Buencamino writes political commentary for Action for Economic Reforms.
I morphed into a fly once again. This time to spy on an Enchanted Kingdom campaign strategy session.
The meeting began with the reading of an excerpt from Alex Magno’s regular fantasy column in another daily.
Secretary BS, the Queen’s spinmeister, did the honors. He read the excerpt aloud, “[T]he administration ticket has its pick of the field. With a surfeit of candidates, the ruling coalition parties had the luxury not only of picking the most winnable ones but also of building a balanced team that optimizes voter attractiveness across regions.”
“How’s that for gospel on our senatorial slate?,” he asked the group.
Governor Jueteng remarked, “That would be fine if nobody knew the Queen couldn’t even convince some of her own cabinet to run on her ticket.”
BS insisted: “Her Majesty did not have a hard time convincing anyone to run on her ticket!”
Secretary Hot Papa intervened. He said, “Let’s stop this useless argument. Serge will remind BS what he told the press.”
“Do I have to?” pleaded the Queen’s legal counsel. “ I already apologized to the Queen for revealing it.”
“Just do it,” commanded H. P.
“Okay,” relented Serge Apostol. “I told the press, ‘The problem is the President wants them to run. It’s really difficult to assemble 12 .Why would anyone insist on running and spend money when they already have a government position?'”
“Remember that Mr. BS?” sneered Governor Jueteng.
“Let’s stop this nonsense over negatives. Let’s talk about something positive,” H.P. ordered.
Butch Pichay obeyed immediately. He recited, “With the administration’s political machinery, the coalition and the media campaign, I don’t see any reason why the administration ticket will not win.”
Gabby Claudio went a step further. He promised, “WE WILL MAKE SURE that there are less members of Congress who will be in support of (an) impeachment bid.”
That was the cue for the Queen to take over the meeting. She updated the Team on the status of her vaunted political machinery and machinations—her political “machicanery”, to coin a shorter description of her means and methods.
“Here’s the good news,” she began, “Garci’s lieutenants were quietly pre-positioned to sensitive Comelec positions in the ARMM and CARAGA regions while the entire country was distracted by the ‘people’s initiative.’ Cirilo Naja Jr. was appointed CARAGA regional director; Franciso Pobe, CARAGA assistant regional director; Ray Sumalipao, ARMM regional director; Renato Magbutay, Region VI director; and Renault Macarambon to head Comelec’s Election and Barangay Affairs. They will guarantee that the vote-count stays ‘fair and square’ like 2004.” (Raucous cheering.)
“Furthermore,” she continued, “Comelec has ordered the printing of an extra four million ballots—just in case.” (More cheers.)
“And I’d like to remind you,” she added, “ our Ombudsgirl suspended potential problematic local officials and our security forces are holding Erap incommunicado because of an assassination threat uncovered, in a timely fashion if I may say so myself, by no less than Norbie Gonzalez, my security blanket.”
“And that’s not all,” she teased. “ I’ve saved the best for last… Drum roll please… Introducing… ABDARON!… The Abalos-Ebdane- Esperon Trio! …Tonight they will sing their soon-to-be-a-hit song, ‘It’s Flexible’….”
Ebdane started crooning, “That memo of agreement is flexible and if the chief of staff and any other saw it fit that it must be further defined, the better ….”
Esperon choo-choo-waahed, “The MoA can be reviewed….”
Abalos harmonized, “Selective deputization is allowed because we have received feedback that there are teachers who are apprehensive to perform poll duties without military men around them.”
Ebdane closed out the song screaming, “Boom tarat-tarat! What’s your problem? ”
The Team went wild.
“Let’s rename them The Clinchers!,” someone shouted.
“Let’s call them Abracadabra!,” hollered another.
Campaign director Reli German was so happy with what transpired at the meeting, he told Alex Magno’s newspaper: “The campaign is off to a good start and by all indications this augurs well for our victory in May.”
German augured well. The ogres have been working hard. Come canvassing time, they will make 2004 look amateurish by comparison. Boom tarat-tarat!