Everything didn’t go according to plan

"They play with mortals like us to keep themselves entertained and happy."


With candidate substitution over, we now have the final lineup of personages vying for various elective national and local offices. Candidate substitution has obviously been abused by politicians to the extent that what is happening is nowhere near the original intentions of the law. 

The Constitution does allow for a multi-party system in this country but some of the political parties where many of the presidential candidates belong are paper parties only. What the candidates are doing somehow reminds us of the Greek gods in Greek mythology where Zeus and the other gods play with mortals like us to keep themselves entertained and happy. 

The multi-party system has been completely bastardized by our current political leaders and no one can seem to do anything about it. This is perhaps because elections are now centered on the person leading the party rather than party philosophy. 

Look at what happened to PDP-LABAN. Senator Manny Pacquiao and Secretary Alfonso Cusi, had a very public brawl on who should be the rightful leader of the party. As it turned out, the party ended up with no presidential candidate. The Cusi plan was for President Duterte to run for vice president under the PDP-LABAN and perhaps ccfor president. As it turned out, this did not materialize. Instead, Senator Bong Go is now the one running for president. President Duterte is gunning for a Senate seat with both under another party.  Mayor Duterte-Carpio is running for vice president under LAKAS CMD. 

What was the big quarrel all about?  With Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio’s decision to run as vice president, it is obvious that father and daughter do not see eye to eye when it comes to politics. What she did clearly caught everyone, including the father, by surprise. It indicates that there must have been no communication at all between the two regarding the mayor’s plans and intentions. Her unexpected decision to run for vice president instead of president disrupted all plans and greatly disappointed the father that for a while, he entertained the idea of running for vice president himself. In the end, he could not bring himself to do it. 

There is also a bit of a mystery here because for the past few years, President Duterte has been publicly discouraging his daughter from running for president. Now, he is disappointed because the daughter is running for vice president and not for president. 

He also had everyone convinced that he cannot wait to retire from public life.  Now, he still has some unfinished business. 

What made the change? Is that the reason why Senator Bong Go was convinced to run for president so that the unfinished business can be accomplished in case Senator Go wins? It seems so obvious, even to the blind, that this scheme will almost certainly not work. 

We are even witnessing something that has never happened before in a political campaign. The President is supporting his daughter’s vice-presidential run but is criticizing her running mate. It is weird.  This is another indication that the President and his surrogates have lost control on how to influence the direction of the political campaign. This will at least ensure that the incoming administration will not be beholden to anyone. It will also ensure a wide and open contest but this is assuming that the counting machines will not be manipulated to interfere.  


The handling of the case involving pole vaulter EJ Obiena leaves us with a lot more questions than answers. 

If indeed Obiena’s coach Vitaly Petrov was not paid his salary as claimed, why did Petrov join Obiena during their virtual press conference? Why couldn’t PATAFA be the one to pay Petrov’s salary instead of burdening the athlete who is supposed to train and win competitions only? 

Obiena is right that he cannot be an accountant while training for competitions.  I understand the need for government funds to be liquidated but putting the burden on the athlete is a huge distraction and may not be the best way to go about it, considering that the process is difficult if done alone. Everything must be done to free the athlete from any distraction while training. It’s hard for the athlete to do both. 

Also, Obiena’s living expenses in Europe cannot simply be cut off while some kind of investigation is being conducted considering the high cost of living there. He is, after all, considered innocent until proven guilty. 

It would be a pity if the country loses Obiena. We would be losing the chance of winning a medal in athletics during the Olympics. He has the best chance for a first Filipino medal in athletics in the Olympics. This sordid episode could have been handled in a much better way.    

Topics: Florencio Fianza , candidate substitution , PDP-LABAN , Senator Manny Pacquiao , Secretary Alfonso Cusi , Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio , LAKAS CMD , Senator Bong Go , EJ Obiena , Vitaly Petrov , PATAFA
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.