Political positioning and posturing for the 2022 Elections have recently become obvious among interested individuals, groups, and parties. The protagonists for various national posts are currently in the heat of discussions with several groups and organizations for potential partnerships and alliances. Prominent ones have already started using traditional and social media platforms to create awareness and increase their public visibility with the deadline for the filing of candidacies fast approaching.
Part of the posturing strategy by some candidates or groups is to distinguish themselves whether they are generally pro-administration, opposition or in-between/neither. The message of continuity is clear with the impending nomination by the PDP-Laban Cusi Wing of the Sen. Bong Go- Rodrigo Duterte tandem for President and Vice President respectively. President Duterte has made it very clear that he accepted the V.P nomination as he wants to see through some of the BBB projects started during his administration, along with other purported reforms on the fight against illegal drugs and systemic corruption. While Sen. Bong Go has refused to entertain talks about his candidacy, he will likely run on the same platform if he consents to running as President.
Davao Mayor Sara Duterte, a leading Presidential contender based on opinion polls, is still weighing her options on a potential national run. Former Senator Bongbong Marcos is also said to be considering a run for the Presidency based on his public pronouncements. It is rumored that talks have been ongoing between the camps of Mayor Duterte and Sen. Marcos, with no less than Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo brokering discussions for a potential partnership. A Sara-Marcos tandem would be formidable with their North-South connection, especially if Go-Duterte stay true to their word of retracting their candidacies in favor of the Presidential daughter.
Many groups and political pundits also believe that Mayor Isko Moreno is close to deciding on running as President. It is noteworthy that political veteran Lito Banayo recently resigned from MECO and is convincing Moreno to run for higher office. Recently, the Manila Mayor has publicly criticized the efforts of the national government in its pandemic response and took an indirect swipe at the potential candidacy of Mayor Sara by saying that the Presidency should not be passed down or inherited.
The defeat of Sen. Manny Pacquiao to Yourdenis Ugas may not have only dealt a blow to his professional boxing record but also to his political plans. With the threat of expulsion from the bigger PDP-Laban wing of Sec. Cusi, Pacquiao will be left to have the People's Champ Movement and Labor Party of the Philippines as his only vehicles to launch his Presidential ambition.
Vice President Leni Robredo has been reluctant to provide a definitive answer on the prodding of some supporters for her to run as President. The dismal performance of the Liberal Party's Otso Diretso in the 2019 elections may be giving her second thoughts, especially that her trust ratings in opinion polls have been modest compared to that of President Duterte.
If the opposition were to pose a legitimate threat to a potential Sara-Marcos or Go-Duterte tandem, the consolidation of forces behind a single ticket has become a need more than an option. This may mean that:
Lacson-Sotto must give way
Pacquiao slides down as Vice President to either Moreno or Leni
Moreno slides down to VP and run under Leni
There are numerous possibilities and scenarios that will play out as we near October 2021. For now, the posturing and positioning game plays on.
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