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Why Lito & Bong won, and why JV & Jinggoy lost

By Al S. Mendoza

FROM showbiz, two won but the other two lost.

The winners were Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla, losers JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada.

Usually, actors are virtual winners for two main reasons: Popularity and name recall.

Lapid and Revilla are extremely popular because they constantly appear in films catering mostly to the masa.

Aren’t the masa the main bulk of voters comprising 70 percent of our population?

Lapid’s stock rose all the more when he was consistently starring in the TV blockbuster, “Ang Probinsiyano,” airing nightly Monday-Friday in prime time.

Lapid had name recall, too, as he had been a senator in the not-so-distant past.

His strong finish of No. 7 in the final senatorial tally would attest to that.

As for Bong Revilla, his being a movie star was a major factor anew.

His matinee idol looks still charmed the masangkababaihan, who easily would get weak in the knee seeing a pogi politician.

Although he was previously in prison for alleged plunder, his acquittal sort of cleared his name of wrongdoing.

In effect, the masa treated his imprisonment as an injustice to their idol—triggering an avalanche of sympathy votes.

It also helped that Bong is the son of Nardong Putik aka Ramon Revilla, himself a former senator, and a long time hero in the silver screen.

And why did JV and Jinggoy lose?

First, their running at the same time only caused their eventual downfall as voters were split.

If only one of them ran, it would have virtually ensured victory.

But two brothers joining the fray together was an accident waiting to happen.

It did. 

The voters got confused, leading to a division of their votes, which dimmed their chances of victory.

The JV jingle of JV being “the good one” also backfired as it was an oblique way of hitting at his brother Jinggoy.

Jinggoy spending time in prison for alleged plunder, released on bail before deciding to run for senator again, was sort of a baggage in his campaign sorties.

 On the lighter side, I would like to believe JV and Jinggoy are my friends, if not acquaintances.

In 2000, I had worked with Jinggoy when he was chairman emeritus of the FIVB World Volleyball in Manila.

After the smashingly successful event, Jinggoy wrote me a letter expressing his gratitude “for the help you had unselfishly given me during the tournament.”

After the FIVB affair, I would have dinner with Jinggoy inside his hotel room in Sydney in a break of my coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

He was then accompanied to the Olympics by Crispa basketball stars Atoy Co and Philip Cezar.

JV and I would have beer at Clark after a leg of the Vios Races, where he is a regular competitor in the Celebrity Class.

Like Jinggoy, I also find him nice and proper, power and fame never consuming him.

The sons of Erap from different mothers are still young.

Who knows what the future holds for them?

But first, if they still nurture hopes of a political comeback, they shouldn’t run together in one election season.  Fatal.

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