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Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's Still Too Early, Mrs. Villar

I had a late class the other day and arrived home, wanting to just lay my head on our pillow on our bed to get a little shut eye before Art woke me for (a very late) dinner. The television was on and a slew of commercials were playing, which I treated as white noise.

Something piqued my interest, though: an ad came along, where there were testimonials of workers who had turned their lives around. I am a sucker for people who through sheer will and dint of hard work were able to throw back the cards they have been dealt directly on Fate's face and say "Screw that, I make my own fate!"

It turned out to be a parading of achievements of a foundation headed by Cynthia Villar, the Villar Foundation.

Helping others or helping yourself?
(Courtesy of

She is a former legislator (in Congress, preceded by her husband before she took the slot and followed by her son after her terms have expired), and wife of now-Senator and former Presidential candidate Manny Villar.

I didn't know our television could produce smells on top of images and sounds, because the odious stink of early election campaigning assaulted not only my olfactory nerves but my very being.

Ano ba naman? Ang aga aga, nangangampanya na. (What the heck? She is campaigning this early in the game.)

What infuriates me no end is that, in the same way that past candidates were able to use this loophole, the Comelec (Commission on Elections) will most likely do nothing, and refer to their rulebook and say "Well, there's nothing in the ad that says Vote For Me so it can't really be considered campaigning, all she's doing is showing what her organization has done."

Give me a big frigging break. Let's call a spade a spade.

This is exactly why the spirit of the law should always be superior to the letter of the law.

She is using her vast resources - after all, Manny used his rags to riches story to appeal to voters, especially to the masses, when he made a bid for the presidency, so it's not a secret that they are rich - to initiate voter recall, and several surveys have shown that recall is one of, if not the most, important factor for "winnability" in elections.

In Pulse Asia's recent surveys for senators, Kris Aquino amd Willie Revillame, both media personalities, made it to the top 20, and they haven't announced plans to run for the Senate at all, or expressed any interest! Clearly, there is something wrong, when voters choose on the basis of the name that jumps out at them, instead of screening candidates on the basis of qualifications. This is the supposed "wisdom" of democracy, but that deserves a separate post.

I would be happy to be proven wrong, if Cynthia Villar did not run for any elective position in the upcoming 2013 elections. Or any of her immediate family.

But the timing of the ad is suspect, since the organization she heads has been in existence for years (since 1992). Not to mention the fact that ads cost hundreds of thousands, scratch that, millions of pesos, which could have funded more livelihood projects if the said organization is to be true to its calling.

Prove me wrong, Mrs. Villar.

I dare you - or anyone in your family - not to run for any elective position in the upcoming elections.

This is one time I don't mind being proven wrong.


  1. You might want to check this article about LPs Senatorial line-up... Particularly #10

    1. And there you have it, proof that advertising early works to one's advantage.

      Cry, my country. Cry.