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Friday, July 19, 2024

Analysts see UniTeam splintering

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The ruling “UniTeam” coalition led by President Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte may soon be divided with the midterm elections approaching, two political analysts said.

Political analyst Froilan Calilung said he sees cracks in the coalition that are “going to metamorphosize into something, bigger cracks in the long run.”

“We see them, they are very cordial to each other and they seem to project a happy relationship, but of course inside there are not just them, but people around them that may actually cause the divide,” he said.

Calilung noted the coalition was only founded to secure votes for Mr. Marcos and Duterte in the 2022 polls.

Political scientist Cleve Arguelles the “rapid deterioration of the relationship within the UniTeam coalition” was surprising.

“They’re no longer as united as they want to appear in the public eyes,” he told CNN Philippines in an interview.

Duterte publicly rebuked the President’s policy to restart peace talks with communist rebels, calling it “an agreement with the devil.”

Key Marcos allies in Congress also moved to strip Duterte of her proposed P650 million in confidential funds for 2024 for the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education which she also heads.

Arguelles said the rift may also have been widened due to some members of the coalition wanting to gain an advantage in the 2028 presidential polls.

“What’s really challenging for those in the UniTeam is temporarily setting aside these 2028 ambitions, but I think this is very difficult for them to do because there is no strong opposition that threatens them, and therefore their eyes are set on each other,” he said.

Mr. Marcos earlier belied speculations there are cracks in the UniTeam.

“I don’t think so. It even got stronger,” the President said in November.

He also described his relations with Duterte as “excellent.”

“On a professional level, nothing but good things to say about the work she has done in the Department of Education,” Mr. Marcos said of his running-mate in the 2022 polls. With Charles Dantes

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