Erap for president?

By: Malou Guanzon Apalisok August 27,2015 - 03:23 PM

The pairings and matchups for the 2016 presidential elections are such juicy news material that even movie reporters are joining the fray.

After a columnist from another broadsheet mentioned that the administration Liberal Party is set to fall back on Plan D, supposedly after President Benigno S. Aquino III and his anointed candidate for president Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas didn’t succeed in getting Sen. Grace Poe (Plan A), Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos (Plan B) and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo (Plan C) to run in tandem with Mar, Plan D, according to the pundit, is in the works: that is, Secretary Roxas will be paired with presidential sister, Kris Aquino.

The snickers from the opposition parties erupted almost at the same time, but even hard-boiled political observers are saying that Kris Aquino, the most recognizable name and face in all media platforms in the country today, is just what the administration needs to shore up Mar’s low approval ratings.

The buzz, although no longer new as this has been a source of speculations ever since, was immediately picked up by celebrity reporters who wondered if Kris has reconciled with Korina Sanchez, Secretary Mar’s celebrity wife, who, like the presidential sister, belongs to the same giant network ABS CBN.

Showbiz chatter is sometimes linked with online news and that’s how I learned that Kris is reportedly quite pissed off with Korina because she announced her engagement (or was it wedding plans) not in Ms. Aquino’s late night show with Boy Abunda, but in a noontime Sunday show.

The lowbrow chatter notwithstanding, Kris Aquino’s endorsement in the 2016 presidential elections will be very interesting.

Interviewed early this month after she transferred her voting registration from Makati City to Quezon City, Kris disclosed that she had a long talk with her brother obviously about supporting Mar.  She emphasized P-Noy “will never impose” on his sisters to support his anointed successor.

The showbiz article mentioned that in 2010, Kris campaigned for Grace Poe, who was then an adopted candidate for senator of the LP.  As we all know, Ms. Poe topped the senatorial contest.

Pressed to comment if she will support Roxas, Kris replied, “If I cannot support the candidate of my brother, I will shut up.”

The idea of a Mar-Kris tandem immediately puts the LP ticket in the voters market, like a new “fortified” product that consumers need to take another look and maybe purchase because the next brand does not quite make the grade.

Kris is not called “Queen of All Media” for nothing.  She is not only popular, but she is also very hardworking according to reports.  Her popularity will be matched by a huge campaign warchest, and it will be crunch time for the opposition like never before.

But what is this I hear that the Nationalist People’s Coalition is gearing to launch the candidacy, not of Grace Poe, but of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada?

I almost fell off my seat after hearing the report, but as I think about the possibility of Erap running again after a failed presidential bid in 2010, the opposition NPC must have pondered long and hard about the consideration.

First of all, the party is not keen on coalescing with the LP.  In the words of Sen. Tito Sotto, they are fed up with being second-class citizens each time a new administration comes to power.

The last time NPC was ensconced in Malacanang was in 1998, when Erap was elected President.  It was a short-lived presidency because he was booted out of power in 2001 over allegations that he pocketed money from illegal jueteng.

Secondly, while Erap was convicted and later pardoned for the crime of plunder, he came out second to Noynoy Aquino in the 2010 presidential polls.  Meaning to say, he commands a lot of support and his political base is intact.

And lastly, if reports are true, the NPC must be thinking that the erosion of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s popularity, owing to exposes of alleged anomalies which is expected to intensify in the days to come, provides a great impetus for the party to step up and step in as the alternative to the administration.

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