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Why Poe will beat Binay in polls

TALK OF credit-grabbing, is it true that Vice President Jejomar Binay is claiming credit for the victory of El Gamma Penumbra, the Philippine shadow play troupe that won the first “Asia’s Got Talent” contest in Singapore? Is it true he claimed that he is the original “penumbra” and that the troupe got its inspiration from him? I don’t think so, but you can never tell with politicians. They would sell their own mothers for votes.

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“And now the end is near, and so I take the final curtain…”

That line from a signature song of Frank Sinatra may now be the theme song of Binay, now that it looks like Sen. Grace Poe will be the presidential candidate of the administration’s Liberal Party in next year’s elections. In his statements to the press, President Aquino is dropping very broad hints that he prefers Poe to be the LP standard-bearer, saying that Poe seems to be the right person to continue his reforms.

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Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is the presumptive LP candidate, but so far the President has refrained from endorsing him publicly; instead he seems to be endorsing Poe.

The reason may be the low ratings of Roxas in the opinion polls. He is behind Binay and Poe, tying for third place with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. But Poe, with 31 percent, is only 5 points behind Binay who has 36 percent. And she has not even declared her candidacy yet, while Binay has been campaigning for the presidency on the very first day that he became vice president. Political analysts see Poe overtaking Binay in the next poll, especially with the discovery by the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) that the Binays have hundreds of millions of pesos stashed in a number of bank accounts which the Court of Appeals has ordered frozen.

In a contest between Poe and Binay for the presidency, Binay would surely lose. Why? As I explained in the May 11 column, it is because Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada will dump him and support Grace Poe, the daughter of his bosom friend Fernando Poe Jr.

Erap told me why, and I will quote him word for word: “Grace is the daughter of my bosom friend FPJ. It was I who convinced FPJ to run for president but I was not able to help him campaign because I was already in prison. Helping his daughter become president is the only way I can atone for that shortcoming.”

“Baka pagmultuhan ako ni FPJ kung hindi ko tulungan si Grace (FPJ may haunt me if I don’t help his daughter),” he added as a joke.

So what if Erap supports Poe instead of Binay? Because Binay is nothing without Erap’s support. Binay won as vice president as the running mate of Erap, who placed second to Noynoy. Binay won and Erap lost because members of the Aquino-Cojuangco clan double-crossed Noynoy’s running mate, Mar Roxas, by secretly campaigning for a “Noy-Bi” (Noynoy-Binay) tandem. In short, Binay may have also double-crossed Erap in exchange for the “Noy-Bi” campaign. Those close to Erap say that he also thinks so.

Binay has practically no party. He was forced to quit his party, PDP-Laban, because of differences with the party’s president, Sen. Koko Pimentel, who is now leading the Senate investigation of the corruption charges against Binay when he was mayor of Makati.

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The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) is not the party of Binay, although he claims it as his own. UNA is a coalition founded by Erap, Binay and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, who is now detained also on graft charges.

But UNA is 90 percent Erap’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). Binay and Enrile brought nothing to UNA except themselves and their families. Without the PMP, UNA would be nothing.

Binay said he would form his own party and join the UNA coalition, but he has not done that.

So where would Binay get votes when Erap’s PMP votes go to Poe? Binay might as well say goodbye to his presidential ambition. Right now, he should be singing, “And now, the end is near….”

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The surprise is Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. From faraway Davao, he catapulted to third place in the surveys, tying with Mar Roxas. Not many people outside Davao even knew Duterte a few months ago. Although he claims he is not running for president but only campaigning for a federal system of government as an answer to the Moro problem, people think he is really aiming for the top position.

Most presidential candidates come from the Senate and from Luzon, the Philippines’ biggest and most populous island, so why is Duterte from Davao suddenly a “presidentiable”?

Because Filipinos are fed up with crimes and criminals and Duterte talks tough against criminals. His latest quote against them is: “Kill them all!”

This may shock human rights advocates but, apparently, this tough stance against criminals works. Duterte’s Davao City has been ranked as the “9th safest city” in the world by the crowd-sourcing site www.numbeo.com.

“How do you think I did it?” Duterte asked a national convention of safety advocates. “Kill them all (the criminals)!” he answered his own question. There were gasps in the audience, but they were drowned out by loud applause.

That’s how fed up Filipinos are with criminals, such that they will tolerate human rights violations to get rid of crime. Human rights for criminals is a Western concept which should not have been adopted in the Philippines, Duterte said.

He added: “When you start getting soft on criminals, that’s when you start to have problems.”

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TAGS: 2016 Elections, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay, nation, news
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