I HEARD from an uber-rich friend that Albert del Rosario and his 1Sambayan’s zany fund-raising project for their candidate LR has been canceled, not indefinitely but definitely. Read on to find out why.
Of course, you haven’t heard of that US-style fund-raising gimmick, Dear Reader (to borrow a favorite address of Winnie Monsod to her imaginary readers), as you’re not among Manila’s richest 500 as to be invited to burn P25,000 for a dinner (delivered to your mansion or condo of course) ostensibly in order to raise funds for her campaign. The dinner was to have been prepared by “Chef Jessie,” whose Rockwell restaurant is reportedly del Rosario’s favorite.
The menu consists of “Pasta a la Leni,” Kiko’s Green Salad and Pink Sea Bass. There’s dessert, “Special Chocolate Mousse” but they didn’t label it, as the senatorial candidate for whom they planned to name it had still not informed the group that he agreed to be its ally.
My impeccable sources gave various reasons why the dinner was canceled. Several gastronomes demanded that for P25,000, the sea bass should be served with real foie gras, not just “goose liver,” which Chef Jessie’s Rockwell branch serves for just P1,795. Others said they hate seafood and wanted Prime Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, which is served at the restaurant for just P2,500.
One said he wanted just the Smoked Salmon Caviar Pie, the four-inch serving. Another complained, why for P25,000 was not even a glass of wine included? Antonio Carpio, I was told, demanded Vietnamese food.
In contrast to the demand of these epicures, several 1Sambayanan convenors, my source said, demanded the dinner be canceled. La Salle Brother Armin Luistro said the P25,000 price of that dinner would mean two months of his allowance as a cleric. Jesuit Albert Alejo said he hasn’t even paid the loan taken out to pay the bail imposed on him for the sedition charges against him. (He was the handler of Peter “Bikoy” Advincula, who accused Duterte of involvement in the drug trade. Bikoy was arrested the other day for allegedly murdering three people in Daraga, Albay.)
The two leftists in 1Samabayan, Neri Colmenares and Rene Magtugbo, I was told, said no way would the finance officers of their “party groups” — whatever these are — authorize an allocation of P25,000 for a dinner. That’s the food budget of an oversized New People’s Army (NPA) platoon for two months, one of them explained.
However, after much discernment (to use that favorite Yellow term), I conclude that the real reason why the dinner was canceled is quite simple: 1Sambayan, after their initial befuddlement over announcements on Saturday, have all but given up any chance that LR will win in the presidential elections next year. What’s the use of a P25,000-per-plate dinner that has been just giving del Rosario headaches?
The announcements were first, presidential daughter Sarah Duterte-Carpio’s move to join Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) to be its candidate for vice president. Forget what the initials Lakas-CMD mean, it’s still the biggest (if not the most cohesive) party in Congress. Its president emeritus is Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, chairman emeritus is Fidel Ramos and national president, Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, the son of Imelda’s brother Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez.
The second announcement was Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go’s withdrawal of his candidacy as vice president to instead run for president (replacing Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa). Duterte himself accompanied Go to the Comelec to file his presidential candidacy. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Sunday that Duterte will file his certificate of candidacy as Go’s running mate today, Monday.
“Dutertismo” has injected something entirely new in Philippine elections: two teams both running for president and vice president, without antagonism, a kind of competition one would be familiar with in golf. But the golf metaphor has its limits: in this case, the votes for one candidate, e.g., Bong Go, is transferable (if he withdraws) to Marcos, at least according to surveys. If Duterte (if he runs for VP, that is), and later withdraws, the votes for him will obviously be very easily transferred to his daughter.
The “Pinklawans” — the new term becoming popular to refer to what was formerly the Yellow opposition — now have two very formidable, moving targets to deal with, which could unite at a moment’s notice. They have to divide their meager resources to address the two rivals to LR.
Team Blue (Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte-Carpio) is supported by a still powerful former president, a former House speaker, as well as an heir to the Romualdez wealth and political network. Team Red (Go and probably Duterte himself) is supported by a still powerful incumbent president, one of the most popular Filipino leaders ever.
One team could play good cop with a uniting message; the other could be the bad cop, with an eat-my-fist message.
Now if you’re moneyed, would you still throw money at a clear loser, or be thankful this recent development gives you a good excuse to say, “Sorry, giving you campaign funds is just like buying a P25,000 salmon dinner.” Now, where on earth will the Pinklawans get campaign funds? The NPA’s treasury, built up from “revolutionary funds”?
Oops, one can’t dismiss Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, who with his sharp Tondo (some say bitchy) tongue, could, with some incentive, play the “worst cop” role. After, he’s a goner: imagine calling the usual big campaign contributors “chekwa,” a racist term for Chinese? Do you think Emmanuel “Manny” Paquiao went to see Duterte last week just to make small talk, with a president whose administration he claimed was so corrupt.
Compared to BBM and BG, LR is a barangay (village) chairman candidate.
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