By Jun Ledesma

The unfolding of a grand alliance

SOMETHING there is that the opposition will find discomfiting and could paralyze them to inactivity and defeat. They had been busy speculating on whether or not Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is running for Vice President and cheering Sen. Manny Pacquiao aimless shotgun accusation of alleged corruption in the Duterte administration. 

However, Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Dick Gordon finds Pacquiao’s charges ridiculously hollow. Most of the issues he raised were rehashed and he was accusing the wrong people. He could face multiple cyber cases of libel if he is not a senator. He presented himself as a political science graduate purportedly to prop his Presidential ambition but the entire nation is simply in comic disbelief. 

Suddenly the opposition woke up from a deep stupor. Six political parties which were previously at odds are gravitating into a grand alliance committed to unequivocally support Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte as their common candidate for President in the 2022 elections. Sometime in January this year, she was quoted as saying that she would only run for president in 2022 if the opposition would also support her candidacy and help her win the election. She said then that with only a six-year term in office she cannot accomplish her goals if the political parties are fragmented. 

So here we are. 

The Davao Mayor is overwhelmed by the public call for her to run and the multi-party commitment of support. I asked her about her reaction and her message was crisp and clear: “thank you to all the political parties who gave me their unqualified support”, adding that she “will use the time to ask the people”.  

By my last count, there are effectively six political parties coming together in an unprecedented alliance with Hugpong Ng Pagbabago the regional political party organized and chaired by Mayor Inday Sara. They have pledged their unqualified support giving her a free hand who to pick as her running mate. 

Let’s weigh them all in. Lakas-CMD of former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo formally declared its unequivocal support for Mayor Inday Sara. 

“The Lakas-CMD will extend its full and unqualified support not only to the presidential candidate to be selected by Mayor Sara Duterte’s HnP but also to its chosen vice-presidential candidate," Lakas-CMD President and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez were quoted by the press last week.

Former President Joseph Estrada and his son, former Senator Jinggoy, have also announced that Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino is prepared to sign an alliance with HnP to cast their support for Inday Sara’s candidacy. 

People’s Reform Party of the late Sen. Miriam Santiago, through its member and Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, had repeatedly confirmed it is forming an alliance with HnP. 

The Nationalista Party led by  Manny and Cynthia Villar has yet to come up with a statement on a possible alliance with HnP but the Marcoses who belong to NP and still keep the solid north intact are perceived to be solidly pro-Duterte.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara and Sen. Imee Marcos outside of politics are friends. It was Imee who told me that with the unprecedented Trust and Approval rating of PRRD, he can virtually dictate the outcome of 2022 elections, adding that she is all the way for Inday Sara should she run for President.

On the other hand DPWH Sec. Mark Villar is one of the best-performing assets in the Duterte Cabinet and we all know what and where the Villars’ best options are. 

I will not speculate on Mayor Isko Moreno’s National Unity Party but I heard of ongoing talks with HnP. 

And of course PDP-Laban the ruling party. With all the noise created by Pacquiao, the party leadership is intact and the  Pacman does not really matter. The coterie of Antonio Carpio, VP Robredo, Antonio Trillanes, Kiko Pangilinan, and Leila de Lima needs him for his money so anytime he can jump ship. Like a malignant tumor, PDP-Laban will excise him anytime. 

Mayor Inday Sara early on declared that she will not join the political party of her father as she is comfortable with Hugpong Ng Pagbabago. But even then the party leadership of PDP-Laban is certain that whatever unfinished projects the PRRD administration had will only be pursued to completion by another Duterte administration. 

Six political parties each with different ideologies and persuasions are a force to reckon with. If PRRD made history for being the first local government official from Mindanao to have been elected into office, we are witnessing the unfolding of yet another annal in history when leaders from different political spectrums and their constituents are united in a grand alliance to continue with the efforts to make this nation great again under the leadership of the iron lady from Mindanao. 


About the Columnist

Image of Jun Ledesma

Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.