The inevitable shakeout in the presidential race is starting to happen. The first to go was KBL’s Vetaliano Acosta. Not showing any desire to spend any money on his campaign, his own senatorial candidate Imelda Papin left him for Bangon Pilipinas. The Comelec has since then disqualified him as a nuisance candidate.
[Aside: The inclusion of Acosta in the presidential race not-so-coincidentally relegated Noynoy Aquino’s name in the official ballot to the second and not-so-prominent place. It also placed Manny Villar’s name to a lone and prominent position in the fourth column in the newly-designed official ballot. Is it a coincidence that Acosta was disqualified just as the official ballot was finalized and started to be printed? I call it mission accomplished.]
Senator Gordon and Madrigal–and significantly, former president Estrada–also started directly hitting at Senator Villar. Two of them accused Villar of trying to bribe them to back out. the question here, of course, is this: Are they preparing to support the Noynoy Aquino candidacy? Earlier, JC Delos Reyes of Kapatiran hinted at this.
In the administration camp, trouble is a-brewing with icnreasing paucity of funds that led vice-presidential candidate Edu Manzano’s campaign manager to go public with it and Manzano to playing truant with the campaign. If so, Gibo Teodoro may be faced with the unwanted option of going down with the ship alone.
The one-on-one battle between Noynoy Aquino and Manny Villar is becoming clearer. Ironically, the onus of proving he can win has transferred to Villar. Portraying himself as at least on a statistical tie with Aquino, he is now being besieged on all sides by attacks from his opponents.
Reportedly, the business community is up in arms against the very possibility that he will win. It feared a Villar victory will produce the Pacman 2 scenario that is reminiscent of the Marcos days. If rumors have it, even CREBA–the real estate association that the Villars’ core businesses are associated with–are having second thoughts about him.
On the other hand, rumors of a GMA-Villar ties refused to die down–running the gamut of foreign failed rendezvous and a successful one here, promises of speakership and protection for GMA, funds for Villar, and the latest, an operation plan for automated cheating by GMA people in behalf of Villar.
The stakes are getting higher, the volleys are getting heavier and the big rounds are still to come. The contest is getting exciting–and more of concern–getting bitter. the shakeout can only make a one-on-one boxing contest a slugfest.