Thursday, July 05, 2007

The 2010 Elections: Much-Improved MacGuffin

A MacGuffin is a plot device that advances the storyline or motivates the characters but has little relevance to the story. The Oscar-ignored but still legendary Alfred Hitchcock popularized and made it as an art form. The ugly bird statue in The Maltese Falcon is the best example of a MacGuffin.

Today, there is a huge MacGuffin hovering in the Philippine political landscape. It is the 2010 presidential elections. But this is a much-improved MacGuffin. Unlike Hitchcock's, the 2010 MacGuffin has huge relevance to the story. Plus the motivation it provides for the lead personalities would shame the acting exploits of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre.

Story: The 15th President of the Philippines
MacGuffin: 2010 Presidential Elections
Red Herring: The Senate Presidency and the so-called Opposition Split
Lead Characters
1. Manuel Villar
2. Manuel Roxas
3. Panfilo Lacson

Supporting Characters
1. Loren Legarda
2. Francis Escudero
3. Alan Peter Cayetano

The two Manuels is sure to run in the next big fight. Lacson will take another stab. Legarda is the a senate topnotcher twice and is touted to be a strong presidentiable. Escudero is the dark horse. He finished a close and strong second and has the strong political backing. The main criticism is his youth and lack of national experience. As they say, he has so much time in the world.

The battle for the senate leadership is a red herring but with huge consequences. I believe that this is a staged act. Roxas, Lacson, and Legarda are pushing for Nene Pimentel's candidacy. But it is so obvious that they are doing so to remove a huge 2010 obstacle which is Manuel Villar. It seems that he will have a huge advantage over his future rivals if he retains his current position. As Roxas articulated, 'this is to level the playing field in 2010.' Such hypocrisy! After winning in 2004, this guy faded into obscurity then tried to resurrect his dismal performance with a so-called public service ad in the last elections. Oh. He raised a howl on his pet bill.

Question: why doesn't any of the three senators run for the Upper House presidency?
Answer: I have no idea.

Everything seems to be going smooth until it hit two bumps, Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano will vote for Villar.

How can these two rabid oppositionist vote for Villar? Cayetano has not said anything and Escudero assured that he will remain an opposition regarding pertinent issues.

So...the three lead characters will not be able to stop Villar. Thus throwing another red herring - the opposition split. Serge Osmena has said that the 2010 elections is causing the fracture in the Genuine Opposition. He is most definitely correct. Lacson intimated that Villar had an alliance with the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo after the midterm elections. But of course, the loyalty issue lost credibility with Roxas' 'level the playing field strategy.'

Villar, much as I dislike this guy, run under the opposition slate. He has not done anything (at least in public) that shows he has abandon the cause of the opposition unless you count the Lacson-Defensor Santiago floated rumors. He has lost a lot of ground in the last elections placing a dismal fourth. He thus needs to achieve some sort of political rebound. Roxas is in dire need of a political revival. In a one-on-one match with strict observance of financial use, Escudero will trample Roxas.

The odd one is Legarda. She is backing Pimentel but is not as vocal as Lacson and Roxas. I'm sure she is simply a wise predator. Watching silently as her testosterone-fueled rivals are fighting. But I am sure, given the right time, she'll sharpen those Pashmina-covered claws. Remember the rumors that she has dropped her fellow GO candidates in her sample ballots? She retorted that she will never do that and pointed out that her newspaper ads included all the candidates of the opposition. This is a half-truth. Sure the newspaper ad part is correct but the sample ballots? No. I still keep her sample ballots that was given to us by her father. It only included her name, Nikki Coseteng, and Martin Bautista. She is beautiful but she is also vicious.

Escudero is like a young owl perching wisely in a huge tree - watching his much older peers squabbling for position. He holds a great political momentum including a strong political party, an enormous youth volunteer group and that x-factor called charisma. That's why Lacson and company is trumpeting an opposition split and short of accusing Escudero and Cayetano of abandoning their cause.

