And so it has come to pass the the much awaited Bong Go has chosen to throw his hat into the weight loss exercise called the senate race.
While some people may scoff at him for being another political nobody from the south, they will probably be surprised to know that he has hundreds of thousands of supporters on social media, and a grassroots organization in all provinces and in many OFW communities.
That all became suddenly apparent when he filed his certificate of candidacy, with no one else than the President by his side and a throng outside the Commission on Elections, in a dramatic effort beamed to millions on facebook.
What does all of this mean, anyway?
For one, it shows that political pragmatism is new new norm, and prudence is the better part of the fight.
Go`s support base subtly yet consistently called on him to run despite his public refusal. This attracted the attention of many as signs of his presence, an indication of wide support base, started sprouting on public highways and slum areas. This multiplied the base even more.
Others, though, chose mainstream media to make their voices heard. Yet despite their supposed renown, they fared even more poorly in the pre election surveys.
Notice how the noisier of President Duterte`s political supporters chose to run for party list and local positions rather than the Senate. It is clear that many of them do not have the organization to mount an effective campaign, and cannot bank on the President to lend them that important leg which can spell a win or a loss for those without a political name.
In midterm elections of the past, cabinet secretaries are often prodded to run for the Senate despite their absence of any political charisma, banking on non other than the governments communications and grassroots machinery.
This time, even those with charisma chose a safer electoral contest. Does tgis mean that mainstream media exposure can no longer guarantee a strong electoral run? Have grassroots machines sucdenly become more bankable in getting the vote than mere popularity?
It would seem so.
More importantly, is it perhaps an indication that government resources will not be a available for the campaign, as announced by the President himself?
With that, Bong Go`s running means that those running can not bank on government resources and will have to build their own organizations and support base and raise their own funds. All theyll get are their hands raised and a good word said, like in the picture.
That is the right thing to do. Perhaps times have really changed.