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Rough Cuts: A dark horse in the senatorial race

We have it from highly reliable sources — from insiders actually — that some professors in a well-known school in the city which is a part of a national education system, are distributing a book to their freshmen college students for reading. And then the students are asked by these professors to give their reactions on the book contents.

According to our sources they would not have minded at all if the book given is just like any learning publication that has relevance to the courses taken by the students. Unfortunately, it is not, and far from it. The book, our sources told us, appears to be a Filipino version of the book on socialism written by Karl Marx which actually developed Marxism, the political philosophy that stresses the importance of the struggle between different social classes that has led into a change in the perception of people in the way society — their society — should function.

When we asked our sources if they have any idea whether the school administration has prior knowledge of this activity by some of their faculty members and what are their real intention, they said they don’t have. The claim of our sources was actually confirmed by a father of one of the students who happened to have received a copy of the book. We asked the father what advice he gave his son/daughter, he told us he just wanted him/her to give positive reactions and not contradict whatever teaching the book is expounding. This, the father told us, is to ensure that his son/daughter will not antagonize the professors in order to maintain his/her grade level.

We are, actually, not ready to believe in the claim hook, line, and sinker. But considering the status of our sources, we have to contain our doubt and consider the possibilities.

Of course the school is known for being a hotbed of idealism and academic excellence that its graduates can be found in both the top of government and the group out to discredit, even destroy it.


We have noted that independent candidate for senator Serge Osmena, a fellow Cebuano, is making the rounds of his campaign all by his lonesome. We have also observed that despite his low-key campaign and the absence of a well-oiled machinery, his family name which has a record of integrity in his years in service in the Senate, has somehow stuck in the consciousness of the Filipinos. This can be gleaned from the result of the latest surveys conducted by the country’s leading opinion pollsters — the Social Weather Station (SWS), and the Pulse Asia.

While the survey did not show that Osmena is within the Magic 12 list of potential winners, he is also not far behind from those listed to have chances of entering into the second six of the twelve slots given the still more than  a month of the campaign period up to the run-up of the election.

Meaning, the possibility of Serge Osmena landing in the 10th to 12lf slot could still happen if his campaign resources will last until the final campaign day. The Cebuano candidate has Cebu and the Ilongo region as his bailiwick. Osmena hails from Cebu City where his family is revered as public servants.

He can also claim a substantial share from the Ilongo votes from fellow candidates Mar Roxas of Otso Derecho, and former DILG Secretary Raffy Alunan. Osmena’s wife is an Ilonga from Iloilo while Alunan is a native of Bacolod who later moved to Manila.

Add the fact that he is not one of those candidates that the President strongly campaigned against, then his chances of barging into the Magi 12 is not at all a remote possibility. All he needs to do is link with people known to be supporters of good governance. And many of them Osmena can find in the academe, the socio-civic and non-government organizations, the legitimate media groups (not those that sprout during election season only), and from the business sector.

We also believe that Osmena needs to reach areas that are hardly campaigned by candidates aligned with either the administration and opposition. These are the provinces like Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi in Mindanao, Masbate and Sorsogon in Southern Luzon, and Batanes in the extreme north of the country.

But with barely a month and three weeks more to go before the polls on May 13, 2019, such a strategy  may not already be possible. The areas we have mentioned are located in the extremes of the country’s geography.

Osmena may just have to gamble by aligning his financial resources for a massive television advertisements on his candidacy. It’s a very costly proposition but he sure can reach all the nooks and crannies of the country where a significant number of voters, those that can overturn advantages of others in the urban centers, are often times taken for granted.x




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