The Long View: Opportunities hidden in the numbers

The Long View
Opportunities hidden in the numbers

By Manuel L. Quezon III
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:06:00 02/08/2010

YESTERDAY this paper reported there are 50, 723, 734 voters registered for the May 10 elections. These voters will be organized into 329, 389 voting precincts organized further into 75,471 clustered precincts in 37,226 voting centers.

The Comelec expects a relatively high voter turnout – 80 percent or 40.5 million voters. If we use the income classes advertisers and pollsters use, this translates to: 4,057,898 voters from Classes ABC (10 percent of voters); 30, 434, 240 from Class D (75 percent); 6, 086, 848 from Class E (15 percent).

What could this mean in actual votes?

Without fussing with margins of error, the January surveys put Aquino anywhere from 36 percent (Standard), 37 percent (Pulse), 42 percent (SWS); Villar – 35 percent (SWS, Pulse), 36 percent (Standard); Estrada – 2 percent (Pulse), 13 percent (Standard, SWS); Teodoro – 4 percent (SWS), 5 percent (Standard, Pulse); Villanueva  – 2 (all); Gordon – 1 (Pulse, Standard), 2 (SWS); Madrigal – 0.4 (SWS), 0.5 (Pulse), 1 (Standard); De los Reyes – 0.2 (SWS) 0.3 (Pulse), 05 (Standard); Perlas – 0.05 (Pulse) 0.1 (SWS), 0.3 (Standard).

SWS puts the undecided at 2 percent or 811, 579.744 voters, Standard says it’s 5 percent or 2,028,949 voters, and Pulse, 6 percent or 2,434,739.

Pulse has the freshest numbers. If honest elections had been held on Jan. 22-26, the results could have been: Aquino – 15,014,225 votes; Villar – 14,202,645; Estrada – 4,869,478; Teodoro – 2,028,949; Villanueva – 811,579; Gordon – 405,789; Madrigal – 202,894; De los Reyes – 121,736; Perlas – 20,289; and nuisance candidate Acosta of the KBL – 81,157.

Put another way, had the election taken place on the survey dates, over a million votes would have separated frontrunner Aquino from his leading contender Villar.

SWS (Jan. 21-24) has Aquino at 42 percent and Villar at 35 percent, a seven-point difference that translates into a lead of 2,840,529 votes. If the difference is actually 5 percent, the lower end of the margin of error, that’s an Aquino lead of 2,028,949; if it’s 9 percent, the maximum end of the margin of error, that’s an Aquino lead of 3,652,108.

The most recent Pulse Asia poll (Jan. 22-26) puts Aquino ahead of Villar by 2 percent. (With a different base and methods, the Manila Standard Today survey has the same number.) Much has been made of this statistical dead heat, though it actually means – factoring in the margin of error – that the two leading candidates are anywhere from being tied to 2-4 percent apart. So 2 percent of the expected turnout is a 811,579-vote lead for Aquino or the two could be exactly tied; at four percent, Aquino’s lead could be as high as 1,623,159.

In terms of socioeconomic classes, Pulse has Aquino leading Villar (37-22) among ABC; that’s 15 percent of that class or a 608,684-lead in votes. Aquino also leads Villar in Class D (40-34), so that’s a 6-percent lead, meaning, 1,826,054 votes more than Villar; while Villar leads Aquino in Class E (39-31) which means a 9-point lead for Villar or 486,947 votes over Aquino.

This all presumes that if 80 percent do vote, all their votes will be counted, not only properly but also expeditiously.

The problem, of course – in the immortal words of President Macapagal-Arroyo, who moved heaven, earth and Garci to ensure she had a lead of 1 million votes in 2004 – is, ” yung dagdag, yung dagdag.” Plus, as her subordinates might put it, “yung bawas, yung bawas.” There are many ways to do this without even padding or shaving votes once cast.

In the mock polls (a simulation of the voting, counting of votes and transmission of results) over the weekend (involving 50 voters per precinct in a total of nine precincts in Quezon City, Taguig, Baguio, Cebu and Davao), the Comelec proclaimed there was no problem in the counting and transmission.

Overlooked was, considering the tiny numbers participating, the relatively high number of votes that weren’t accepted for counting. In Quezon City, only 46 out of 50 ballots were counted. (Four were rejected, apparently for “improper shading.“) In Taguig, the machine also refused to accept three ballots. Four out of 50 is 8 percent; so let us assume this is a reasonable number of spoiled/invalid ballots to expect from people not following directions. That’s 3,246,318 votes out of the immediate counting and canvassing.

The Comelec earlier put much higher the percentage of voters who might have problems because of the machines – 30 percent, which means it’s preparing for manual counting for 6,086,848 votes.

In either case, if human error alone might put 3.2 million-6 million votes in a grey area (thus requiring further scrutiny and manual counting, with each ballot bogged down in examinations and arguments), then neither of the two leading contenders in a close race could be proclaimed.

As the formal campaign begins tomorrow, Aquino’s lead, while still formidable, gives (a false, I think) impression of being smaller than it actually is when translated into percentages. Villar’s catching up in terms of percentages still has a long way to go when seen in terms of actual votes. On the other hand, neither side can rest easily because neither has a comfortable enough percentage to make them immune to the administration’s ace in the hole.

And what’s the administration’s ace in the hole? It can deny either of the leading contenders victory – unless. Which may be why Gary Olivar has thanked Villar for not hitting GMA; why Press Secretary Jun Icban said that there’s no GMA “kiss of death” despite talk she’s in league with Villar. The enemy of my enemy, the Palace broadly hints, will be my friend.


Here is Social Weather Stations’ Jan. 21-24 report in full; here is Pulse Asia’s Jan. 22-26  report. Mon Casiple has an analysis, while Marocharim Experiment has a generation-specific reflection. For background reading, see PCIJ’s report, Jeckyll-and-Hyde Campaign; John Nery’s The 2010 race is set and  my entry,We, the People: How Candidates view The People as Electors, my columns Brains without bodies (2) and Back to the Future, and Pulse Asia’s February 2009 Survey on the May 2010 Elections: The Undecided in Alphanumeric.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

65 thoughts on “The Long View: Opportunities hidden in the numbers

  1. Manolo Quezon is obviously part of Noynoy Aquino’s propaganda machine. His lame attempt to tar and feather Noynoy’s opponents with the “kiss of death” from Gloria Arroyo mimics the official Noynoy campaign stance. “The enemy of my enemy will be my friends” is a desperate reach to taint anyone who would challenge Noynoy and their ultimate goal of getting their hands on the levers of power.

