Hope

Looks like it’s going to be the tandem of Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Sen. Grace Poe for the Liberal Party (LP) in 2016. While the newspapers say this is still “being considered”, the gut feel is that this will be it.
Beneath the LP’s chest-beating, there is not much tandems it can play with going into the homestretch. It is a smart move to avert adventurists in the group who might entertain the possibility of doing it the other way around.
A combination of Mar’s nosedive from second to sixth and Poe’s surge to second, no one can blame those who would go for a Poe-Mar tandem. That would be more logical if the surveys are going to be an indication.
And yet, that might not exactly be a bright idea.
The pattern in the post-EDSA elections show that voters no longer automatically go for tandems. They voted Ramos-Erap in 1992, Erap-GMA in 1998 and PNoy-Binay in 2010.
The only aberration was the GMA-Kabayan tandem in 2004, but then the polls itself was an aberration. To this day, FPJ’s family and supporters insist the screen icon was cheated – and they have reasons to believe so.
Sen. Loren Legarda, FPJ’s running mate, also protested the victory of then Vice President Noli de Castro. Given the subsequent discovery of ballots in the Ampatuan compound, she has every reason to protest it.
Even if we concede legitimacy to de Castro in 2004, it is still 3-1 in favor of mixed tickets since 1992. That should be a legitimate argument against those pushing for a Mar-Poe ticket.
If there is any winner in the recent surveys, it is Poe. Suddenly she is cast as a shoo-in for the no. 2 spot – and even a dark horse for no. 1. Little wonder that both the LP and the United Nationalist Alliance are wooing her.
Before the LP gets carried away by its own propaganda coup, however, it should confront the real and present danger of self-destruction. Unless it comes up with a publicity scoop that would catapult Mar to top the surveys, it is over.
The emphasis here should be on reinventing Mar. Reinvent because at one point he was a fan favorite which led him to top the Senate race in 2004. Of course, that would depend a lot on him, and his wife.
Is time on his, and the LP’s, side?
This is a season of hope, so allow them to hope.

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