When the Cheaper Medicine Law was about to be implemented, there were controversies about some drug companies trying to stop it. I guess, Malacañang was also dragged into the issue. Finally, the law is now being implemented with the Department of Health urging all drugstores and outlets nationwide to comply.
In the local level, the DOH is active in their monitoring campaign. Although this is a welcome development, we still hope that a much better medicine law will be crafted. Remember that the saying "health is wealth" is not about raking in more profits at the expense of the poor segment of the society.
So far, we have Sen. Noynoy Aquino III, Sen. Manny Villar, Defense Sec. Gilbert Teodoro, MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando and Bro. Eddie Villanueva who have signified to run for president come May 2010 elections. Other presidential aspirants who have to formally announce yet their political plans include Loren Legarda, Chiz Escudero, Sen. Jamby Madrigal, former president Erap Estrada and vice-president Noli De Castro who is so silent about his next political move. Will he join the bandwagon? Nobody knows yet but I believe Kabayan can also be a good presidential bet because of clean image.
So far there has been no formal declaration on the part of Fernando who lost recently to Teodoro who was overwhelmingly favored by the party executive committee of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD Party. He only answered "secret" to media when asked about his political party following his defeat to a party-member novice.
Who will win by 2010 will be gauged by three factors: political machinery, popularity and bloc-vote support. The presidential candidate that will have these factors will come out victorious. Forget about the issues, Pinoy electorate is not so much about national concerns and issues when voting. No wonder that we have Marcos loyalists or so-called Cory Magic even when there were controversial issues that remained unresolved to this day. Forget about the hype on younger generation which I believe would not make a difference at all unless we are in a tight electoral race of two contending candidates, this will surely have an impact.
Teodoro is not popular among the electorate or the Filipino people although he is currently secretary of the Department of the National Defense. But being backed by the administration is something else. Surely, the administration has all the machinery to use or tap. Aquino is enjoying overwhelming popularity as one factor that may catapult him to power. I think this is his advantage over other aspirants. The limited political machinery of the Liberal Party can still contribute to his advantage. Just maybe.
Meanwhile, here the moneyed Manny Villar. While he has no political party yet (?), Villar can possibly cope up with the "powerhouses" of Teodoro and Aquino, with his money. He is also favored in surveys before Aquino accepted the call for him to run.
In the case of bloc-voting, Eddie Villanueva may come nearer conceptually. But I don't think he can really get all the votes of his flock. And I don't think the bloc-voting Iglesia ni Cristo will support Bro. Villanueva even though he is called a "brother." That is, for sure, a big potential minus from Bro. Villanueva's votes.
Anyway, as each candidate in the opposition has advantages over rival aspirants, their number will dissipate the anti-administration votes thereby giving Teodoro a safer advantage. Now if he gets the support of INC, Teodor will have a reserved advantage. In fact, in an opposition marked with disunity, the INC's bloc votes really matter. But everyone will only know only whom the INC will support during the nth time.