    This will backfire on Noynoy because it is he who has the more visible connections to the Arroyo administration. His uncle and campaign strategist, Paul Aquino is employed by the Arroyo administration as head of the former PNOC. His aunt, Tessie Oreta is a Malacanang toadie and an appointee of this administration. Lupita Kashiwahara, Tessie and Ninoy’s sister, is a close confidante and media adviser of Arroyo. Another aunt, Tingting Cojuangco, was appointed by Arroyo as president of the Philippine Public Safety College. Noynoy’s maternal uncle, Peping Cojuangco enjoys his present position as head of the POC, thanks to the support of Arroyo. Jesli Lapus, also Noynoy’s uncle, is the present Secretary of Education. Kaninong pamilya ba talaga ang nakinabang kay Arroyo? In the end, the accusing finger will point back at the Aquino and Cojuangco families, who are undeniably in the Arroyo administration payroll. People in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.

    On the other hand, Gibo Teodoro, as the administration candidate, has no choice but to live with the consequences. This, however, does not diminish his being a much more attractive and impressive candidate than Noynoy.

    As for Villar being tainted by innuendo and gossip about his ties to Arroyo, his staunchest supporters certainly belie that. Allan Peter Cayetano and Rolex Suplico have been thorns on the side of the Arroyo administration for years. Cayetano and Suplico have articulated their opposition to Arroyo much more powerfully and indisputably than Noynoy ever did. As a matter of fact, Noynoy’s opposition has been rather lame and sometimes ambiguous. It was only when he set his sights on becoming senator that Noynoy became vocal about his opposition.

    I guess, now that Noynoy’s numbers are now more earth-bound, his campaign will resort to some desperate tactics. Like Manolo Quezon, Noynoy’s campaign strategy presently seems bent on whining. They will whine about their opponents being better financed (even if they have the more heavyweight financial backers such as the Lopezes, Pangilinan, Ayalas, etc.). Count on them to whine about almost everything under the sun. As Boo Chanco notes:

    “It does not help that some Noynoy supporters keep on complaining about Villar’s billions being spent on the campaign. That’s a given from the start, something they should have prepared for. For all we know, Villar is telling the truth that the only reason it seems he is spending a lot is because he knows how to spend his money efficiently.”

    Whining is a knee-jerk reaction by those who are infected with a sense of entitlement. As if the presidency is theirs for the asking, not to be won. This sense of “kayabangan” has permeated throughout the Noynoy campaign.

  2. We can clearly see from the stats that the median voter belongs to Class D. Median voter theory would suggest that the median voter determines who wins in an election. At this point, Aquino has a slight but declining lead over Villar.

    Aquino’s lead with ABC classes is practically cancelled by class E which now belongs to Villar. Class D will determine (automation Armageddon scenarios aside) who legitimately can lay claim to Malacanang.

  3. We have to beat Villar so we can watch his companies go belly up and be unceremoniously hauled off to prison, this time – no resthouses… 🙂

  4. I think if voters do not follow (very simple) instructions, it is just right and logical not to count their votes.. I believe it is the same way before, soiled ballots are supposedly not counted. Only this time, the machines are better at filtering them.

    I suspect though that the Tagig mock el is a special case as some reports seems to indicate that the voters “errors” are done on purpose (can anyone confirm this?). If so, the numbers projected by MLQ3 may prove too high.

  5. There is this ubiquitous Villar “Check” print ad that appears even on Utube cartoons for kids( five little monkeys).

    It says :”Fought chacha twice.Opposed the administration.Led for no one but the country.”

    The reality: “Charter change advocates still have enough time by our calculations and create a parliament… I will then run for Congress in Las Piñas so I may run for prime minister.” Manny Villar

  6. Last December, when people had written off the election in favour of Aquino, I had pointed out a possible closing of the gap scenario in case the forces of Erap and Manny merged and with GMA’s implicit support for Villar in the homestretch.

    Lo and behold, the closing of the gap didn’t require Erap to withdraw, only for Villar to spend massively and strategically prior to the campaign.

    Aquino’s camp is probably feeling a bit rattled at this point, but they shouldn’t panic just yet. The good thing about the survey results is that Class D continues to hang in the balance. They haven’t swung decisively in favour of either leading contender despite massive spending and premature campaigns.

    It proves that the masses are weighing things carefully, neither getting carried away with nostalgia nor being won over by noon-time game show gimmicks. The campaigns will have to work harder at convincing them.

    Doomsday scenarios are self-defeating. The fact that mock polls are uncovering potential flaws this early, means the Comelec has enough time to educate voters regarding the process and fine-tune the system.

  7. I’m saddened by the lack of objectivity in this article Manolo. It started well enough by citing some scenarios, but to end it with such speculative ideas? It would have been better if you cite something that would prove your ace-in-the-hole is no conspiracy theory.

    @Carl’s point is strong because he lists particulars about Noynoy’s camp’s links to the administration. I heard the Villar-GMA rumor mill from someone close to the Drilons, but what proof? Lito Banayo writes about this same thing. Apparently some conversarion… but who watches the watchers? People like us wouldn’t know…

    Let’s not believe all these presidentiables are pure and saintly and resort to mudslinging. To be real is to believe that cunning traits make for good leaders; I’m much more confident in a leader who can work deals and transact that purists who can’t get things done.

  8. the cusponline says:
    “Doomsday scenarios are self-defeating. The fact that mock polls are uncovering potential flaws this early, means the Comelec has enough time to educate voters regarding the process and fine-tune the system.”

    I agree. It would help the nation more if people like Manolo, and others in the Noynoy camp, focus on constructive proposals that their candidate can do. Make it a war of ideas instead of panicking and resorting to black propaganda, such as trying to tar opponents with the Arroyo muck, which cannot even be proven. Instead of being whiners, why not aspire to be achievers?

