Saturday, October 23, 2021

Espinoza: A Duterte-Duterte, or Marcos-Duterte tandem in 2022?

Free Zone

INDEED, the presidential election on May 9, 2022 is just around the corner. On Monday, May 31, PDP-Laban held a national council meeting in Cebu City and passed a resolution urging President Rodrigo Duterte to run for vice president in next year's polls but leaving the prerogative to Duterte to nominate his presidential candidate.

The national council meeting of PDP-Laban leaders here in Cebu City that blatantly excluded Senator Manny Pacquiao, supposedly the party's president, somehow answered the prayers of Malacañang Spokesman Harry Roque for signs so that President Duterte would be guided in deciding to run for vice president.

PDP-Laban vice chairman and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said they are asking the President to run in the vice-presidential race to ensure the continuity of the administration's "10-Point Socio-Economic Agenda" now that the country is still reeling from the effects of this Covid-19 pandemic. Wow!

But to the administration's critics, there is more than meets the eye on the move of PDP-Laban to let President Duterte, a septuagenarian, run for vice president. If we look back, it's almost a tradition that party leaders would want to extend the term of their president for vested interests. Those holding juicy government posts don't want to leave office.

Monday's formal resolution of PDP-Laban asking President Duterte to run for vice president in next year's election is no longer a surprise because Cusi already made it known months before to their party leaders and members except their interim president Senator Pacquiao that led them into a verbal clash. In fact, in that meeting, they called for the ouster of Pacquiao. Senator Manny, better leave PDP-Laban before you're kicked out.

It's obvious for PDP-Laban leaders to give President Duterte the full respect to choose his presidential candidate. Would the President change gear and ask her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, as his bet for president? If he does, then the President should take back his words discouraging her daughter to run for president because of the gargantuan problems in running the country.

For strategic reasons, would President Duterte ask former senator Bongbong Marcos (BBM) to be his running mate for president since the Marcoses are from the north and he is from the south? Remember that BBM is his favorite vice-presidential bet in the 2016 elections even if Cong. Alan Cayetano was his running mate for vice president.

So, those who are rooting for Senator Bong Go to run for president and President Duterte as the vice-presidential bet better dump it. The chance of Go-Duterte tandem in next year's presidential elections is zero. The possibility is even greater that BBM would be the presidential bet of Duterte. You can ask Choy Torralba, the closest ally of BBM in Cebu City.

Remember that President Duterte joked several times in the middle of his term that he is tired of his work that if BBM were his vice president, he would have resigned and let the young Marcos run the country. Well, it's just not fortunate that BBM failed on his bid in contesting the election of Vice President Leni Robredo before the Supreme Court.

The other question is would Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio give up her ambition to run for president and give way to BBM? My relatives in Mindanao told me that Mayor Sara is already up and about on her presidential bid. Her posters, Run-Sara-Run, are everywhere in the nook and cranny of Mindanao. And, if I get it right from Choy Torralba, BBM would not run against Mayor Sara. So, what's the drama here? Let's wait and see!


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