Don’t believe those poll surveys yet
With 139 days or less than 20 weeks before elections, political analyst Mon Casiple advised this columnist not to believe what election surveys are saying today. In my TV interview, Casiple says the people, by and large, are not yet “serious” enough today in revealing their “final presidential, vice presidential or even senatorial preferences” asked by pollsters.
“They will critique the entire campaign period and watch their performance in televised debates before making a final decision,” Casiple added. He says the poll survey in last quarter of the month of April, or less than two weeks before the polls open, will reveal the “winning candidate”.
With our experience from the 1992 (FVR win), 1998 (Erap), 2004 (PGMA), 2010 (Pnoy), and 2016 (Duterte), I would agree that past surveys during the pre-campaign periods are purely “mind conditioning” or “posturing” by candidates to look “winning” and therefore “collect” much needed and substantial donations from “gambling” businessmen. Senatorial candidates, particularly, do this.
Let us remember that two primary issues today are our economic situation and the other is the pandemic threat of Omicron. The opposition continues to fan the issue of “pandemic corruption”, the arbitral ruling, the drug problem, and the ICC issue of Duterte, hoping to score points. Analysts also argue that the massive damage inflicted by recent super-typhoon Odette is becoming a political issue from voters in Central, Western Visayas and Northern Mindanao especially on how government and presidential candidates responded. Very interesting questions, but which candidate must be blamed by the opposition?
After Senator Bong Go formally withdrew his candidacy followed by President Duterte in the senatorial race, it is very clear that they will assume roles as “kingmakers” in the May 2022 polls. Of course, daughter Sara Duterte is the chosen one but she is just a vice presidential aspirant.
Now, who is the presidential candidate do you think will be blessed by Duterte? Who among the legislators will receive the massive resources of the incumbent administration? Who among the allies will receive the more than P141-B pesos For Later Release (FLR) budget allocation for this year 2021 and P280-B carryover of last year 2020?
The opposition has been clamoring for the immediate release of these line-item funds (pork barrel) but the General Appropriations Act requires the approval of the President. And now that Digong is a kingmaker, these massive funds empower him as a very influential lame duck, one that can dictate the outcome of the coming polls.
And so, what kind of political game is the President playing? Early in the day, he lambasted Bongbong Marcos for being lazy. He never retracted his accusation even if his daughter chose Bongbong as her running mate. And what about the great possibility that the Comelec, of whom all will be Duterte appointees, will cancel Bongbong’s COC and disqualify him? What will the Supreme Court, the majority of which will be Duterte’s appointees also next year, say on this matter?
Is the President waiting for a third or a fourth candidate outside of the Marcos and the yellow groups? There are strong views that if either Bongbong Marcos or Leni Robredo wins, this country will be further divided and sunk by unending partisan politics.
Or is the President waiting and playing on the geopolitical ramifications of the coming elections? It is established fact that Leni Robredo is the American and Western preference. It is also known that Mrs. Imelda Marcos has direct ties with Mainland China’s leaders, after her husband opened diplomatic relations in 1974. It was rumored that when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited here years ago, he attended a private party with the Marcoses.
Of course, at stake here is our next President’s future assertions on the South China sea arbitral ruling, our alliance with the US or diplomatic relations with China.
And so, hold your horses. A lot of things will happen from today until the last week of April. And President Duterte, the political genius-lame duck, will keep us all guessing, as always.
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