The 2016 national polls is everything Pinoys could ask for in their telenovela.
There’s an orphan seeking her birth parents, a candidate bullied for his dark complexion (among other things), an old rich scion who calls himself Mr. Palengke, an eloquent woman stricken with cancer and a masochist who now seems the champion of the masses.
Kulang na lang suntukan, or sampalan. (Yes, we RSVP-ed to the “Sampalan ng Passbook sa BPI Julia Vargas” in hopes of witnessing this one-of-a-kind circus. The brilliant minds on España gave the vice presidential debates at University of Santo Tomas a violent spin—“Suntukan sa Dapitan.”)
Here are the six bets vying for the “spare tire,” becoming the president if the winner of the top post falls ill, gets impeached, or drops dead; the first runner-up to the president’s Miss Universe, if you still do not get it.
Alan Peter Cayetano. The Bad Boy. This guy came in like a wrecking ball during the debate, destroying everything in his path (a.k.a. opponent Bongbong Marcos). Cayetano prides himself as a corruption czar who fought against the pork barrel controversy, coco levy funds, fertilizer fund scam and other corruption allegations.
This bad boy teamed up with the trash-talking macho Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and guarantees to end crime and corruption within three to six months of assuming office. Daig pa si Cardo (Coco Martin) sa “Ang Probinsyano.”
Chiz Escudero. The Romantic. It seems that the senator is a spin-off of spoken word artist Juan Miguel Severo from “On The Wings of Love.” He dissected and interpreted the colors of the Philippine flag, even defined his ideal leadership as rising early and reporting for duty immediately. Sweet and enticing words; we would have been swept off our feet if he didin’t sound like a robot. (Yep, we said it).
Gringo Honasan. The Lolo. Honasan is the Ronaldo Valdez of the vice presidential race. Buhok pa lang, diba? But he’s a Rockstar Lolo. He’s been “a soldier for 17 years, a rebel for seven years, a senator of the republic for 18 years.” Siya na.
Bongbong Marcos. The Heir. Well, duh! Senator Marcos was almost 29 years old when they fled Malacañang after the Filipino people overthrew his father’s dictatorship. Eventually he came back, and has served in public office for 27 years.
Although the professionals estimate they accumulated a whopping $10 billion loot over the two-decade reign, Senator Marcos claimed he’s a pauper compared to other vice presidential bets. He also said his wife makes money while he spends it.
Leni Robredo. The Empowered Single Mom. Although a neophyte public official, the Liberal Party bet has served in the Public Attorney’s Office, working with marginalized sectors. She would’ve been a Regional Trial Court judge if she did not run for a legislative post last 2013. Robredo is Amor Powers, minus the revenge part.
Antonio Trillanes IV. Good cop, bad cop. He’s after presidential polls leader Rodrigo Duterte and he’s not backing down. He exposed the undeclared bank account of the PDP-Laban standard-bearer and accused him of having P211 million in the said account. Trillanes warned Duterte of “creative ways” to unseat him should he be elected president of the republic.