Why Randy David Backed Out

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has announced her candidacy for a congressional seat in the 2nd District of Pampanga, to no one’s great surprise. She needs to stay in power by some machination if she is to withstand the legal and political challenges she will face as soon as she steps down from the presidency in May. It’s a matter of survival and one can readily understand her motives if not her morals. It’s unprecedented to slide down from the highest elective post in the land to a be a congressperson but it’s the only constitutionally-open door to her at this point. Such a move is entirely consistent with her character of shameless audacity.

And with the withdrawal of Randy David from the race, Arroyo will run unopposed. A lot of people were naturally disappointed when Prof. David announced his abandonment of the earlier plan to go against GMA. His reasons are undoubtedly valid. He wanted to spare his family and friends the expected hardships which would attend a campaign against Arroyo. He was especially concerned about putting his younger brother, Catholic Auxiliary Bishop for Pampanga Pablo Virgilio David, on the spot. The good bishop would not have have been spared in an undertaking expected to turn vicious early on. Think of Maguindanao but on smaller (and more sophisticated) scale.

David also explained, a bit too dryly but spoken like the true academic that he is, that: “I am heeding the counsel of family, friends and colleagues from academe who are concerned that my taking on a political role as a candidate would undermine the authority I have carefully cultivated as a social analyst and public intellectual”.

But I suspect that another major reason he bowed out is that he knows that Arroyo would not allow anyone to get in the way of her plans, least of all the will of the people. In a fair and honest world, David would have had more than an even chance of winning. But not in a contest where GMA holds all the cards.

And there is a very real possibility that there would be blood shed. Pampanga is no stranger to Maguindanao-type killings, albeit conducted in more circumspect way. This David clearly wants to avoid. Not for himself, but for the sake of his family and supporters.

Even if no physical harm would befall David and those behind him, he would still have to take on the whole Arroyo machinery. David has little or no funds to go against GMA. His network of NGOs and civil society stalwarts is no match for the traditional political apparatus propping up Arroyo. In sum, to use the old cliche, he has no guns, no goons and no gold.

And what would he have accomplished in the end for all his trouble ? Nothing except to have legitimized Arroyo’s holding on to power by providing the illusion that she won over the efforts of a worthy opponent. Better to save himself for the battles to come in other arenas. Which will be soon.

13 thoughts on “Why Randy David Backed Out”

  1. Panlilio has done it on a bigger scale by trumping the ‘trapos’ of Pampanga. So it CAN be done but only if he REALLY wanted to. I do not believe that PGMA will touch David when he runs against her, it is not her style. She is more intellegent than that.

    Randy David didn’t run because of cannot. He didn’t run because he doesn’t want to.

    And that is a very wise and practical move.

  2. I don’t buy it. Plain and simple, the good professor just chickened out. He was not born yesterday… he knew the risk but why challenge GMA at the first place?

    I’m sorry Mr. David but you don’t have my sympathy. You lose face for what you did.

  3. That makes sense, why legitimize Arroyo’s machinations when it is next to impossible to win against the head honcho of patronage politics who has no qualms using Mafiosi type hired gun to demolish her opponent.

  4. Fromthe very start, he already knew that PGMA is his opponent and he was said he was ready to face her. Then now, everything change. He’s like most of the militants today. All talk, always blame everything to the government and those UP militants are wasting tax payers money. Why don’t they do something about it? Why not put things in action? He just really chickened out. He knew he will loose but what’s important is by running, he gave a good fight.

    Panlililio has the balls while David doesn’t have any. May be he lost it together with his principle.

    He is just using his family as his reason to bailout. If he really believes on what is right he would do a Ninoy… “the Kapampangans are worth dying for”

    I have a message to all militants… when you go to the streets look at your left and your right. Ensure that the coward David is not with you. I’ll bet my life he’ll chicken out when things go awry.

  5. “And what would he have accomplished in the end for all his trouble ?”

    Soon after Marcos declared martial law, one American official described the Philippines as a country composed “of 40 million cowards and one son of a bitch”; otherwise, he reasoned, they should have risen against the destroyer of their freedom. -from Wikipedia

    David could have also proven this US politician and the rest of the world wrong.

    He just validated that this little female can make a man’s balls disappear!!!


  7. Randy David backed out because he knew he cannot win. The kampampangans will ask, what has he done for us during all those years when his wife was a cabinet member of President Erap? Why did he remember his kapampangan roots only now? Where was he during all this time when he was professor at UP?

    Those are question Randy would rather not answer which is why he backed out. Panlilio at least worked in Pampanga and lived in Pampanga when he ran for governor. He can truthfully say that he knows what it is like to be a kapampangan. Can Randy David say the same?

    When Ting-ting Cojuangco (aunt of Noynoy) was governor of Tarlac, she famously said in an interview that she lives in Makati but also happens to be governor of Tarlac. Such a statement is an insult to Tarlaquenos because she made her governorship of Tarlac akin to a hobby while she undertook cultural and social duties in Makati. Ting-ting lost in the next elections because Tarlaquenos have discovered what Ting-ting thinks about them. This, despite Mikee Cojuangco going door-to-door in Tarlac urging voters to put Ting-ting as governor again.

    Filipinos vote wisely when it comes to local politics. It is in the national scale that they are stupid.

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