AS THE deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy for next year’s election nears, so too speculations on who will run for what post dominate the headlines. Like who do you think are running for national posts? Who will it be at the local level? What we have now are but speculations. All will be set after the deadline. But this is an interesting guessing game. Some guesses, though, are guided by rumors and dashes of facts.
Who will run for President? The political opposition has formed a coalition called 1Sambayan originally intended to unite all anti-Duterte forces. But only one woman is left standing there, Vice President Leni Robredo, which means she could be that group’s nominee. Former senator Antonio Trillanes could be her running mate. But with the death of former President Noynoy Aquino, some netizens are floating the name of his sister Kris, although the latter never talked about plunging into politics herself.
The administration is split a number of ways. One group is pushing for a Duterte-Duterte tandem, with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte as the standard bearer and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, as running mate. One variation is a Sen. Bong Go and President Duterte pairing. Or Sara could have as running mate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Sara, though, has said a number of times she is not running for President. But who knows? In 2016, Digong did not declare his candidacy before the deadline.
If Sara runs, the pro-Duterte forces could be split because other personalities are bent on running like Sen. Manny Pacquiao, who is already building a nationwide machinery. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno could be a go if he gets a large enough campaign fund. A split Duterte camp would be good for the opposition who will most likely be split also. Robredo and 1Sambayan, though, will already be formidable.
At the local level, the state of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella’s health would be crucial. Vice Mayor Michael Rama, though, is already acting like he would be the administration standard bearer. The Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan could also split if former mayor Tomas Osmeña does not run for mayor. Waiting in the wings are Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa and City Councilor Franklyn Ong.
In the province, the political hold of Gov. Gwen Garcia is such that no political opponent has surfaced yet. But it could come from one member of the Durano clan in the fifth district. The clan seems to be the only one left standing because former congressman Eduardo Gullas of the first district is old and sickly and Talisay City Mayor Samsam Gullas is too young for provincial politics.
Next year being a presidential election, expect the opposition to support or put up their local bets. And Cebu won’t be left behind in the jostling for votes because of its big number of voters. So don’t expect Garcia or Labella to run unopposed. The next elections will remain to be exciting like in the past. My hope is that the political exercise will be peaceful.