The team to beat


"Sara-Bongbong or Bongbong-Sara?"


There are interesting political developments happening a little less than 12 months in the political scene.

While everything is still on the speculative stage, there’s no doubt that the 2022 local and national elections will be exciting.

Possible combinations include Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senator Manny Pacquiao, Gibo Teodoro and former Senator Bongbong Marcos for the ruling party. 

There are also the names of Senator Ping Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto being mentioned as presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively.

For the opposition, there’s of course the name of Vice President Robredo, who seems ambivalent whether she would run for president or governor of Camarines Sur.

I believe that presidential daughter Sara would run for president. The clamor is just too great . And then there are Bongbong, boxing icon Pacquiao and Isko Moreno.

In my over seven decades as a journalist, I have covered elections since the time of Apo Pidiong Quirino and there are three elements for victory - name recall, money and party support. Sara has all - being a presidential daughter.

A Sara-Bongbong or Bongbong-Sara combination is the most likely to win of all. They represent the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao sector of the country. While Sara has Mindanao and the Visayas, Bongbong also has Ilocandia, many parts of Luzon and Eastern Visayas. 

A Sara-Gibo combination, to my mind, may also be good, but Gibo Teodoro has been out of the limelight for quite a while. He ran for President in 2010 but lost. And then he has disappeared from the political scene since then. The A and B category of voters may not have forgotten Gibo, but the “masa” which constitute the bulk of the electorate will. Name recall is of primary consideration.

Isko Moreno is a shooting star, but perhaps it is not yet the time for him. For the Senate, maybe.

In the case of Pacquiao, while he won as senator, the presidency or vice presidency is another thing. Insofar as a possible Ping Lacson -Tito Sotto tandem is concerned, the question is what party will Lacson represent? The same goes for Sotto. 

In the case of the opposition party, the ambivalence of Robredo on whether she will run for president or a local post has become a negative factor for the Liberal Party. Another thing, the declaration of former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to run for president just in case Robredo will not, has become a problem. And note that convenors of the 1Sambayan opposition movement are definitely having a difficult time lining up the opposition.

Funding, which is crucial in every election, is also a problem for the opposition. The usual contributors have their own sources of information on who could win or not, while the big money will go for the winning team, only a little will trickle down to the others. That’s how it is, my gulay!

With a little less than 12 months until Election Day, a lot of things can still happen. But it would do well for those not-so-bright boys of the ruling party not to be pushing for President Duterte to run for vice president. Continuity, they say? They forget that if the President were to go for the Vice Presidency, Santa Banana, he’ll need to resign as President the moment he files his certificate of candidacy. Robredo will  then become President. That would be tragic for Duterte. Imagine, it will be the “Yellows” running the local and national elections.


The sad part of our elections which comes every three years is that we elect people not for what they represent, but on who they are. The result of this is that we often have senators, who are movie stars, or well known athletes. In other words, we end up electing people because they are popular -- and then they end up contributing nothing for the common good.

Constitutionalists who want to amend the charter should perhaps make a move for a return to the 1935 Constitution on the bi-partisan system. We used to only have to choose between the Nacionalista and Liberal parties. Each had its own ideology.

With the adoption of the multi-party system, my gulay, we have come to elect local and national leaders mainly on personalities.

With the two party system we’ll know where the candidates truly stand on specific issues. 


At the rate the vaccine rollout program is going, I am quite sure that by the end of year, we’ll be miles away from achieving what is called herd immunity.

According to data, the country appears to be succeeding in vaccinating more or less 2.5 million people every month. This means that by the end of the year, only about 20 percent of Filipinos targeted to get jabbed would have been vaccinated. 

The factors contributing to the delayed and slow vaccine rollout are multi-fold. First of all, there’s still the existing bias and prejudice of many Filipinos on vaccination. The second factor is that most Filipinos still prefer American vaccine to the Chinese Sinovac despite President Duterte’s obvious preference for the Chinese product. 

The tragic part of it all is that while many countries are now achieving herd immunity, our government is still struggling to acquire vaccines.

Topics: Sara Duterte-Carpio , Isko Moreno , Manny Pacquiao , Gibo Teodoro , Bongbong Marcos
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