The feeding frenzy now surrounding the involvement of Sen. Manny Villar in the alleged C-5 extension corruption scandal is taking a political toll on his campaign for presidency. Whatever the outcome, damage has been done by the issuance of a Senate Committee-of-the Whole report on the matter.
The accusers do not need the completion of the Senate processes to do it. The circumstances around the issue will have already made Villar vulnerable.
First, the decision not to face the issue in the Senate arena of formal committee investigation, I think was the initial mistake. It merely postponed the inevitable and put the political initiative in the accuser’s hand.
Second, the Villar campaign line of “mayaman na galing sa mahirap” was seriously undermined–the Senate probe results cast doubt on the source of his wealth.
Third, his maneuvers regarding the issue also put the doubt on his capability to lead and manage the affairs of government–a key campaign argument he uses effectively against Noynoy Aquino.
What all these amount to is the current Villar calvary–arriving at this crucial moment when he is trying to narrow the Aquino lead in the surveys. The latter is already a tough job considering the narrowing window for positioning before the formal campaign starts on February 9.
Sen. Villar does not need the crucification by his Senate detractors. His campaign is already in peril.