Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo will once more “wow” Boholanos with their visit here today, this time accompanied by their No. 1 Ninong, President Noynoy Aquino. The visit is so important, the Provincial Development Full Council meeting scheduled today had to be moved to March 7.
Leni was just here last Saturday to keynote the Liga ng Mga Barangay Convention at the Wisdom School and here she is back. Roxas was also here not so long ago so why the need to bring the President? Or is this a way of controlling whatever damage was done to the campaign of the LP bets both national and local when the ragtag opposition gelled into a unified group to pose a challenge to what could have been a smooth sailing candidacy for Roxas and Robredo in Bohol.
Before the opposition decided to put a unified block against the ruling LP candidates, Roxas’ bid for the presidency was supported by the incumbent political bigwigs in Bohol. Though they belonged to different political parties, the three congressmen, for example, were rooting for Roxas not only in their private conversations but also in their public pronouncements.
But Roxas committed a political faux pas when he chose to side-line or ignore Congressman Aris Aumentado of the 2nd District of Bohol who earlier was for him. It is not clear who advised Roxas not to mind Aumentado but it was a tactical blunder if not failure on his part.
It was similar to what happened on the local level. Governor Edgar M. Chatto who, up until the filing of certificates of candidacy, did not have even a token opponent. But by denying Mayor May Imboy of Loay a certificate of nomination and acceptance (CONA) from the Liberal Party, he created a problem for himself because that made May Imboy to decide to run for governor against him instead.
May Imboy may not have the time to build a province-wide organization and machinery to launch a strong campaign but her candidacy has put Gov. Chatto to his toes when without an opponent he could have devoted more time in helping his slate in the provincial level.
Roxas, by heeding the advice of his local advisers, was not aware that he needed Aumentado’s help more than Aumentado needed his help in this election. Even if political leaders who did not want him to solidify his hold on the 2nd District by providing him with an opponent, Cong. Aumentado is standing on solid ground in his district. It was in fact through his initiative that the opposition is now pushing a serious threat to the candidacies of the administration’s bets.
So will President Noynoy’s coming tilt the balance in Bohol in favour of Mar Roxas? That remains to be seen. In the last two surveys made by radio station DYRD among its listeners put PDP-Laban’s Rodrigo Duterte way way ahead even if he has not come to Bohol yet. While surveys made through incoming calls tht could be manipulated or influenced by the political party or the candidates themselves, a survey is still a survey and could have some semblance of legitimacy and credibility.
That should tell the candidates about the appreciation by the voters of the campaign issues at hand. That should be good indicators of what the voters are looking for in their candidates – those who have a better promise of solving the perceived problems that are facing the country at present and in the future during the term of the next President.
Whoever they see as one who can do better with the problems seen to affect their lives will have their votes.
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