If and when Kris Aquino runs for senator
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - June 15, 2018 - 12:00am

The statement made unexpectedly by Senator Bam Aquino that his first-degree cousin, Kris, is most likely to run for the Senate next year, made many pundits raise their eyebrows. Many anti-Aquino observers were quick to ask: Why? What for? To which the yellow partisans were equally fast to the draw: Why not? Isn’t she entitled to her political and constitutional right? The LP would naturally say: If Imee Marcos can run, why not Kristeta? If Sarah Duterte can run, why not the youngest daughter of the late Cory and Ninoy? Is she not qualified to be a legislator? She can talk more fluently than her brother Noynoy, except perhaps in purist Tagalog a la Francisco Balagtas, as PNoy used to speak before.

Of course, Kris cannot be compared to Imee Marcos who studied law in UP but reportedly did not finish it when she met a very strict Law professor, the late Irene Cortez, who later became Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (courtesy of President Cory). Imee is very experienced as she started as a Kabataang Barangay (the forerunner of SK or Sangguniang Kabataan) national chairwoman. She was elected Governor of Ilocos Norte a number of times, and was, for a while, also a member of Congress, representing the second district of her province, now being represented by her mother, the great Imeldific Romualdez Marcos, a Waray-Waray who has been uncontested and undefeated in their political turf up north. Kris Aquino does not have a bailiwick. She has not run even as a barangay kagawad in her late dad’s hometown in Concepcion, Tarlac.

Neither can Kris ever be compared to Inday Sarah Duterte-Carpio, who is an Ateneo-trained lawyer, happily married to another distinguished member of the Bar. Her husband is an independent legal practitioner who belongs to the respectable Carpio clan of legal luminaries (which, of course, includes Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio). Kris does not have a very good family and marital record to serve as a model to Filipinos. With all due respect, Kris cannot hold a candle to the stature of Inday Sarah who has shown grit, guts, a decent image, and respectability both in public service and private life. Inday Sarah has all the Mindanao votes reserved for her candidacy. Where shall Kris get her political base? Since PNoy left Malacañan, Kris disappeared from public consciousness like a bubble.

If and when Kris runs for the Senate, the next senatorial derby shall be dominated by women contenders: Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, the comebacking Pia Cayetano, Imee Marcos, Inday Sarah, and if rumors turn out to be true, both Agot Isidro of LP and Mocha Uson of PDP-Laban. If speculations prove to be correct, ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno may seek political vindication of her tragic legal battle by throwing her hat into the senatorial contest in 2019. May I also urge former secretary Gina Lopez of DENR, Judy Taguiwalo of DSWD, and Janet Garin of the Health department to run too and let them be judged by the people. Why not Cebu’s own Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia too, so that if she makes it the Aguinaldo doctrine can be invoked again.

If and when Kris Aquino runs and wins, then Boy Abunda and Vice Ganda cannot be far behind. If that comes about, they shall be joining the gallery where illustrious solons also shone: Eddie Ilarde, Ramon Revilla, Robert Jaworski, and need I mention more? You all know the rest.

KRIS AQUINO
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