Why Noynoy Aquino Will Not Win as President in 2010


August 1, 2009 will never be the same again for us. It was the day our beloved former President Corazon Aquino died. The people once more took to the streets to relive the spirit of EDSA 1986 when Cory led the nation in overturning the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, and restored democracy in the Philippines.

August 1 is also the fateful day when Cory’s only son, Noynoy Aquino, is suddenly thrust into the limelight as a potential candidate for the 2010 presidential elections. Cory’s death gave the Filipino people the idea of Noynoy leading our country next.The Liberal Party is now debating whether to field Noynoy as their presidential man. If this happens, Mar Roxas will have to back down as a vice-presidential candidate.

It seems like the Filipinos are largely relying on Cory’s untimely death, hoping that sympathy votes will be enough to ensure Noynoy’s victory in 2010. They are hoping this will be a repeat of the 1986 snap elections of Marcos versus Aquino. However, the situation then and now are entirely different. And for this very reason, Noynoy might not have a strong following among the masses to ensure his win.

In 1986, the Filipinos were filled with rage, tired of a dictatorial system that ruled them for twenty years. They were tired of seeing blood, of learning about politicians being imprisoned unjustly, and of various forms of oppression. Cory was fighting Marcos, a man who earned for himself a reputation of being violent and oppressive, and this culminated in the assassination of Cory’s husband, Ninoy Aquino.

As such there was an imminent and immediate desire to overthrow Marcos. The hunger and thirst for democracy is at the very core of the Filipinos that made them march to the streets at will, and support Cory at very little provocations.

Fast forward to 2009 and we now have President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo whose leadership is marred terribly by scandals like the ZTE deal, “Yes, Garci,” and most recently the extravagant $20,000 dinner in New York. Most Filipinos believe she is one of the most corrupt that ever ruled the Philippines. She is sinking in the public ratings every minute.

Now, shortly after Cory’s death, we suddenly think that Noynoy could be thrust into power and have a complete turnaround of fate when GMA steps down. But see, the time of Marcos and the time of GMA are very different. If the 1980s is marked by open violence and chaos, today GMA has learned her lessons well from her predecessors and is keeping the peace at all times, albeit a very artificial one.

GMA is smart. She is careful not to stir another uprising that caused the downfall of Marcos, and later on Joseph Estrada. We never see her lose her control in public speeches. We never hear her retaliate in strong and abusive words. Not a single curse will escape from her lips. And that makes her tough.

She faces the camera always with that same poker face as if no issue bothers her. Every criticism thrown her way, she greets it with silence and a half-smile. She knows how to play the music of politics perfectly. Not even Cory’s pleas for her to step down in 2005 could make her budge in Malacanang.

And thus, there is no public outrage. There are no big rallies staged that could force her to resign.

And now here’s Noynoy carrying the burden of whether to run for president or not. He has not yet formally announced his decision as of this writing, but really now, does he have what it takes to win?

For sure he will do a much better job than his mother who rose to the presidency after just being a housewife for many years. Noynoy has more political experiences than his mother no doubt. But he is just relying now on sympathy votes. And in this present situation, sympathy votes will not be enough for him unlike in his mother’s time. If he could not gather the same crowd during his father’s funeral, there is much left to doubt his victory.

Noynoy lacks the charisma that came naturally to his parents. His sister Kris is better at it. He lacks the gift of gab of his father, Ninoy. His surname can only take him so far but later on he has to also make his own name and prove his worth. Because today, sympathy can only take him so far.

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