All roads lead to 2010 – just 15 months away. And there are writings on the wall, fears even of an unwanted scenario – a Constitution changed – as nothing but an end-game to allow GMA a sweet exit (euphemism for any form of post-term culpability). But elections would be far more exciting at least to check simply whether or not those surveys by SWS and Pulse Asia can translate into reality. And if they do, it is as if there was no choice in existence, to begin with – a bagful of rotten eggs to choose from, matter-of-factly.

In the particular order they come, the best leader to succeed the president are – Noli de Castro, Loren Legarda, Manny Villar, Chiz Escudero, Ping Lacson, Erap, Mar Roxas. Or to go a little bit down more, we have – Jejomar Binay, Bayani Fernando, Miriam Santiago, Francis Pangilinan, GMA, Vilma Santos, Ralph Recto, Trillanes, and Zubiri. This is in so far as SWS is concerned.

Pulse Asia, on the other hand, registers in the same ranking order – Escudero, Legarda, Roxas, Villar, Lacson, Binay, Estrada, De Castro, Arthur Yap, CJ Puno, and Speaker Nograles. This survey, in particular, distinguishes between ‘big trust’ and ‘small trust’ over the candidates listed therein and their corresponding scores on the chart. Limited to the choices voters can have – everyone in the pack has his or her own share of dug up negativities and therefore makes less perfect to be the next to succeed.

Confined to these names, we could have wanted new entrants or we just have to share Tony Abaya’s fear of having to add another name to the Guinness Book of World Records in terms of outstanding individuals in the field of corruption. So why do we always end up with a president who will only prove to have enriched herself or himself in office as if to tell us – it is all part of our political DNA?

For lack of better choice, why indeed will we have to vote for a Noli de Castro who may have shown the highest tolerance threshold against the ills that beset Philippine society in what appears to be an entirely enclaved status – not a sign being affected nor afflicted – by our shared if collective experience under the Arroyo regime?

Voters might more likely have to list out offhand – Villar, Lacson, Erap, Puno – for commonly-held public perception bordering on negativities. Whereas, a relatively young pack of presidential wannabes might cater well to the taste of the voting public and these may include such names as – Loren, Chiz, and Mar. Without let up, Mar appears to be doing an all-time offensive in terms of media blitz to add more wheels to his cart. Where signs indicate – Villar would have been sidetracked by the C5 double-fund entry, Lacson by the old stain in the Kuratong Baleleng rubout, and Erap by conviction of plunder.

It is of uncertain validity whether apparently good lawyers make good presidents as in the case of a Chiz Escudero whose performance in the House of Representatives along with Allan Cayetano may have built a good jumping pad to the Senate. Now, we heard nothing about their well-stated anti-GMA advocacies. For one, Cayetano is not known to have done a good work in so far as legislation is concerned in terms of number of bills authored-co-authored as if he were no longer goal-driven. Not few think they have been duped, shortchanged for having voted them in the Senate. Candidly enough, two Cayetanos would add neither more nor less.

The manner the campaign drive of Mar Roxas is being run, it seems to meditate on old tricks in the book. His TV ads appear to be well-timed, rich in content, and captures popular imagination – but an approach entirely too seasonal to be true. From the all-too successful ‘Mr. Palengke” to that of Mr. Botika to Mr. OFW – take your pick. Most everyone is trying to discover what could bring a bandwagon effect in so far as the viewing audience is concerned that it must take a lot of genius to capture one. This reminds us how one Pichay may have done the extreme overdrive in exchange of nothing.

Chiz did try the cheese and didn’t juice out the milk. For him to go in round shirt as though he is some rock and roll buff might no longer be indicative of his youth. He does not have to come like his father did – a fashion statement – with the KBL idea in it. When he talks those rather kilometric ideas than they should come cryptic, it might bore a less-than-intelligent voting segment. Neither does he carry the Obama magic in him, however maybe eloquent he is as a speaker.

It might be wished that Loren will not be haunted by her rather dim marital past – having been married to an old politician who has been jailed and released from prison to the dismay of the families of his victim. She, however, probably enjoys a sweet acceptance level from those who view her only through the boobtube. Beyond the screen, other stuff can be unclosed and we deemed she is not corruptible as most in the pack.

Come 2010, we hope presidential bidders (or bribers) appear in the landscape reduced to only a three person scramble with at least the inclusion of a ‘dark horse’ – whoever that maybe. Meantime, grandstanding will have to be a normal thing in the Senate front from which they come. With about P3 to P5 billion to burn to run a sound campaign, what governance would be clean?