LETTERS FROM DAVAO
By Jun Ledesma
“IT ain't over till the fat lady sings". It simply means that one should not rush to judgment or presume to know what is ahead on an ongoing event. This saying aptly applies to the many changes obtaining in plans and organizations that pertain to the regular elections in 2022.
The announcement of Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte that she is no longer running for a national post following the declaration of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte that he has accepted the nomination of the ruling party for him to run for vice president is just one of the many announcements that are still subject to change. The present political atmosphere is pregnant with imponderables.
Boxer Manny Pacquiao who not too long ago appeared to be stoically supportive of fellow Senator Koko Pimentel announced shortly after losing a boxing match that he will be with VP and Liberal Party presidential timber Leni Robredo. Then we see him in talks with Partido Reporma President Bebot Alvarez. Knowing that Pacquiao is wanting nothing less than the presidential post we saw a radical twist. Hardly had the event saw print Pacquiao announced he is running for president. Did I see Koko and a certain Munsayac smiling ear-to-ear?
Ex-Speaker Bebot Alvarez, who in 2019 posed himself as the poor man’s candidate against his erstwhile bosom friend Tony Floirendo and the Del Rosarios and won, was seen last week on the tarmac of Ormoc City airport. He came on a private jet. Lucy Torres who is No. 1 in the list of the eight senatorial slates of Cusi’s PDP personally welcomed Alvarez. Was it just a matter of courtesy?
Human rights lawyer Che Diokno, who everybody thought has learned a lesson from an ignoble defeat surfaced last week to announce that he is running solo for the senate.
In Davao del Norte, the bastion of Alvarez Reporma party may yet be the next graveyard of the moribund political party that he resurrected. He has lost so many allies as quickly as he won them over in the 2019 elections.
With Davao City Mayor Inday Sara bowing out of the Presidential race, the political stock of Bongbong Marcos suddenly become a viable option. But President Duterte who is the chief political tutor of Sara and had molded her to be a strong-willed leader, intelligent and with the true grit of a Duterte brand might suddenly wake up in the middle of his sleep and realize that his daughter is indeed ready to take up the reins of the government. I can imagine him picking up the phone, tells Spox Harry Roque that it’s time for him to go home to Davao City where his mosquito net still hanging in his bed awaits. We Dabawenyos would love to see Inday taking up the biggest challenge of the presidency and for President Duterte to come back as mayor of Davao City.
So we see how change can come about. Some politicians have developed a hide as thick as the rhino and wouldn’t mind sleeping with the enemies. Some are salivating for the highest post in the totem pole when they have nothing but brawn.
Everything is still volatile in the Philippines 2022 elections. While the filing of the certificates of candidacy is drawing near, there is still another time allowed to make substitutions too. Out today in tomorrow. in the case of Inday Sara, my last count was that at least five political parties have come to an agreement to support her candidacy. I have not seen any changes in that arena so far.
“It ain’t over till the fat lady sings”, that’s how the English colloquial would describe our present political and electoral situation. We guys from the boondocks have our own way of saying it: “you cannot be sure of the man under the mango tree”.
Such are the imponderables in Philippines politics.
About the Columnist
Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.