"We have to live with this unseemly state of political affairs."
The confused and confusing state of Philippine politics is quite evident in how these days, it is the vice-presidential wannabes jostling over each other to catch the attention of the “llamado” presidentiables.
Mayor Inday Sara Duterte Carpio keeps denying she has plans to seek the top post, but politicians old and new, current and forgotten, keep going to the nation’s political “mecca”—which is her suzerainty, to seek her benign attention.
First there were siblings of the North’s perennial first family, Senator Imee and former Senator Bong-bong, greeting her an advance happy birthday two days before her 43rd. Then followed former Tarlac representative and GMA defense secretary, Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, along with CamSur’s Rolando Andaya, who immediately thereafter proclaimed a “done deal,” with Inday Sara running for president, and his principal, Gibo her vice-president.
But days after, the president announced before the “appointed son of God,” Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, that he was against his daughter running for president, and that he is resisting the idea of himself running for vice-president. That idea was floated, nay, posited by clamor coming from his PDP-Laban party-mates in what its acting president and the son of the party’s founder called a “rump” and illegal convention.
The presidential spokesperson muddled the interpretation of the president’s interview remarks by making a fine distinction between two English words—“resisting” but “not refusing.” And then followed it up by saying he would consider running for senator “only” and only if Mayor Inday Sara would be his presidential candidate.
And days later, the president mismo, from out of the blue, talks about his probable run for the vice-presidency a “good idea” but he had a promise to keep—which is his 2019 offer to Majority Floorleader and first cousin of the Marcoses, Martin Romualdez of Leyte.
Immediately after, former president GMA invited the first cousins to her La Vista residence in some kind of pow-wow to somehow weigh her endorsement of who should be Inday Sara’s vice-presidential candidate. Should it be Bongbong, who sources earlier said she was rooting for, match-making the Marcos heredero with PRRD’s daughter? Or now that the President expressed his preference for Martin, was GMA asking, “sino ba talaga?”
On the “independent” side of the political aisle, what used to be “cast in stone”, the partnership between Senator Ping Lacson for president and Senate President Tito Sotto as his vice-presidential team-mate seems to have foundered on the shoals of uncertainty. Of late, the Pacman team has reached out to the senate president, and supposedly with the presence of Senator Ping, toyed with the idea of running as the determined Pacman’s vice-president.
As some kind of confidence-building measure, the Pacman supposedly dispatched one of his best friends, Chavit Singson of Narvacan, formerly of Vigan, but definitely kingpin of Ilocos Sur, to take his oath of membership with the Nationalist People’s Coalition before the senate president, who happens to be party chair.
On the opposition side however, speculation is not on who would be Vice President Leni Robredo’s team-mate come 2022, but on whether or not she herself would seek the presidency at all. No one has come around volunteering to be her team-mate, at least not publicly. Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes, along with Vice Pres. Leni, has become 1Sambayan coalition’s remaining choices, and the former has stated he would run for president only if the latter decides to forego her candidacy.
Rife as well, again from the independent side of the political aisle, is speculation about Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, whose survey numbers keep soaring, and as of the last week of May, based on a survey commissioned by a palace insider, is almost statistically tied with his counterpart mayor from the deep South.
Would Domagoso forfeit a sure re-election as mayor of the nation’s capital and instead take a deep dive into the presidential derby of 2022? He remains focused on keeping his many promises in Manila, including his affordable and comfortable housing projects for its informal settlers, and completing in 52 days the Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital at the Luneta’s Burnham Green, something he promised would be done in 60 days.
By so doing, he reinforces the widely-held thinking that he would gun for certain re-election. In fact, no other person of note seems ready nor willing to compete with him in a second mayoral term.
Other presidentiables such as Sen. Grace Poe, who is doing a respectable fourth in most surveys, does not seem interested, as she had manifested to the 1Sambayan coalition that included her in its initial choices. Neither Sen. Nancy Binay and Rep. Vilma Santos Recto of Batangas. Not even human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, who seems to be thinking about a senatorial re-run.
Is there no one else?
Sen. Bong Go has anchored a presidential run on the probability of PRRD himself running as his team-mate, for the veep position. So how would that pan out—Bong Go for president and PRRD for VP, versus Inday Sara Duterte Carpio for president, with Gibo or Bongbong or Martin as her VP?
Would any of these gentlemen run against a PRRD running for VP?
This article about who’s who jostling for the vice presidential position is as confused as the perennial confusion of Philippine politics, under a confused Constitution which has a presidential form and a multi-party system, contradictions in fact and in praxis.
We have to live with this unseemly state of political affairs until we elect a president who will seriously, yes, seriously, take the firm decision to revise the 1987 Constitution, not only for its archaic economic provisions as Congress keeps trying but failing, but to come up with a sensible political system.