Wenceslao: Breaking apart

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Left) & Vice President Sara Duterte (Right)
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Left) & Vice President Sara Duterte (Right)Presidential Communications Office / Facebook page

The unity that President Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte had in the previous elections is breaking apart as the 2025 polls near. The midterm election in 2025 is a preparation for those gunning for the presidency in 2028.

No wonder Marcos, who has his own preferred presidential bet for 2028, is now battling former President Rodrigo Duterte, who is obviously propping up his daughter Sara for the presidency in 2028.

Taking the cudgels for the president is his wife Liza, who is now battling issues involving the so-called Diehard Duterte Supporters or DDS, who are now criticizing the Bongbong Marcos administration.

Former Marcos appointees considered as DDS and DDS vloggers are ganging up on the First Lady even if Bongbong has largely been spared so far. This can be considered a proxy war because Bongbong and Sara are still civil to each other.

The Marcos-Duterte unity was actually one of the reasons why Marcos and Duterte won in the 2023 elections.

Marcos won the presidency over the other wannabes, notably Leni Robredo, whom I supported in that election. Robredo has been silent so far with regards to her 2028 plans. This is not surprising because in a midterm election, the administration, and not the opposition, has a bigger influence on the polls’ outcome. This is what has made the 2025 elections interesting.

Team BBM and team DDS have a big social media presence, although I do think BBM has to rebuild his social media infrastructure considering that he was too dependent on the DDS for that in the past.

I think that task is the function now of the First Lady. That is why DDS vloggers are targeting her now.

I say the one most affected by the current disunity is the former President and his people considering that BBM, being the President, holds many aces.

Take the case of Duterte supporter Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, who is not only wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States but also by the local courts and the Senate following allegations of abuses he committed as head of his Kingdom of Jesus Christ religious group. The President can allow a search for Quiboloy in the Philippines by forces associated with the U.S. So while Quiboloy went untouched under Duterte, he is now in hiding with Bongbong as President.

Duterte himself is facing a probe by the international criminal court in relation to his war on illegal drugs. That is also in the hands of the President, who could give free rein here to international investigators. That is why it is important for the former President to have a Sara Duterte presidency in 2028.

Even China would probably want a Sara Duterte presidency considering the pro-U.S. stance of the BBM administration.

Sara is expected to continue her father’s pro-China foreign policy. While she has not criticized Marcos’s foreign affairs policy, she has not also endorsed it. She has been silent on the matter.

So who will benefit from the exit by the Duterte forces from the current administration? We will know the answer to that in 2025.

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