Ex-President Benigno Aquino III has vowed to campaign for opposition candidates in next year’s elections.
Speaking to reporters on the observance of the 35th death anniversary of his father, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., the former president made it clear he wasn’t running. There is wisdom in not running again after six years on top.
After being used to calling the shots, it will require a lot of humility to serve in a lesser capacity.
Of course, his immediate predecessors think differently.
Manila Mayor Erap Estrada is aiming for his third term after his aborted stint while Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo only recently was gifted with a stunning comeback. It is interesting to note that both suffered the ignominy of being placed under house arrest, a fate that stares Aquino in the face due to irregularities and crimes allegedly committed during his watch.
Aquino’s move to be contended as a mere campaigner instead of a candidate seems a smart move to avert a no-win situation.
Running for a seat in the Senate or even Congress would require pulling out all stops to prevent a humiliating defeat.
A victory in either positions, however, would not be something to crow about because this would only lead to a humbling experience of rubbing elbows with many legislators he crossed paths with not too long ago. Many of them are only too eager to tangle with him when the playing field is leveled.
On the other hand, having the former president as campaigner may not exactly be a comforting thought to opposition candidates.
For all he knows, Aquino may in fact be an albatross who can subtract, not add, votes. The families of the SAF 44 fatalities, the dengvaxia fatalities, the Yolanda, Bohol earthquake and Zamboanga siege victims and other controversies that rocked his administration have a score to settle with him and next year’s mid-term polls offer them that opportunity.
That specter is probably one reason why erstwhile Liberals are jumping ship like the leading lights of Padayon Bohol.
Opposition candidates will surely think twice before standing on the same stage with him.
Will hopeless critics be only to eager to trumpet his endorsement and more so his presence in their sorties? That we have to see.
Contrary to what he imagines he will bring, a PNoy endorsement is a kiss of death.