2022: Repeat of 1992 multiple presidentiables
If one reads the recent maneuverings of “political parties”, it points to the very strong possibility that we will be electing a “minority president” next year. Possible candidates are Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and allies Senators Bong Go and Manny Pacquiao. Senators Ping Lacson, Richard Gordon, and former House Speaker Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano also joined the fray while Senator Grace Poe and Manila Mayor Fransisco (Isko Moreno) Domagoso are keeping their options open. Former Senator Bongbong Marcos also declared his intention to run as President while the opposition is headed by Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Antonio Trillanes.
In October, this number will be further reduced. Latest reports say Mayor Sara is teaming up with former Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro while Senator Lacson will have Senate President Tito Sotto as vice presidential candidate. VP Leni says she is open for the Presidency under the 1Sambayan opposition as unified candidate, with possibly Sen.Trillanes, if he will run again this time as her VP.
Fourth candidate will be Sen. Pacquiao who remains undaunted and continues his quest for political glory from his grassroots supporters, with or without a political party. Fifth is former senator Marcos, who will be running on his own or under the Nacionalista Party, while the sixth candidate would be Red Cross Chairman and Sen. Gordon with his Bagumbayan party.
The seventh determined candidate would be Ex-Speaker Cayetano, whose TV spots advocate P10-K ayuda per family. Independents such as Senator Poe is the eighth while Manila Mayor Moreno would be the ninth candidate.
These aspirants all have strong chances of winning, considering their national awareness, party machineries and geographic supporters from all three voting islands of the nation. However, their egos are so skyhigh today that sliding down to the lower position is out of the question.
I remember in 1992, when we had eight official presidential aspirants complete with VP candidates. Gen. Fidel Ramos, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, House Speaker Ramon Mitra, former Vice President Salvador Laurel, Senator Raul Roco, and former Senate President Jovito Salonga. All of them refused to support each other and drop to the lower position.
In the end, Mr. Ramos prevailed with only 23.5 percent or just 5.3 million of the total 22.6 million votes cast and became the first elected “minority president” .
If no major unification of political forces happens, it will be a “big repeat” when we select our “second minority president” in May next year.
Political season and power outage
The sudden Luzon power outages which caught both Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Agnes Devanadera by surprise is clear evidence of this administration’s weakening enforcement against “colluding” power producers.
Where in the world would you find 17 power companies simultaneously reporting “plant outages”? How do you explain the 1,283 unreported shutdowns that happened from January to April and still continued last week? The deficient e]supply triggered yellow and red alerts inflicting rotational brownouts and ultimately “higher monthly bills” for us consumers.
Once again, we saw congressional probes with “angry reactions” by Devanadera and Cusi, threatening to file cases of economic sabotage. But these are useless “drama” we’ve seen before where nothing happens. These power plants remain untouchable.
With Cusi as PDP-LABAN vice chair navigating the political interests of the ruling party and nearly five months before the filing of certificates of candidacy, how can he assure the public of his “independence” against “colluding power companies”?
All of these power companies are potential “political contributors” while some are allied or even own strategic political parties. From now until October, these businessmen become major sources of party funds, individual candidate “donations” and other forms of election spending.
This is why I am not expecting any hard and decisive actions by Cusi and Devanadera on these “power saboteurs”. Everything will be just for show while the public suffers.
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