Espinoza: Not unusual politics

·3 min read

I’ve said many times that our present multi-party-political system is to be blamed for the present hodgepodge, or the medley, if I may say it frivolously, of the local candidates, who belong to the same party or lineup but are supporting different presidential or vice presidential bets in the May 9, 2022 general elections.

A classic example of how ugly our current political system has become is happening right here in Cebu. Ace Durano and Vice Gov. Junjun Davide, who are running as a tandem, belong to different political parties. Durano is running for governor under his Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago (PPP), while Davide belongs to the Liberal Party. Ace is running against incumbent Gov. Gwen Garcia of One Cebu.

Call it funny, but it’s true. Durano and Davide support opposing presidential candidates. Durano recently announced he is endorsing the candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM). There were expectations for Durano to support Vice President Leni Robredo, who is the presidential bet of his running mate Vice Governor Davide, because from the day Durano filed his certificate of candidacy for governor, he was silent about his presidential bet.

But I never had serious doubts that Ace Durano would not support BBM after his father, Danao City Mayor Nito Durano and chair of their Bakud Party, announced a month ago their party’s support for BBM and his runningmate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. It’s simply logical for Ace to follow his father’s and their party’s choice of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. Or, else Ace would be out of the loop in his family.

That PPP in Central Visayas, which Ace chairs, has decided to support BBM for president is too shallow an excuse. The truth is, Ace has to follow his father’s decision even if their political opponent in the 5th Congressional District Rep. Duke Frasco was way ahead in declaring his support for BBM. Then, a few weeks ago Govorner Gwen surprised the Cebuanos when she announced her support for BBM and Sara.

Someone is smiling even in his slumber with the unexpected turn of political events in Cebu. It would seem that in the provincial level it’s only Davide who is supporting the presidential bid of Robredo and her running mate Sen. Kiko Pangilinan for vice president.

Governor Gwen endorsed the team of BBM and Sara as the chair of One Cebu. But her endorsement compelled her younger brother and 3rd Congressional District Rep. PJ Garcia to resign as the secretary general of One Cebu because he cannot support BBM since he is supporting the presidential bid of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso of Aksyon Demokratiko. The whispers that Governor Gwen would support Mayor Isko weren’t true at all.

The turn of events in Cebu among the political leaders is not surprising under our current political system. Cebu City is another classic example of the medley politics. The Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña, whose wife former City Councilor Margot is the party’s mayoralty bet, supports VP Leni for president, but its vice presidential bet is Senate President Tito Sotto.

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama is seeking another term under the coalition of parties of Barug, Kusug and Panaghiusa. Rama supports the tandem of BBM-Sara, but former councilor Joey Daluz of Panaghiusa supports Mayor Isko.

The only way to put back sanity in our political and electoral system is to return to a strong two-party system, which was annihilated when Martial Law was imposed in 1972. The fathers of the 1986 Constitution, in an effort to prevent a repeat of the Marcoses’ tyrant rule, overlooked the shoddier side of a multi-party system.

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