Most voters fed up with politicking, want new leaders
In the 2019 general elections, our voters delivered a snapshot message to all politicians that they are fed up with politicking and tired of old names. A shift in voter preference happened, as others say, “from the old guard to the new; from the experienced hands to newer and willing to be further tested local executives”.
As a result, long-reigning, moneyed political dynasties in and outside of Metro Manila barely survived and many were ousted. Foremost was the political family of former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, who lost his reelection, together with two sons, JV and Jinggoy, in the senatorial race, plus five more relatives in several local contests.
Former VP Jejomar Binay lost horribly to younger Rep. Kid Peña in Makati and Pasig’s Bobby Eusebio soundly beaten by young newcomer Vico Sotto. Isko Moreno bested political senior heavyweights Erap and Fred Lim. In Cebu City, Mayor Tommy Osmeña lost to Vice Mayor Edgar Labella while in Batanes, former Budget Secretary Butch Abad lost to Ciriaco Gato Jr., and erstwhile unbeatable Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan lost in a congressional race. Also trashed in the Senatorial race were presidential runnerup Mar Roxas, and former unbeatable senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Serge Osmeña, Bam Aquino together with Ocho Diretso.
The list of painful upsets is long but candidates of today accept that effectiveness of “political machinery” was greatly diminished in the new digital-driven campaign dynamics. Now, who among the presidential and vice presidential and all other candidates will succeed in this new order?
As of today, Senator Manny Pacquiao of Promdi-PDP-Laban and Manila Mayor Isko Morenoof Aksyon Demokratiko have formally submitted their COC. Vice President Leni Robredo is rumored to file her COC today, Oct. 5, while Senator Ping Lacson of Reporma is scheduled to file his on Wednesday. No news yet on Bongbong Marcos while Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte may change her mind from Davao City and run as President within the week. Former Sen. Enrile claims that the tandem Sara Duterte-Bongbong Marcos is a “done deal”.
Things remain very fluid even after Friday’s deadline, since “substitution” is still available until November 15. But we are now seeing some final combinations—Isko Moreno-Dr. Willie Ong, Ping Lacson-Tito Sotto, Manny Pacquiao-Lito Atienza, and a possible Leni Robredo-Antonio Trillanes or Sara Duterte-Bongbong Marcos, or Bongbong Marcos-Bong Go.
This means at least four or five presidential/vice presidential tandems will be in the finals.
But big challenges will unfold in the next few months. Who has the best and truthfiul narrative? Who will be the “youth flavor”? Who will win the “urban poor” and “rural poor” vote? Is the “command vote” of political machineries enough to win? Are geographical bailiwicks still predictable over social media? Who has a higher net preference or index of “acceptability”? Who has the biggest loyal voter base with capability to expand as the election nears?
Is the Duterte brand still invisible or less potent after the President himself dropped far second to Senator Tito Sotto in Pulse Asia’s VP survey? Was this administration weakened by the Senate probe on Pharmally? Take note also that this election campaign will be conducted for the first time without the shuttered media conglomerate ABS-CBN.
We are closely monitoring this new electoral landscape, trying to understand the behavior of the voters. But so far, the numbers will not be good for political establishments and clans including the incumbent administration. This is indicated by the recent “surge” to Comelec of “new”, young and comebacking voters, who are mostly seeking change and a final say on new leaders in the next six years.
Jobs, livelihood, and solutions to the pandemic are the main issues that need to be addressed in 2022. And the voters will most importantly examine and decide who among these candidates has the best “track record of helping the people” and “trustworthiness” before they choose him/her as their new president.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.