"What kind of coalition is this?"
When the so-called 1Sambayan, led by retired former Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Antonio Carpio, was launched, I said it was bound to fail. Santa Banana, while they call themselves oppositionists, the people behind it each have their own separate agenda.
The far left’s agenda is not to oppose the Duterte administration but to form its own government, being just fronts of the communist movement.
The far right’s agenda is to rid the country of the communist movement.
My gulay, what kind of coalition is that?
Now comes the listing of six probable nominees for president: Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Grace Poe, oppositionist Chel Diokno, House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos, Jesus Is Lord religious movement Eddie Villanueva and, of course, former senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
The fact that Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Senator Nancy Binay had earlier declined to be included in the list was already a bad sign. We hear Santos and Poe may also decline.
It seems to me that the coalition is falling into pieces!
The way I see it is that 1Sambayan may be left with only Robredo, Villanueva and Diokno the last nominees standing. Even Robredo is unsure whether she would run for president or governor
Insofar as the people themselves are concerned, all those who are not supported by Duterte make up the opposition. This places another presidential and vice presidential tandem like Senator Ping Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto as oppositionists. Lacson and Sotto may be popular in their own right, but I am confused what party they are running under.
It's really tragic that we don’t have a united opposition.
But many things can still happen. For sure, presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte will run. With whom? I believe it would be Bongbong Marcos. Politics is the art of the possible.
My sources tell me that it is likely Robredo will run for governor in Camarines Sur because she is not too sure of beating Sara Duterte-Carpio. The second reason, I am told, is funding. It seems that the Liberal Party which she heads cannot fund her campaign. In which case, it will be Trillanes who will run for President. If it’s going to be a Sara-Trillanes fight, the opposition may as well be resigned to another six years under a Duterte.
It is said that to become President, a candidate needs at least P5 billion.
In every election in the Philippines, there are three things that give a candidate an edge. First, funding. I am told that every year, elections get more expensive, in which case, an administration candidate has the edge over other candidates because of built-in sources of funding.
The second factor is popularity or name recall. This is why many movie stars become politicians. Of course, this is no guarantee of winning — we saw how Fernando Poe, Jr. lost to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004.
The third factor is political machinery. Again, an administration candidate has the edge. In our kind of elections, the bulk of the electorate is the “masa” votes, or voters in the provinces and rural areas. This is why a presidential candidate must have face-to-face communication with the “masa.” If a presidential candidate cannot make a face-to-face campaign, at least the political machinery can do it for the candidate.
An opposition candidate needs to double his or her effort to campaign against an administration candidate.
Machinery is also a built-in advantage of the administration candidate because local government units are there to campaign for him or her. During the campaign period, it is taken for granted that when an administration candidate goes to the province and rural areas, the cooperation of the LGUs are taken for granted, while an opposition candidate must rely on other sources.
An opposition candidate cannot always be relying on contributions on his own. Taipans have their own sources of information who will win or not. While these contributors have funds for both administration and opposition candidates, that bulk of funding always goes to the administration’s bet.
Speaking of campaign contributions, the “also-ran” candidates, who are here not to win, but to make money by soliciting contributions from businessmen and the usual donors is not unique in the Philippines. Win or lose, they end up making a bundle.