Now, there is one character in this story that is not given much attention. Joseph Estrada. It did not came as a shocker that his son Jinggoy Estrada is rumored to be supporting Manuel Villar. Why? He did it before along with his mother. Eventually a new gossip floated: Manny Villar-Jinggoy Estrada for 2010. Expectedly, San Juan Mayor JV Ejercito expressed disappointment and sadness over the decisions of Escudero and Cayetano. But I am pretty sure that his emotion is really directed to his half-brother. It's a common knowledge that there is no love lost between the two.

One thing that puzzles me is this, why make a big fuss about the senate leadership? Whoever wins does not change the fact that the majority of the Filipinos hates the current administration. The opposition got whacked in the Lower House but still most of us would want a successful impeachment. Get this: the senate is not the 'genuine' opposition - the majority of the Filipinos are. Last elections, we just provided you a mandate so that our sentiments would be heard.

Do I honestly care about the senate leadership? Hell no. But I do want this senate to challenge the brutality and tyranny of the current administration. The two senate neophytes accused of treacherous acts suffered most of this administration's oppressive moves. Cayetano had to struggle with an unknown namesake while Escudero almost suffered the fate. Everything was thrown to this two except for the proverbial kitchen sink. You think they are stupid enough to strike an alliance with the enemy? They are young but they are not Gringo Honasan.

Reader, are you still following me? Are you still feeling well?


Me too.

This is one MacGuffin in dire need of a conclusion. The bad news is that we have to wait for three more years to see its end.


Arbet said...

Peter and Villar shares the same party.

The Purple Phoenix said...

^ Sir, I know.

Anonymous said...

Getting the senate leadership thru the votes of the administration has little or nothing to do with going overboard. It may be for the hang of it, the extra perks, the honor, the clout in it.


vic said...

These two young Turks are ambitious, and you can't go anywhere if you are principled, honest to goodness politicians as we had seen and experienced in our midst. Our principled men of Mr. Rocco, Mr. Salonga, Mr. Diokno and others could never make it to the highest office for being such, and we have Ms Arroyo as prime example. Even Senator Honasan knew that without changing colour, he either end up in solitary confinement or years in jail, but he prefers the privileged life of a Senator and who knows he could be a vice or even a Prez someday. So do you Blame the Young Ambitious Politicians of Today if they are just following the Trend?

mschumey07 said...

I am really disappointed with these two. But the senate leadership is all about getting a unified opposition. There are no gray areas here. The committees at stake are not something they will just chair, its all about getting the job done. And that is unearthing all the trash this administration had swept under the rug.

MLQ3 said...

the senate presidency matters, because both chambers of congress are organized strictly according to two camps: majority and minority. whoever elects a senate president belongs to the majority, the supporters of the losing candidate automatically form the new minority.

the majority determines the senate president pro tempore (the sort of decorative, but not always, deputy senate president) and the majority floor leader, who acts as the traffic cop when it comes to bills. the majority also gets to assign the chairmen of the most powerful committees, including those that could make life difficult for the president. as well as for individuals who might face a tough time if certain committees were to investigate or hold hearings.

the moment administration senators have a say and form part of the a new majority, it means some of the most important committees will have to go to them. or at the very least, they will have a say in the selection of committee chairmen, and the chairmen they help select, determine the agendas of those committees.

Anonymous said...

When things get choppy, a new rebel majority can always take the floor to boot out the incumbents.

The Purple Phoenix said...


I just cannot post my real reply because someone from told me to keep it a secret.

One of the young turks wanted to say something about the whole issue but a really important opposition member told him not to say anything because it would actually show that the opposition is in tatters.

Let's just say that Pimentel is just a superficial FRONT.


Arbet said...

Tell the young turk to speak up. It smacks of hypocrisy not to speak up, since the opposition is in tatters anyway, all the world knows that.

The Purple Phoenix said...

He will. I'm pretty sure he'll say that he will remain an opposition. He said that he will speak in the proper place and time. The opposition figure holds an important place in the group and he is only respecting his request.

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The Purple Phoenix said...

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