“Duterte is behind it.”
It’s now official – presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos is the PDP-Laban bet in the May 9, 2022 elections. In the party’s national executive panel meeting led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, a resolution was signed that Marcos “is the candidate whose platform is most aligned with the development projects of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.”
It also said that the former senator received the most endorsements from local councils of the PDP-Laban.
What does this mean? Marcos is also the administration candidate for President, since Duterte is the titular head of the PDP-Laban, the ruling administration party. The endorsement of the President himself will come later.
In effect, the PDP-Laban and Duterte himself are now behind the BBM-Sara tandem for President and Vice President respectively. Nothing could be clearer than that.
As I said in an earlier column, those who are lagging in surveys may now unify. But that is still a long shot since if you add all the percentage points of those behind Bongbong, the total would still not be enough.
Somebody asked me whether the commanding lead of Bongbong can still change. I say it is next to impossible, but then again, politics is the art of the possible.
This is why I warned all the Marcos supporters and Bongbong himself not to be too complacent about their lead.
For one thing, there’s still the Smartmatic counting machines to contend with. In 2016, Bongbong was leading at the start but Leni Robredo ended up winning the final count.
If there’s anything that can change, it will be the ranking of those behind them in the race to Malacanang. Note that there are already special groups pairing Leni with Sara, obviously in an attempt to break up the BBM-Sara tandem to weaken the unity team, especially with the support of Sara.
What will happen to the Leni-Kiko Pangilinan tandem? It is actually a double-edged sword. These people don’t know their politics.
Politics is really a dirty game. Critics are bringing up the issue of ill-gotten and hidden wealth of the Marcoses and their alleged unpaid estate taxes amounting to over P203 billion. Note that there were concerted attacks during the televised Comelec debates by some of the nuisance candidates against Bongbong.
What are these nuisance candidates still doing in the game? Why are they still in the race?
Obviously realizing that the P200 subsidy for the poor is not enough, Duterte approved the subsidy of P500 a month.
Just where Dominguez will get the P500 monthly subsidy is his problem. Note that Dominguez does not even want to have the oil excise taxes suspended in the wake of escalating prices of almost all commodities as a domino effect of sky-rocketing oil prices.
In fact, the government is now scouring where to get all these subsidies, considering the fact that it has already overborrowed money.
There is one senatorial candidate I wish should make it to the Magic 12 circle – former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro. He has all the credentials and qualities as an aspirant for the Senate. Recall that Gibo tried to become President in 2010, but lost to his cousin, Noynoy Aquino, who won because we Filipinos were just too sentimental about the assassination of former Senator Ninoy Aquino, his father, and the death of his mother, the late Cory Aquino.
It would be a big loss to the Senate if Gibo does not make it. According to surveys, Gibo is statistically within the Magic 12, ranking about 12 to 13.
Among those who will make it to the Magic 12 circle, according to the latest Pulse Asia survey are (not in any order) Loren Legarda, former Vice President Jojo Binay, former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Mark Villar, Dick Gordon, Win Gatchalian and Migz Zubiri, among others.