Inquirer columnist and former Communications Undersecretary Manuel L Quezon III (MLQ3) gives a political timeline for candidates and the public alike in his piece today “Why ‘pre-campaigning’ is necessary”…
While officially speaking, Feb. 8-May 7, 2022, is the official campaign period for national positions, and March 25-May 7, 2022, is the official campaign period for local elections, in truth for national candidates from the presidency to the Senate, they only have from Feb. 8 to March 25 to actually be campaigned for, by local allies: because starting March 25, it’s every candidate for him/herself as the local races kick off and monopolize the time, attention, and resources of the local candidates.
MLQ3 describes the period we are in until October as one marked by “what’s called ‘consciousness-raising’—activities meant to raise awareness of, and excitement/interest/support for, potential candidates: to make it worth the while of all sorts to buy-in and chip-in, to a potential candidacy.” Indeed, we have been seeing the ratcheting up of intensity in the horse trading and backroom negotiations over the last several weeks all of which will continue to ramp up. Several pundits have weighed in on possible presidential tandems for the 2022 elections. So far, the only viable one seems to be Senator pair Ping Lacson and Tito Sotto — if they do announce. President Rodrigo Duterte is still playing the game of political chicken. This keeps the rest of the field befuddled because indecision comes into play, specially if he runs for Vice-President, where he would be a shoo-in and automatic gadfly if an “opposition” President wins.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno is supposedly running. The question is with who? The Isko for President movement has Tim Orbos as lead convenor. If he does run, the Liberal Party pragmatists will likely support him, even if he doesn’t like it. He can’t afford to welcome them under his wing because that would be the kiss of death. Another complication is the National Unity Party (NUP) has announced they will renew their coalition agreement with Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Isko is with the NUP. Which political party will he use as his flag of convenience?
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The split in the Liberals is a headache for Vice President Leni Robredo. Former Senator Antonio Trillanes is also limited because of his libel conviction. The Robredo loyalists will be left with few options because they would be hamstrung by funding and machinery at the ground level. Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, if killed out by PDP-Laban, has the option of joining the Reporma of Bebot Alvarez. This makes a Lacson-Pacquiao ticket possible. But what if Pac-Man is made to run with the only goal of splitting the Visayas-Mindanao vote and act as a stumbling block for Duterte or Daughterte? The Villar Nacionalistas could also break from the ruling coalition if patriarch Manny thinks it’s worth the gamble. Mark Villar could be Isko’s VP as was thought of by political observer Doy Santos. But is it really worth the risk considering in six years the value of your real estate holdings have appreciated given the control over the road alignments of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)?
The way it’s looking for the administration, it’s options are either an Inday Sara “Daughterte” – Bongbong Marcos or a Marcos-Duterte tandem. In a three-way race with Isko and Lacson leading the other tickets, anything can happen. The slight edge of the administration is negated because of the 21-45 demographic composing the 40 million bulk of the voter population. The threshold for a win is between 16 million to 18 million votes.
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