IN ANY political campaign operations there is always a designated bad guy – that man whose task is to do things for a party that would be a bit too radical or even distasteful. The reasons why they do this vary, but basically it’s for two main reasons: to test the waters and to distract the public from issues the party doesn’t want to be bothered with. Their directives are from the highest levels of the party, project themselves as credible party spokesmen, yet maintain a public distance from party powers to give it a credible level of deniability. They are part pit bull, part jester and all ludicrous.
Take Caloocan Representative Edgar “Egay” Erice, a guy so much in the news for statements on various issues on the Liberal Party. He has been dubbed by media with a myriad of positions: from “party stalwart,” to “spokesman,” to “HOR LP leader,” to “LP political affairs chairman.” We don’t know if he keeps handing out business cards with different designations or media people just conjure these things just to convince their respective editors that the story is worth filing to meet their daily story quota.
Among the party tasks Erice has been assigned is to help clear the way for a Mar Roxas presidential candidacy (not yet presidency, mind you, for things may change between now and actual elections). That would mean ensuring that any opposition to this goal must be put down, with extreme prejudice.
Early on Erice has already acted on making sure he planted the idea on people’s minds that Grace Poe would be the best running mate for Mar. He gushed how her connection would the masses, image of integrity and work ethic would compliment a Roxas presidency. All this way before Poe even made any pronouncement of interest in any higher office.
Erice’s calculated move is twofold: to condition the public’s minds that Poe is only as good as a VP to Mar and as a chilling message to Poe herself (and her closest advisers) to believe that the LP will assert its might to make sure she will not make it.
Of course the LP can always deny these Erice moves in its official statements, and they have party president Joseph Emilio Abaya to do that. Short of saying Erice ids a liar and just speaking for himself, Abaya says some nebulous statement like that the LP has not gotten to that point of its discussions. Much like how he parries the lack of action of his Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in handling issues with the MRT-LRT, missing drivers’ licenses and car registration plates, colorum rolling coffins like buses, jeepneys and taxis, shakedown on Uber and Grabcar… you get what I mean.
Vice President Jejomar Binay and his United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) party have their own party hounds, but its seems they were not as effective as Erice. They started with Navotas politician Toby Tiangco, but his Dragonball Z hairdo just kept zapping out the credibility of his actions and statements.
So, with Binay’s corruption woes, they went all legalese with JV Bautista, lawyer and party secretary general. Of course, failing on the media relations front they finally deployed media man turned Cainta politico Mon Ilagan who has maintained his buddies in the fourth estate through the years.
But all of them combined has not been able to do an Erice.
One thing’s for sure, come 2016 elections, all of them will be laughing all the way to the bank.