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NPC, UP prof see Loren win

January 11, 2010

WHEN ALL THE VOTES ARE COUNTED AFTER THE MAY ELECTIONS, SEN. LOREN LEGARDA IS LIKELY TO EMERGE AS THE WINNER OF THE VICE-PRESIDENTIAL RACE, ACCORDING TO THE NATIONALIST PEOPLE’S COALITION (NPC) AND A UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES PROFESSOR.
Nationalist People’s Coalition spokesman, Rep. Rex Gatchalian, maintains that Loren, the party’s vice-presidential bet, is “still the one to beat because of her proven track record.”
“The current lead of Loren’s closest rival in surveys is not insurmountable. And I predict that Loren’s rating will steadily rise as the increasingly mature Filipino voter realizes that proven competence is more important than mere promises, and that proven leadership is more important than family background or political pedigree,” Gatchalian said.
“Loren’s closest rival seems to be peaking in popularity early in the game, which would lead him nowhere else to go but down,” the NPC spokesman said.
Gatchalian chided Loren’s rivals in the vice presidential race for “groping in the dark” and “lacking a clear focus in their campaign.”
In contrast, Gatchalian said, “Loren has been an achiever all her life, a humanitarian and staunch environmentalist, all of which make her supremely qualified to occupy the second highest elective position.”
As this developed, another noted political analyst sees Loren’s triumph over her closest rival in the vice-presidential derby.
Prof. Prospero De Vera of the University of the Philippines has predicted that Loren would win the vice presidential election in May because of her energy and long-standing concern for the environment and climate change.
“They are statistically tied already,” said De Vera, referring to Loren and her closest rival.
“I would not be surprised if she would actually later overtake her closest rival and win [the election],” added De Vera, in an interview conducted by a major television network.
De Vera stressed that the “problem” with her closest rival is that he has “failed to redefine himself” and that he is known only to people as the presidential candidate who “slid down to become a vice presidential candidate.”
“What else he represents as a person is not clear to a lot of voters. He needs to work on a brand and on a singular message. Otherwise, he is bound to lose to Loren,” said the analyst.
“Loren, on the other hand, already has a brand. She was already talking about climate change, about the disasters. She is not seen simply as a vice presidential candidate. She has a brand, she has personality,” de Vera said.
The UP professor pointed out that Loren has always been an energetic campaigner, saying that she, as an opposition stalwart, overcame an initial big lead of administration bet Noli de Castro in the 2004 vice-presidential race. “In 2004, at the start of the campaign, Noli had a 10-percentage points lead over her, but in the end it was just something like 3 points,” de Vera said.
The 2004 elections had been tainted by accusations of massive cheating by administration candidates.