I will be 59 years old this coming April and  if I had a few doubts before, now I am fully convinced that being ludicrous, ridiculous, and absurd is endemic and natural in Philippine politics.

Ludicrous politicians are aplenty during elections.  When it was announced last year, I am sure the sharing of three ‘guest’ senatorial candidates by both the administration and the opposition slates was insane.  First question: as guest candidates of competing slates, will they campaign with both?   Any campaign planner will immediately tell you that the idea will lead to administrative nightmares.  Campaigning with friendlies is already a problem.  How much more with canoeing in two rivers?

The 'guest' candidates

The ‘guest’ candidates

As it turned out, the ‘guests’ stuck with the pro-administration Team Pnoy in campaign sorties ‘forcing’ the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) to kick said guests out of their house.  

You think the absurdity ends there?  Absolutely not!

Re-electionist Senator Francis Escudero and newbie Grace Poe reportedly heaved a sigh of relief after getting booted out from UNA.  

Norman Bordadora of the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported today on Poe’s reaction:

“Parang nabunutan ako ng tinik [It’s like a thorn has been pulled from my side],” Poe told reporters who sought her comment on UNA’s move.

“When I learned that there were conditions [for being adopted by UNA], of course, I found myself in a difficult situation,” she added.

Poe indicated that she couldn’t go against President Aquino’s wishes when he says candidates have to be in certain rallies and campaign sorties—presidential preferences that could have meant Poe shunning UNA rallies during the campaign period” (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/362655/escurdero-poe-heave-sigh-of-relief-after-una-junking).

Grace Poe

Grace Poe

I would like presume that Ms. Poe has a modicum of intelligence and should have realized that guesting in both slates will not do.  Why, even celebrities know that.  An ABS-CBN talent cannot just work with the rival GMA-7 network or even with ABC-5.

Escudero tries to but fails (miserably) to take the high ground.  Bordadora continues his report: 

“Asked if it was a relief that the issue of common candidates has been put to rest, Escudero said, “Yes, because this election has never been about petty issues of which rally you attend.”

“It was and has always been about platform, issues, principles and one’s genuine desire to serve the people faithfully and with integrity,” Escudero told the Inquirer”.

Mr. Escudero, the issue at hand is not petty. Let me explain in terms you can possibly understand.  You agreed to have two girlfriends; thus you have to take both, instead of just one, on a Valentine’s Day date.  If you have principles, you shouldn’t have two girlfriends in the first place.  Perhaps, expecting a politician to have principles is a tad too much.

Senator Francis Escudero

Senator Francis Escudero

What about the third ‘guest’  candidate,  re-electionist Senator Loren Legarda?  

Bordadora continues:  

“Legarda said she has yet to be officially informed by UNA of its decision.

“But whatever happens my respect, regard and love for President Estrada, Vice President Binay who’s really dedicated and Senate President Enrile, to whom I am really close will never change,” Legarda said.

“So the friendship should not be affected,” she added”.

Senator Loren Legarda

Senator Loren Legarda

Former President Joseph Estrada, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are the acknowledged “Three Kings” of UNA while President Noynoy Aquino is the principal campaigner for his team.

This issue shows the mix of personalism (e.g. Poe was invited by her ninong Erap, to be guest candidate and she’s is sad about the junking because Erap promised full support), sophomoric hypocrisy,  feigned naivete, and naked opportunism.  

Were we entertained by this theater of the absurd?


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