Post-election round-up

I am sad that Jun Magsaysay and Risa Hontiveros didn’t make it to the Magic 12 but I will be laughing through my tears when Migz Zubiri and Dick Gordon accuse Gringo Honasan of cheating them of their rightful place in the Senate.

I am sad JV Ejercito made it but at the same time I’m happy he is at the tail-end. His brother Jinggoy is sad. Period. On a happier note, I can’t wait for the two Ejercitos to take opposing sides on an issue. JV and Jinggoy trying to show up each other, whoopie! Will JV call Jinggoy Honarable Kuya or will he address him in the manner he deserves?

I think Risa Homtiveros made the fatal mistake of pegging her campaign on Nancy Binay. She should have focused on the other UNA candidates where her record on human rights, anti-corruption, and public service would have stood in stark contrast. But she didn’t. So the only imprint her attack on Nancy Binay left was that of a mestiza picking on a housemaid. I would suggest that she shoot her campaign strategist but hacking the idiot to pieces would be more satisfying.

Grace Poe bested three of the best disguised trapos in the business. I always thought Grace would be in the top six but becoming number one never crossed my mind. I love it. She was the most underestimated candidate, thought to lack brains and experience and knocked for riding on her father’s name and fame but she proved her mettle during debates and more than held up in penetrating one on one interviews. She showed that she is intelligent at the same time sensitive and her moral compass points true North. Give her a little time to settle in and she will become a gem in the Senate.

The election of Cayetano, Binay, Angara, Pimentel, Ejercito indicates that dynasty is a non-issue as far as voters are concerned. I hope the anti-dynasty crowd accepts the will of the voters instead of doubling their efforts to frustrate the will of the voters by lobbying for a law prohibiting people who happen to share the same bloodline from becoming public servants. Besides Leni Robredo won against a Villafuerte and Aga Muhlach looks like he will beat a Fuentebella. So anti-dynasts please show a little more faith in the wisdom of the common man.

The good showing of Team Patay proves that Team Buhay is dead. There is no Catholic vote if by Catholic vote you mean robots operated by bishops. There is no Iglesia ni Kristo vote either. But that proposition will be difficult to prove because the INC leadership does not announce its endorsement until the last poll of Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station is published. At any rate, the divergent approaches show the difference between the Catholic bishops and the INC bishops. The former do not pay attention to surveys. And that’s ironic because surveys tune in on the voice of the people which is supposedly the voice of God. Then again if those bishops listened to the voice of God to begin with, they will not meddle in secular politics.

The biggest losers are Enrile, Estrada, and Binay. UNA came in last. That shows they have no endorsement power if the candidate does not carry their surname and in the case of Enrile, he couldn’t even carry his own son. The good news is we are all winners. If I have to explain to you why we are all winners, then you are among the losers who believed that there was more to UNA than Enrile, Estrada, and Binay. ‘Yun lang.

Manuel Buencamino

Buencamino was a weekly columnist for Today and Business Mirror. He has also written articles in other publications like Malaya, Newsbreak, "Yellow Pad" in Business World, and "Talk of the Town" in the Inquirer. He is currently with Interaksyon, the news site of TV5. MB blogged for Filipino Voices, blogs for ProPinoy and maintains a blog, Game-changers for him, as far as music goes, are Monk, Miles, Jimi, and Santana.

  • Joe America

    All in all, I think enlightenment in the Philippines matches that in the US. Some politicians succeed on the basis of appealing to the less deep-thinking crowd. Conservative America is not too far off from the masa base in the Philippines, I think. Simple thinkers who get their legitimate day at the polls, and we deal with it. Sometimes painfully. Get the rest of those votes in and let’s get to work.

  • GabbyBD


    “But she didn’t. So the only imprint her attack on Nancy Binay left was that of a mestiza picking on a housemaid.”

    thanks for your bluntness 🙂 i welcome it, even as i disagree that these “optics” are the reason.

    i think that direct attacks or criticisms, esp. by women against women, arent viewed well by the electorate. she shouldnt have criticized a fellow woman candidate, esp one since either of them havent been senators yet.

    In this campaign, i dont think anyone really strongly criticized anyone else, except for rissa’s criticsm against binay.

    having said that, i think binay should be criticized for not debating. but i cannot be another candidate, esp not another woman candidate with practically as little national exposure as her.

    (here, i would have loved say, the incumbent senators, or congressmen, or whatever, to do the criticizing)

    i think there is a gender component, but the mestiza vs housemaid thing isnt it. I would love to learn more about that.

    • manuelbuencamino


      Koko was unrelenting with his attacks on Zubiri and election cheating.

