hours talking at Quattro or some such bistro, take it with a grain of salt.
It took about a month but my uncle has wrapped up his vacation in the Philippine Islands and is, as I type, planing back to Minnesota. He spent the month getting together with his old lawyer buddies, debating the Bible and playing golf, all the while chugging Danding Cojuangco's San Mig Brew. He won't be back 'til after 2004. Which is a good thing. Given the chance, he'd vote for Ronnie Poe. My younger cousin, Martin, will be following his pop home two days from now. Had he been a citizen, he'd have voted for someone else.
Ronnie Poe's decision to run has divided the country. On one side, the well-heeled and middle class closing ranks behind the non-Poe candiadate of their choice. On the other, the great unwashed and teeming unshod lining up to pledge their loyalty to Fernando "Ronnie" Poe Jr. My family itself is riven along voting lines.
My Pop, citing his great distrust of the politician-as-candidate, as well as various unsavory details about the same, is casting his vote for Ronnie Poe. Pop claims that Poe as politician is clean, and has more character than Erap. He's proven that he's his own man and will not be swayed by special interest pressure groups (insert anecdote re: how Poe and Erap faced down and defeated an armed gang of real-life extortionists preying on local movie stars sometime before Martial Law). "Poe," says Pop, "is running out of a sincere desire to help the country. Not like some politicians we know. He declared he was running because the (millions of poor) people asked him to." Here's the kicker-- Pop claims that given our current crop of candidates, we couldn't do any worse. I am eerily almost forced to concede the point.
My doctor cousin, Ferdinand (yes, he was named after Marcos), true to his market/voter classification is voting for Raul Roco. And if Poe and his advisers don't come up with a viable action plan to save the country, so will I. Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Conrado de Quiros supports Roco, mainly because he looks to be the cleanest of our dirty cast. He also bothers to take a stand where GMA is vacillating, spineless, and always waiting for the social weather station to greenlight her actions. Roco backed Judge "Hilarious" Davide when Danding "PacMan" Cojuangco, fearful of being convicted in the Supreme Court for screwing our coconut farmers, engineered a congress initiative to impeach the Chief Justice.
The problem with Roco though, is that he has a short fuse and a rep for being full of hot air-- "all talk," so to speak. He's also never gotten away from the stench of his old law firm. If memory serves... wasn't his old firm involved in some of "Andy" Lipin's, er, business?
My Color is PINGk
Assuming FPJ accepts his party's nomination, my youngest brother is voting for Ping "Mr. Clean" Lacson. He wants to vote for Roco, but he "knows" that only Ping might be able to challenge FPJ on the voting battleground. My brother reasons thusly: While GMA may not be averse to screwing with the ballot, she is so unpopular now that she'll never win. Roco is popular with the intellectual youth, the frustrated and underpaid educators and NGO's. But the great unshod outnumber them many times to one-- so he won't win. Ping, on the other hand, can lie with a straight face, can convince judges that he's innocent of charges of summary execution despite evidence to the contrary. If he decides to cheat, he won't be caught. He's also managed to cultivate a "tough on crime" image, and that'll score points with "the great frustrated unshod" as well as Ping's traditional Fil-Chinese constituency. Ping can't be that bad, says my brother: doesn't matter if the dark allegations that he operates his own drugs/kidnap cartel are true-- as long as he can, er, rub out the other syndicates. Better let the devil you know deal with the devils you don't, apparently. Besides, he did manage to spit-polish the image of the Philippine National Police.
My sister looked at this three ring circus and rolled her eyes the way females do when they think the males courting them aren't worth their time. She refuses to vote.