Bongbong’s beyond gravity now

IN a TV interview, the late President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s spokesman was obviously whistling past the graveyard when he insisted that “gravity” would be pulling down presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s high, over-50 percent ratings as voters’ choice in various opinion surveys.

That reminded me of a favorite analogy of a witty political and business analyst in the 1990s. He referred to the taipans who have amassed so much resources that they will practically never go bankrupt since they have achieved “escape velocity” and are “in orbit”, beyond gravity’s pull.

Going by surveys by different pollsters — even one commissioned by Leni Robredo’s supporter Albert del Rosario — and a most recent one by the Marcos Media Bureau’s Swiss consultant who polled 3,600 respondents, Marcos seems to now be beyond gravity. Robredo, going by the numbers, as well as other aspirants have been dismal “failures to launch.” (Note the respondents numbered 3,600 compared to the 1,200 usually polled by most polling firms, which means a very small margin of error of plus or minus 1 percent.)

In the Swiss consultant’s poll, Marcos is the choice of 62 percent of respondents, up from the 51 percent preference reported by the most recent Social Weather Station poll. Robredo’s has gone down from the 20 percent in the first week of December to 15 percent in the most recent poll (Table 1).

TABLE 1. PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS’ VOTING PREFERENCE

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Pandemic unravels the invention called democracy

ONLY if you can’t even discuss its possibility that you will refuse to see the implications of the data that stares you in the face.

It has been the exemplars of a democratic system — the US, India and European countries — that have terribly failed their citizens in containing the Covid-19 pandemic.

The US, the richest country in the world and the self-appointed enforcer of democracy all over the world, is down on its knees with an unbelievable 62 million of its people having contracted Covid-19 and 861,003 killed — so far. India, the world’s biggest democracy, is competing for the No. 2 spot with the US as the worst hit country with the most deaths.

On the other side of the world and the political spectrum, the People’s Republic of China, with its single-party system and the first to be hit by the pandemic, has only 104,000 cases, less than 0.2 percent that of the US, and 4,600 deaths or 0.5 percent of the US’. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is doing better than the Republic of the Philippines.

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Reds to extort P10B from candidates in 2022 polls

DESPITE its major setbacks — the killing of several of its top leaders and attacks on its camps — as a result of President Duterte’s intense campaign against the Communist Party of the Philippines and its New People’s Army (CPP-NPA), the 2022 elections will likely boost the rebels’ financial resources, sources in the intelligence committee as well as in the insurgency claimed.

Since 2001, the CPP-NPA has been demanding — extorting — money from candidates for what they call their permits to campaign (PTCs) and permits to win (PTWs) in areas of which the NPA claims to have control. Without a PTC, a candidate’s people campaigning in an area the NPA controls are either harassed or outrightly killed by the rebel group. With the more expensive PTW, on the other hand, which are undertaken in remote areas the NPA controls, it assures the candidate’s victory. (The term “permit to campaign” is derived from the widely known “permit to carry” a gun outside the owner’s home.)

It’s certainly ironic but emblematic of the communists’ depravity that they are exploiting the most important exercise of a democracy — elections — to raise money to fund their project to destroy that democracy. It certainly worsens corruption in government, especially on the local levels, as a winning candidate would recover the money extorted from him through graft.

A scholarly paper written by former CPP central committee member Nathan Gilbert Quimpo, now a Dutch academic, a few years back explained:

No wonder they got spic-and-span uniforms. PHOTO: WWW.CPP.PH
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