"The opposition should position itself as the better solution to the problems of the country—one that will successfully guide the country out of the pandemic."
A broad spectrum of opposition candidates are forming a big tent, consisting of those who eye the presidency in the May 2022 presidential election.
The coalition may consist of Ping Lacson, Isko Moreno, Manny Pacquiao and VP Leni Robredo. The so-called "big tent" is expected to pose a serious challenge to the much-touted Sara Duterte-Bongbong Marcos tandem.
Obviously, VP Leni Robredo, Isko Moreno, Tito Sotto, Grace Poe, Ping Lacson and their senatorial lineups are waiting for the survey results that will come out at the end of September. The results will be the basis of the political arrangements and strategies under the new coalition, according to an interview with political analyst Dindo Manhit.
For sure, the opposition will throw criticism on the administration's management of the COVID-19 pandemic. People's lives were made difficult amid the economic hardship and severe restrictions, as well as the alleged corruption related to COVID response.
The way it is handling the health crisis is seen as a weak point in the Duterte administration that is now obvious among the Filipino people.
Poverty and hunger escalated due to the economic downturn resulting from the poor management of the pandemic response. COVID-19 related corruption, along with the PRRD government's failure to contain the spread of the virus, will be used as a key issue in the upcoming contest.
Until the filing of the certificates of candidacy is completed later this year, we expect a lot of posturing among presidential contenders. Candidates have until November 15 to make final substitutions.
There will be political maneuvering and positioning among candidates until they formally file their certificates of candidacy, according to Manhit.
Only by then could people expect the majority of the broad opposition to finalize their political line-up, as well as programs, financing, strategies and logistics.
For now, it is evident in her body language that Sara Duterte is running for a national position despite her repeatedly saying the opposite. There is no doubt about it. She has topped opinion polls, made national rounds, and lately launched an infomercial on national television programs.
This simply means that she has to build interest and name recall among the Filipino electorate. Political pundits see much of a Sara Duterte-Bongbong Marcos tandem forming in the May 2022 political contest.
Sara has been strategically positioning herself as a totally different creature from her father. This is seen as a clever tactic envisioned as a mantle of protection from critics and issues directed at her father.
This is also to position herself as an independent person to project the idea that she won't be a part of her father's failure.
Analysts said this is also what the broad coalition of opposition candidates can take advantage of against her. But first, the opposition candidates need to harmonize their political dynamics, get their act together and bring about key sectoral groups to support their programs.
Now is the prime time for the opposition to position itself as the better solution to the problems of the country—one that will successfully guide the country out of the pandemic.
Dindo Danao is a public relations strategist.