    Noynoy and his campaign handlers complain about too many issues, when they are actually blessed to enjoy so many other advantages their opponents don’t have. They have the name recall, the old “yellow” organization, the financial backing of those who benefited from the Cory regime. It’s only up to them to maximize these innate advantages. Yet they’re always playing the role of crybabies. Parating inaapi. . .kuno. They should act like grownups. It’s that feeling of entitlement. Parang the country owes them, instead of the other way around.

    It’s about time Noynoy speaks up about his ideas. Instead of asking the country what it can do for him (primarily to elect him president), Noynoy should ask what he can do for the country. So far, he has been like an empty drum. Lots of boom, boom but nothing substantial or constructive.

    It’s about time Noynoy outlines clear-cut proposals to solve the problems of our country. What to do about the deficits, what to do to improve tax collection and government revenue, what to do to alleviate poverty and level the playing field, what to do about the critical energy situation, what to do about our over-dependence on OFW remittances. There are so many things that need to be done in our country. We need leaders who can focus constructively on our problems, instead of crying and whining.

    Noynoy’s handlers have made much about the Obama parallels. Try as they may, the similarities are very unconvincing. Obama wrote a book. He outlined his vision and his programs. He cris-crossed the country to explain what he would do. And, despite that, look at where Obama is now. Noynoy, without a vision and without programs, will never be able to pull this country from where it is. It’ll only be the status quo all over again.

  9. I don’t think there is a shortage of material ,both official and unofficial, with which to get the answers supposedly missing. particularly in comparison to the other candidates. for example, a platform and credo were presented to the public and while the other candidates have followed suit, neither the np nor lakas-kampi-cmd have presented a platform to date. therefore, before the latter can even engage the former, what do they have to show? so far, nothing (one of them has been frankly dismissive of platforms, period). one thing thought that makes aquino unique as a candidate is, indeed, his heritage: but then this is a uniqueness that is only objectionable precisely on that score, but then the other candidates have their own unique attributes, too, and that includes familial pride and a consciousness of responsibility to their example (gordon quite often speaks movingly of his parents, villar speaks of his parents, etc.).

    the candidates can be compared on the basis of their voting records, their attendance, their statements of assets and liabilities. information on aquino’s legislative record is also available.

    there are also ample opportunities to gauge his policy pronouncements based on his appearances in various fora, as well as the relevant transcripts of his appearances in many of these fora. for example if you take his answers in the lgu forum others have prepared a matrix of the answers of the various candidates in that forum; so you can also find a matrix comparing the answers of the candidates in earlier forums, too. this is relevant in tracking their answers over time, for example in today’s inquirer debate, aquino reiterated his stand on ira funds cut for non-performing lgu’s. and this goes for his other replies in questions posed in other forums such as the one at dlsu. ambush interviews and press statements also flesh out the views of the candidate. he has granted quite a few interviews, too, where policy and other questions are raised, and most recently spent two hours with bloggers over the weekend. and this doesn’t even include all the candidates going on the stump and speaking in numerous provincial sorties.

    as the campaign unfolds various groups want to get the views of the candidates. so these views can range from views on the economy and taxation (both in terms of a policy speech and in a question and answer portion), to the maritime industry. you can see this joint policy note as well as this commentary on basic education policies and plans, too.

    so it puzzles me how some can be dismissive when there is lots of information out there, when the getting from point a to point z plan has been laid out (and in a manner fully in keeping with other platforms in the past that led to legislation still with us) and the planks discussed in detail both in forums and in statements, discussions, papers, etc. particularly when they’re dismissed out of hand with no comparable document(s) in some of the the other campaigns (for her defenders, the president herself campaigned in 2004 on a 10 point agenda). in particular, if one side presents a platform and agenda, and spends time discussing it, and you disagree with it, then that is the voter’s choice; but to dismiss it out of hand and without pointing to something put forward by your candidate, doesn’t make sense. what then, does the supposedly more competent candidate stand for if neither the candidate or the voter has something to point to? it would only leave you with the impression of standing for something but not being pinned down to anything, while letting your ads do all the heavy lifting.

    as for election scenarios, forewarned is forearmed, you may wish to see randy david’s analysis of the four possible scenarios to consider. but it all depends on whether you consider the president iconoclastic or not. aside from the usual suspects in the president’s bunker, who are understandably alarmed, and the main contender who is focusing on fomenting class war, aquino remains the most inclusive and unifying candidate. what is painful for some is that the transformation envisioned requires taking stock of the damage wrought by the present dispensation on our institutions. or how that dispensation would want to prevent becoming the negative benchmark for a successor.

  10. Bravo Manolo! What is painfully (and irritatingly) obvious are some people’s inability to see beyond the glib tongues of these salesmen, taking every word with bated breathes as if these “intelligent” mouthpieces can singlehandedly solve all the ills of the country…
    …it will take an all out effort from everyone, for us to repair what damages have been done and to move forward…

  11. So far, none of the presidential candidates has come up with a comprehensive program of action. Whatever material is out there, it’s rather diffuse and drawn-out. Whatever damage or problems are out there, the next president will own them. As Erap found out, it didn’t wash with the public when he said that he merely inherited the Asian financial crisis. Obama is no longer convincing when he says he inherited the most serious economic problem since the Great Depression. When you’re out there, you own the problems, whether inherited or not.

    So, indeed, forewarned is to be forearmed, and the leading presidential candidates must prepare accordingly. There must be various plans and solutions. Not only regarding possible election scenarios, but the entire social and economic situation as well.

  12. …”it will take an all out effort from everyone, for us to repair what damages have been done and to move forward”

    Exactly, and this is where leadership of the candidate comes in. How is Nonoy Leadership skills that resulted that ha sreally a good impact to teh country as a whole. how ‘s is Villar leadership skills. And how is Gibo’s.

    I dont see much from Nonoy inhis 8 years as an elected officials

    Villar has stuff like Erap impeachment that changes the polictal lanscape of the country. Gibo has the Davide Impeachment. I havent seen Noynoy leading some of undertaking in that magnitude.

