Erap, Binay and other Presidentiables

Having Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay as our next president could be the closest we will have to having the Holy Trinity lead our country. No, that’s blasphemous. But “Jejomar” is supposedly short for Jesus, Joseph and Mary. So? Well, I am actually pushing the limits of believability.

“Jejomar” actually reminds me of “Ribomapil,” the name that my good friend Joeyboy Holganza acquired from his father. And Ribomapil is short for? Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini and del Pilar.

Names do not make the person, of course, so Binay could be as holy as St. Peter’s funeral homes. But he must be good because former president Joseph Estrada, during the duo’s political campaign sortie to Cebu did endorse him to be the country’s next president—that is, if he can help it. After all, Erap also has presidential ambitions, right?

“I want the opposition to have only one candidate. If they will not unite, my last option is that I myself will run,” Estrada told reporters Tuesday. Actually, that has been his mantra since President Arroyo erroneously pardoned him and restored his rights after he was convicted of plunder. And that mantra is a wise way of exposing a firm intention.

To say that the opposition will only have one candidate in the 2010 presidential elections is like believing that the title of this Allan Jayme Rabaya prize-winning song is literally possible: “Kausa Nabasa ang Tubig.”

That means Erap running for president next year is sure ball—unless the court has something to say about it. If that happens, where would that ease out Binay? The vice presidential race? Or will he acquire the daring to split from his boss and run for president anyway?

So how many pieces will the political opposition split? Let me count the ways: one, Manny Villar; two, Mar Roxas; three, Loren Legarda; and four, Ping Lacson. I doubt if anybody can push the four to back off from running for president. Then the probables: five, Erap; six, Chiz Escudero; seven, Richard Gordon (he was administration but is now sniping at President Arroyo); and, okay, eight, Binay.

Compare that with the administration presidentiables: one, Noli de Castro (definite); two, Bayani Fernando (probable); and three, Sonny Belmonte (name floated). There’s also an anomaly there because some administration stalwarts are pushing for Villar as administration presidential candidate (obviously because of his money).

That, my dear readers, is where recent Cebu visitors Erap and Jejomar are actually situated in the current political scheme.

(I wrote this for my March 5, 2009 Candid Thoughts column in Sun.Star Cebu)

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