Presidential and vice presidential candidates in 2022
The never-ending rift in PDP-LABAN overshadowed overt political initiatives of major presiden-tial and vice presidential aspirants this year. By knocking out Sen. Manny Pacquiao, this party sank into a long and winded legal battle, first in the Duterte-dominated COMELEC and onto the Supreme Court. Without a unified PDP-LABAN or another political party, observers say Pacquiao’s Malacañang dreams is almost dead in the water. But, the champion boxer is un-fazed, more so if he wins his August bout. His camp claims several political parties are recruit-ing him as standard bearer.
Meanwhile, with just 72 days to the official filing of candidacies, Duterte’s group is torn be-tween Sara Duterte-Carpio or Senator Bong Go with Digong as vice president. Sources say the President is really against Inday Sara’s run, first because he doesn’t want her to be hurt by the campaign’s dirty and vicious tactics. Others say she is too independent minded and very hard for Digong to control. Others insist Digong preferred Sen. Bong Go as standard bearer to con-tinue his programs, and with himself as VP candidate.
With the impending PDP-LABAN split, Inday Sara will run independent under Hugpong ng Pagbabago supported by five political parties including PDP-LABAN (Cusi faction). Her vice-presidential candidate is between former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro (who they say is more interested as senator) and surprise, Sen. Imee Marcos for a very strong Luzon-Mindanao combination. Former senator Bongbong Marcos will return as senator and if Imee loses as VP, she remains as senator with his brother in the Senate.
On the other hand, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is dead serious to give up Manila City Hall for Malacañang. He has his own political party, ASENSO MANILEÑO and the National Unity party (NUP) plus the support of big businessman and the “masa voters”.
Insiders say they are eyeing Pacquiao as his running mate, if the latter slides down to VP. This Metro Manila-Mindanao team-up has better winning chances and diminishes Sara’s bailiwick, his advisers say.
Another leading presidentiable is Sen. Grace Poe, who is extremely quiet and politically inac-tive, maybe waiting for favorable election winds. Political insiders say she is a possible vice presidentiable for Isko Moreno or remain as senator.
The opposition’s team of 1Sambayan and Liberal Party is expected to be bannered by Vice Pres-ident Leni Robredo with no less than former senator Antonio Trillanes as running mate. They will be riding on the revived popularity of the late President Noynoy Aquino and the incessant tirades against the Duterte administration here and abroad. Sen. Franklin Drilon (2016 senato-rial polls topnotcher) would have been a strong VP candidate but officially declined.
The tandem of Sen. Ping Lacson and Senate president Tito Sotto is also a formidable Luzon-Visayas Eat Bulaga combination maybe under the Nationalist Peoples Coalition. Political ana-lysts say Sotto will be difficult to defeat because of his immense popularity and mastery of gov-ernment.
Another winnable candidate is Sen. Richard Gordon whom President Duterte recently called “the next president”. He rendered selfless public service during these hard struggles against COVID-19. Hundreds of thousands of families particularly OFWS and balikbayans benefitted from his nationwide Red Cross volunteers. Of late, he was still looking for a running mate under his Bagumbayan party.
Former House speaker, senator and DFA secretary Alan Peter Cayetano also considers running for President but remains open to “other positions” like teaming up with Pacquiao and others. Available VP candidates are Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, Sen. Sonny Angara and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez.
In the next few weeks, we will be seeing several combinations. Sara Duterte-Imee Marcos, the insistent Bong Go-Digong Duterte, PDP Laban’s ousted Manny Pacquiao, Isko Moreno-Grace Poe or Pacquiao, Ping Lacson-Tito Sotto, Leni Robredo-Antonio Trillanes, and Independent candidates Richard Gordon and Alan Peter Cayetano.
In politics, nothing is written in stone, which means that rules can change anytime. But let’s have a fair fight and may the best man or woman win.
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