Espinoza: Outmaneuvered, or without a choice?

·3 min read

Was the presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio left with no choice but to run for Vice President under Lakas-CMD party, despite the urging of her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago and supporters and even the stalwarts of PDP-Laban Cusi wing for her to run for president?

Sara filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) after she took the oath as member of Lakas-CMD. Her unexpected decision to run for vice president without a president reportedly happened when presidential aspirant former senator Bongbong Marcos (BBM) did not show up for their supposed meeting on an island in Pampanga with former President Gloria Arroyo. Some supporters of Sara I talked with after she had filed her COC for vice president blamed her for her late decision to file the COC for president. She was practically outsmarted by BBM in filing the COC for president even without a running mate for vice president and Senate slate.

President Duterte did not hide his frustrations in a YouTube interview after learning that Sara had settled for vice president. He said his daughter’s popularity rating is much higher than that of BBM. This situation could have pressed the President to give the marching order to his longtime loyal aide and now Senator Bong Go to file his COC for president under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS), but without a vice president. Go earlier withdrew his COC for vice president under the PDP-Laban Cusi wing.

The PDP-Laban Cusi wing announced their strong support for Go’s presidential bid even if his certificate of nomination and acceptance (Cona) is under PDDS, not PDP-Laban. Does the PDP-Laban Cusi wing have a choice on who to support in this coming elections other than President Duterte and his anointed ones? I don’t think so. But I know someone in Cebu who’s truly delighted with this development.

The loud rumors that President Duterte would run for vice president against his daughter are untrue. That would not happen because no sane man would do such a folly to a daughter or son, no matter how estranged their relations may have been. President Duterte’s love for his unica hija is public knowledge. Hence, Duterte filed the COC for senator. He was originally the choice of the Cusi group for vice president. If Duterte would be elected senator, the Cusi group is expecting that he would be elected Senate president. And, according to the instant political analysts in social media, the powers of the government in the two branches—the executive and legislative—would be in the hands of BBM and Duterte if they’re elected.

To the opposition, the drama that unfolded on Monday showed that President Duterte, despite his earlier statement that he would retire from politics, has greed for power because he pushed Senator Go to run in his stead for vice president. Well, we are in a free and democratic country; it’s the electorate who will decide on election day to whom they shall entrust the future of our country and the welfare of the Filipino people.

Pardon me for my ignorance, I only learned of the PDDS party after Senator Go filed his COC for president under this never-heard-of-before political party. The question that I would like to know from the Comelec is, who was the presidential bet of PDDS substituted by Go? Does compañero Attorney Lionel Marco Castillano, Commission on Elections Cebu Provincial Election Supervisor, know the answer?

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