Duterte’s divided, divisive detractors

Duterte’s divided, divisive detractors"They are dictated upon by different vested interests."



When President Duterte teased his longtime assistant Senator Bong Go about running in the 2022 elections, the latter immediately dismissed it as a friendly “joke.”

“Alam nyo po talagang mapagbiro ang mahal na Pangulo.  Nagbibiro lamang po sya at alam nya na hindi ako interesado maging Pangulo.  Count me out.  Hwag nyo muna ko isama sa usapang pulitika,” such is the consistent reply of the senator when asked to comment on the issue. 

He enjoins the Filipino nation to come together in bayanihan spirit to fight the COVID pandemic, as we await the arrival of more vaccines in the coming weeks. 

All these years, I’ve seen this symbiotic partnership of the longtime Davao City mayor and his assistant, now senator, whom I’ve always known as an unassuming public servant.

He is humbled by his mentor’s witty banter when, in fact, he has gained tremendous popularity. 

Just the same, Duterte’s detractors took the “joke” rather seriously and called a media gathering to announce the forming of a coalition with the goal of fielding an opposition ticket in the coming May 9, 2022 national elections. 

Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio heads the convenors of the so-called 1Sambayan, a spinoff from Liberal Party’s disastrous Otso Diretso/Matuwid na Daan 2019 senatorial slate.

Pardon me, I actually misread it the first time as 1Sampayan to mean “one clothesline,” as in sampayan ng trapo.

Other convenors include former Foreign Affairs secretary Albert Del Rosario, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, former Education Secretary Armin Luistro, former Commission on Audit commissioner Heidi Mendoza, National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers chairman Neri Colmenares, retired rear admiral Rommel Jude Ong, former Negros Occidental governor Lito Coscolluela, and the Magdalo party-list, among others.

Make no mistake: This “coalition” of a handful of Duterte's political enemies is dead serious.

“We have discussed this, again and again, and this is the understanding of everybody: That unless we are united, we cannot win in 2022,” Carpio quickly admitted.

1Sambayan looks to line up prospective candidates for President, Vice-President, and 12 senators. 

Among those being considered for the two highest posts are:  Vice President Leni Robredo (Liberal Party), Sen. Nancy Binay (United Nationalist Alliance), Sen. Grace Poe, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno (National Unity Party), former senator Antonio Trillanes (Magdalo Party-list), and jailed Sen. Leila De Lima.  

Unfortunately for 1Sambayan, the charismatic Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, better known as Isko Moreno, politely dismissed his possible nomination, echoing Senator Bong Go’s stand which is to focus on helping resolve the COVID-19 crisis.

“Thank you sa kanila.  I’m honored and thankful sa organizers for including me but it's quite unfair especially to Manilans to talk about politics while we address the numbers in the surge in infections.  I’m thankful but I don’t want to entertain politics for now.  There's time for everything,” Domagoso said. 

I strongly agree with the mayor.

I believe the government is doing the right thing this time around, unlike last year when we reacted late and overreacting when we did, shutting down the country’s entire economy.

The surge in COVID-19 cases and Sars-Cov2 variants, breaching the 8,000 mark on Monday, has prompted President Duterte to approve the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) recommendation for a stiffer General Community Quarantine (GCQ) for Metro Manila and four Luzon provinces. 

I support the implementation of strict unified curfew hours in Metro Manila, localized lockdown in COVID-affected barangays/neighborhood, travel ban on local and foreign visitors for leisure to prevent further spread of coronavirus.

It’s a shame that 1Sambayan called for national unity in the fight against COVID. 

The opposition coalition failed to present or proposed a solution to help address the public health crisis.

Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio described the 1Sambayan as “authoritarian.”

"Kung gusto nila maging successful dapat ang panawagan nila ay magkaisa. What this country needs is unity, not messages with the word reject. Othering is the word that comes to mind when they speak," she said.

Inday Sara is right and I sure understand the Duterte critics’ frustration.

Lacking in credibility, they are simply divisive as they are divided, dictated upon by different vested interests.

So much for 1Sampayan, er… 1Sambayan.

Topics: Bong Go , 2022 elections , COVID-19 pandemic , Antonio Carpio
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