    Nonoy has not lead any organization such as House of represntative, or senate unlike Villar who became Speaker of teh house and Senate president. Gibo was able to lead the Department of Defense. What did Noynoy lead before? Does NOnoy have that kind of leadership capability to wrestle with co equal banch of government such as the house of representative, senate and SC.

    Im soryy but I dont see it in Noynoy. I saw him as a Mamas boy weakling, that can easilly become a puppet or held hostage by any interest groups.

    My very apolictal cousin here in New York once commented very negatively when Nonoy seek the company of the nuns before he decide on running. She exclaimed “OMG, what kind of president is that who can not decide by himself”

    Yes Ramrod, you and your ilk has so much work to do. Better start working now than just yacking and yacking here before its too late. People in these blogs needs no further convincing. They already decided on who to vote so all these back and forth debate ( which is realychildish sometime) is not helping your candidate. Its The masa did that you need address not us bloggers here.

    Good Luck!

  13. here are some of teh reaction form teh recent debate ramrod. There is really soemthing wrong with your candidate Noynoy Face it rather than defend it . Then do something if something can be done before its too late.

    “I was disappointed with Noynoy. I was initially for him, but I saw that when he spoke, he lacked conviction. He gave answers that were too general, and he wasn’t direct to the point. Walang dating. Hindi ka makukumbinsi (No sizzle, he’s not convincing). Gibo was more specific,” said Hilda, 30, a businesswoman.

    Grace, 52, a human resources officer, found some candidates’ answers too general. “I was impressed with [Sen. Richard Gordon] and Gibo [Gilbert Teodoro], though, because their answers were specific and you could see that they actually studied the issues raised, and they had concrete plans. From the others you simply heard more of the same: Blah, blah, blah.”

  14. Nah, alden, don’t listen to those commenters on the debates, if they really mattered Erap would not have won then, or how do you explain FPJs numbers? They’re just simple minded fools (like you) who get swept away by glib tongues… 🙂

  15. PDI thus far has done little to document rather substantively the debate it has sponsored. There’s the claim for instance Gibo was more specific in his answer but in what way?

    What follows is an excerpt from another PDI report on the debate:

    Teodoro’s cousin Aquino, the consistent survey topnotcher, stood by his position that he would not raise taxes if elected.

    This drew a strong rebuke from Gordon who said those promising no tax increases were lying because there simply was no way to address the budget deficit with no additional revenue.

    Did Gordon really score a point here or make a booby of himself?

    Let me ask this. What would be the effect on fiscal deficit if the government improves tax administration and collection, cuts unnecessary government expenditures and generates more taxable revenues through greater productive activities of incentivized businesses without necessarily increasing the rates of taxes (specific proposals Noynoy had earlier spelled out before the Makati business community)?

  16. Noynoy lacks charisma?

    If by charisma is meant personal quality that gives an individual influence over a large continuum of people, doesn’t the number show Noynoy yet leads in his department?

    Still single digit in the opinion polls and way below the pack, photogenic Gibo has a lot of catching up to do and prove “good looks” alone does not a charisma make. As for Villar, his campaign has not denied the obvious that he has to spend a hundred-fold to find the right concoction for his charisma out of sound bytes.

    Noynoy has mediocre academics credentials?

    Noynoy may not have topped the bar exams (there’s no parallel exams for an economist like him in the Philippines, and does anyone know if Villar has topped the accountancy board exams too?) but if you guys here are closely following the “presidential debates” and similar for a, Noynoy certainly hasn’t forgotten his college notes.

    For instance, discernible in those public appearances thus far is the fact that there’s “depth” in the understanding shown by Noynoy of the country’s political economy that allows him to respond to questions in very sound and coherent ways. Look at how Noynoy (certainly without the supposed gratuitous benefit of pedigree) logically integrates the problem of graft and corruption with creating “fiscal space” for our fiscally strapped economy. He estimates that about a trillion dollars have been lost to corruption for the most part of the Arroyo administration. The money saved when corruption is curbed will go a long way to rehabilitate Mindanao, address a nationwide classroom shortage or improve flood prevention in Metro-Manila. Yet Gibo, the bar top-notcher and Harvard guy, naively thinks focusing on corruption makes one no more than a crime-buster, not a president, forgetting that the president under the Constitution is the chief law enforcer of the land.

    Also, Gibo seemed to have forgotten his Constitutional Law in seeing nothing constitutionally objectionable to his boss’ resorting to the extraordinary measure of martial law in Maguindanao to enforce the law on “ordinary crimes.” His Harvard diploma wasn’t of any help either as Gibo conveniently forget too his Criminal Law when he, as the national defense chief, allowed the Ampatuans the opportunity to store a huge cache of loose ammunitions and firearms in their backyard?

    Villar, a Horatio Alger story?

    Needless to say, in Alger’s rags-to-riches characters wealth was the direct consequence of honesty and industry, not through clever design or manipulations at the expense of the public interest (yes, success only through simple sipag at tiyaga, not C5 at taga, as the funny wordplay gets to pass around).

    On the other hand, the parallel drawn between Noynoy and Obama has more to do with the fiction peddled around by impish partisans that: 1)Noynoy as a political lightweight like Obama will have to go through a long learning curb on the job (even Hillary Clinton during the democratic primary resorted to this trick to no avail); 2) he doesn’t have his own ideas but those prepared by his handlers and relies on talking points as Obama on his teleprompter (the eloquence of Noynoy before the Makati business community and the remarkable performance of Obama at the GOP House Issues Conference going hardball off the cuff with his republican nemesis, clearly unraveled and debunked both falsehoods); and 3) on the more positive side, both Obama and Noynoy have promised to be agent of change, but both also made it clear that transformation would happen only through collective efforts.

    Noynoy does not claim to have the credential of a law review editor or of a graduate of an American Ivy League university (although he is an economics graduate – who has kept his notes – of a very reputable Philippine University); but he does claim he was not a truant member of congress, his attendance record being second only to none, especially if juxtaposed with the records of the other presidentiables who have likewise served in congress; he has performed more as a “fiscalizer” as well as an overseer in the context of the fundamental check and balance role of congress in the general scheme of our tripartite system, rather than as a mere crafter of laws (he maintains there are enough existing good laws to go by, but the rub is really in the faithful implementation of those laws).

