Media and advertising experts are still scratching their heads in bewilderment after reports showed presidential candidate Manny Villar spent 543 million on his political ads from October 20 to December 20, 2009 alone. They simply couldn't believe that anyone would be so foolish as to spend a rich man's fortune just to catch up with his front running rival in political surveys where he happened to be lagging behind by a mere 20 plus points...and, with the official campaign period still a good 3 months away!
Asked why he had to spend so much, Villar gave the lame excuse that it was necessary to "level the playing field", pointing out that he is not a son of a popular former president, nor does he have a brother or a sister who is a popular actor or actress, - an apparent jab at front running Noynoy Aquino...son of the well-loved and much respected former president Corazon Aquino, and brother to an equally popular and sometimes controversial TV host and actress Kris Aquino Yap!
Villar's unreasonable statement is not only a lame excuse but a blatant lie - and an affront to our inteligience!
For God's sake, the man became Speaker of the House courtesy of then President Estrada! Thereafter, he got elected to the senate under Arroyo's slate - after notoriously and treacherously turning his back on his former patron by melodramatically endorsing the impeachment complaint against Estrada and closing the session immediately without submitting the same to a vote (It was this controversial incident that catapulted him to instant fame and stardom! A feat he even brags about today in his campaign jingle sang by innocent children - "siya lang ang may kakayahang gumawa ng sariling pangalan").
With the blessings of Arroyo, his new patron after Estrada's ouster, he became the Senate President - but not after being one of the top spenders on political ads during that particular election campaign. So I wonder what he exactly meant by "leveling the playing field?...my ass! He was more popular than Noynoy before Noynoy announced his candidacy! In fact, he was way ahead in several surveys against other 'presidential aspirants' before Noynoy became a contender!
We do not deny the truth that the death of Cory Aquino once again rekindled the spirit of EDSA 1 (- the burning patriotism which has been swept under the rugs of forgotten history by 9 years of plundering by the Arroyo Administration). There is no denying that Cory's demise catapulted Noynoy to a position of prominence equaling that, and even surpassing Villar! However, with still several months to go before the official campaign period starts, a sane mind will argue that the surveys favoring Noynoy would not have ordinarily worried any of the presidential contenders who are all, by the way, experienced and accomplished political players themselves. Well, it didn't worry most of the presidentiables - except Villar! Evidently, Villar was solely affected by Noynoy's sudden surge in popularity.
While the rest of the presidential contenders knew there was still a long way to go before campaign period starts; while the rest of the presidential aspirants knew they have sufficient time to overhaul Noynoy's front-running advantage; while the rest knew they can still improve their own standings in future surveys without spending a fortune, Villar, apparently, had other things in his mind! And so, 543 million he spent without batting an eyelash!
Was the money well spent? If we take it from the recent surveys, they show Villar eating up on Noynoy's lead with some of the surveys showing the two on a statistical tie! Golly, with that kind of money, it should have placed Villar prominently on the lead! But it didn't! What it did is make the expert political pundits wonder in amazement, up to this time, why Villar had to go on a political spending binge at a scandalously high price! As to his statement saying that he had no choice but to go on this ludicrous political spending, that, I believe is perfectly true! But, as to the reasons he gave why he had to...ahh ahh, he is lying again!
Let me give you my tale of the why's behind Villar's foolish political spending spree!
If you remember, Lito Banayo, in his write-up entitled "Her Man", revealed that sometime in May last year, Manny Villar and his wife were to rendevouz with Arroyo and her husband somewhere in the Mediterranean - after one of Arroyo's fancy trips abroad. Lito discovered and exposed the planned meeting which Senator Madrigal, who was then critical of Villar's impropriety in his conduct surrounding the C5 Road Extension Project, picked up and exposed to the media. Accordingly, the planned meeting did not materialize. Did a future meeting happen after that? We wouldn't know.
However, persistent text messages and coffee shop talks are today, circulating around saying that the First Gentleman met with Villar at Mike Defensor's house on January 7 this year. (As expected, Villar's camp was quick to deny this as a cheap political gimmick by Noynoy's camp!) But did a meeting actually take place? Possibly! Right now, my own source is making verifications and will soon be publishing an expose on the same!
Now, this is not my tale! My tale connects a different angle to the whole scenario surrounding the supposed meeting between Villar and the First Gentleman. My tale is looking at it with the computerized elections and Smartmatic in the background.
If you remember, after Arroyo's Copenhagen trip, she went straight to Hongkong purportedly to rendezvouz with her family for a much needed break at Hongkong Disneyland. As it turned out, our local media only spotted her children and grandchildren at HK Disneyland. Arroyo and the First Gentleman was nowhere to be found.
Now, hear this! This was at the same time when even Comelec Chairman Melo was already voicing out his own concerns and apprehensions about Smartmatic's delay in delivering the counting machines! And so, instead of going straight back to Manila after Copenhagen, Arroyo flew straight to Hongkong where her whole family was!
Now, how come the media failed to see Arroyo in Hongkong? You got it right, sugar! Arroyo was not in Hongkong but across the border in Mainland China meeting with the Smartmatic people and inspecting the Qisda production line herself to make sure there won't be further delays in the delivery of the counting machines! And why would she be personally interested on this matter - simply because the 2010 elections will be rigged using the Smartmatic machines as they originally planned! With computerized elections, results can be had in days and a proclamation of the winners may immediately follow. Protests against election results will take a longer time to file since it will require making time consuming paper audits, and may end up as long winded case in the courts of law since a proclamation can immediately be made in a computerized election process! (We've seen this happen in the 2004 elections between Arroyo and Fernando Poe.).
There is just one problem though that they needed to solve before they can implement this dubious plan!
On the presidential arena, Noynoy has had a consistent and commanding lead over his rivals in all of the most recent surveys! To manipulate the election results with such a scenario will make the act too obvious and may possibly court a popular uprising! The survey must therefore reflect a much closer fight between Noynoy and Arroyo's favored candidate so that any manipulation of the results will not be so obvious. Incidentally, Villar happens to be closer to Noynoy than Gibo who is languishing in the bottom of all survey results.
Obviously, Arroyo had to play it safe by paddling in two streams...with Gibo ( her formally annointed bet) in one hand (hoping that her allies in her political party, the Lakas Kampi will be able to help him close the gap with Noynoy when the real campaign period starts; ... and with Villar who was closest to Noynoy in the survey results and who had all the money to do all the dirty tricks in the world including manipulating survey results. Either way, she will have a winner who can protect her from future prosecutions and even help her become the Speaker of the house and ultimately, the Prime Minister if they finally succeed changing the constitution.
Now, look at the timing of all of Villar's ad spending and the supposed meeting with the First Gentleman, you can not just pass it off as a coincidence. It was for a purpose, and that is to give Villar an ultimatum to do what he can to narrow the gap between him and Noynoy in the survey results!
This is my tale. Be prepared! They are out to steal 2010 again like they did in 2004.