PNoy's call for anti-Duterte alliance a 'desperate' move: analyst
MANILA - The plea of President Benigno Aquino III for trailing presidential candidates to unite against frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte is a desperate last ditch move of the administration, a political analyst said Saturday.
Prof. Edmund Tayao reasoned that the call of the President for the other four presidential candidates to unite does not appear well thought of or sincere.
"Hindi ko alam kung unang-una, napag-isipan nilang mabuti ito at pangalawa, kung talagang sinsero ang kanilang plano at bigla-bigla na lang mag-a-announce ng ganoon," Tayao told radio dzMM.
The University of Santo Tomas (UST) professor also said that Aquino should not have urged the partnership with just two days remaining before Monday's elections.
"This is more of desperation on their part. Kasi kung talagang ganito ang kanilang paniniwala at talagang sa tingin nila ay iyun ang kailangan gawin, e siguro kahit last week man lang, ginawa na nila ito," he pointed out.
"Kaso hinintay pa nila kung kailan itong last day, kumbaga sa exam cramming na ang ginagawa nila."
Aquino on Friday made the plea after polling showed Duturte had kept a huge lead despite allegations of undeclared wealth and links to vigilante death squads and communist groups.
Duterte has 33 percent support, with Senator Grace Poe next at 22 percent and administration bet Mar Roxas at 20 percent, according to the latest poll released on Friday by Social Weather Stations.
Aquino said he had talked to Roxas, his longtime friend and fellow Liberal Party stalwart, and sent a text message to Poe to try and get them to forge an eleventh-hour partnership.
Roxas has also called for a dialogue with Poe, but the latter retorted that she will not back out of the presidential race.
Tayao also stressed that if one of the candidates did withdraw and ask Filipinos to instead vote for the other, there would still be no guarantee that voters would do so.
He reasoned that such a decision would be so sudden that it will leave no ample time to gauge the public's reaction, aside from the questions that will be raised on the credibility of the surrender.
"Maraming pwedeng possibility. Halimbawa, kung last week pa o a few days back pa ginawa itong option na ito, o kung hindi man ay hindi basta nag-announce nang basta-basta si [former Interior] Secretary Mar, napaghandaan siguro kung papaano ito ihahain sa publiko," he said.
"Mayroon kasing credibility issue na rin dito... o kung papaano i-a-announce na kapani-paniwala sa mga tao [ang pag-atras]."
Tayao added that if Roxas gives way for Poe, it is also uncertain that she would get the votes originally intended for the administration pick.
The political analyst reasoned that although Poe is the consistent second choice for president of voters, she is closely followed by Duterte.
He also said that both Poe and Duterte represent the "protest" vote from those dissatisfied with the administration's supposed shortcomings.
SURVEYS NOT INFALLIBLE
Tayao also underscored that voter preference surveys are not always accurate.
Citing exit polls for the 2004 presidential race as an example, he said surveys predicted that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would win the majority of votes from the capital. But, her rival, late action star Fernando Poe, Jr., dominated the region by double digits.
Exit polls in the 2010 presidential race also showed that then Senator Aquino would get 40 per cent of the votes, but he only won by 30 percent.
The 2013 exit polls for the senatorial race also placed Grace Poe between eighth and ninth place, although she became frontrunner on election day.