by Alan Robles
Deep in the dark heart of the political jungle, skilled professionals are engaged in an important quest: hunting and bagging that elusive creature, a running mate for Vice President Binay.
Let's talk to one of those agents, Gnoll Tahol, CEO and Droolmaster of the Showbeast Government Headhunting Troll Tribe and Carinderia Services Inc
Hot Manila: How's the hunting?
Gnoll Tahol: Tough, really tough. Every time we find a possible candidate, we creep up to them, tell them to stay calm because we have a big surprise. Then we tell them we're considering them as a companion for Vice President Binay to run...
Hot Manila: And?
Tahol: They run, all right. They run away. Very fast. Sometimes they're screaming. One even yelled "Bahid ng kurakot! Takbo mga kapatid!" Can you imagine? Isn't it supposed to be an honor to be chosen to be a running mate for the vice president?
Hot Manila: Have you tried other hunting strategies?
Tahol: We marked out places where potential candidates gather to drink and we put birthday cakes there as bait.
Hot Manila: How did that work?
Tahol: Nobody touched the bait. I think there were too many candles and the candidate felt insulted. Maybe the cake was substandard.
Hot Manila: Any other techniques?
Tahol: Yeah. The other day we put some of our campaign funds in black bags and used them as bait for traps with nets and tranquilizer darts.
Hot Manila: What happened?
Tahol: The only people we trapped turned out to be minions and lackeys of the vice president. They were trying to steal the bags.
Hot Manila: Not good, huh?
Tahol: Tell me about it. And yeah, I'm so TIRED of people pretending to be snared in our traps and then shouting "you caught me! Me! Me!" and when you look at them it turns out it's either Kit Tatad or one of the vice president's spokesmen.
Hot Manila: What kind of running mate are you hunting anyway?
Tahol: Someone who is a pure Filipino and who isn't more popular than the vice president. Someone who believes in world class buildings. And fancy haciendas. And obedient subdivision guards. A candidate firmly dedicated to the need to reform government by freeing jailed congressmen and senators.
Hot Manila: Any other qualifications?
Tahol: At this point? Somebody who isn't a loser, somebody with a pulse, somebody who can stand and walk upright.
Hot Manila: Getting desperate?
Tahol: Yeah, but anybody except that loser Tatad. We're not yet THAT desperate