IT HAS been said that Chiz Escudero’s Vice Presidential campaign will be tough to beat because he has HEART – literally.
Levity aside, the Grace Poe and Chiz Escudero tandem for the run for highest office of the land in 2016 seems to be the team to beat, based on the tracking surveys being conducted by the usual Social Weather Station (SWS), Pulse Asia and the latest, Laylo.
As such, they are the most obvious targets for negative campaigning, the latest manifestation of which are the trolls and memes on social media. However, as much as they are easy targets they are the toughest to put down as the supply of negatives seems few and far between.
The other contenders are so easy to put down because most if not all their negatives and screw ups are supplied by the candidates themselves, and there is no lack documentation for these. To wit:
- Mar Roxas – Ineptitude; “Teka,teka”; Yolanda; “You are a Romualdez, the President is an Aquino.”; Korina; Mama’s boy; Liberal Party; Daang Matuwid…
- Rodrigo Duterte – Human Rights violations; Neither here nor there…
- Bongbong Marcos – Never Again, Martial Law atrocities; hidden wealth; Ferdinand; Imelda; Imee; London; Wharton…
- Jojo Binay – Daang Maitim; corruption; dynasty; Nancy; Abigail; Junjun: Dra. Elenita; free cakes; overpriced buildings…
- Miriam Santiago – Tililing; Motor mouth; liar…
And the list goes on. You get the picture. All a negative campaigner or troll has to do is sit back and wait for these guys to open their mouths and away they go.
With Grace and Chiz it seems that some effort has to be made to manufacture a negative campaign.
Take Grace’s citizenship issue. As Philippine Star’s venerable Boo Chanco points out, there are as many legal opinions about it as there are lawyers. And in the end the only final arbiter is the Supreme Court which will obviously take its sweet time on it (as it always does – err on the side of caution, so to speak). So, says Boo, the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) which is currently hearing the case (curiously timed considering she has been serving as Senator effectively for almost three years) will make the decision which, if negative will have to be enforced by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). But will they? They face a potentially explosive political situation, considering Grace’s survey standing as reflective of public sentiment.
As for Chiz, there has been a little nasty here and there, but nothing by way of a sustained campaign. And while his slick, monotone sound bites may irritate some – just like Mike Enriquez’s delivery of TV News – he has hardly said 0or done anything that will get the trolls and meme makers go all ballistic.
If any, of all the candidates only Grace and Chiz have the wherewithal to mount a campaign those in recent years has come close to the highly emotion-ridden Philippine electorate: pulling the heartstrings.
“Puso!” is the prevalent Filipino buzzword today that even my young son’s football team shouts out this mantra, playing with heart more than winning. It’s what makes the general public go gaga over Yaya Dub and Alden and makes #Aldub extremely popular and viral – and golden.
Hit Grace Poe on citizenship because she is as foundling or adopted and you get this entire backlash about discrimination and “bullying the poor little orphan girl.” (Was she orphaned? We don’t even know. But it keeps oppositors walking on eggshells.)
And as for Chiz, yes, he has heart as he constantly states is the lynchpin of his campaign with Grace. And he literally has Heart. Everything else that can be created and brought out to counter that will just come out as convoluted, manufactured and incredible negative campaigning.
So how do you fight that?