Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Espinoza: Lacson-Sotto vs Duterte-Duterte in May 2022 polls?

Free Zone

ONCE again, President Rodrigo Duterte made public his supposed strong disapproval of his daughter's desire to run for president in the May 9, 2022 elections. President Duterte had said this before on several occasions that he does not want his daughter, Davao City Sara Duterte-Carpio, to seek the presidency because of the arduous tasks that comes with the office and to protect her from the critics.

But could the President prevent her daughter, who is very independent, from seeking the presidency? Mayor Sara has already made several rounds of the big cities and provinces and her tarpaulins promoting her candidacy are visible in every nook and cranny of the country. A week ago, Mayor Sara had a chit-chat with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia and Cebu City Councilor Raymond Garcia.

The President was not also coy on the move for him to run for vice president. In his weekly evening meeting, he started by saying "panakot lang sa kanila" (just to scare them). He rationalized that if he's running for vice president would be good for the country, he will run. But if it does not contribute anything to the republic, he would not run. The PDP-Laban, the President's party, strongly endorsed him to run for vice president.

On the other hand, I thought Senator Ping Lacson is supporting Senator Manny Pacquiao's presidential bid. But now Lacson, a PMAyer and former PNP chief, wants to run for president in the May 9, 2022 polls despite his previous hesitations. Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto, who's gunning for vice president, have been meeting political leaders in Luzon. The netizens are pushing Lacson to run for president.

Lacson and Sotto said the prospect of their tandem is promising. But, under which party that they will run is still not known. Lacson already announced he won't join the 1Sambayan coalition of opposition because convenor and former SC Justice Antonio Carpio already "precluded" him because he voted the passing of the Anti-Terror Law that 1Sambayan questioned the constitutionality before the Supreme Court.

Senate President Sotto also earlier said that he has no problem running against President Duterte in the race for vice president. President Duterte, as I earlier mentioned, already announced his intention to run for vice president. The President's party, PDP-Laban, intensely endorsed his candidacy with Senator Bong Go, the President's former private secretary, as the party's bet for president.

My understanding is that 1Sambayan is not a political party. It's only coalition of opposition in this administration of President Duterte. Perhaps, Lacson and Sotto and 1Sambayan, as well as the faction of former Senate President Koko Pimentel in PDP-Laban could join forces and come up with one party and they would a force to reckon with in the next elections. But openly, I have serious doubts that would happen.

In fact, co-anchor Eric Seras Manait, in our radio program "Frankahay Ta" (dyCM1152) yesterday morning, said that he received information that Senator Pacquiao will pursue his presidential bid with Pimentel as his vice-presidential candidate. Koko is the son of the late Senator Nene Pimentel, who was the founder of PDP-Laban, the party that President Duterte ran under in the 2016 presidential elections.

As I have mentioned before, PDP-Laban now has two factions and I don't think it's legally possible that PDP-Laban would have two sets of candidates for president and vice president. The faction of Energy Alfonso Cusi, vice chairman of PDP-Laban under the wing of President Duterte as its chairman, endorsed the candidacy of Senator Bong Go for president and the president for vice president. So, where would Pacquiao and Pimentel be?


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