One of the most sought-after endorsement is the political endorsement of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), a religious organization known for delivering 64% to 72% of the votes it commits to a candidate. Known as an organization that votes by bloc, INC has been said to be instrumental in the election of various candidates from the highest position in the land — the President — to the lowest position in the village — the barangay councilor. But, what if INC failed to deliver as its members also have other choices? Or, what if it got its political readings wrong?
For the May 9, 2022 elections, INC has endorsed again a set of candidates and these are led by presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos and vice presidential aspirant Sara Duterte.
Many felt distracted by the endorsement especially by the Kakampinks who are members of the Iglesia ni Cristo. Others were shaken because of the alleged weight of the endorsement in the elections.
The Easter egg hunt last Sunday, April 17, turned out to be a show of three male presidential candidates ganging up on their fellow candidate, Leni Robredo, who is the only woman in the presidential race. And the most interesting thing: Robredo is not even the survey frontrunner.
But, should Leni be afraid of these male chauvinists? Apparently not. The Easter Sunday event simply pointed out that the male chauvinists have lost their cojones and can only pretend to be macho by calling on a woman to drop off from the presidential race. They can’t even call on the survey frontrunner to withdraw – a candidate who is the least qualified yet full of disrespect to institutions. Who, among the presidential candidates, have not finished a degree? And, who among the candidates continue to brandish the idea that he/she was cheated despite a final and executory judgment against his electoral protest? Or, who among the candidates paid only their taxes because of the incoming elections?
While people are making the best out of their holiday vacations, the social media went abuzz last Holy Saturday with the announcement that three presidential candidates will be holding a joint press conference on Easter Sunday. As if it was mechanical, political pundits, analysts, forecasters, fortune tellers and the Maritesses released their takes on the event. Local strategists asked tarpaulin printing shops to halt, and so does a number of local political events. Almost everyone held their breath.
When the joint press conference came and the cameras panned in on Presidential aspirants Isko Moreno, Ping Lacson and Norberto Gonzales, jaws dropped. Are the three dropping their bids to the presidential race?
Much has been said why voters will vote their candidates. Kakampinks will vote for Leni because of her performance and unblemished track record; Isko-ters (Isko supporters) will vote for Yorme because of what he claimed to have been done in Manila; Pacquaio-wans will vote for Manny because he is humble and proved that everyone can be like him rising from humble beginnings; Pingksmen will vote for Lacson because he did not dip his hands in the pork barrel; and the Pulahans and red shirts will vote for Marcos because of unity.
Wait, what? Unity?
Well, I am for unity but I will never vote for Bongbong Marcos for the sake of “unity”. Adolf Hitler committed the atrocities of World War II because of his vision of “unity”. The “Three Kings”, err, “Three Kims” of North Korea (Il-Sung, Jong-Il and Jong-Un) ruled the North un-interrupted because of unity and now the Koreans are impoverished and badly suffering from hunger. China is also what it was and is because of unity starting from the war of the states that attempted to solidify all the territories under one emperor to the present where communications are filtered to ensure the rule of the Communist Party.
Sometime ago I was commissioned by a local politician to conduct a survey adding that I should make him appear winner in the results. I was taken aback and asked about the real purpose of the survey he wanted. Was it for campaign strategy development or for propaganda? He replied that he wants both. I told him I can only do the first and if the results are in his favor, he can use the same for his messaging. He was surprised and said, “How come the previous pollsters I commissioned can do both?”
It took me sometime to explain how scientific surveys are conducted, how the respondents are selected, how questionnaires are developed, and how data are analyzed. It was squeezing a semester or two of research methods in an hour and a half.