MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews / 9 October) – Vice President Leni Robredo’s entry into the presidential race promises to change the dynamics of the 2022 polls. She may be lagging behind in recent surveys, an outcome of a relentless vilification campaign waged through trolls and spin masters masquerading as columnists. However, it’s still months away from Election Day, and the controversies currently hounding the Palace could significantly alter the numbers from hereon.
In fact, the administration itself has given the opposition as personified by Robredo a lot of political ammunition by committing one blunder after another. Policies that have become the hallmark of the administration would suffice to trounce it at the polls granting the opposition could find the appropriate communication strategy.
How could the administration refute the de facto surrender of the West Philippine Sea to Chinese control, the bloody war on drugs, gross disregard for human rights, efforts to clamp down on press freedom, and mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted by the Pharmally controversy? How would it explain the attacks against the Commission on Audit after the agency came out with findings that hint of large-scale misuse, if not pilferage, of public funds vis-à-vis the promise to stamp out corruption?
But the biggest question for now is who will be the administration’s bet for president.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has decided to seek reelection, remaining true – at least for the time being – to her earlier declaration she wouldn’t run for any national position. Yet, for supporters and critics alike, such a decision is anything but cast in stone. They have in mind the ploy used by her father in 2015, dilly-dallying and feigning disinterest until the eleventh hour. The mayor has brushed off insinuations she would use the same tack, if only to gain additional media mileage. “I’m not like my father,” she was quoted as having insisted.
President Duterte would worry but little if the presidential race was limited to the likes of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. He can easily mend fences with the first three aspirants. No need to elaborate on Marcos, whose gratitude toward this government is as solid as the wax buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani.
In the end, it could all be a question of exacting obedience from a daughter to counter a widow’s pink revolution.
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. H. Marcos C. Mordeno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)