Aquino support won’t sway voters–Serge Osmeña
Christine O. Avendaño
Sen. Serge Osmeña III doubts that President Aquino’s endorsement will help his candidate in 2016, pointing out that presidential patronage in the past wasn’t of much help to the anointed.
“Filipino voters are a different lot. They have an independent choice for President,” Osmeña told dzBB radio on Sunday.
Malacañang’s endorsements in presidential elections in 1992, 1998, 2004 and 2010 had “almost no effect” on voters, said the senator, who has played key roles in presidential campaigns and national elections in the past as a political strategist.
Osmeña noted that the late President Corazon Aquino endorsed Fidel Ramos for President in 1992. Before her endorsement, Ramos was leading surveys for two years but it was small compared to the then leading contender, Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Ramos won that election.
“After Cory endorsed him, his lead remained the same. So, the endorsement almost had no effect,” Osmeña said.
He also said that Ramos endorsed House Speaker Jose de Venecia in the 1998 presidential election, but De Venecia lost to Joseph Estrada. Before Ramos threw his support behind De Venecia, the then House Speaker got a 15-percent rating in the surveys, which he kept even after Ramos had endorsed him.
“So the official endorsement has no net effect,” Osmeña said.
Then there was also the endorsement given by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to her Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro in the 2010 election. Teodoro lost to his cousin, President Aquino.
Filipino voters also do not believe in teams as they tend to split their votes for President and Vice President, Osmeña said.
When Ramos was elected President, the opposition candidate, Joseph Estrada, won as Vice President.
In 1998, Estrada won the presidency, but it was Arroyo on the other side who won the vice presidential race.
In 2010, Aquino won, but his running mate Mar Roxas lost to oppositionist Jejomar Binay.
“So there is a lot of proof that the voters split their votes,” Osmeña said.
With Binay being pummeled by corruption allegations that have resulted in his gradual slide in preference surveys, more people are now joining the presidential derby, he said.
“We will see two or three more candidates for president emerging,” he added.
So far, only Binay has declared his presidential bid. Binay has also formed a search committee to find a running mate for him.
Roxas has yet to declare his presidential bid but his party mates and even his own mother have said that he is running for President.
Aquino is set to endorse his successor this month.