Heating Political Tensions amidst a pandemic

With the 2022 Philippine National Elections looming, conversations are progressively heating up between the DDS, Dilawans and in-betweens. Presidential daughter Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio leads current polls of Presidentiables against close competition identified either as generally supportive of the administration and the opposition. Several groups have warmed up to the idea of launching movements in support of a particular candidate or endorsing a particular candidate or tandem as a legitimate political party.

To gain marginal advantage over other groups, some have resorted to using pandemic related issues, as well as related concerns on the economy, employment, and poverty to legitimately diminish the credibility of the administration. Heck even interested parties within the broad administration coalition have started to hurl political tirades and invectives to one another, with the most resounding being heard from the camps of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Sen. Manny Pacquiao as several groups within the administration party are eyeing different candidates for the two highest seats in the land. 

However, despicable and desperate measures have been taken by some groups to one up the opposing party. As the country celebrated its first ever gold medal with Hidilyn Diaz's astounding performance Women's 55 kg Weightlifting competition in the Tokyo Olympics, quarters within the DDS and Dilawan camps have seized the opportunity to use this victory to further malign and destroy the image and reputation of notable individuals belonging to each other's camps. These are being done at the expense of a country solely focused on cherishing a long-awaited win in the country's 97-year participation in the quadrennial meet.

Political exchanges, especially during the pre- election season, are normal. However, we live in extraordinary times where the focus of the entire nation is squarely on getting out of the COVID-19 pandemic at the soonest possible time. As the more transmissible and deadly Delta variant continues to threaten the country’s urban centers, the attention of incumbent government officials should be geared towards ensuring effective readiness and swift response to the potential spread of the virus and increase in hospital utilization numbers. On the other hand, interested individuals and parties not currently part of government must contribute positively to the information and education components of the country's pandemic response and recovery. I've always been a believer that the best campaign message and strategy is good performance, particularly now that good performance means saving more lives.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. However, we are not yet at a point of desperation in the pandemic response. The acts of desperation have been noticeable with individuals solely focused on their political interests and careers rather than looking after the general welfare of the people they serve. 

Should you feel that any incumbent official or interested individual planning to run for public office are negatively impacting our pandemic life today, it is my appeal for you to campaign against them. 

Everyone's true character is being exposed in this pandemic. Hopefully, only those with good character win top national posts come 2022.

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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