President Aquino’s dilemma


Interior Secretary Mar Roxas with President Aquino.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas with President Aquino

The 2016 presidential election is definitely an exercise where the winner will either continue promoting the interest of the country or take advantage, in his new position, to advance his or her personal and political interest.

Where the country is now heading and the recognition it is getting from the world community for the reforms instituted by the Aquino administration, there is no doubt that most Filipinos would prefer that whoever succeeds President Benigno Aquino (PNoy) must continue supporting and sustaining the latter’s policies and programs, especially in carrying out the ‘tuwid na daan’ (straight path) advocacy which seems to have found acceptance among the citizenry.

But who is the best person to succeed PNoy?

Could this be the reason why, to this day, PNoy is still mum on who will be his anointed candidate for president?

One can only surmise that the process of choosing the right person to win and succeed PNoy is putting the latter in a dilemma.

Yes, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is there, who, according Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts would be PNoy’s nominee for president when he delivers his last State of the Nation address (SONA).

But what is making it difficult for PNoy is that he knows very well that Roxas lags behind in the presidential surveys, with Sen. Grace Poe now overtaking Vice President Jejomar Binay in the rankings and the polls further showing that Poe’s momentum is fast gaining traction.

This kind of scenario is certainly giving PNoy the nagging doubt about Roxas’ ‘winnability’ in the presidential race even if the election is still ten months away.

What is making it even harder for PNoy is that Poe, because of Binay’s and his spokespersons’ unsavory remarks toward hers, is bent on running for president, if only to prove that she could beat Binay.

Senators Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero

Senators Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero

Could this be the reason why PNoy continues to woo Poe as a coalition partner?

PNoy understands very well what and how much he owes Roxas for paving his way to the presidency in 2010. But, at the same time PNoy could not just feel disinterested and insensible that what his administration has gained through hard fought reforms will all come to naught upon the election of an opposition in 2016.

Suffice to say that PNoy at present is torn between friendship and legacy, and for all intents and purposes it seems that legacy weighs more in his vision for the country.

For whatever reason PNoy is inviting Poe to go around the country with Roxas, one can only hope that it is done for the sake of the country. It is, perhaps, to make Roxas see and realize that Poe is more popular and more preferred than he.

There is no doubt in my mind that, for a name he has to protect, Roxas is aptly a good choice to succeed PNoy. His chances of beating the corrupt Binay was getting better in the long stretch until Poe got into the picture.

But what is wrong with PNoy’s idea is the presence of Sen. Chiz Escudero, whom Poe wants to have along during her sortie with Roxas around the country.

In Escudero, one can only see him not only as a spoiler in Roxas’ political ambition, but one who also does nothing but promote his own political and personal advancement, with all his arrogance.

Would Roxas give way to Poe like he did to Aquino in 2010 and be running mate the second time around? I don’t think so, while Escudero’s shadow is seen always where Poe goes.

Would Poe agree to become Roxas running mate if only to save the country from being run by corrupt officials for the next 12 years? I hope so, but what to do with Escudero?

Surely, Roxas, Poe and Escudero are PNoy’s dilemma.

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