In a move everyone is calling desperate and pathetic, Presidential candidate Mar Roxas appealed to the second most popular candidate, Senator Grace Poe to unite against the most popular candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. In a press conference, Roxas called on Poe to make the ultimate sacrifice to thwart a “looming dictatorship”.
“I call for unity. I call for decency. I call for democracy. I call for the rule of law. I call on Senator Grace Poe, Grace, mag-usap tayo (let’s talk). I will adjust schedules to your convenience. Sabihin mo lang kung saan at kailan at darating ako (Just tell me where and when and I will come),” said Roxas.
For a guy who says he is not into drama, Roxas came across like a drama king. Why didn’t he just phone Poe privately instead of speaking to her via the media? It’s as if Poe was so unapproachable that he had to use a mediator to contact her. Roxas was obviously trying to make it look like the ball is now in Poe’s hands – that if she did not agree to his suggestion, she is being selfish. True enough as soon as Poe said no, a member of the Malacanang communications officer Manuel L Quezon III posted a statement on social networking site Twitter with “Poe says no to calls for unity against dictatorship”.
The tweet was irresponsible, indeed. It seems that the press conference was an orchestrated move by people from the Palace to undermine Poe. In his statements, Roxas also insinuated that the Philippines is going to be led by a monster if Duterte wins the Presidency. Roxas and his supporters including President Benigno Simeon Aquino thinks they know who and what is best for the Filipino people. The thought is so laughable because the people think they have been mismanaging the country in the last six years. They have lost the credibility to tell the people what is best for them.
BS Aquino also appealed to the public and asked them to urge the candidates to unite against Duterte:
Talk to your principals and say we need to see a demonstration of country before self,” …
If there is anyone acting like a dictator, it is BS Aquino. He thinks he can dictate to everyone including the Presidential candidates and expect them to accede to what he wants. He thinks he has a monopoly on being righteous. He has forgotten the essence of democracy. In a real democracy, the people decide who they want as their leader. Even if Duterte comes across as a dictator, Aquino can’t stop the people from voting for him. The people want another strongman after experiencing a dud. It is worth mentioning that, of course, the people will get what they deserve whoever they vote for.
Besides, if the allegations against Duterte are true – that he is a killer and a corrupt public servant, why didn’t BS Aquino do anything to prosecute him a long time ago? He could have asked the Department of Justice to at least investigate the allegations against him since Day One of his term. Some say that he couldn’t do that because Duterte has been an ally of the Aquinos for decades. Duterte was appointed acting Vice Mayor of Davao after the 1986 people power revolution during the late former President Cory Aquino’s term. In fact, Roxas even considered Duterte as his running mate when he was still scouting around for a Vice President.
They all ignored Duterte and didn’t think he was a threat to Roxas’s candidacy until the Mayor’s popularity shot up to Number One. Even the negative propaganda employed by their attack dog Senator Antonio Trillanes didn’t put a dent on Duterte’s popularity.
Some say that Roxas looked so tired and already at the point of calling it quits. He seems to have lost all the confidence he had in the previous days. The last time he spoke to the media he said he was still confident of winning the race, which made everyone suspect that he is going to cheat his way to the Presidency. That is another problem for him. A lot of people don’t think he can win through honest means. So win or lose, he is toast.
Even if Poe backs down, it’s not a guarantee that her supporters will automatically vote for Roxas. It would make more sense for Roxas to step aside for Poe because with Duterte currently at 33% and Poe at 22%, Poe just needs 12% more to outclass The Punisher. Roxas wouldn’t be able to do that. Unfortunately for him, the more he talks, the less voters he gets.
Yes, Roxas was a turn-off. His press conference was probably the final nail in the coffin. He has finally made it clear that he is arrogant and that he is not fit to lead the nation. His last ditch effort to defeat Duterte was an ill-conceived idea. He and his people don’t seem to think things through. They are the victims of their own public relations disaster.
There are times when you feel sorry for Roxas. Watching him makes you feel like helping him avoid more PR disasters. The truth is, even if we want to stop Roxas from making a fool of himself, he will simply ignore us. It’s best to just sit back and watch him self-destruct.