Will Duterte do it?

"For the last five years, he had us all convinced that had he known what the presidency would be like, he never would have run for this office."


Will President Rodrigo Roa Duterte do it? That is, accept the clamor of PDP-Laban for him to run for Vice President in the coming presidential elections in May 2022. It is an extraordinary step taken by the country’s dominant political party. PDP-Laban even authorized him to choose his own running mate which is unheard of considering that it is normally the presidential candidate that chooses the vice president and not the other way around. If this happens, this could only be because the presidential candidate will be no other than his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio. Why else would he accept to be the understudy of another politician unless that person is a family member? It will serve no purpose for him to be vice president of another politician. 

It is an intriguing scenario but one wrought with many questions, interpretations and will certainly complicate the next presidential elections. 

This plan apparently emanated from a faction of the PDP-Laban leadership who may be simply interested in protecting their interests. Why give up everything when the status quo has never been better? Apart from the absurdity of the whole plan and some legal questions, PDP-Laban must be dead sure that a Duterte-Duterte tandem will win. They must have something up their sleeves because their confidence is stratospheric. 

Why would President Duterte even entertain such a scenario when, for the last five years, he had us all convinced that had he known what the presidency would be like, he never would have run for the office. Being president is all a sacrifice to him and would willingly resign if the police or military want him to. This is one reason why he is very much against his daughter running for president. He would not want his daughter to go through what he is currently experiencing as president. All these have been his constant refrain in many of his impromptu speeches and interviews. 

Now that he has less than a year left in office, a new scenario seems to be brewing. Even the Palace spokesman is giving credence to a Duterte-Duterte tandem. If this materializes, what will this mean to the political history of our nation? A daughter and father tandem immediately after the father’s term as president. Other children of former presidents did follow their parents and became presidents—but not immediately. The Duterte-Duterte tandem would be different because it will rattle the script of the 2022 elections. The PDP-Laban bigwigs, in their apparent haste, seem to have failed to look at all the angles thoroughly. For one, the political realities may not be  that simple, unless PDP-Laban being the ruling party will railroad everything. In this case, it will no longer be a proper democratic election but a kangaroo election. Even the President himself was quoted as saying that God will decide his next political journey or something to that effect when asked by the press. 

But what caused this sudden change from eagerly waiting for retirement to God deciding his next political journey? Could it be the realization that there is the possibility of him being prosecuted when he is no longer in office and therefore Mr. Duterte wants to protect himself? Maybe to continue his unfinished programs? All these, of course, are plausible explanations. But I am prepared to take his word that he will not run for vice president as reported in the news yesterday. President Duterte has always prided himself as a man of his word. 

Ordinarily, people his age would be looking forward to retirement. In his case however, it is altogether different because the stakes are high. May the spirits guide him to follow what his instincts are telling him.

* * *    

Congratulations to Yuka Saso for making her country proud. For the first time in our nation’s more than one hundred years of golfing history, a Filipino has won the biggest prize in women’s golf, the 2021 United States Women’s Open Golf Championship in San Francisco with a gritty performance. 

It was a huge accomplishment. She has put the Philippines in the world’s golfing map. It was a proud moment for all Filipinos to see the Philippine flag on top of the leaderboard on the final day. Jennifer Rosales, another Filipino golfer, almost did it some years back but lost on the final day. Yuka however, was able to steady herself after two consecutive double bogeys on the front nine on Sunday and got to a sudden death playoff with a Japanese golfer. She won on the third playoff hole with a birdie. In the process, she won herself a cool one million dollars and became an instant millionaire while still a teenager. 

Well done, Yuka.

Topics: Florencio Fianza , President Rodrigo Roa Duterte , PDP-Laban , Vice President , 2022 presidential elections
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