      Anyway, why the mestiza versus housemaid optics? Okay, reverse the roles. Maybe you will see the optics I saw. Think Nora versus mestiza. Sympathy is always with the one who looks like an underdog. Optics lang pero it strikes deep. You must remember that Nancy enjoys the benefit of the doubt among the electorate, so does her father. So common political sense would dictate staying away from messing with stereotypes unless the majority of voters already see the short black female as a maligno, like GMA. Then its okay for an avenging angel, pure and white, to take her down. Otherwise, you are messing with archtypes created by thousands of movies and telenovelas that have been screened and aired for generations. Optics matter, they can slip into the unconscious and wake-up all sorts of suppressed feelings.

    • As I mentioned in discussing Nancy Binay, her proposals were quite concrete and easy for ordinary people to understand: free nutritional supplements and medicine for nursing moms, whereas Risa’s were a bit vague and high level: “making healthcare more universal.” Where I faulted Nancy was in failing to provide details regarding the scale, cost and funding source of her proposals, which for me is essential, otherwise it is just mere pandering.

      I challenged Ms Hontiveros to be clearer in her policy statements and specify what she really meant. While Risa gave the right indication of where health reform needed to go, it wasn’t completely fleshed out. She thus failed to inform us how those reforms would look like for ordinary clients of the health system. For all her talk about making this contest about platforms, she failed to specify her platform clearly, and that was truly a missed opportunity. Had she done so, it would have distinguished her, and people would know what she was truly fighting for, debate or no debate.

  • andrew lim

    Hello Manuel, I’ve seen your comments on Joe and Raissa’s blogs. This is my first comment here. I have a germ of an idea here, and if it snowballs, Ill seek your support. What do you think of it:


    RATIONALE: The presidential elections
    of 2016 is near, and one of the most potent accountability tools we
    have is the SALN – scrutinizing it well beforehand, even before a
    candidate assumes office, is a worthwhile undertaking, instead of
    having to impeach them later on.

    The public has the right to know if a
    candidate does not deserve the presidency because of questionable
    items in their SALNs.

    COVERAGE: All presidentiables for
    2016. Binay has declared it openly on national media several times.
    Roxas has not declared it personally, but high-ranking LP official
    Frank Drilon has said it so. (ANC forum with L. Jumilla) So for now,
    Binay and Roxas.

    METHODOLOGY: Based on their submitted
    SALNs for the past five years, civil society will scrutinize their
    contents, check for accuracy and truthfulness, look for significant
    and/or wilfful omissions, Sources of income will be sought and


    1. Media – Mainstream as well as
    social media practitioners and investigative journalists/outfits.

    2. We will seek volunteers with
    backgrounds in finance, accounting (specially forensic) and auditing,
    as well as lawyers.

    3. Crowd-sourcing, for the most opaque
    items on the SALNs.

    TIME TABLE: This project may take a
    year or even more to complete, so the earlier it gets started, the

    FUNDING: This will solely be
    volunteer- powered. No donations from corporations or entities will
    be accepted.

    • GabbyBD

      i like it! 🙂

    • manuel buencamino

      Yep why not

  • Bert

    Risa Hontiveros was on my list because I believe she will do good in the Senate basing from her past involvement in political exercise but grudgingly voted for her anyway even if I was so annoyed by her TV antics of warding off evil spirits using a piece of cloth. Dapat talaga katayin iyong campaign strategist ni Risa.

    I hope they pick someone more credible and more charming, :), than Mar Roxas in the 2016 presidential election else it would be a walk in the park for Binay.

  • manuelbuencamino

    Doy, Would it have made any difference if UNA won 12-0?

    • UNA fielded 9 candidates and repudiated their guest ones, so a 12-0 win was technically impossible. But anyway, as I showed in the Trapo Alert series, UNA on average had a higher trapo scale reading compared to Team PNoy, but not by much. Regrettably more of those who rated highly as trapos within Team PNoy got the most votes, while those that were reformist didn’t. The UNA candidates who made it into the magic 12 weren’t the worst of the lot from their camp.

  • To borrow an analogy from Star Wars Episode 2, at the end, Obi Wan remarked that without the clones it would not have been a victory for the Republic against the separatists. To which Master Yoda replied, “Victory? Victory you say? Master Obi-Wan, not victory. The shroud of the dark side has fallen. Begun, the Clone War has.” We all know what took place in Episodes 3.

    And so it is in the case of this election. Victory? Victory you say? Nope, this is just the second round. The third one is coming.

    As for Grace Poe, she’s well-educated, but I still rated her a 4 out of 5 on the trapo scale