    That the Cojuangcos or the Aquinos have found themselves at opposite political poles is no news at all. Whys should this be a con against Noynoy now?

  17. Alden,
    When it all started, I was ready to vote for Villar or Gibo, but when you really get to the bottem of it, do your homework (not just wiki or google) but get to know the people involved you’ll see the whole picture…of course you should get to know how this country is really run first…

  18. but both also made it clear that transformation would happen only through collective efforts.


  19. Nah, alden, don’t listen to those commenters on the debates, if they really mattered Erap would not have won then, or how do you explain FPJs numbers? They’re just simple minded fools (like you) who get swept away by glib tongues… —

    Ramrod, I dont really hear anything much from you but Glib of tongue.

    BTW I am rego.

  20. Hi rego, how are you? Its true, I was going to vote for Villar, even Gibo, but I meet with businessmen on a daily basis here and they despise these two.
    So far, looking beyond the apparent personality (or lack of one), only Noynoy has pointed out that we don’t really need new taxes but we just need to firm up collection (as many big time businesses here are not paying the right taxes). Right now businessmen are straining under some new fangled tax just for renewing licenses and thats on top of the regular ones.
    On performing under this administration, you have to kowtow to the one holding the purse strings (mainly Gloria) otherwise you dont’ get anything done, notice the sudden change of Cayetano et al…and he admits it…
    Like many people who put our stake in the country, we believe its the people’s collective effort and the leader that we need is not more of a dominant figure but a unifying one, one that will not put his own interests above the country’s…

  21. Good exchange commenters! This is what I mean with objectivity! I appreciate the forewarning but I hope there are disclaimers; that these are observations based on your informed judgments and analysis instead of coming across as fact.

    Let’s keep citing these resources and the many instances and let’s all scrutinize them. Which links are taken out of context or which ones are good points.

    Now for the Noynoy campaign, how do you now translate all these in materials that are easier to digest for the 1)uninformed 2)D-E segment 3)hardline opponents 4)past supporters 5)undecided(s).

    I’m part of the list that lost confidence when I heard Noynoy speak. I thought he panders to the populist ideals, when we need someone honest enough to tell us what really needs to be done. Everytime I see him debate, I can’t see legitimacy in the way he talks and answers (He rarely even outlines his points in a coherent manner). Perhaps the formats of the debates are to blame since the questions are not fairly asked. Noynoy performs better when interviewed one-on-one so why not capitalize on that? By then perhaps he can convince me again to believe that he can do something and be his own man.

  22. Looking through the double talk, when asked if he can also categorically say that he will not steal, Gibo just shrugs it off with he has a clean record, or something else…I don’t know but for us who still value our word of honor, when asked a straight question -you simply say “yes” or “no” no need to elaborate. Come to think of it, thats the way my American colleagues wanted too…

  23. Perhaps the formats of the debates are to blame since the questions are not fairly asked. Noynoy performs better when interviewed one-on-one so why not capitalize on that? By then perhaps he can convince me again to believe that he can do something and be his own man.

    You have a very good point there Parirami. I noticed that everytime Noynoy goes out on these forums, his survey numbers go down and that rap thing he did on tv didn’t help either as all I could get was gibberish.
    He’s not used to this, Gibo, Gordon, etc. can run circles around even me and you when it comes to saying what the audience will like to hear, they can seize up the audience profile and tailor fit what they say, its a skill that took years to develop.
    Maybe he just needs to be himself, be sincere, not pretend to be something he’s not, it the people will trust him, so be it, if not, lets just respect the people’s mandate and commit to stop the campaign once elections are over and work with whoever is chosen…

  24. I think Noynoy’s ads and PR engagements should focus on the specific items he will do based on the platform that he’s running on. Some things I noticed:

    NoyNoy usually talks in a very democratic and polite manner. He doesn’t show anger or sterness in his answers. He rarely uses emphasizing gestures or inflections in his speeches. His is a monotone of good points that are sometimes interwoven into his approachable character (Check the interviews and zoom shots) It seems to me then that his amicable traits overshadpws his fiery points.

    Check the research – how does the top box D&E regard or understand leadership qualities? Is it a democratic guy who is amicable or one able to show anger? Even if these things are not the exact qualities needed to run the country, campaigns can leverage on these to ensure they are projecting what needs to be done. Instead of running ads that exploit the search for another hero, perhaps it’s this disjointedness that needs to be addressed.

    Will the D&E class favor a leader of this sort? What types of leaders will the A-B class favor? What is the understanding of each particular audience in a debate for particular issues? These things should be in the PR briefing before every debate -I’m surprised these things are not coming up. Why did Noynoy allow himself a rap ad for instance? These things provide me some doubt as to his capacity as a visionary and a leader. In fact it saddens me and makes me ask who exactly is running his campaign? Him or the LP people? If he is showing leadership shouldn’t he be in control of these things? As far as balancing the budget and particulars to the economy and govt policy, because those things are not detailed in the debate (shame on the organizers) and aren’t pushed forward by media… his points are not coming across clear. Media people should be castigating each other for asking the wrong questions and blatantly interfering with candidates answers!

    If he can somehow show his leadership skills and perhaps even show emotion on how he detests the corruption, he would actually come across as a stronger leader and people will start to gravitate and care about the details of his platform. It starts from there… The latest ad is good that it teaches D-E about corruption but sadly it still lacked specifics. He should talk for instance how the Ombundsman powers are limited etc, etc., particulars would be great., why he believe less tax will work…etc.

    I’m still hoping he can fix his campaign but if he continuous to show signs of being someone else’ candidate and it becomes more apparent that he was a shoo-in by LP to ensure they sit on their pet projects, I will shy away and vote for someone else. I’m thinking others are now thinking the same.

  25. Abe Margallo, you are old in years, but you are still immature, delusional and naive. You still buy that hogwash about the Cory Camelot. And you buy it wholesale and indiscriminately. Tssk…tssk…tssk.

