If you’ve been reading the news, I think you already know the answer. Or at least, you know that Manny Villar’s camp is taking the blame — owning up to their inability to aggressively protect their image by issuing strong counter statements to disprove the many allegations thrown at them.
Villar himself said in a report that they’ve known of the latest Pulse Asia survey results weeks before it came out in the news and have since reassessed their strategy and made adjustments accordingly — results of which will come out soon.
Apparently, the ‘VillArroyo’ tagging has hurt him more than they expected. Unlike the C5 ‘double insertion’ issue that didn’t make much of a dent to his campaign, this ‘VillArroyo’ issue has successfully pulled his stats in such disappointing figures. What was once a ‘statistical tie’ between him and leading candidate Noynoy Aquino was quickly widened to a 12 point difference.
This wouldn’t generate much panic in Villar’s camp if this was last year’s survey. But we are only a month away from May elections and if I were Villar, I’d surely be pounding on the panic button like crazy.
Villar’s drop in survey ratings is actually an accumulated result of their usual indifference and light treatment of issues thrown at them. As it turns out, their “less talk, less mistake / no talk, no mistake” strategy which seemed the safest route to take a few months ago, can only be stretched for so long. It seems to me that they have pushed their luck too much.
The situation is out of control now. They can flood the airwaves with clever ads, and issue statements here and there but it would be very difficult now to put out this fire.
What would have been easily treated with a fire extinguisher now requires a troop of firetrucks. And if they ever put out the fire, what are they to make of ‘ashes’ and debris?
Many of those I know believe he has profited in that C5 mess. Not everyone believe he is Arroyo’s secret candidate. And people are divided on whether he’s been ‘truly poor’ or not.
But that was weeks before. How swiftly people change their minds! Considering the short attention span and short-sightedness of the electorate, we must concede that it takes too little to make them flip-flop.
Now, they all seemed to have crossed-out Villar from their shortlist. All because the Villar camp chose to take their case to the media — in the easiest of ways — via ads. Wrong move. Too costly — monetarily, politically and morally.
So yes, truth be told, the Nacionalista Party has written its own history of doom. For always, there’d be mudslinging and haughty accusations from your opponents — that is a given. How you deal with these waves of accusations to keep your ship afloat is what will ultimately determine whether you’d safely reach the shore or sink to the bottom of the sea.
Is this the end of Villar’s journey to the presidency? Or will future events leading to the elections be the defining moment of his presidential dream?
We are yet to find out. But one thing is for sure, dead-end or not, Villar has undoubtedly reached ‘the point of no return’. It’s do or die. Sink or swim (in a sea of trashy issues). Let’s see if his overly-promoted ‘sipag at tiyaga’ and “Hindi bawal mangarap ang mahirap.” campaign slogan will buoy him straight to that palace beside the river.