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ROUGH CUTS | Bongbong-Sara tandem? Signs are unmistakable

Vic N. Sumalinog

IT IS  now evolving. We mean the Presidential and Vice Presidential tandem that we had been suspecting ever since in this space. Yes, the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte-Carpio duo to carry the administration banner in the coming May 2022 national elections is somehow shaping up. We based our assessment on the latest meeting of the two personalities in Cebu City last week.

Of course as part of a covertly developed game plan, none of the two will admit it. As reported they only claim to be talking on how the Presidential daughter’s home-grown party could help in the Marcos run for the Presidency. But mind you November 15, 2021, the deadline for the substitution of candidates, is still a long two weeks to go. Many things can still happen and there are many ways to skirt the existing Commission on Elections (COMELEC) rule on substitution.

One such rule is that only a substitute candidate coming from and endorsed by the party of the candidate to be replaced shall be accepted by the Commission. Remember too, that in a recent statement VP candidate Christopher “Bong” Go said that while he is serious in his candidacy for the second highest position of the land still he will abide by whatever decision or course of action taken by the President. So easily, Go can be asked by the President to withdraw in favor of his daughter. And Senator Go? As a loyal and obedient soldier he will definitely oblige. As for Sara she can immediately affiliate her Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) with the PDP-Laban – Cusi Faction and gets the party endorsement to substitute Go.

On the other hand Bongbong can affiliate his own party with the PDP-Laban – Cusi group and Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa will be made to withdraw in FM Jr.’s favor. And bingo! The administration will have a hard-to-beat tandem considering that each of FM Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio has his/her own bailiwick. Think also that both Sara and Bongbong could get a huge cut of the Visayan votes since Marcos Jr.’s mother is from Leyte and Sara’s mother is from Leyte too. Sara’s father is from Danao in Cebu. The two provinces are vote rich and the people’s support from these areas could make a difference in the outcome of the election.

In other words, the strategy of a political “marriage” of Bongbong and Sara, is one astutely planned move.

Also, in the advance campaigning using the social media, while the opposition primarily VP Leni Robredo and her Pinklawan group, appears to be on the offensive for the time being is seemingly on the advantage, their pitches are more allegations and nebulous manipulation of issues. But the administration’s counter-social media onslaught, while still limited, appears to have more telling blows and positive impact on the people. The administration scheme is simply presenting comparisons of achievements especially on infrastructures, by the previous 5 past administrations over the past 30 years and the barely 6 years of the current regime. And pictures or actual footages do not lie. One has only to take a look at the posts on Facebook and other social media platforms on the roads and bridges completed and/or work still in progress shown side by side with the still documentation of the same during the previous administrations and you know what we mean.

And look at who are those lambasting the administration, specifically the President, of corruption and other shenanigans. They are nothing but those who want to get elected or reelected.  They are the pots who are calling the kettle black. Isn’t this the reason why Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Sen. Dick Gordon has to exhaust all available ammunition in his arsenal to link the President to alleged corruption and favoritism? He suddenly found himself on the defensive because he has a lost appeal with the Supreme Court to stop the COA order demanding the return of some P86 million in disallowed expenses while he was still Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chair.

Indeed, November 15 is a date to reckon with. For certain it will change the political configuration in the country. Tickets will be formally finalized and the campaign will be in a more disgusting manner. It will now be a matter of presenting the issues for or against any candidate or party in its most credible manner so that it will have convincing effects in the hearts and minds of the electorate.

Meanwhile, we stand 4 squares on our belief that as the substitution deadline closes on November 15, the Administration Presidential and Vice Presidential bets will be Marcos-Duterte Carpio. The signs are unmistakable.


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