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ROUGH CUTS | The admin bluffs and gambits       

Vic N. Sumalinog

AGAIN our hunch on Sara Duterte-Carpio running for Vice President is proven correct.  As our readers may have been fully aware of, our prediction since last year is that if Sara runs for a national position she would not go direct to the Presidency. Why, because had she done so she would have plenty of baggage in terms of the unfulfilled campaign promises of her father – the major ones, such as the shift to Federalism through a Charter change, and through the same process the dismantling of political dynasty.

     We also had the same prediction towards the deadline of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) prior to the May 2016 elections. That was, that then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte was gunning for the nation’s highest position. Many friends of ours did not believe ud. In fact they were mocking us when at the deadline of the filing of CoC then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte filed his bid for re-election. But we maintained that he was still aiming for the Presidency as there was still the period with which candidates were to discern whether they will pursue their candidacy or withdraw it and have somebody substitute them for the post they were running. What happened then was that shortly before the deadline of the substitution then City Mayor R. Duterte substituted Martin Dino of the PDP-Laban who withdrew his bid for the Presidency. So, we had the last laugh to the chagrin of those who did not agree with our hunch.

     Now we did it again in the case of Duterte the daughter. However, there are some twists unfolding in the same development making all subsequent actions of the administration into a political gobbledygook. Yes, we are right in our prediction that in all likelihood, Sara will be the tandem of Bongbong Marcos. But we missed in our hunch when she filed her substitution candidacy under the Lakas Party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and not that of her father’s PDP-Laban.  

     And while we were expecting that the telenovela type of political drama would end after Sara’s filing of her CoC for Vice President, here are now these hard-to-believe moves of the administration headed by no less than her father the President. They had PDP-Laban VP aspirant Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go withdraw his candidacy and subsequently had Presidential candidate Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa also withdraw his CoC.  Then Go went to the COMELEC office accompanied by the President and substituted Bato for the Presidency. As of yesterday whispers were loud enough that the President will run as Go’s Vice Presidential tandem. The real cover will be taken off today and the outcome will give us the real scenario.

     What intrigues us the most though, is the apparent creation of an episode in this ongoing political charade that depicts some kind of a falling out in the relationship of the President and his daughter. But we are not ready to believe all these things. For the many years that we had been covering the President when he was still mayor of Davao City and having interacted with him personally when we were working with a large corporation operating in his city we can proudly claim that we have substantial knowledge of his personal character as well as his style of playing the political game.

     We are therefore sure that the currently evolving political moves are still part of a grand strategy to win in the forthcoming May 2022 Presidential elections. The administration under the personal baton of the President is doing both the Game of the Generals and the hard thinking game of Chess. The former game has been adopted by the administration strategists working closely with the President is their launch pad for the many bluffs they are doing to confuse the opposition. In effect the latter’s offensive strategies may end up in shambles and need hasty revisions. Chess, on the other hand, is the game being used by the administration as pattern in thinking of ways most effective in launching its juggernaut and in protecting the king and queen who, we still believe, are BBM and Sara.

     Yes, we submit that in previous occasions there were decisions made by Mayor Sara that frontally contradicted to that of his father.  One was when she terminated an agreement entered into by his father with a large national real property conglomerate to develop the Sta. Ana wharf into a 250-hectare mixed use enclave. Then there was another project of her father which the lady mayor refused to pursue – the conversion of a burnt area along Quezon Blvd. into another mixed commercial and residential area. We do not believe that all these did not have the tacit approval or even “instructions” from her father.

     So are the various developments in the administration’s saga to retain tenancy of Malacanang. Sara’s moves could not have been alien to his father. Neither her father’s influence in the mind-boggling measures adopted by the administration supposedly against her are done with the mayor not having any hint or even full knowledge about them. And assuming that she indeed has no idea of all these circuses we are certain that her father would not be working against her interest. No matter what, a father will remain a father to her daughter.

     And like the game of Chess, certain situations during the play call for sacrifices in moves just to ensure that a win can be achieved, no matter how difficult and even risky. We can only hope that the bluffs and gambits used by the administration will not go overboard. Otherwise, the so-called karma will weigh in on the chances of its true candidates.




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