(This continues the fictional reconstruction of conversations I’ve had with several political operators a couple of weeks ago. There are many ways of telling the truth, sometimes it’s just more interesting to point at it with what is essentially a lie.) (Read Part One Here)
“The very essence of democracy is the freedom to choose. But what is freedom if there are no choices? In his desperation to win the presidency, Roxas is making sure people have no choice but to vote for him. God damn Roxas! GOD SAVE OUR DEMOCRACY!”
Jake’s words cut through the smoke filled air hanging over the booth, clattering in darkened corners of the empty restaurant like broken glass.
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“And I thought old Jojo Binay would turn out to be the tyrant, eh!” said Tito Boy in weak attempt at lightening the mood.
“But… you know… I had a talk with a couple of people in districts north and south of NCR as part of my regular course of doing business with auto supply and repair shops. They’re all saying the same things about Roxas and I guess old Wharton boy there doesn’t have a clue that he’s turning a lot of people off,” continued Tito Boy.
“You know what’s weird? I get a sense that, subconsciously, he doesn’t really want to win the presidency so much as he expects it to be handed over to him.
“He is lazy, arrogant, and looks down on people. Would you believe that there are still people at the house of representatives who hate his guts? The Secretary General, the one in charge of the rank and file employees, said there was no way he was going to support Roxas. He said something like, ‘All employees dislike him!’ and if that’s not an indication of how things are going for Roxas, I don’t know what is,” said Tito Boy.
“Word is that he has been bullying our congressmen and they’re calling him a despot. The exact words were, ‘Give this man Power and Marcos will be a Saint beside him!’
“They’re all playing ball with the douchebag because he has threatened anyone who does not support him that he’ll have the Ombudsman file cases against them if they don’t,” said Tito Boy.
“He’s treating these people like rabbits and what I’ve pointed out is the stick, here’s the carrot… The offer goes much like Mathew 4:9,” said Tito Boy, smiling.
“What the crap is that?!” Yelled Fatty.
“You should read the Bible more, my friend. Anyway, that verse goes, ‘…All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me’,” said Tito Boy, making horn signs with two index fingers and sticking his tongue out.
“Plain and simple: The strategy of Mar is to get all kingpins (or incumbents for that matter), bringing equity of the incumbent outside of his own party. He is wooing people to swear loyalty to him, not based on party membership but incumbency. He wants the strongest local leader to becomes his ally or stooge, even if there are existing partymates in the area. Even if, obviously, the incumbent doesn’t subscribe to the Daang Matuwid philosophy.
“But that crass and condescending way he deals with them some times, oh man! Somebody please tell him that his so called ‘power’ and his Mama’s money, only impresses those who don’t have their own. Years ago, I remember, HE COULDN’T EVEN GET A ROOM IN THE BAGUIO COUNTRY CLUB WITHOUT A LETTER FROM HIS MOM! And why does he have to use Pnoy’s name whenever he wants something?! HAHAHA!” Tito Boy said gleefully.
“Perhaps, in his mind, he thinks he’s conveying that he is somewhat of a dominant male. All people are seeing is a desperate, weak, whiny, and insecure control freak — you know, much like a jealous friend-zoned suitor,” Fatty interjected, hunching his lean frame over the table.
“Can you imagine the level of desperation he must be feeling right now? The awful thing about it is, he not only has to deal with his own feelings of desperation, he also has to contend with the fear and desperation of his best buddy Pnoy.
“Mark my words, Pnoy or Ignoy as some say he is called, the fool who claims to be the president of the Republic of the Philippines, is shaking in his briefs over the thought of his future after he leaves office in 2016. And it shows in the ultimate strategy he has employed for his golden boy Roxas: the Talanka,” crowed Fatty as he gulped down a shot of Yamazake like it was a tequila shooter.
“You peasant! That whisky costs a lot, treat it with some respect,” bellowed Jake as he poured Fatty another shot before hiding the bottle.
“So typically Filipino, this crab mentality is simply to keep pulling down your opposition instead of building yourself up. Except in this case, we can’t cite those muscular, luscious King Crabs but those little talanka because, though delectable, they’re so small that they even the largest and most powerful among them is just that, a little crab that gives a tiny pinch. So much like Mar.
“However lightweight, PNoy needs to push this crab mentality strat to give his lightweight and heavily burdened candidate a fighting chance – not even a win, just a fighting chance. PNoy needs it more than Mar because PNoy has made so many enemies who are just waiting for the chance to pounce on him once he motors out of Malacañang,” said Fatty.
Tito Boy waves at the pretty young waitress and asked for some water for Fatty, “Thought you might be a bit thirsty, never heard you talk for so long.”
The waitress comes back with glasses of water for everyone. Tito Boy palms a five hundred peso note and gives it to the waitress, winking at her.
“Seriously Boy, do you really have to try and pick up girls your daughter’s age everywhere we go?” Said Jake, snarling.
“Do you expect me to try and pick up girls YOUR AGE? HAHAHAHA!” Tito Boy shot back.
“Anyway, before you boys decide to throw things at each other, let me get on with my story here,” said Fatty, “The long list of Noynoy’s enemies include… Gloria Macapagal Arroyo – incarcerated even as charges fail to stick, made the whipping girl in every State of the Nation Address in the past five years. Pound for pound GMA has shown more strength, vision and fortitude than PNoy in his entire life. Even in through her physical weakness and pain she has defied the Aquino administration’s maneuvering.
“Then you’ve got Renato Corona. Not only did PNoy ensure his departure from office, he made sure that Corona was thoroughly humiliated. Nothing is scarier than a man who has nothing to lose.
“After that, you have to consider Bongbong Marcos. In the 2010 elections PNoy struck a deal with the Marcoses to ensure his safe passage through Ilocandia, Leyte and all Marcos/ Romualdez controlled areas – through his buddy-buddy in the House of Representatives, Imee Marcos – in exchange for silence on Bongbong’s senatorial bid and allowing father Ferdinand’s burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Well, PNoy failed to deliver and the Marcos Jr. won his senatorial seat anyway. Now PNoy knows it’s payback time and he has to pull out all stops to bring up the Marcos scare.
“Take Jojo Binay, the guy an original Cory Yellow, who suddenly finds himself shut out of PNoy’s favor, he is now target of the president’s persecution. Not that I mind, really, given Binay’s dark side. But if he wins, guess who’ll be the first one on his hit list?
“Take Rody Duterte, another PNoy dirty tricks target who will not hesitate to plant a bullet in PNoy’s head, especially since the Davao peacemaker and Cory supporter Chito Ayala has long passed away.
“Take Grace Poe, who is undergoing a disqualification operation as heated – if not worse – than Corona’s impeachment. If there’s anything mommy Susan Roces hates more than GMA’s cheating her husband, its PNoy bullying her little foundling.
“Take Chiz Escudero, who sealed the PNoy 2010 victory with his Noy-Bi campaign, ensuring that the populist Joseph “Erap” Estrada would not derail his presidential ambitions by ensuring that Binay’s votes were at tandem with the Yellow agenda.
“Take the underground, armed Left, just waiting to extract their pound of PNoy flesh for his treachery and blood-stained acts in Hacienda Luisita.
“Take the reformist Civil Society groups, who put so much faith in PNoy for changes that never came like the promised Freedom of Information Act,” Fatty paused for a bit to drink some water.
“So now, PNoy has no high level political cover unless Mar Roxas wins. And Mar being Mar, his presidential campaign is in such shambles that there is nobody else to blame but Mar himself. He just isn’t selling, and anything he says is just so bad that it just buries him deeper than getting him out of the hole.”
(End of Part Two)