This piece operates against the backdrop that only last 18 June 2009, Philippine Star had in its headline the SWS findings that the ‘race narrows down to Villar, Noli, Mar’. The news is unsettling in that the survey appears to have now cast a smaller net projecting thereby the impression that there are only three choices to pick from. For would it be the final outcome at the polls that Sen. Manuel Villar will lead, followed by Vice President Noli de Castro, and then by Sen. Manuel Roxas II?
Prof. Carlita Carlos, UP political scientist has always said that it is in fact, too early to come up with any prediction much less establish a mind-conditioning trend. Not surprisingly, the question that was asked – “Who do you think are good leaders who should succeed President Arroyo? You may give up to three names? – is a leading question, which should not be the case. Hence, the data elicited came out with a 29% for Villar, 21% for De Castro and 18% for Roxas – from some 7,000 respondents. Cursorily, the question requires quick memory recall with all three – in terms of their TV and radio ads – taking the top 3 positions.
In other words, the individual info commercials in their paid TV or radio ads only succeeded to float in the public mind these three popular names by simple work in memory recall. Certainly, such TV ads as “padyak, padyak” of Mar, “itik, itik” of Manny, and “pabahay, pabahay” of Noli may have already filtered down in public subconscious state to become easily remembered. After, only these three wannabes have so far flooded the TV viewing screen and the radio waves with their political ads. So, since the SWS survey seems only self-explanatory, it seems to serve only one vicious purpose – let it filter down more across larger intelligences.
The top 10 shows President Joseph Estrada earning 13%; Sen. Panfilo Lacson 12%; Mayor Jejomar Binay 2%; and President Arroyo 2%. Surprisingly, Lacson should not have been part of the equation since he already declared plan not to run. What is perhaps more important to look into are the residual facts that 20% have not given an answer with 9% more not even recommending anyone. In short, 29% is deemed ‘untapped’. All of 29% can in fact go to ‘dark horse’ if we play with the game of possibilities.
This SWS survey tells us that there area a significant segment in the voting population who are keeping their choice closed to their chest. They may be ashamed to reveal openly that their choice may in fact be an unpopular one or at least one who had never launch a TV or radio ad so yet. That they would rather opt to give their choice the sacredness it deserves is certainly within their prerogative. What should be clear here is that 29% of the 7,000 respondents have not really spoken. This means that a good 2,030 of the number have not elicited any response, much less a choice of president.
Let me then zero in at this point that there is a unique sociological phenomenon typified if not even ‘stereotypical’ of Filipinos and this is the trait we usually call “hiya” or being “mahiyain”. Let us supposed that the 29% are of such attitudinal type who in a subsequent survey could be vocal about voting for BF depending on how the question may be so formulated. It does not have to be a survey done by SWS in yet another time as any polling circuit will do.
This leads me to ask a question that has already been asked before, “Why should voters choose a legislator to be president?” To my mind, more than top standing in the popularity chart, people should choose the next president based on the most important single criterion of “record of performance”. A lot of name tags have been ascribed to Bayani Fernando such as – ‘Hitler’, ‘Marcosian’, ‘fascist’, ‘Pink Panther’, ‘pink utopia’, ‘champion Celebrity Duet’, ‘Metro Guapo’, et cetera. This man others call patronizingly as l “Bayani”, despite and in spite of these unkindly tabs – remains unperturbed.
In an much earlier random text poll done at that TV program, “Debate”, Bayani Fernando got 82% approval rating. In another poll of students called Peyups.com, a similar albeit much higher verdict was given for BF or a whooping 87.10% approval rating from a supposedly most vocal of demographic groupings. Another survey done on the Federation of Regional Development Councils indicate a patronizing approval for BF’s operations such as clearing of sidewalks, decongestion of traffic, optimizing use of roadways. Not to be left were the Metro Manila Mayors unanimously rallying behind the man.
BF’s logic comes handy. For him, the streets belong to the public and therefore no one has the right whatsoever to appropriate it upon himself. Thus, those who do so will have the law against them. To approach and resolve their predicament, what BF did was to provide ample enough space to accommodate them in public markets where rentals are cheap and affordable. This way, the buying public get the quality and right quantity of stuff they should get in exchange of their money since sidewalk vendors have been known to cheat on their customers since they do business a la ‘guerilla’. This way, the problem of an ever growing ‘underground economy’ is likewise addressed as a logical end result.
Funny if one has to recall how a certain congressman (was it Augusto Syjuco?) threatened to oust BF because of his anti-vending policy except that the legislator failed to deliver on his 9 million signature campaign. But all the wrong public perception of BF is now working in the reverse. Most cities and provinces are not replicating BF’s achievement in having transformed Marikina into an international city, the Metro Manila as a global megapolis and if given the chance, make the Philippines “great again”. Managing corporate RP is simply engineering all systems that work best.