MANILA - Much has been said about the “phenomenon” of Grace Poe, but being on top is also a "curse," according to a political analyst.
That curse, said University of the Philippines (UP) political analyst Prospero de Vera, is the expectation of being a contender for the vice-presidency or even the presidency in succeeding elections.
If Poe is able to prove herself in the next three years, de Vera said she will become a “formidable candidate” in 2016.
This was what happened to those who have topped the senatorial races such as Gloria Arroyo, Loren Legarda, and Noli de Castro. All of them became vice-presidential candidates.
THE LP DILEMMA
If Poe joins the Liberal Party, De Vera said this will be good for President Benigno Aquino and his dream of “continuity” of his reform program.
But De Vera does not see a Mar Roxas-Grace Poe tandem for the 2016 elections.
He said, “the problem with the Liberal Party, they don’t have a strong presidential contender. Mahina si Mar. Maikli na ang panahon towards 2016 [for Mar] to become suddenly strong.”
The best option for the LP is to continue its coalition with the Nacionalista Party (NP), one of the coalition partners of Team PNoy.
De Vera noted that if the 9-3 result in the 2013 senatorial race holds, more senators will be added to the NP bloc in the Senate than to the LP.
Reelectionist senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes, Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar may ally with senators Pia Cayetano, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Miriam Santiago.
The only addition to the LP bloc of Frank Drilon, TG Guingona, and Ralph Recto would be Bam Aquino.
De Vera said the LP should then agree with NP on a tandem in 2016. “They could get the presidential bet from the NP, maybe Alan Cayetano [to partner with Poe]?” he said.
De Vera said adding the financial backing of the Villars to the formula would be good for the administration.
Although Bongbong Marcos running for president in 2016 “is in the realm of possibilities," De Vera does not see him running for the top post.
He sees Marcos as a strong candidate for the vice presidency rather than the presidency.
“It will all depend in the next three years,” he said.
If the Aquino government stumbles, De Vera said the opposition would just be around the corner, he said.
If there is one failed campaign in the 2013 which De Vera regrets, it is that of former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr.
He said Magsaysay is one of the best senators the country has had, but his strategists failed to use his own achievements to his advantage.
He said Magsaysay is the author of several acclaimed laws, such as the E-Commerce Law. He also started the probe on the Fertilizer Fund Scam.
De Vera said Magsaysay’s reference in the 2013 election was still his father and namesake, the beloved former president.
“The problem is that the demographics who know his father are already old," he lamented.
He also cited the wrong strategy adopted Cynthia 'Hanepbuhay' Villar, who was also strong in surveys but is now in the critical tenth spot of the canvassing.
“It could be her branding, especially with the ‘Hanepbuhay’ ad. It did not change since October. Her strategists should have tweaked it a bit.”
De Vera said he's not surprised with the bad showing of Risa Hontiveros and Jack Enrile.
He said he already had a feeling prior to the elections that Hontiveros was in the 18th spot, but her strategists felt she was at the 13th spot.
“That was the fatal flaw, talagang nasa 17th, 18th sya…[Her strategists] did not work hard to add to her base support," he said.
On Enrile, he said it was the issues that plagued him (Alfie Anido and other murder cases) and his father, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, that pulled him down.
“Kapag kinapitan ng negative ang branding, mahirap nang ayusin,” de Vera said.