Cantal: The Lost Presidentiable

Felix “Peck” Cantal is very forthright with his Presidential bid.  He’s not campaigning with sweeping proclamations, vague platforms, and promises that will probably be forgotten.

James Jimenez says that the election laws are silent on the matter; there’s nothing in the law, it seems, that a candidate declared a nuisance cannot come out with a campaign advertisement.   Then again, he’s doing a much better job at being honest compared to our other Presidential candidates.  Cantal pulls no punches or strings: the standard-bearer of the Philippine Green Republican Party is campaigning on a very simple, passionate premise: “Maawa po kayo sa akin.”

Now that’s what I call an honest campaign.

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Teodoro: The Necessary

I see his face painted on the back of many buses, in the attempt perhaps to boost his reputation and to improve recognition.  “Posible,” the advertisements read, that he is the key; he is the answer.  “Galing at Talino:” the Harvard Law graduate, the most intelligent in the motley crue of Presidential aspirants, the man with the plan.  Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. is poised for the grand prize of Philippine politics: the Presidency.

He is the most articulate among them, bringing with him the kind of surprising charisma that turns him into a most enigmatic, charming figure brimming with confidence at every word and spiel.  One can make the case of him being the most intelligent: there are brains, in a way, to be glossed over when you do go to Harvard and bring with you such stellar credentials to the Presidential race.  Yet perception – the very thing that makes up anything and everything about politics – is reality, and political at that.

In Presidential debates, Teodoro finds it difficult to shrug off questions about the President.  He parries them, avoids them, dodges them, strings artful responses, and yet he cannot escape them.  He is who he is: Gibo Teodoro, the hand-picked successor to Gloria  Macapagal-Arroyo.  Every parallelism and judgment passed to him because of that is justified and warranted, never mind that it seems “unfair” or “underhanded.”  He is Arroyo’s golden boy, and whether that’s a medal on his neck or a monkey on his back is something he has to – necessarily – contend with.

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Aquino: The Scion

Noynoy Aquino is a Presidential candidate banking on memories: a campaign that has run the gamut of remembrance and amnesia.  Though the demands of the campaign would require that he should be his own man and not invoke the memory of his parents, Noynoy Aquino cannot be spoken of in terms of “who he is.”  He is, no matter how much you cut up and dissect and butcher the pre-campaign period campaign period, the son and scion of Ninoy and Cory.

Lorenzo Tanada III has acknowledged the pink elephant in the room: that “Cory Magic” is wearing off on The Scion.  Memories, for Noynoy’s campaigners and supporters, can be both a blessing and a curse.  While there is no denying the importance and the relevance of his parents, we are dealing with a generation that has no living memory of the People Power Revolution.  The standards may be there, evoked and affirmed on a daily basis by every democracy-loving politician on the road to 2010.  Noynoy, however, has no monopoly on it other than his name.  He is The Scion: the heir to the legacy of his parents, the Once and Future King who did not lift Excalibur from the rock, but was privy to it because of his name.

Every critic of Noynoy Aquino is right to say that he is the circumstantial candidate.  Without the stellar background of his rivals in his field, he banks on the memory of his parents and his pedigree, without swaying the skeptics of who he is, and what he can bring to the table.  Yet every supporter of Noynoy Aquino is right in saying that he is the preferred candidate: that he may not sully and disgrace the name of his parents is reason enough to vote for him, than the others who can do so freely without regard to pedigree.

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Vetallano Acosta

Vetallano Acosta.
(cue Spanish guitar strum)
Aged in oak barrels, for the finest in Spanish brandy.
(cue flamenco dancers)

Smooth, sophisticated, every sip comes alive.
(archetypal instrumental with guitars, castanets and clapping)
Vetallano Acosta, VSOP: Very Special, Only Pilipino.

All we know of Vetallano Acosta is that he is a Presidential candidate for the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan.  He is backed up by Jay Sonza of “Mel & Jay” fame; fallen from journalistic grace, as it seems, for endorsing some brand of rubbing alcohol many years back, and tried his hand at running for the Senate.  The small legion of Senatoriables for the KBL include, among their ranks, the one and only Imelda Papin.  Yet we know zero of a man who’s running for the Presidency.

Yet he is the man Noynoy Aquino wants disqualified; for reasons other than what Sixto Brillante and Juanito Arcilla have, I could only speculate on the power of sheer surprise.  Could he be more badass than Nick Perlas?  Does he have the power of a thousand Megatron clones that he can destroy Dick Gordon?  Does he have a fuller head of hair than JC Delos Reyes?  Is he the one kontrabida that Erap Estrada can’t beat in a bare-knuckle fight?  Is he more blessed than Eddie Villanueva?  Can he change the world faster and better than Jamby Madrigal?  Does he know of more possibilities than Gibo Teodoro?

Pardon the code-switch: baka siya na nga, at hindi si Villar, ang nakaligo sa dagat ng basura, at nakapag-Pasko pa sa gitna ng kalsada. We know next to nothing about the guy.

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