Great respect for Roy Señeres

By: Malou Guanzon Apalisok December 10,2015 - 04:05 AM

If supporters of Davao City Mayor and candidate for president Rodrigo Duterte are ecstatic over the latest Social Weather Station survey that showed his popularity in Metro Manila surging to 38% in a polling taken in November 26–28, from only 16% in September, it could only be because the camp of the tough-talking Davao City mayor may have already gotten the results of similar surveys in the Visayas and especially in Mindanao, two regions that claim to some affinity with the Cebuano-speaking Duterte.

Some quarters try to belittle the impact of the latest survey results, but at the very least, they show the changing political temperament of the people in Metro Manila who, in the past, are disposed to support a candidate from Luzon.

With the exception of Sergio Osmeña and Carlos P. Garcia, past presidents from Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo to the present Benigno S. Aquino III  hail from Luzon.  No Mindanaoan has ever come close to Malacañang, and with Duterte leading the pack of presidentiables in formal and non-formal surveys, his handlers are reasonably upbeat about his chances.

Duterte has not courted any political organization to support his candidacy, but issues like the failed rehabilitation and recovery efforts in Yolanda-hit areas, the massacre of the elite SAF 44 in Mamasapano in the hands of the MILF with whom the government is trying to forge a peace deal, and the abuse of pork barrel funds, among other issues, continue to hound the present administration.

In addition, the hellish traffic in the national capital region, the miserable state of mass transportation and high criminality rate make Metro Manilans look for an alternative candidate, one who they think would be able to deliver them from the present rut.

Previous nationwide surveys showed Vice President Jejomar Binay as the frontrunner in the race, but after he was swamped with graft cases, he fell behind neophyte Sen. Grace Poe.  She lorded it over popularity surveys for about a year until issues were raised regarding her citizenship and residency.

I’m not sure if Senator Poe’s political backers are still upbeat about her chances after a division of the Commission on Elections voted to cancel her Certificate of Candidacy on the basis of her citizenship and residency requirements.  The ruling isn’t final as the presidential aspirant is set to challenge it before the Comelec en banc, but if we go by conventional wisdom that perception is all, Senator Poe needs to work harder at neutralizing the negative effects of the Comelec ruling.  Public opinion can be swayed if people are bombarded 24/7 with information that she misrepresented herself when she filed her COC.

Meanwhile, Vice President Binay remains standing despite the string of cases lodged against him by the Ombudsman.  Political pundits are saying Binay has a lock on 20% of the voting population, which include his political base in Makati City and UNA’s organization in the local level.

Administration candidate Mar Roxas continues to be a cellar dweller in the surveys, but pundits will not write off Mar with his access to government machinery and resources.
Still, it would all come down to premature rejoicing for the camp of Mayor Duterte because the Comelec has yet to confirm his Certificate of Candidacy.  As we know, he is filing his COC as a substitute candidate for Martin  Diño  of the PDP-Laban who withdrew from the race.

Duterte’s COC must really be defective if we consider reports that his election lawyers accompanied by two associate justices of the Supreme Court met OFW Partylist representative and presidential aspirant Roy Señeres to back out and make room for Duterte in the partylist group.

Because Duterte’s candidacy is chained on Señeres’s own, the offer for him to back out must be very tempting.  But as of this writing, he remains steadfast on the platform of delivering for the Filipino workers, especially overseas contract workers, decent benefits and the abolition of the contractual system.  Moreover, he stands on the opposite side of Duterte’s human rights record.  Señeres is, in his own words, pro-life while the Davao City mayor is pro-death.

For refusing to sacrifice his own principles, Señeres has my great respect and I’m quite sure he gained new adherents, people who have not yet decided on whom to vote because the options are rather very few and limited.

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TAGS: Corazon Aquino, Diosdado Macapagal, Elections, Elpidio Quirino, Ferdinand Marcos, Fidel Ramos, Gloria Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, Manuel Quezon, Manuel Roxas, politics, Social Weather Station

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