    You dare call Noynoy Aquino an “economist”? Having an A.B. degree in Economics shouldn’t automatically qualify anyone to be an economist. Certainly not in the professional sense of the word. One can only be an economist when one has a body of work on economics. Noynoy doesn’t have an inkling about economics, much less a body of work. Noynoy never did an honest day’s work in his life as an economist. His whole body of work lies in being employed by cronies of his mother like Tony Gonzalez of Mondragon, and living off the fat of the land from the family farm (i.e. Hacienda Luisita). And, mind you, Abe, Noynoy never impressed his peers nor his professors during his college days as an “economist”. He was, at best, a mediocre student. And now you call him an “economist”? It’s a laugh, Abe.

    You also jump to conclusions, Abe, when you say that parallels between Noynoy and Obama are “fiction peddled around by impish partisans”. In the first place, several of Noynoy’s campaign drumbeaters first tried to impress this parallels. This includes Manolo Quezon. Now whose partisan is Manolo Quezon? If you rightly conclude that he is a Noynoy partisan, then it is “impish” Noynoy partisans who tried to make those lame parallels. And, puleeeeeez Abe, don’t even dare try to compare Noynoy’s intellectual qualities with those of Obama, much less Noynoy’s oratorical skills. C’mon Abe, you may be excited about this airhead, but he doesn’t send shivers through anybody else’s timbers.

    Now, talking of “impish partisans”, you may just have described yourself, Abe. You are a lawyer, but you don’t act like one when you pass around gossip and innuendo about Noynoy’s opponents. What proof do you have, Abe? Was a case ever presented in court? Is a trial by publicity in the Senate a conviction? You even chide those who challenge Noynoy for not knowing their Constitutional law or Criminal law. By what higher authority have they been struck down for not knowing their law? By your say-so, Abe? How do you rate as a lawyer, Abe? Were you a topnotcher? Are you a leading light in any field of law? How could you be so holier-than-thou, Abe? You sound almost like your master, Noynoy. He who acts as if he has the divine mandate to be President of the Philippines.

  26. And, mind you, Abe, Noynoy never impressed his peers nor his professors during his college days as an “economist”. He was, at best, a mediocre student. And now you call him an “economist”? It’s a laugh, Abe.

    Hahaha! If we can all be philosophers, we can all be economists, whats in a name? and where is it said that you have to have a “body of work?” (I’d settle for a body to work on though)…
    Thats why he is THE great Abe Margallo pundit extraordinaire, Manolo – THE Explainer…you on the other hand Inting is another name for JOKER!!! 🙂

  27. Villar’s a done deal. If he doesn’t win, he’ll have to hoodwink more people to buy real estate…which mostly describes what real estate people do “hood wink” after this all deals that will involve deception and taking undue advantage from selling high rise condos, commercial lots, etc. – will be called a VILLAR.

  28. Well, Noynoy might not be much of an économist’, but who need an ‘economist’ nowadays, we’ve had enough of such we’re throwing up already. Villar has too much acumen making himself rich (example the C-5), I wonder if that’s good for our country.

  29. “Oops, Abe just got one Villar paid hack’s goat”

    Paid hack? There is that word again. why is it that GMA haters and now Noynoy supporters are so quick to dismiss people who doesnt agree withh them or doesn’t toe their line as paid hack.

    I know Manolo would say thats moralizing the morality. But to me there is an elist undertone with use of that world. That how I actually feel everytime i see that word. I dont know but I strongly feel against it. Its resenting! Its revolting

    I dont know if the Gloria haters and now Noynoy supporters realized it. They are alienating them selves to the people. I strongly suspect that this is the reason why all efforts to oust Gloria by the civil society was a total failure. And I also strongly suspect that this also one reason why Nonoy rating is spiraling downwards.

    A lot of people are saying that mayayabang ang mga supporters ni Noynoy. To me mayaybang is not the right word . Its actually elitism. And this turning a lot of people to reject noynoy and villar is exploiting it to the hilt.

    I almost told Manuel Bunecamino in Filipinovoices that I no way that i wil vote for Noynoy. NEVER!. I am feeling its not actually that I dont like Nonoy, but I feel its more of becuase I dont like to be associated with the elitist Nonoy supporters. I dont know but its like if I go with this elitists Im am betraying soemebody…

  30. Paid hacks? The Aquino and the Cojuangco families are paid hacks of Gloria Arroyo. And there’s proof of that, not idle talk and gossip. Unlike some people here, who engage in unfounded tsismis and shallow comments.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Not in tsismis and girl talk. Yung mga katiwalian ng mga Aquino at Cojuangco ay talagang documented. Yung mga sinasibi ng iba dito, puro haka-haka lang. Walang basehan.

  31. Carl,

    Here’s a Wikipedia entry (and tens of millions of people consult wiki) on “economist” which somehow confirms what I’ve stated:

    It is more difficult to define the professional category of “economists” than to define regulated professions such as engineering, law or medicine. While a lawyer, for example, may be generally defined as a person possessing a law degree and state license to practice law, there is not a legally-required educational requirement or license for economists. In some job settings, the possession of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in economics is considered the minimum credential for being an economist.

    One of the main thrusts of my post above is exactly to underscore that the “hogwash” being peddled by partisans that Noynoy is supposedly nothing but a residuum of the Ninoy/Cory Camelot, is just that, hogwash.

    But if you agree that the matter of electing a president is a serious business and are in fact following the public appearances of Noynoy in “presidential debates” and other fora vis-à-vis the other candidates (or if only to get a good handle of the grave issues at stake for your own sake), it won’t be difficult to notice that thinking Filipinos are more and more seeing the fact that Noynoy is very much his own man whose abilities to synthesize complex issues of governance may even exceed those of his famous parents’.

    True, he is not bombastic as Marcos or his father was, but his grasp of relevant facts or his understanding of the political and legal, or of the economy, indeed without summoning the spirits of his parents for intervention, is no less superior – or presidential.

    Please don’t forget too that Noynoy has been a three-term congressman and currently a senator of the republic. That’s not just a passable achievement at all.

    As to Villar, it’s just not me who is suspicious of his ethics, to say the very least. Majority of his peers in the senate are. At least Erap had the guts to confront his accusers. Villar literally has taken a hike.

    You also ask about my credential in law. All I can say is that I know my Constitutional Law; when I first taught it 30 years ago I was among the youngest to have ever handled the course.

