An LGU exec or senator for president?

Zoilo ‘Bingo’ Dejaresco IIIConclusion

STATISTICS also show  that, of the 43 US presidents, 16 were former senators. Among them are Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and, of course, Barack Obama. Other than the above mentioned, the US senators, who eventually became president, include James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, Warren G. Harding, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison and Harry S. Truman.

So 17 local government unit (LGU) executives and 16 senators eventually becoming American president is pretty much egalitarian, to our minds.

What about the Philippines? Well, only five of the 15  (30 percent) Philippine presidents, since Emilio Aguinaldo were nonsenators; the other eleven were senators.  The nonsenators are Aguinaldo, Ramon Magsaysay, Diosdado Macapagal (a congressman), Cory Aquino (a housewife) and Fidel V. Ramos (defense secretary) and they were not (except Magsaysay) LGU officials of note.

But the following senators (10 of 15, or 70 percent) eventually  became president: Manuel L. Quezon, Jose P. Laurel, Sergeo Osmeña, Manuel Roxas, Elpidio Quirino, Carlos Garcia, Ferdinand Marcos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino Jr.

This  so-called offensive of the Vice President Jejomar C. Binay camp versus senators and LGU executives came in the wake of the Vice President’s consistent slide in the surveys done by Social Weather Station (SWS) and Pulse Asia. In the SWS presidential preference 2016 survey, for instance, Binay dropped from 71 percent in March 2014, to a low 36 percent in March 2015, or a drop of 36 percentage points.

This was confirmed further by the steady decline in the people’s approval rating of purported candidate Binay in the five consecutive quarterly surveys over 15 months:  March 2014 (73 percent); June 2014 (67 percent); September 2014 (52 percent);  December 2014 (44 percent);  and in March 2015 at a very low (31 percent), or a debilitating 42-percentage-point drop.

In our judgment, on a one-on-one race between  Binay and Sen. Grace Poe, it would appear that the neophyte female legislator has more than a Chinaman’s chance of winning. Except for Bongbong Marcos (7 percent), political pundits believe that much of the 54-percent approval rating currently held by Duterte, Estrada (mostly because he will endorse Poe over Binay, so he says), Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano would likely go to Poe than to Binay. Do you agree?

The “conversion probability” is a crucial tool for a “win analysis” since many of the cited candidates will eventually not run for the presidency. But the same political pundits believe the more the above-named candidates join the presidential race, the better the chances for Binay. This confirms rather than diminishes the conversion-probability theory.

The emerging trend in the surveys has caused the die-hard Liberals to immediately issue press statements, saying that Manuel Roxas II will be named official Liberal Party candidate by July, some hinting that Poe will be an ideal vice presidential partner.

The problem with this so-called synergism analysis is that a popular vice president’s color may not be transferred to his presidential teammate. That never happened in  Estrada’s vice president win in 1992, when Danding Cojuangco was clobbered at the polls. That never  happened in 1998, when the popular  Arroyo’s vice presidential triumph did not help her teammate Edgardo Angara become president.

Nonetheless, it would appear that, as of now, the front-runners for the 2016 presidential race could be a pure-executive LGU man (Binay) versus a senator (either Roxas or Poe).

If Binay wins, he would be the first pure LGU executive winning over a more nationally recognizable senator. Or, should Binay win, this proves that an LGU man can run the national shop better than one trained to make sage laws.

Bingo Dejaresco, a former banker, is a financial consultant, media practitioner and a political strategist. His views are his personally and do not necessarily reflect those of Finex. He can be reached at


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