POSTSCRIPT / September 10, 2009 / Thursday


Philippine STAR Columnist

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Can Cory’s magic rub off on Noynoy?

ANTICLIMACTIC: After a dramatic pause, Sen. Noynoy Aquino emerged from retreat in a Zamboanga monastery to announce what everybody expected — that, yes, he is going to run for president under the Liberal Party.

As I write this, word is being awaited from Sen. Mar Roxas, LP president, if he would run as Noynoy’s vice presidential mate.

Mar should. Who knows, that veep detour might just lead as well to Malacanang. (But he should delay announcing his decision to give Noynoy a chance to hog the limelight in the meantime.)

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GENIUSES GALORE: Now the toughest part begins, which is how to win in a crowded field that favors the administration man.

Noynoy stands a good chance if he finds a way to (1) make Cory Magic spread nationwide and linger till Election Day, and (2) have the magic rub off on him.

The brother of TV celebrity Kris Aquino won’t run out of advisers and campaigners. A bunch of marketing gurus is waiting to latch on to the bandwagon.

In fact, that might become a problem. There are just too many people presuming to know, and tell Noynoy, what is good for him.

Some potential supporters hesitate when they see the premises crawling with supposed strategists who talk as if they hold a patent on Cory and, now, on Noynoy.

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DIVORCE: Former President Fidel V. Ramos and ex-Speaker Jose de Venecia breaking away from the administration coalition after denouncing the shotgun marriage of their Lakas-CMD and the Kampi party of President Arroyo raises intriguing possibilities.

With politics being the art of the impossible — and with party lines blurred by the unmitigated partisan bed-hopping and with FVR and JdV itching to put down President Arroyo — here are some possibilities:

1. Lakas-CMD can entice Vice President Noli de Castro to run as its presidential candidate if he fears an Arroyo kiss of death. But they have to raise first the money requirements of De Castro.

2. Lakas-CMD can link up or coalesce with the LP and support Nonoy, or keep its distance and adopt him as presidential bet.

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LAPID IS BACK: In Pampanga, Sen. Lito Lapid has announced that he had gone back to his province to run as governor, a post he held for three consecutive terms from 1995 to 2004.

Managing a province is an executive role Lapid can play very well, unlike the crafting laws in a stuffy chamber whose inhabitants spoke mostly English, or variations thereof.

Lapid has informed President Arroyo about his change of shooting location and she said okay. In preparation, he had changed his legal residence to Porac from Makati, where he ran for mayor, and lost, in 2007.

His vice gubernatorial partner will be townmate Lea Dizon, a neophyte in the political woods whom he described as God-fearing. She also appears to have tentative fear of the media as she declined to be interviewed in the meantime.

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PANLILIO OPTIONS: That makes two aspirants for governor, so far. Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao has also said he wants the seat now occupied by priest-on-leave Gov. Ed Panlilio.

Panlilio has stopped listening to the chorus in Loyola Heights and Makati hypnotizing him to run for president. But even after being roused from his presidential dream, the governor has not hinted if he would run for reelection.

If he does not run, Panlilio might support San Fernando City Mayor Oca Rodriguez for governor. The mayor, worried about logistics, is still undecided.

Meantime, the Commission on Elections appears bent on knocking down Panlilio via a vote recount in connection with a protest filed by loser Lilia Pineda, former provincial board member and wife of suspected jueteng lord Bong Pineda of Lubao.

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LAHAR SUIT: Lapid and his son, former Gov. Mark Lapid (now Philippine Tourism Authority general manager), are facing a plunder complaint for allegedly failing to account for P568 million in quarry taxes and fees during their terms.

In a complaint with the Ombudsman, Panlilio alleged that the Lapids collected only P121 million in sand and gravel taxes and fees from 2002 to June 2007, when collections should have been at least P689 million.

Lapid shrugged off the charge, saying he would just await the Ombudsman’s decision. He said it was “one thing to accuse people of anything, and another to prove it.”

Panlilio must have based his complaint on his collecting much more than his predecessors. It was not clear if the governor submitted evidence that the Lapids stole the collections representing the shortfall.

If it cannot be shown the Lapids stole the collections, maybe the charge should have been incompetence or negligence, not plunder.

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U.E. HOMECOMING: Alumni and professors of the University of the East will have a homecoming at 5 p.m. on Oct. 3 on the C.M. Recto campus with the theme “Balik-Tanaw kay Lualhati.” The motif and suggested garb is Hawaiian.

Lt. Col. Renato S. Chan, steering committee executive chairman, said the homecoming will honor the jubilarians of 1954 (Emerald), 1959 (Golden), 1964 (Sapphire), 1969 (Ruby), 1974 (Coral), 1979 ( Pearl ) and 1984 (Silver). The focal point is the statue of Lualhati, which stands for the UE alma mater, at the quadrangle.

Invitation-tickets are available at the UE Alumni Association Inc. secretariat, c/o Aileen Palma at tels. 735-8557 and 735-5471 loc. 310. Sponsorships for the souvenir program are still welcome.

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(First published in the Philippine STAR of September 10, 2009)

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