2022 survey Senate winners pretty much it

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - February 26, 2021 - 12:00am

UP-based OCTA Research, which in this time of the coronavirus pandemic suddenly seemed to be everywhere and with a say on everything, has come up with a sponsored survey listing the top choices of Filipinos for the Senate in the 2022 elections. Except for two, the 10 other names who made it to the magic 12 are either incumbent or former senators, which really is no surprise.

Coming up at number one is incumbent senator Manny Pacquiao, followed by former senator and current Sorsogon governor Chiz Escudero. At third is former senator and presently Taguig congressman Alan Peter Cayetano. At fourth is broadcast journalist Erwin Tulfo, followed at fifth by former senator and now Antique congresswoman Loren Legarda. And at sixth is Manila mayor Isko Moreno.

Placing seventh is Senator Panfilo Lacson. At eighth is former senator Bongbong Marcos, followed at ninth by another incumbent senator, Migs Zubiri. Former senator Jinggoy Estrada is at number 10, while his half-brother JV Ejercito, also a former senator, is at number 11. Rounding out the winners circle at 12th place is current senator Sherwin Gatchalian.

From the outside looking in, with rankings of from 13th to 24th place, are Herbert Bautista, Bam Aquino, Richard Gordon, Kiko Pangilnan, Vilma Santos Recto, Mar Roxas, Risa Hontiveros, Lucy Torres Gomez, Gringo Honasan, Willie Ong, Mark Villar, and Antonio Trillanes. OCTA Research said it provided the names of probable candidates but required the submission by respondents of only 12.

Except for the rankings, which will always invite dispute, there is probably little argument about the composition of the Magic 12, give or take a name or two. If the elections were held today and the OCTA list comes out accurate, that should be pretty much it. It is as good as anybody else's list, even if I must say the inclusion of Tulfo, and at number four at that, truly surprises me. It could very well have been Gordon if you ask me.

Barring any Tulfo-Gordon switch, there should be, as I said, little to change in the Magic 12 makeup. Or if a Tulfo-Gordon switch does not happen, perhaps a Tulfo-Gomez one might yet be possible, or even a Tulfo-Villar. Anyone among Gardon, Gomez and Villar ought to be far less surprising than seeing Tulfo in the Magic 12, much less at number 4.

But then this is just a survey, and a sponsored one at that, although by whom OCTA is not expected to reveal. As to some of those others outside the circle, specifically Aquino, Pangilinan, Roxas, Hontiveros, and Trillanes, it comes with absolutely no surprise to me that they are there, on the outside looking in. I have long written that their brand of politics will eventually become passe, flat, and unappealing. It will even become finally reprehensible.

Their brand of politics is yellow, which essentially divides the Philippines into an Aquino or good side and a Marcos or bad side. The yellows thrive on criticism and opposition for their own sake, never putting forth their own viable ideas of good governance, believing only that riding the waves of anti-Marcos sentiment will always bring them to shore. They never heard of tide cycles and low tide, or learned to walk ashore on their own strength.

The result of the 2010 election was the first clear indication of the shifting tides. In that election, Bongbong Marcos placed seventh in the Senate race despite the all-out Aquino-Church campaign to demonize the Marcoses. The same was true in 2019 when Bongbong's sister Imee placed eighth. Even more notably, none of the yellows made it. Zero. In that election Florin Hilbay had to eat humble pie, beaten by Larry Gadon whom he loves to demean.

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