Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Why Duterte seemed to have pulled away--and why I still believe that this is not enough to pull a victory

I agree with a political analyst that the reason why Mayor Rody Duterte seemed to have "pulled away" in the newest poll surveys is his "clear message" against criminality. Duterte has a very simple prescription---elimination of vice lords and crime lords, period. In the minds of the people, that is swift action. Duterte's handlers have identified a very clear delineation or shall we say, Duterte's competitive advantage over the other presidential candidates which is basically, a man that does not clutter his messages with scholarly explanations, and just settled himself with short, crisp, curt words that resonate with the public.

Honestly, if I'm Duterte's opponent, I would not be alarmed by his recent rise. First, this is expected since this is entirely the first time for the public to meet and take a look at this guy from the South who dared challenge the established oligarchy. Clearly, the surveys would reflect public approbation in the first meeting, and due to his impeccable timing, results of this first time meeting with the voting publics are being interpreted already by many, as a possible or clear sign of victory.

Why am I not alarmed? First, this is the first time that Duterte got a survey rating on the national scale. Will this indicate a runaway win? Of course not, definitely not and surely not a definite indicator of poll victory. Every analyst knows that there is such a thing as a "flavor of the month" and surely, Duterte is now "it". Unfortunately, we don't have enough time to test how resilient he is in maintaining top post. The next surveys will be very close to D-Day, and surely these survey results would still indicate the initial public views about him. We don't have enough time to determine if the public approval of Duterte is solid or just a flash in the pan thing.

Eventually, I believe that this initial public animation of Duterte will dissipate just like what is happening now to Grace Poe, who is fast losing steam because she is now "one of "them"---meaning one of those candidates being financed by the Oligarchs and her lack of a clear, even thought-provoking message, is pulling her South-ward. Believe you me---Grace Poe's campaign is described as "tinimbang ka ngunit kulang"---a consequence of her over exposure.

I expected this to happen to Grace Poe because the more she exposes herself, the more people realize how weak, how amateurish and how she lacks the proper skills of a Chief Executive. Her responses during these debates are not as impressive as Duterte's. Clearly, voters are slowly realising Grace Poe as unfit for the job.

The fact is---Poe is losing heavily and her supporters are considering other candidates because like her mentor, Chiz Escudero, voters are realising that she is completely a fake. Fake citizenship, foreigner husband, etal. There is so much baggage that Poe-Llamanzares carries that this confuses the public even more.

What would spell the end of Poe's campaign to victory is the perception that she is but a stooge of Aquino---a very strong turn off for her. One tip to those who are opposing her campaign---just compare her statements with those of President Aquino and that would be the end of her. Eventhough the surveys show a medium high approval of Aquino as president, this does not translate into an effective endorsement. Look at Mar--the more Aquino endorses him, the lower his ratings go.

At the end of this all, when all noise has decisively come to an end, this campaign would then be tested thru the traditional way---the tried and tested capability of party networks to deliver voters to the precincts and protection of votes.

Those "ooohs and ahhs" and " thunderous claps" and "massive jam-packed stadiums" do not ensure victory---those machines do. 

Duterte and Poe supporters are claiming they already have the network. Yes, they have millions of volunteers but to organize them and transform them into an effective voter getter and vote protection machine, remains to be seen. Remember that only accredited party members are allowed inside those voting precincts...