FIVE months into the deadline of the filing of certificates of candidacy for national positions in the May 2022 elections and already there are posts and infomercials in both in the mainstream and social media the objective of which is clearly to build up certain personalities for their possible run.
In fact the positions most focused are for the Presidency and Vice Presidency. There are a few of course who are making their presence in all modes of communications conspicuous possibly for their desire to have a slot in the senate slate of either the administration line-up or that of the so-called 1Sambayan.
In the case of the two highest positions in the land most prominently mentioned, or are deliberately caused to be mentioned, are the names of Vice President Leni Robredo, Presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Sen. Nancy Binay, Bongbong Marcos Jr., Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and even neophyte senator Bong Go and former Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio who is observed to be leading the opposition thrust against the Duterte administration.
For the Vice Presidency the same names, except that of VP Leni, dominate. The addition of a possible VP run is that of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte, a long shot if the President still has a sense of delicadeza.
But we have to admit that the temptation for sliding down to the second highest position in the land could be very strong on the President. That is, if there is no Constitutional prohibition to do so. After all, history in Philippine politics is not bereft of such leaf. Remember the case of the late Cebuano Senator Sergio Osmena Jr.?
In several instances, while he was serving as senator, he filed his candidacy for mayor of Cebu City? The reason was simple. He did not want Cebu City to be controlled by his political enemies which could likely happen if he did no run himself. Of course after winning the mayoral post along with his vice mayoralty candidate, he went back to the Senate and his vice mayor assumed the post he vacated. So, it was good as if he was still the one on top.
Then we have the case of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. After the Presidency she ran for Congresswoman representing her district. Of course her intention then was clear. It was for her to provide some kind of a “shield” from possible backlash brought about by her “messy” administration which many in the ranks of her administration’s opposition were virtually using as possible fuses for the blasting caps of cases they were contemplating against the then chief of state.
But of course, the vengeful Aquino III administration that took over from Arroyo did not see the latter’s being a congresswoman to exact revenge in the guise of representing the many Filipinos allegedly wronged by the Pampanguena lady President.
Not even her trip abroad for medical treatment was given any iota of consideration. She was forced back to the country even before she could board her plane at the NAIA. The only semblance of humanitarian consideration was the granting of her plea for the court to have her placed on hospital arrest, although almost incommunicado for some time.
Now these pages in our country’s political history could happen again. That is, if the present opposition group will succeed in wresting Malacanang from an administration-backed candidate. And given the Constitutional restriction for re-election of a sitting Chief Executive the option most likely to be taken is to back whoever in its stable the winningest personality.
And in the present scenario it happens that the surveys conducted whether paid for by the administration or conducted by an independent entity, it is Presidential daughter Sara who is taking the lead.
The lady mayor of Davao City though has been openly denying her intention to run for the Presidency in the 2022 national polls even as she did not hide her desire to throw her hat in the 2033 elections. But then again, the temptation to aspire for power much earlier is great. Add the other major reason is possibly providing a “safety net” for her outgoing President father in case a non-admin-sponsored candidate takes over and ready to make the incumbent account even for imaginary sins and omissions.
Meanwhile, a Sara run in 2022 and her father’s slide to the Vice Presidency would certainly leave a bad taste in the mouth, many opined. Why, because that will give the impression that the city mayor does not have one word and like other so-called traditional politicians, she does not care about delicadeza and forgets outright one of the commitments of his father – a Charter change that will end the dominance of one family in the political scene.
On the other hand President Duterte’s possible run for the VP post could be interpreted as his securing a still vantage position to keep anyone on the Presidency tiptoe in his or her move against him. And if by luck it would be her daughter who sits in Malacanang, then what would that make of the long desired dismantling of the political dynasty rule – a wish the President strongly expressed during his campaign?
We can only hope for the enlightenment of their minds.
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