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ROUGH CUTS | Unfolding events are crystal-clear signs      

Vic N. Sumalinog

LAST Tuesday there were series of events which unfolded that had further strengthened our open belief that Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio of Davao City will run for a higher national office. This idea of she running for Vice President has lingered in our minds even long before the start of the filing of candidacy. And this is despite the fact that too many purported groups of Sara backers have been egging her to run for President after her father’s term. When the mayor instead filed her reelection bid her supporters were somewhat let down. But they never abandon their efforts to convince Sara to change her mind up to the last minute of the filing of substitute candidates on November 15.

The events that transpired in one single day last Tuesday somewhat gave a much brighter flicker in their hope that the mayor will finally accede to their wish. That is, to substitute somebody who had earlier filed his candidacy for the Presidency.

We cannot help but submit to their intentions. After all, that is their in-born right that no one can question even as we ourselves have also the same right to pursue our own assumption on Sara substituting for a Vice Presidential candidate.

What were those series of events that transpired last Tuesday that we strongly believe may have apparently made some changes in the political landscapes of the 2022 election? First, in the morning of last Tuesday unopposed reelectionist Vice Mayor Basti Duterte came to the COMELEC office at Ramon Magsaysay Park to withdraw his candidacy. Then, early in the afternoon of the same day Mayor Sara who earlier filed her bid for re-election, arrived at the same office to withdraw her candidacy. Her withdrawal subsequently paved the way for VM Basti to file his substitution COC and councilor Melchor Quitain Jr. also substituted VM Basti right after. On the same day also, Vice Presidential candidate Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go who was campaigning… errr distributing some assistance to residents in that particular area, was quoted on Facebook to have said in his speech that he is very much willing to serve the Filipino people if given a chance on the Vice Presidency. But again as quoted by certain reporters and posted in the social media, the young Davaoeno senator reportedly insinuated that there might be some changes in his political plan depending on the wishes of our “Mahal na Pangulong Duterte.”

Connecting all the events together does not require a brilliant mind to arrive at a logical conclusion as to its relevance with the much awaited unfolding of events on November 15. Our personal hunch is again Sara ‘s running for Vice President to Bongbong Marcos after her affiliation with BBM’s carrier political party and Bong Go’s withdrawal from the vice presidential race “Aton sa kagustuhan ng ating Mahal na Pangulong Duterte.” As to Sen. Ronald dela Rosa’s run, well withdrawing his candidacy for President would be much easier and convenient. And in a similar vein, his PDP-Laban wing can easily throw its support to BBM as the administration candidate.

Will there be some legal constraints vis-à-vis existing COMELEC guidelines on substitution? Well, as our friend Peter Tiu Lavina said in his Facebook post, “In a room with 10 lawyers inside there will certainly be varied interpretations of the law. But in the end they will always come to an agreement” as to what is best for all of them.

It is on this view of ours thsat we had a very interesting mental calisthenics with our unmet social media friend Marlu Villarosa who once worked with the New York City Police Department before settling back in Davao City. He asked us why we believe Mayor Sara would settle for Vice President of BBM?  Our answer was simple and direct – because if they run against each other in addition to those who had earlier filed their COC for the Presidency, neither of them will win.

We argued with Marlu that Bongbong will surely get the largest slice of the voters’ pie in the Ilocano-speaking region even as he can get some share from the votes in the Visayas because her mother is from Leyte. He can even manage to get some crumbs – if we may call it that way — from Mindanaoan votes that are already divided between Sara and Sen. Manny Pacquiao and  further sliced thin by the other Presidential bets.

Sara? Well, she surely will trounce Pacquiao in Mindanao and the Visayas even with his awesome boxing popularity. But we doubt if she can get a sizeable share from the Ilocano, Manileno and Bicolano Votes, both given to Isko and VP Leni, respectively. Western Visayas votes?  Well, it’s a given for Lacson who has his roots from there.

But should the Davao City Mayor and Presidential daughter settle for Vice President of BBM, she will be a run-away winner since she will have the support of the highly regionalistic Ilocanos, as well as the Marcos diehards in other regions including the Southern Tagalog and Bicol areas who are likely to root for BBM. Then there are the Imelda loyalists from the Eastern Visayas Region. All of those will be in addition to the Cebuano-Boholano votes that may come from those who remember Sara’s grandparents and her father the President to be natives of Cebu. And Maasin, Southern Leyte, respectively.

In other words, we told Marlu that a BBM-Sara tandem will be providing the two candidates mutual support.  And running for the same position? They’ll end up losers both.

And why are we insisting that it would be a BBM-Sara D-C tandem? It is not just the win factor that we see behind it. We have this notion that it is a fulfillment of a commitment from an agreement that could have been firmed up in the 2016 candidacy of Mayor Rody Duterte for the Presidency. He won big in the Ilocos region and there is no doubt whose family’s help made it happen.  So, this forthcoming May 2022 election could just be the returning of a previous favor. After all, Mayor Sara is still very young and a 6-year wait will not make her too old for the Presidency.


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