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Of surveys, prayers and false pretenses DIE HARD III Herman Tiu Laurel 04/09/2010

Friday, April 9, 2010

Of surveys, prayers and false pretenses

Herman Tiu Laurel

Mainstream newspapers headlined the latest Pulse Asia survey once again as if it were gospel truth. The Inquirer, for one, billed the Yellow dummy’s one-percent rise as a “solidifying” lead. But as every layman who has learned enough of survey statistics knows, a one-percent uptick doesn’t mean a thing. In fact, even a movement of up to two to three percent is considered statistically meaningless as it covers only the margin of error. Well, there goes their “solidifying” spin!
In contrast, the one “survey” that no one in the world can misinterpret is the viva voce of thousands of middle C, D and E class El Shaddai members who gathered at their annual Easter Salubungan, giving President Joseph Estrada their unequivocal — and rousing — support over his two rivals.

That El Shaddai gathering for all intents and purposes became a test of the three frontrunning candidates’ real support from the most significant segment of our voting population, as represented by that Easter morning crowd.
The largely masa El Shaddai worshippers arrived in their extended chassis jeepneys, AUVs (Asian Utility Vehicles, not SUVs), FXs, as well as, metro and provincial buses. Even the Lopez-owned ANC, a staunch supporter of you-know-who, had to report that Erap’s speech was interrupted 40 times by the crowd’s ardent applause and impassioned chorus of support.

The worshippers’ reaction to Aquin-o-rroyo, at best, was tepid — hardly deserving of any comment from media. The only other significant thing that caught the TV cameras was Villarroyo’s demeanor, as he could no longer hide his displeasure at media’s badgering. By brushing off questions about the religious sect’s support, saying that it’s all up to Mike Velarde, it’s as if he is appealing to just one singular authority.

Isn’t it so like the line of mainstream media that try to condition the public to leave the issue of voters’ support to the “authoritative” professional pollsters such as the SWS, Pulse Asia and others they choose to play up as “respected” outfits?

Well, Villarroyo’s annoyance could only betray a deep-seated fear of his having Velarde in his hands but not the multitude of El Shaddai followers. Perhaps more dismaying is his realization that no “authority” can ever dictate the heart and mind of the masses.

For as they did in 1998 against the dictates of Cardinal Sin and the elite; in 2001 against the Couples for Christ’s 13-0 campaign; and in late April of that year when Edsa III culminated in a march to Malacañang, the masses will decide for themselves.

And as the El Shaddai expressed solidarity with Erap in the past during the Edsa III vigils, wherein they, together with flock from the Iglesia ni Cristo, formed a half-a-million-strong crowd demanding the return of the duly-elected president, they continue to be one with him today.

There at the Salubungan, Erap’s mass support is, at the very least, 8 to 2 against the two other bets combined.
As the masses formed a bulk of Erap’s voters in 1998, they have not only remained his supporters but have deepened their identification with him even with the passage of time. Rey Ileto’s Pasyon at Rebolusyon reminds us of the masses and Erap sharing a life of struggle as they continue to suffer persecution and tribulation at the hands of the elite regime. Despite a decade of vicious demonization, Erap emerges not only unscathed but becomes endearing to the masses even more.

Meanwhile, Villarroyo, destroyed by his own PR spin that turns out to be a mountain of lies, is now in the dustbin of history. Aquin-o-rroyo, in turn, is sliding down the same path. The media spins about his pristine honesty are being belied by the bare facts: From his vote against the playing of the “Hello Garci” tapes; to his ad hoc security agency to corner government contracts under his mother’s term; to the New York Times story belying his claim of initiating “change” in his family’s hacienda; to his tortured justification for the SCTex-Luisita service link, ad nausea.
Still, the greatest blow to Aquin-o-rroyo springs from his overuse of the memory of his late mother — a memory that leaves nothing to be desired, even just on “Hello Garci.”

In a July 2005 report, it was reported that “Tarlac Rep. Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III disappointed his colleagues in the House when he voted on Thursday night against the playing of the audio tape, although an overwhelming majority had voted yes.”

Furthermore, another newspaper story quotes: “After Arroyo delivered her famous ‘I am sorry’ speech on TV on June 27, 2005… Mrs. Aquino defended Arroyo, saying, ‘I am glad the President has broken her silence. Her admission of judgment lapses leading to improper conduct on her part is a truly welcome development. Tonight the President has made a strong beginning and I hope she will continue in the direction of better and more responsive governance. Let us pray for her and for all of us Filipinos.’”

So you see: When the “Hello Garci” scandal broke out, Cory Aquino and her son hardly ever really prayed for truth, democracy or the Filipino people. They prayed only for Gloria Arroyo — and that is the unvarnished truth!
(Tune in to 1098AM, Sulo ng Pilipino, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Global News Network, Destiny Cable Channel 21, Talk News TV, Tuesday, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.; also visit http://hermantiulaurel.blogspot.com)

(Reprinted with permission from Mr. Herman Tiu Laurel)

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100409com5.html


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