    Now, look. Manolo has taken the time to provide you some basis for whatever view he holds now for his political choices. You haven’t. Aren’t you basically relying on – to employ once more your own language – hogwash?

    Good luck, Sir Carl.

  32. Noynoy keeps saying less taxes, but he doesn’t say that the beneficiary of lower income tax rates are the Lopezes, Danding and members of the Makati Business Club. Tax them less and they keep more money–natcherally — as they whine why the government doesn’t spend more money so that more Pinoys-in-Pinas complete at least up to elementary/Grade 6 schooling.

  33. to alden40: The propaganda technique — name-calling — is what the pro-Noynoys do when they hurl the term “paid hack” at those who question NoyNoy’s credentials or leaderhip potential.

    A more sound approach is at least to compare Noynoy to Gordon or Noynoy to Villar. Another is to simply analyze Noynoy.

    Namecalling “Paid hack”, though, has an underhanded angle to it. What it does it to shift the focus onto the “paid hack”. What it does is to shift the discussions away from Noynoy and away from the inquiry into Noy’s credentials and why should people conclude that he is a viable candidate.

  34. Get your facts straight UP n. Here’s what Noynoy actually said before the Makati business community(apparently drawing from his “economist” mind):

    In addressing the looming fiscal crisis, good governance and the drive against corruption are critical components in our strategy. We will refrain from imposing new taxes or increasing tax rates.

    I strongly believe that we can collect more taxes at the BIR and higher duties at Customs if we become more serious in curbing and punishing tax evasion and smuggling. The BIR’s collection dropped by 5.5%, while that of Customs declined by 16.6%. This is the first time in recent history that absolute revenues have actually declined.

    Our initial focus then will be to capture a good part of the revenue leaks caused by smuggling and evasion. In this effort, we will not be starting from zero. Be assured that those smugglers and evaders are not faceless and unknown entities. The ideas to improve tax administration and to control smuggling have been there for some time and some programs have been initiated in the past. One of these successful programs was the RATE or Run After Tax Evaders. In fact, some of the people at the Department of Finance and the BIR who have tried to implement reforms before are with us now, and together with reform-minded career executives, we intend to put their commitment and talents to good use under my administration.

    My vision is to transform our country into one where we have lower tax rates enjoyed by all, rather than have some enjoy absolute tax exemptions while we burden the rest of the economy with very high tax rates. I believe that markets are better than government in spotting where the growth opportunities are, and, with universal low tax rates, we will encourage entrepreneurs and enterprises to invest and create jobs in any industry. We will, therefore, pursue the rationalization of fiscal incentives early in my administration.

    There is a lot of room for our revenue base to grow. Our tax effort has gone down from 17% at its peak to a worrisome 13% today. If we can only bring this back even to just the 15% level, that will translate to P150 billion in additional revenues, which would make a significant dent in cutting our deficit.

    Incidentally, concerning this speech of Noynoy I thought someone can be suspected of being a ” paid hack” as I have noted in the following comment of mine in FV.


    Amado Doronila, who is not part of the “broad electorate,” writes about the latest Pulse Asia survey on the presidential race in this fashion:

    “His critics attribute Aquino’s decline to his relative administrative inexperience in government and his failure to spell out his program (he did it a few times with forums, including the one sponsored by the Makati Business Club) in public gatherings where he only pledged that he would never steal, if elected” (emphasis mine).

    Doronila tries to be clever by first attributing the criticism to Noynoy’s “critics.”

    But he actually reinforces the falsehood himself: “In a recent speech to the business community, Aquino pledged that his government would not steal.”

    It’s a shame. It’s either that Doronila is simply parroting without thinking the myth out there interwoven by designing partisans, he being too lazy to vet intelligently (if he has read Noynoy’s speech at all) the policy perspectives Noynoy has spelled out before the business community OR ignoring entirely the speech after somehow vetting it, he has fallen (late in his career, unfortunately) into becoming an AC-DC* opinion maker.

    *According to Manila Times’ Dante Ang, AC-DC is an Attack /Collect-Defend/Collect journalist.

  35. Abe,
    If you track Aquino’s appearances in the news, they dropped significantly from november onwards, at the same time there was a villar saturation drive. if you also follow the news you will see aquino spent a tremendous amount of time going on provincial sorties (mentioned parenthetically here and there) but no real coverage particularly on tv. i think this is significant because the voting population is so large that the old fashioned going on the stump campaign makes no sense anymore unless adequately covered. in retrospect this may end up being one major explanation for his ratings dip: if you aggregate the public perception it would be, he was basically absent: even though he was barnstorming the country. out of sight, out of mind. what was top of mind from november onwards was villar, who was omnipresent in all mass media. the villar message was also disciplined, focused, and made use of the most modern marketing methods. in contrast the aquino messages were widely spaced, blips on the radar in comparison.

  36. what are the credentials required by the constitution, the fundamental law? and why do you think those are the credentials required?

  37. “Out of sight out of mind” is basically true. But with an Aquino name what coverage is still needed? after all everytime you watch TV there is Kris that will always remind you that her brother is running for president. And anywhere you look around the country there is always an aquino trademark, like International airport, or statues and monument or park.

    So nah, Manolo, i dont agree with you on this. In the first place he has that 60%rating before. The question that need to be ask is why peopel are changing there preference or maybe there was something wrong the way the initial survey was conducted.

    To really get to the bottom of the dipping Noynoys survey rating why not run a survey too. Ask the people around the country on why they dont want to vote for Noynoy or why tehy change their mind. There is some data in the blog world already why not complie it and see what can and needs to be done?

    On the other hand Im I cant remmeber any person around the world that is running for president and whose survey rating has dipped almost half and recovered it.

  38. Great observation, Manolo.

    There’s one thing I can agree with Carl (and Boo Chanco). Philippines may be a Third World country, but election contests here, especially at the presidential level, are equally fought with the employment of ultra modern schemes or political warfare, if you will.

    So, I guess if Noynoy campaign is still using the same old fashioned variety alone, it could be in for a rude awakening.

    Villar’s people seem to understand the game, given the TV penetration in Philippines (at 9 out of 10?). I hope Noynoy would put someone at he helm of his campaign who is fully cognizant of this.

