Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is the political equivalent of Dolphy whose comedic timing was impeccable — so unlike comedians of today who rely on their gender and insults to get laughs. The idea of Duterte as Vice President was first floated by Bong Go. It didn’t resonate with voters. Even the so-called “Duterte Die-hard Supporter” (DDS) community reacted by saying the President should retire and spend time with his grandchildren. But when it came from the President himself, his base was all agog with the idea of a Daughterte-Duterte tandem.
Ana Marie Pamintuan writes in her PhilSTAR piece “VP Duterte?”…
Perhaps GMA and Erap have inspired Duterte – barred from seeking reelection – to run for a lower post in 2022.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told us on One News’ “The Chiefs” last Tuesday that the President was open to the possibility of seeking the second highest post in the land in 2022 – if there is “a strong public clamor” for it.
The 2022 election is a game-changer because the traditional campaign is out on account of the COVID-19 virus. The pioneering political campaign management company in the country has been conducting a series of webinars about campaigning in the new normal. This means a digital-focused campaign run on both traditional and social media platforms. It has to be a meld of both due to the nature of the platform’s audience reach being limited by connectivity in the regions.
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Foremost on the minds of average Filipinos is how to move forward from the uncertainty and disruption wrought by the pandemic. Economic issues have top priority; employment, job security, social amelioration, inflation. Next up is education. School year 2020-2021 saw the public education system being overwhelmed by transferrees from private education institutions. Will the coming school year see the same trend being repeated? There is also the issue of the quality of flexible and remote learning. Access to mobile devices and connectivity and the quality of the Department of Education’s printed modules are the main points of contention.
The Opposition, however, would like to make the South China Sea an issue. This may be so in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the regional urban hubs but in the far-flung corners of the country it won’t have much of an impact. Survival is the priority for Filipinos in these areas. The Opposition has limited itself to changing public opinion through an organized negative media campaign. It’s about time they present an alternative platform to the people.
As it is, it remains to be seen which Opposition groups actually ascribe to 1Sambayan as the opposition coalition. This early, infighting has broken out over those who argue that there should be no selection process for the opposition standard-bearer and that the default should be Vice President Leni Robredo. The latter is up to her old tricks again playing coy, naive and dumb, which comes naturally to her.
A Daughterte-Duterte tandem (Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte for president and, her father, running as VP) would render the May 2022 election moot. The administration has enough of a track record to sell itself to voters though it would definitely have to make improvements on its platform of government. Duterte has been sneakily inserting reform measures in the agenda of the lower House. This was the purpose behind the election of Lord Allan Velasco as Speaker. The Senate is where the problem is. Ten Senators are up for re-election. They need campaign funds so it will not happen for them if they will go against the wishes of their political patrons.
My fearless forecast is the masa will think more and think better, and the usual formula for electability will not apply. The Opposition has no choice but to lay down their cards first. 1Sambayan has scheduled this for June 12. The administration will move shortly after this. Barring any serious issues between the power blocs, the latter will most likely unite behind one tandem. Duterte is one who keeps his cards very close to his chest so it will be likely that the final lineup will not be revealed until October when the deadline for filing certificates of candidacy is. He may even pull the same stunt he did in 2015 by substituting at the very last minute.
Whatever happens, 2022 will be the year a new chapter in Philippine politics begins.
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