In a shocking development, Senator Mar Roxas III announced that he’s backing out from the presidential race to support fellow Liberal Party member Noynoy Aquino III. The announcement was made yesterday during a conference held at the historic Club Filipino (were Noynoy’s mom Corazón Aquino took her oath as President of the Philippines way back in 1986):
“Noy has made it clear to me that he wants to carry the torch of leadership,” he said. “I do this (step aside) for unity in support of change and that means that somebody must make a sacrifice. It must be me.”
The two “Thirds” (they both share ‘III’ at the end of their respective last names) are a force to reckon with, perhaps the perfect tandem to possibly halt ousted President Joseph Estrada’s plans of backing out from the most anticipated presidential election in recent history.
Erap has been vocal these past few weeks, saying that the only reason for him not to run for the presidency is when the opposition fields only a single candidate.
As of this writing, Makati Mayor Jejomar Bínay and Senator Manuel Villar, both from the opposition, are yet to make a final statement whether or not they would support Noynoy or still pursue their political ambitions. But Erap said that he’ll still woo other presidentiables from the opposition to unite and fight whoever Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will anoint.
It will be remembered that in the 2004 presidential elections, the massive electorate who sided with the opposition were divided between Pánfilo “Ping” Lacson and legendary icon (Erap’s bestfriend) Fernando Poe, Jr. Both were well-loved and supported by the masses. But since the votes were divided between the two of them, the results proved to be disastrous: Ping ended up second to FPJ’s votes while the latter was blatantly cheated all the way to high heavens.
Noynoy is still hesitant whether or not he should run. But with Mar Roxas’ stirring announcement (quite possibly he’ll run as Noynoy’s Vice President), that could possibly be the nail in the coffin for Noynoy’s decision-making. Besides, Mar has already spent millions of pesos with all those television advertisement of his. It’s not that easy to back out from the presidency especially when millions have already been spent, and Noynoy knows this. Besides, with the recent passing of her “icon of democracy” mom (not to mention the recent Ninoy Aquino holiday last August 21), this is the perfect time for him to ride on the heels of the so-called “Cory Magic”. It’s back, still fresh, still strong, still sporting the bright yellow in the minds of the populace. All he has to do is to keep it burning, to keep the momentum going.
Hopefully this time, the opposition will learn from mistakes of the past. It’s still September — plenty of time to THINK.
Who else will join the Third Party?