  39. Kris doesn’t do that and the examples you gave are subliminal and not related per se to the campaign. you’d have to consider the conditions at the time of the 60% survey and that they weren’t choose one surveys. it’s only over the more recent months that they’re one candidate only surveys, etc. then there’s the entry of other candidates and other events (i was given to understand that the candidate who gained from the maguindanao massacre was estrada, oddly enough his popularity increased in mindanao after that event).

    consider this set of findings from the recent SWS survey. respondents were asked to pick three from the list. this covers all classes so the weight of some reflects the total composition fo society while the relative weakness of others might disguise it being more important for small portions of society.

    SWS Voter Influences

  40. Here’s what I say about you, Abe: You see Noynoy with rose-colored glasses and the rest with biased and predisposed frame of mind. Noynoy can do no wrong for you. That is your privilege. But it is also my privilege to disagree with you.

    As for Noynoy, the bottomline is that he is a “cacique” from Central Luzon. The very same type of cacique who gave rise to the Hukbalahaps in the pre-WWII and post-WWII era. As for being an “economist”, you point out how difficult it is to define an economist is. Apparently any Tom, Dick and Noynoy can call himself an “economist”, if he wishes to, and not be subjected to professional standards. But by respected standards, an economist, to earn his title, should have some body of work. One cannot be nominated to the Nobel prize as an economist, for example, if one has no body of work to refer to.

    If you had accompanied Noynoy to his provincial sorties, you would have seen how he behaves very much like a “cacique”. He has poor work ethic and has that attitude of entitlement. Perhaps you are one of those blind, adoring fans who believe that the Aquinos have a heavenly mandate to rule the country. I do not. 🙂

  41. oh Manolo so you did have some data. And it looks like Villar is spot on based on that data so no wonder he tied it with Noynoy. Sibasically you guys knows what to do how to recover the lead of Noynoy.

    About the 60% survey Yeah Iknow the back groudn of it. I think Nonoy is also guilty of trumpheting that survey even if they know the backgriudn is not really that reliable gaugue. The made peopel believe that Nonoy is unbeatable. And I think somehow it gives Nonoy the wrong impression too. Maybethat teh reason why he is not working really hard.

    I think Villar gain a lot of pogi points when he tied it with Noynoy. A lot of peopel were impressed. And it say a lot about his tyaga. So more and more peopel can relate to him now even admired him for that.

    I dont like Nonoy and if he wins I wil feel bad. But if he raly win fair and square , I can respect that. I just cannot vote for him at all. No matter what the arguments are. I really dont believe that he will be a good president for teh country ! Nothing personal.

  42. Abe: When income tax rates are lowered, who gains more — the Pinoys-in-Pinas making less than P5,000 a month do not pay income taxes or the Makati Business Club dude who makes P300,000 a month?

    Pilipinas income tax rates are low. Pilipinas top-rate for income taxes is 32%, and naturally, Danding or the Lopezes (and Villar, too!) would love if that 32% is lowered to 28%. Lucky these guys they do not live in Algeria with 40% top-income tax rate, Australia 45%, Austria 50%, Belgium 50%, Chile 40%, Colombia 38%, Denmark 59%. You can go find out what it is for Spain. For a Lebanese, though, the top rate is Lebanese 20%. Maybe Pilipinas can become a Lebanon. Cool!

    It is noteworthy that Villar and NoyNoy share the same goal for income taxes — to lower them.

  43. I find it hard to understand why Filipinos in the country like this joker Inting can’t seem to recognize the obvious? OFWs like us who are not always in the Philippines can see more than they do or are they just pure stupid or worst, don’t know the difference between right and wrong?
    The Villar incident has caused tremors in our community most especially those of us looking at buying real estate in the Philippines as part of our retirement plans. If Villar is the best that Philippine real estate industry can offer my God! we’re in deep shit! All around the EU and in the US, government officials have resigned for less monetary value involved. ..and he has the gall to play that “you can’t prove anything” bit? This after the alarming news of the Provident Village catastrophe – yes it was some real estate, a flood basin sold to hapless buyers by Filipino real estate people.
    If Villar represents the best of Philippine real estate industry, buyers beware, these people have no scruples, hold on to your money, cancel/forfeit the reservations fees! We are not dealing with honorable men, just sharks out to make a fast buck.,,
    Regarding the topnotcher Gibo? What has he done? If tolerating a ruthless, powerful, family of murderers, consequently arming them, and telling people to beware of them is not stupid I don’t know what is smart for you there in Manila? He had the position, he was highly favored by the president, he had the opportunity to make the right changes and what did he do? Now he has the gall to run for president?
    My impression (as well as others) is that most local Filipino public officials, managers and entrepreneurs don’t have scruples., cannot operate under a business code of conduct and will “hoodwink” you any chance they get! If Villar and Gibo are the best examples in their fields, God help the Philippines!!!

  44. Many former supporters of Noynoy fell prey to the “halo effect” of his mythical family heritage (“he can do no wrong”). They have subsequently experienced a “cognitive dissonance” resulting in a “buyer’s regret” after viewing his performance in the debates and ads.

    Conversely, their switching to other candidates may have come as a result of the reverse halo effect (“they can do no good”) surrounding these alternatives being muted by other positive attributes being broadcast and coming through performances in public debates, ads and appearances.

    Each voting group (split demographically) has its own unique set of preferences for attributes they want to see in a candidate. Public polling and focus groups can help tease these out and inform the campaigns of what they need to do in order to consolidate and expand their positions within each of these groups. The better campaigner (not necessarily the better candidate) will win.

    That’s the reality of modern election campaigns.

  45. Many former supporters of Noynoy fell prey to the “halo effect” of his mythical family heritage (“he can do no wrong”). They have subsequently experienced a “cognitive dissonance” resulting in a “buyer’s regret” after viewing his performance in the debates and ads.

    The better campaigner (not necessarily the better candidate) will win.

    That’s the reality of modern election campaigns.

    Very true indeed…bottomline, its the wisdom of the majority and the resolve of whoever wins to change for the better, some people when given responsibility become responsible overnight and it doesn’t take a topnotcher to do that…just being human…

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