SENATOR Bato dela Rosa had every reason to walk away when he was asked by a reporter if his filing of candidacy for President in the May 2022 elections was a mockery in the last hours of filing last October 8, 2021.
While he may exude that "kanto boy feels" when he engages you to a conversation, remember, he was a Police General who literally rose from the ranks, risked his life in gun battles with communist rebels and raids of drug dens, and survived to become the Philippine National Police Chief before being elected as Senator. He even landed at the most coveted No. 5 slot at that.
He is a direct descendant of very poor parents who can hardly send him to school, but unlike Manny Pacquiao, another presidential contender, who opted to drop out of school and gamble with his life, Bato chose the path of the scholar. From public elementary and high school, to Mindanao State University in Marawi City to the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City, ice cold climes to his sun-scorched seaside town in Davao del Sur.
In short, Senator Bato has everything every other candidate tries their darnedest best to have affinity to -- from poverty to an impressive record of public service straight out of college. Most of all, he has not any dynasty to speak of.
Given the difficulty to make Sara play politics (remember she is not just her father's daughter, she is also the granddaughter of Nanay Soling, who even in her urn still holds sway over the President's decisions), Bato could just be the game changer. That is because while political pundits were talking chess gambits, someone ran away with the chess board and played "dama" (checkers).
Where many continue not to believe that Sara really wants to complete her third term as mayor but just as many know she would stick to her statements, after November 15, if all hopes for Sara are truly crushed, it will no longer be an election of no choice for those who don't like Leni and Bongbong.
There is one candidate whom everyone should have been looking out for, but no one did. And this is because Bato has the life story and the public service record every PR guy would've wanted in his candidate.
This election has just taken an unexpected turn. Somebody did his assignment well and every contender now not just has to battle the ghost of Sara's change of mind, but also of Bato's come from behind appearance.
Don't be fooled by his jovial tone; it's that kind of tone that engages the masses. Remember, too, that he was a police general who may have been playing "dama" with "tansan" and pebbles as an unshod public school pupil.
Remember, too, that President Rody's favorite Bible verses is Ecclessiastes 3: 1-8. email@example.com