Thursday, March 01, 2007

GO Sortie a Big Flop in Iloilo

The much-anticipated Genuine Opposition (GO) rally in Iloilo City turned out to be a big flop (read here) with less than 100 persons attending! Seeing the poor turn-out, rally organizers Senator Drilon, Governor Tupas and Mayor JV Ejercito decided to just cancel the rally (Iloilo Provincial Administrator Boy Mejorada had the uneviable task of going on stage to announce that the rally has been cancelled because of an "unspecified threat"). Threat or no threat, specified or unspecified, the sortie organizers did a great disservice to GO candidates who flew to Iloilo (namely Noynoy Aquino, Sonia Roco, Nikki Coseteng, Sonny Osmeña, Koko Pimentel, Chiz Escudero and Loren Legarda) expecting to win brownie points with Ilonggo voters. The trip was a total waste of the candidates' valuable time.

If I was the GO sortie organizer, I would have arranged for the candidates to just go campus-hopping and/or a handshaking tour in the numerous palengkes in Iloilo City then have them motor to Roxas City for the grand rally (with "handshaking whistlestops" along the way, especially in 5th district towns which is Governor Tupas' bailiwick). Knowing that Iloilo City is Gonzalez-Treñas Country, I would not risk "nga mapahiya" and would have picked Roxas City as the venue for the grand rally - opposition stalwart Mar Roxas I think would have done a better job producing a large crowd than Senator Drilon or Governor Tupas.

The GO campaign people will have to work double time to salvage their reputation considering that Iloilo was their first out-of-town sortie. Already, some opposition political operatives I know are grumbling and saying that the GO campaign is beginning to look like the 2004 FPJ campaign all over again.


Gengos is it!

Aside from the "GO Invasion" the other big news here is Benjie Gengos (pronounced "Heng-gos") being "anointed" by Senator Drilon to run against incumbent Congressman Raul Gonzalez, Jr. Earlier, Drilon met with the other congressional aspirants of the opposition namely, Joshua Alim, Rex Rico, Dan Cartagena and Benjie Gengos, to get them to agree to put up a united front against the much-vaunted Gonzalez-Treñas machinery. And it seems that Benjie Gengos, who is known to be deeply loyal to Drilon, is it! I just hope that the other three gentlemen will not break their word and run also for Congressman. If that happens, the local opposition in Iloilo City can say goodbye to their chances of defeating the solid Gonzalez-Treñas team.

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