Noynoy tops, reshapes poll rankings

Many are asking and wondering whether the so-called “Cory Magic” and the surging popularity of Senator Noynoy Aquino would translate into votes for next year’s presidential elections.

Well, here is our first glimpse to answer that question. Noynoy topped the survey conducted yesterday in the First District of Davao City.

The survey was conducted by Paelarkaed Communications with 270 respondents in nine barangays with a margin of error of +/- 5% and an accuracy level of 90%.

Please note that Noynoy was in Davao City during the time of the survey on his way to his spiritual retreat in Zamboanga City. The names of Senator Mar Roxas and Jejomar Binay were no longer included in the list of presidentiables in the survey that asked respondents “Who from among the list do you like to be President of the Philippines?”

Please note also that all the presidentiables lost support compared to last month’s survey. This means that Noynoy’s appeal can generate support from almost all political forces.

President
Rank Name Aug Sept Difference
1 Noynoy 0.0 37.4 37.4
2 Erap 27.8 24.1 -3.7
3 Chiz 20.0 14.8 -5.2
4 Villar 15.0 13.0 -2.0
5 Noli 13.9 9.3 -4.6
6 Loren 5.0 1.1 -3.9
7 Villanueva 1.1 0.4 -0.7
8 (Roxas) 10.6 0.0 -10.6
9 (Binay) 3.3 0.0 -3.3
10 Fernando 1.1 0.0 -1.1
11 Teodoro 0.6 0.0 -0.6
12 Gordon 0.0 0.0 0.0
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Roads and bridges to nowhere

The Philippines is catching up fast in aping the presidential derby in the US.

The “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska is a hot topic pitting Democrats against Republicans.

Here, there’s a rumble by several presidential wannabes on the “road to nowhere” in Metro Manila.

Senator Ping Lacson exposed the double funding of the controversial road in the 2008 and 2009 budgets. Korina Sanchez, gf of Senator Mar Roxas, thrash it in her popular radio program. There were insinuations it was a pet project of Senate President Manny Villar to benefit his housing projects. A Senate Resolution to probe the anomaly was signed by a number of senators, including Senator Roxas, Senator Chiz Escudero and Senator Dick Gordon.

I am sure this gang fight would not be amongst just these five “presidentiables.” Soon, others would join the fray.

But would probing this issue lead the nation to somewhere? I doubt very much.

Have you not heard the joke dating back from the old days of martial law about the road around Lake Lanao? Well, it has been paved several times over! But nowhere can one see it or set foot on it.

Oh, nothing new really in Pinoy politics when trapos can promise bridges even where there are no rivers.

5:37 a.m.

Unity; change

Unity

The latest Pulse Asia survey on the 2010 presidential derby once again highlighted the need for the opposition to unite and field a common candidate.

Of ten presidentiables included in the survey, 7 are identified with the opposition. Their combined preference rating is an overwhelming 71 percent. The 3 pro-administration bets have a combined rating of only 23.2 percent, although the whole pack was led by frontrunner VP Noli de Castro.

I share the optimism of former president Erap Estrada that the administration would “eat the dust” of the opposition in 2010. However, I also worry that next year’s gargantuan P1.4 Trillion budget would be used by the administration to ensure a victory, deserving or not, for GMA’s successor.

I heard former president Fidel Ramos assuring the nation after the SONA last Monday that GMA would end her term – as well as “her immunity” – in 2010. That is pregnant with meaning. Was Ramos’ delivering a veiled message to the current Palace occupant to ensure a friendly successor in 2010 or was he giving the opposition counsel to run after GMA once she loses her immunity when she steps out of Malacanang?

I am certain that GMA, by hook or by crook, would ensure the administration’s victory in 2010 to save her own skin. Hence, the need for the opposition to galvanize under a single flag to thwart the expected massive vote-buying and cheating in 2010. They may be able to fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but they certainly cannot fool all the people all the time. It would be foolish for the administration to rig a 70-23 percent margin if the opposition is united.

Change

Already the second-longest resident of the Palace by the Pasig after the dictator Ferdinand Marcos, GMA is not about to leave just yet. She would want to ensure that her rule would continue beyond 2010 either via a puppet in Malacanang or herself pa rin via charter change. Yup, we should all watch out for the administration moves to revive term extension via amendments to the Constitution. Malacanang is exploiting the peace process in Mindanao as its key to unlock charter change.

Of course, this is not the change that we need. What we need in this country is character change.

Barack Obama’s highly popular “Change. Yes we can!” campaign has reached the Philippine shores. The Ateneo School of Government appears to have borrowed from it in launching its Kaya Natin! Movement. It is an attempt for reforms through exemplary models of ethical leadership and good governance in four local government officials, namely, Ramos Magsaysay awardees Mayor Jesse Robredo of Naga and Governor Grace Padaca of Isabela; Governor Ed Panlilio of Pampanga, and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.

The movement is targeting the youth, just like Obama, is this crusade to create “Islands of hope.” It has launched a campus tour for the four outstanding local officials. I look forward to their visit to Davao to lend my support.

8:05 a.m.

Money game

Presidential wannabes have become a dime a dozen with the on-going Pinoy style primaries.

At last count, here are the “presidentiables” – Vice President Noli de Castro, Senators Chiz Escudero, Dick Gordon, Ping Lacson, Loren Legarda, Mar Roxas, Manny Villar, Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, Mayors Jojo Binay and Sonny Belmonte, Governor Gwen Garcia, MMDA chair Bayani Fernando, ex-President Erap Estrada, and with the latter’s dare, also ex-President Fidel Ramos.

These names were also mentioned – Senators Jingoy Estrada, Jamby Madrigal and even FG Mike Arroyo.

Impressive list? Hohum, our mayor sees no one among them winning his vote. He says he might declare Davao an “open city” in 2010.

In the US, they trim down the wannabes by the state caucuses and primaries. Here, veteran kingmaker Manong Ernie sees money as the ultimate eliminator.

With a required war chest of about P3-5 billion, he estimates only four have the financial capacity to wage a decent, and might not not even be a winnable, campaign.

Elections are clearly a money game.