The Landscape of the 2022 Elections

We are still in 2019 but possible names as presidential candidates for the 2022 elections have been appearing. It may not be wise to declare as early as this year, sending feelers to the voting public may be necessary for increased voter recall and awareness.

In a matter of days, a new set of national and local officials will be proclaimed by COMELEC at the conclusion of the canvassing of votes. While the act of proclamation officially marks the end of the 2019 electoral cycle, it also sets the stage for a tension-filled preparatory phase for the 2022 Presidential Elections.

Possible names have been floated as possible 2022 Presidential Candidates, namely Presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio, Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Ping Lacson, Former Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (probably Representative of Taguig’s First District by this writing) and Former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, among others. While the list is expected to shrink by 2021, some aspirants will use the window between 2019 to 2021 to test the waters.

Presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio fared very well in the pre-campaign period surveys conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia for the 2019 Senatorial Elections. Although she declined to run as Senator, her exposure at the national level significantly increased as she took on the role of Campaign Manager for the Hugpong ng Pagbabago's Senatorial slate. If talks are true of a possible Presidential run, she is expected to become more visible in the public eye in the coming months.

The electoral protest of Sen. Bongbong Marcos on the 2016 Vice-Presidential race remains pending as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has not yet declared the official results of the recount. The timing of the decision on the protest will have an impact on the aspirations of both Sen. Marcos and VP Robredo for higher office.

Sen. Ping Lacson has also shown interest in running for President again in 2022, provided that he has a "clear chance" of winning. Sen. Lacson first sought the Presidency in 2004 and placed 3rd behind Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fernando Poe Jr. Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe is expected to top the 2019 Senatorial Elections and will most remain a formidable contender for the 2022 Presidential Derby. The likelihood of the Poe and Lacson candidacies will depend on their performance in surveys prior to the filing of COCs by October 2021.

Mr. Alan Peter Cayetano is also eyeing the House Speakership once the 18th convention of Congress opens. Despite his close ties with President Duterte, his victory as House Speaker is not guaranteed as there are a number of strong candidates who also enjoy the support of President Duterte such as Rep. Lord Allan Velasco of Marinduque and Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte. The outcome of his bid to become House Speaker will be an indication if he will get the same from President Duterte as he sets his sights on the Presidency.

The political events in the next 1-2 years will be interesting as leading Presidential aspirants start jockeying for position prior to the first release of the Presidential candidates' survey sometime in 2020. While it may not be wise to declare as early as 2019, sending feelers to the voting public may be necessary for increased voter recall and awareness.

About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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