By Benjamin Maynigo
In the 2010 Presidential elections, I endorsed Noynoy Aquino for President.
I also wrote: “Mar Roxas must be elected as Vice President to work with Noynoy. To institute the educational, environmental, economic, electoral, military/police, judicial, civil service, social and constitutional reforms needed, it would take more than six years; in fact, a whole generation. Mar is needed as a Co-Manager to tackle them. He prepared and invested to be President. He sacrificed and gave way to Noynoy. He deserves to be Vice-President.”
LP leaders Senate President Frank Drilon and Budget Secretary Butch Abad recently revealed the LP plan for an 18-year tenure for the Liberal Party running the Philippine government. They meant having Aquino, Roxas, and then Poe being President successively. This is to maintain and continue the gains of the “Tuwid na Daan” policy and programs as well as guaranteeing a quality of leadership that reflects the 4Hs: “Honesty, Hope, Honor and Humility.”
(Photo from Rappler.com)
I am glad that the LP and its allies are planning long-term. I am sure that depending on the performance of Congresswoman Leni Robredo in the next Senatorial elections and as an elected Senator thereafter, she and Bam Aquino are considered in the line of succession. Within the period, I am further sure that an aggressive recruitment, development, and maintenance program would produce a new set of leaders among the Millennials.
It looks like the favored tandem is Roxas-Poe. Based on the discussions among friends and political pundits in the barbershops here in Washington, D.C., the Roxas-Poe combination would be formidable.
How would you convince Poe to become a Vice-Presidential candidate? Remember, she is really NOT sliding down being a Senator now but aiming at a higher position. But polls show her placing second as a Presidential candidate and no.1 as VP. Her supporters, of course, would prefer her to run for President. There are other factors outside of polling in determining the winning viability of a Presidential candidate. Machinery (Organization); Money (Resources); Manpower (volunteers and paid employees); Message (Traditional Media, Social Media, PR, Propaganda/Advertising); and Management (Planning, Leading, Organizing, & Controlling) are very important factors.
At this point, Poe knows that unless supported by President Aquino and the LP machine, she is unable to compete given the requirements. “Ambition,” as Mark Anthony said, “should be made of sterner stuff” – meaning, ambition by itself does not get a job done. It must be combined with the above-mentioned M’s, “determination, perseverance, and a passion to get the job done well.” Five to six years of Vice Presidency and running a Cabinet department like DSWD to win the “war against poverty” or DILG to localize and distribute resources and power in the exercise of sovereignty by the people would be an effective preparation.
To win, Roxas and the LP must convince the Poe followers to support the tandem. They must be assured that when they vote and campaign for the team, they are also voting for Poe as the next President. How can this guarantee be made?
The suggestion is this: PNoy, Roxas, and the Liberal Party (including Drilon and Belmonte) must commit that if the team wins, Poe would be the next President. How? Roxas resigns before his term ends and Poe succeeds him. Why? This is because before the end of Roxas’ term, a Semi-Parliamentary Federal System would be instituted installing Poe as President and Roxas as Prime Minister. Or the Liberal Party and its allies may elect a new Party Chairman who becomes Prime Minister automatically after the next elections.
If the Semi-Parliamentary Federal System is not instituted, Roxas must agree to govern only for 5 years and so Poe could become President and run with the benefit of incumbency. (Roxas and the LP would therefore make sure that a Semi-Parliamentary Federal System is instituted).
Poe must also serve only for 6 years, thus – resigning after 5 years of her term to give way to the new VP who could be Leni Robredo (first Bicolana) who will run for the Senate and is expected to do well in 2016.
Robredo should also serve only for 6 years, thus – giving way to her VP who could be Bam Aquino or another young LP stalwart from Mindanao.
A Semi-Parliamentary Federal System could produce a different scenario but the LP and its allies would be able to rule continuously assuring the gains of “Tuwid na Daan.”
Poe and her supporters should not delude themselves by the fact that she topped the Senatorial elections in 2013. Claro M. Recto, Jose Roy, Raul Manglapus, Jovito Salonga, Loren Legarda, Noli de Castro and Bong Revilla all garnered the highest number of votes as Senators. They never became President.
Poetic justice catapulted Cory and PNoy to the presidency. Poetic justice also got Poe to top the Senatorial elections and is now bringing her closer to the Presidency. Poe must exercise enlightened discernment and practical, pragmatic, political positioning.
The next president of the Philippines is the candidate endorsed by PNoy. I have said this in an earlier column. I find no reason to change this view.