Spurned political Don Juans

COMMONSENSE - Marichu A. Villanueva1 (The Philippine Star) - August 16, 2015 - 10:00am

Now that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) hurdled their timeline to procure the machines for the holding of the country’s next automated polls, candidates running for the May 9, 2016 elections are all set to gear up their own preparations. These wannabes have gone ahead of their campaign to bombard the airwaves on television and radio.

First to declare his bid, Vice President Jejomar Binay started coming out with his info-mercials on TV while he was still in the Aquino Cabinet as housing czar. Former Sen. Panfilo Lacson followed suit and started coming out with his own info-mercials on TV.

After being formally anointed as the administration’s presidential standard-bearer, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Mar Roxas II is the latest to appear on TV ads.

Even more moneyed senatorial wannabes, who are also nationally elected, are early to hit the campaign trail like Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez (KBL), Las Piñas City Rep. Mark Villar (NP), Valenzuela Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian (NPC), to name the latest with TV ads which are more expensive per seconds of exposure.

If they paid for it out of pocket, there should be no problem. But how about TV ads of government officials publicly known as running for 2016 elections, like, TESDA chief Joel Villanueva and PhilHealth board member Risa Hontiveros? Technically, they are all not candidates yet. The Comelec earlier set the deadline for filing of certificates of candidacy (CoC) from October 12 to 16. Before then, the seven-man Comelec chaired by Andres Bautista must come up with clear-cut rules against premature campaigning.

In the meantime, we have to grin and bear with these political ads in the middle of primetime TV. The political ads are said to be the great leveler for lesser-known candidates – if they have the funds to sustain such means to gain votes.

This is the built-in advantage of showbiz personalities-turned politicians like re-electionist Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III who co-hosts the daily noontime TV show “Eat Bulaga.” The longest-running TV noontime show of GMA-7 came up with another popular segment called “Kalye-serye,” featuring a blooming romance between “Yayadub” (upcoming star Maine Mendoza) and “Aldub” (actor Alden Richards). Eat Bulaga co-hosts Jose Manalo (as Frankie Arinolie) and Wally Bayola (as Lola Nidora) act as spoilers of the budding romance of the young couple.

In the arena of romance, to experience the agony of loving but not being loved in return is woefully and universally tragic. Unrequited love is terribly wretched. Some even resort to underhanded tactics because of unrequited love like what Frankie Arinolie does to get Yayadub to be his bride.

In the context of the current political landscape of the Philippines, Sen. Grace Poe has assiduous “political suitors” like Frankie Arinolie. In the runup to the next presidential elections in our country, a number of Frankie Arinolie have Poe as their imagined political love partner. In their case, it’s fast becoming pathetic as public overture to Poe has fallen on the wayside one after the other.

The courtship started when Poe dislodged consistent frontrunner, Vice President Binay in the second quarter survey this year on pre-polls voters’ preference of presidential candidates. Both the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and the Pulse Asia validated each other’s survey results for the same period.

But the political courtship came to abrupt and expected ending. “Walang forever,” as the young ones would say, politicians coveting Poe to be on their side have entered the phase of either denial or disillusionment.

Poe has diplomatically distanced herself from her ardent political pursuers, especially those who have come out with public avowals for her assent. A harsher description would be she has spurned or rejected the overtures. Despite intercessions from various influential political personalities, including no less than President Benigno “Noy” Aquino III, the neophyte senator remained non-committal.

Already, underhanded political attacks on all fronts targeting to crush the political capital of the very popular Poe have been coming out. The goal is to pulverize her into acquiescing to slide down, if not withdrawing all together. By painting her as too unripe or un-experienced to the demands of high office such as the presidency, the attacks are becoming harsher, at times bordering on ridicule.

One brash mouthpiece of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP), Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice even made a tacky comment on Poe as someone who could be “mapakla” (acrid), likening her to an unspecified fruit that is eaten unripe. Poe merely shrugged off the tart-tongued congressman.

Over the weekend, lawyer JV Bautista, who is identified with the camp of Vice President Binay stepped up questions on Poe’s having renounced once her Filipino citizenship to become a US green card holder. Much earlier, Bautista raised the issue of Poe’s being a “foundling.”

A losing senatorial candidate during the May, 2013 elections, Lito David formally filed last week a protest before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET). David complained about Poe’s lack of residency when she ran and topped the Senate race.

Despite these expected political attacks, the object of their political desire, Poe is remarkably distant, strongly disinterested and unequivocally unavailable to their pining and posturing.

Poe, sadly for them, will always remain only an object of their indefinite political idealization. She has Sen.Francis “Chiz” Escudero – her best friend forever (BFF) – always by her side, more possibly running together as the tandem to beat in next year’s election. The Chiz-Poe or Poe-Chiz tandem will be formally announced soon.

But since Poe and Escudero are both not affiliated with any political party, the political courtship has shifted to party alliances and coalitions. The Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), Escudero’s former party, is the new battleground.

To these political gigolos or political Don Juans, it must be wrenching, if not fatal, to realize that Poe, upon whom they have showered such adoring sentiments, does not, cannot, or will not return their political passions, or terms of political endearment.

It is time for these political gigolos to give up and find political romantic relief elsewhere.

It is wise for these political Don Juans to end their fantasy over Poe and move on. They, like Frankie Arinolie, must recognize and understand that Poe, like Yayadub, will not reciprocate their feelings.


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