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RANDOM THOUGHTS | The 2022 Presidential Derby 




Chito R. Gavino

“KNOW your enemy, a thousand battles, a thousand victories” (Sun Tsu).


Senator Pacquiao first should know very well his political enemies before anything else. Could his number one enemy be himself? Could some of them be his own close associates? As things go, it seems that he can only run as President under an opposition party in 2022.

I have engaged in political battles as a political analyst and planner way back in the Marcos era – 1980, when a Davao politician hired me to manage his political office. He tapped me because of my expertise in development planning. When my boss retired from public office in 2016 undefeated, I likewise retired from actively participating in politics. Modesty aside, I think I’m relatively good in political matters. It has been said that all elections are “local”. Hence, our elected local government officials will determine who will be our 2022 President. Mark my words.

In a presidential election, the most important political decision a political party must make is who will the party field to the presidency or support? For example in the 2010 presidential election, the Liberal Party was thinking of fielding then Mar Roxas for the presidency. But when former President Cory Aquino died and the Filipinos enormously expressed their grief and sympathy to her demise, the Liberal Party finally and rightly decided to field instead Senator Noynoy Aquino to the presidency. History tells us what happened.

Four of the most valuable lessons I also learned in my 36 years active participation in politics are: 1) anticipate who will be your opponent(s) and their capabilities which include their strategies, 2) never underestimate any political foe or don’t ever be over-confident concerning any political enemy, 3) We have a corrupt society that breeds some corrupt government officials, and 4) “in a one-man, one-vote system, the wisdom of the few usually yields to the folly of the many. 

This is a constant danger in a democracy. “Let’s apply the number one lesson on this coming 2022 presidential election below: 

  1. Anticipate who will be the possible opposition candidate(s) for President against the administration? They are: 1) Vice President Robredo, 2) Senator Pacquiao, 3) Senator Lacson, and 4) Senator Gordon.

Anticipate their political strategies:

  1. VP Robredo is the favorite of 1Sambayan and the Liberal Party. I think she will be forced to run for President if Sen. Gordon will not be tapped by 1Sambayan.
  2. Senator Pacquiao will be one of the Presidential candidates if he wins his fight in August. In such a case, expect a Pacquiao-Sotto tandem. This could mean a 3-corner fight for the Presidency in 2022. Senator Pacquiao might run under Reform. Diaz’s Olympic gold will somehow dampen Pacquiao’s boxing victory.
  3. Senator Lacson, I think, will give way to Senator Pacquiao if the latter wins in the boxing bout.
  4. Senator Gordon, tapped by 1Sambayan, will surely “bite the bullet” and go for the presidency.

More or less now, the administration has a broad picture of its possible opponents in the 2022 presidential race. I suppose the administration will do the needful to succeed in this political competition. My idol Sec. Jun Evasco, will surely know what to do. No united opposition I think in 2022.

Good politics turns love to public service and reform. Let’s now talk about the presidential platform in the coming presidential election. But let’s first agree that the kind of political leaders the Philippine badly need today are Servant-Transformative leaders to heal our sick society and truly liberate our people and nation. The 2022 political platform, we think, most appropriate to address the needs of times is real social transformation. This means strong commitment to our people to boldly and passionately pursue authentic Societal Change. This connotes unwavering vow to go for an honest-to-goodness Constitutional Reform (genuine CORE) and People Reform Agenda. It must be a “Whole-of-Institutions” approach to really succeed. The incoming administration, hopefully will commit to immediately call for a “Summit On Solidarity” to formulate and officially adopt a Shared Vision and Mission for the Philippines for obvious reasons.

PDP’s major platform is “Federalism”. Yet, PDP Senator Koko Pimentel is deafeningly silent on this nagging issue. Well, the truth of the matter is that I have not met any PDP member who is really well  versed on how to federalize the Philippines. At present, we think that a unique Philippine – Style Federalism is more appropriate and financially viable for our country. Let’s limit the number of Federated Regions to three.

Senator Koko Pimentel should not have confronted President Duterte. It is inadvisable to fight Malacañang. He should have kept silent and waited, at least, after Pacquiao’s August boxing bout. Now Senators Pimentel and Pacquiao created formidable political enemies and might lose the PDP-Laban Party soon due to “intervening events”. “Kasalanan ito ni Senator Pimentel”, President Duterte rightly pointed out.

I’m the oldest living and active advocate of Federalism in the Philippine although I’m not a PDP member. In the later part of the eighties, we organized “Lihuk Pederal Davao” (LPD). It grew into a nationwide movement called Citizens Movement for Federal Philippines (CMFP) which slowly died of a natural death when our lead convenor Rey Magno Teves suddenly passed away. In 2016, when Mayor Duterte decided to run for President under PDP-Lban Party, Federalism was again in the spotlight. I became the Technical Consultant of Davao “Kilos Pederal sa Pagbabago” (KPP).

Senator Nene Pimentel was the “Father of Federalism. We expect Senator Koko Pimentel, the son, and other PDP-Laban members to be more active in pushing for a Philippine-Style Federalism this writer conceived in his father’s memory for the common good.

Let’s hope and pray that Servant – Transformative leaders with integrity, competence and commitment are elected in the 2022 election for the good of our beloved Philippines. Gavinodamus “prediction in 2022: “Sara-the President elect!

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