Close to a hundred thousand are left homeless in the landslides that struck Southern Leyte. Close to two hundred dead people have been recovered from the mud. Also, over seventy people are feared dead as a ferry disappeared in the seas of Palawan. Heavy rains continue to pour into central Philippines. Tragedies here and there! Today, FPJ formally accepts his nomination as the “united” opposition’s standard bearer. Another tragedy or indicative of something more tragic to come, I’d hate to presume. (It’s silly, I know, but who knows?)

FPJ has decided

FPJ is running for presidentActor Fernando Poe, Jr. finally announced his candidacy at noon today. It ended months of anxious speculations on his plans. FPJ said in his press conference, “Sa buhay ng isang tao dumarating ang araw na kailangang mong mag-desisyon at ito ang araw na ‘yon. Ako ay lalahok sa eleksyon para sa pagkapangulo.

Poe’s supporters say he is a clean candidate, untainted by the corruption and scandals that are common fare in the Philippines’ turbulent democracy. But investors have also expressed concern about his close ties to the camp of Joseph Estrada, another movie actor whose presidency collapsed under corruption allegations in January 2001. The May polls will now likely turn into a race between Poe, Arroyo, former education secretary Raul Roco and former police chief Panfilo Lacson. —

Oh, on another note, here is Senator Barbers, also announcing his availability as Arroyo’s vice-presidential running-mate. I was right. Now I have to wait for the rest of Arroyo’s cabinet members to make declarations. Here we go! Circus 2004.

Keep maligning him and regret

Businessmen, that elitist clique in Makati, also belittled FPJ as did a number of trapos, obviously to scare the movie actor into deciding against running. There is even a text brigade using God for their selfish ends. They are texting the people to pray to God to make FPJ see the light and decide not to run…. All that arm twisting may just anger him — just like the hero he plays in the movies who finally gets fed up with all the badgering by the bad guys that he turns around and wreaks vengeance on them. Baka mainis ‘yan, sige kayo. Like mild-mannered Bruce Banner being picked on, there is an implied plea in FPJ’s silence: “Please don’t make me angry. I get terrible when I’m angry.” When he gets angry, he may just run, even if he doesn’t intend to, just to spite those hecklers.

Neal Cruz. Phil. Daily Inquirer. October 27, 2003

Just what I said. Besides, he may not have the experience, but he has the personality. I’m not saying that it’s the only rational basis of one’s election. But he is a good man. In a government culture that breeds corruption in all its forms, he can serve as a long-awaited relief. He’s not totally dumb anyway, he manages his own film production company. And besides, a president never works alone. He knows well that he’d do better by appointing intellectual technocrats in his cabinet. And he doesn’t have hoards of relatives who can abuse his power. If I am just eligible to vote, Poe would be one of the candidates I’d consider voting for. Many people are tired of politicians.