Game changer

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

History shall judge Grace Poe as the perpetrator of the tipping point and for providing the most decisive factor directly responsible for paving the way towards the surer victory of the much maligned Vice President Binay.  Consequently, Grace shall bring about the unfortunate defeat of a better and cleaner candidate Mar Roxas. Grace Poe will be running without a strong political machinery down to the precinct level. She will be without a party, and thus without inspectors and watchers. There will be no one to guard her votes. Given the kind of electoral exercises that we have, she will really find it next to impossible to win. And who shall fund her campaign and the legal fight in the disqualification case pending against her?

What matters most is the jugular question: what shall her candidacy achieve? It will achieve a draconian and far-reaching result, and that is assuring that Jojo Binay shall win over Mar Roxas. Her entry into the presidential contest will result to taking away big chunks of votes from Roxas, while those who are committed to Jojo Binay will remain intact. The kind of Filipinos who are most likely to vote for Mar and for Grace both belong to the same categories: they are the younger, more idealistic, urban settlers belonging to the middle and upper classes, mostly students, young Gen Y and Gen X voters. Binay's followers are mostly from rural and working class less sophisticated, mostly Baby Boomers and more in number.

Since Grace and Mar shall compete for support emanating from the same categories, and since Binay has no competition in his turfs, it follows that the greatest beneficiary of Grace Poe's game-changing entry into the arena is no other than Jojo Binay. Mar should be the one threatened by this spoiler that Grace has unwittingly introduced into the political equation. For instance, the votes for the LP in Metro Manila and other big urban centers like Cebu, Davao, Iloilo and Bacolod, and other metropolitan areas will be split between Poe and Mar. Binay's forces shall remain intact. Mar will lose in Davao because Duterte is angry at him. The Mindanao votes will be split 40% Binay, 35% Poe, and only 25% Roxas.

The vote-rich Panay, that includes Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique and Guimaras, shall be divided: 45% Mar, 35% Grace and 20% Binay, especially because Grace was a foundling inside an Iloilo Church. Her mother Rosemarie Sonora and her famous adoptive mother, Susan Roces are Ilongas. Mar is from Capiz and he cannot even get an overwhelming majority in his own province. Negros will also be divided especially that Mar is not really beloved by the Negrenses both in the Occidental and the Oriental side. Samar and Leyte will go to Binay especially if the Marcoses and the Romualdezes will align with the vice president.

In Cebu,Bohol, and Siquijor, Mar would have gotten 60% of the total Cebuano votes (if Grace did not enter the race ) and Binay 40%. But with the entry of Grace, and with Winston Garcia running for governor under her banner, then Mar may end up only with 35%, Grace with 25% and Binay with his intact 40%. Therefore, at this point, the candidacy of Mar Roxas has been tremendously damaged by the game-changing development of Grace joining the fray. Of course, as between Binay and Mar, Grace would have chosen Roxas. Never would she intend to sabotage Mar's presidential ambition against Jojo. But this will be how the cookie crumbles. The naughty pundits would then suspect that the entry of Grace is really a Binay gambit.

Those who love Mar and hate Binay and would be devastated if the vice president would win should be blaming Grace Poe for her spoiler role. Unless something very earth-shaking should happen between now and May 2016, there is really no chance for Grace to win as an independent candidate. But as the game-changer, she would be remembered in history as being the one who made a losing candidate win, and for making a winning candidate lose. For all we know, Grace may even get more votes than Mar. But the supporters of Binay will not be affected by Grace. They are now rejoicing with the emergence of this tipping point. Mar will just be a small postscript in Philippine history. And because of Grace Poe, her complete opposite, Binay will be the next president. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

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