Presidential race: And then there were none
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - December 14, 2015 - 9:00am

We already questioned that deal for heavy equipment done by the Province of Cebu worth P250 million and awarded by the Bids and Awards Committee headed by Atty. Mark Tolentino as totally dishonest simply because it was awarded to the highest bidder. If at all there is a basic system in the government procurement system, it always awards the bids to the lowest bidder. In fact efforts in the past to have the bids won by the best bidder, not necessarily the lowest bidder have gone to naught.

Well as the front page news of The Freeman yesterday, they have gathered documents that show that the price quotation for the same truck that the Province of Cebu is buying turns out to be grossly overpriced. Apparently one can get this data from the internet where the same truck offered by an allied company would be charging the taxpayers of the Province of Cebu at least P2.52 million more for each dump truck.

We have always thought and believed that Governor Hilario "Junjun" Davide III was upright and honest and that he would never dare betray the trust of the Cebuanos. But this deal proves otherwise. This is not to mention that he still has to explain to us why he is paying P85 million for those consultants many of whom I would like to believe do not even fit the bill. In short they were hired despite their lack of qualifications for the positions they are in.

So can we expect the Office of the Ombudsman to place Gov. Davide under preventive suspension or is this is political practice only used against those who are running against Liberal Party candidates? If we don't hear from the Office of the Ombudsman on whether they would suspend Gov. Davide or not, then we can say that they are part and parcel of that farce called Daang Matuwid!

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A week ago, we wrote a column entitled "Whom to vote for President: I still don't know" because at this point in time, we are all at a loss in the choices for who should be our next president. So let me say it here that the early front-runner Vice President Jejomar Binay is now grasping on straws because of the corruption case filed against him.

Then the next survey front runner Senator Grace Poe has been disqualified twice by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), so now we have a new frontrunner in the person of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and I'm sure that the LP would find ways to file human rights cases against him or worse disqualify him for being only a substitute for a Pasay mayoralty candidate rather than for president. So if Duterte will be disqualified by Comelec or worse, his criminal cases would prosper, then there would only be two candidates left, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago and ex-DILG Sec. Mar Roxas.

Everyone in the know believes that Sen. Miriam Santiago hasn't been very honest in telling her constituents about her medical condition, whether she really has licked her cancer. She can be a very feisty woman and bark out against her political enemies who cower in fear with her antics in the Senate. But no matter how fierce she is, I don't think she can bark out her cancer just like she bawls out her political enemies. To date, I haven't heard much from Santiago if she has been campaigning outside Metro Manila.

Everyone knows that rigors of the campaign can often be hazardous to one's health. I recall that right after the 2010 presidential campaign, presidential candidate former Defense Chief Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro, Jr. came down with a serious back injury. Here in Cebu, my good friend, Ramon Durano IV who ran for the position of Vice Governor had a stroke in the midst of the campaign for the 2013 mid-term elections. Thank God, he has fully recovered and can play a great game of golf. So where is Santiago at this point in the race? No one has seen her except in her Facebook page.

So by method of deduction, this presidential race seems to be over even before the official campaign period has even commenced. This will leave Mar Roxas by his lonesome. It reminds me of that mystery novel by Agatha Christie which was made into a film dubbed "And then there were none!" Is this scenario really going to happen to this country and we are left with no choice but to vote for the assiduously incompetent Mar Roxas? At this point we should pray for some kind of miracle.

What is further disturbing here is what I read in the front page of the December 12, 2015 Saturday of Philippine Daily Inquirer where a report blared "Aquino: Part of me wants to stay on as President." Well if Mar Roxas wins the presidency by default, then you can say that this dream of President PNoy Aquino must just come true. For sure, a president Mar Roxas would move heaven and earth to ensure that his predecessor doesn't suffer the same fate as former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This tells us that for the election year 2016 we really have nothing to hope for.

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