"Strange is the way we deal with politics in the land of the benighted."
Reading between the lines of political statements or finding some meaning in the nonsense spewed by political players in this country is a case of guessing whether it is a play or a ploy.
Play means “naglolokohan lang”, as in saying something for the moment, perhaps for a nice soundbyte that the media will capture, without really meaning whatever is said.
Ploy, on the other hand, is more calculated. It is designed to create a set of events that would work to the advantage of the creator.
Take 1Sambayan’s naming of political personalities as their presidential nominees, who, after going through their process, something they have not spelled out to the public, would finally get their collective nod and be proclaimed the “opposition” bet in 2022.
After a grand political debut in March of this year, they came up with six nominees and announced these on our Independence Day. Within the hour, they got four of the nominees disclaiming their nomination.
Was the 1Sambayan listing just a ploy to get their loose coalition recognized as political kingmaker for the opposition? Or were they toying, rather, playing with the personalities they mentioned?
Did they get prior acquiescence from the six names to participate in their process, and abide by their terms and conditions for choosing? Did these personalities sign up for the 1Sambayan’s benediction?
Or was the 1Sambayan coalition just playing with these six, when in fact, they have long decided that it would be a Robredo-Trillanes tandem?
But wait! Vice-President Leni Robredo forthwith announced that “we must be open to other personalities.” What did that statement make of 1Sambayan’s ploy?
Or at the end of the day, will it be a case of only former senator Sonny Trillanes standing? Play or ploy?
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Will Mayor Inday Sara Duterte Carpio run or not? She said “no” before. Her father, the president, (mismo!), said “no”.
But all over the country, groups are orchestrating a “clamor” for her to run, Sara, run.
Tarpaulins here and there, billboards along highways, collaterals such as T-shirts and coffee mugs, conferences in major cities, motorcades galore…who sanctioned these?
Is it play or ploy?
If it is a ploy, who pays for the hundreds of millions in expenditures? Surely this isn’t organic. Somebody is playing, and paying.
* * *
But the Davao City mayora keeps reiterating her father does not want her to run, among others, because “she is a woman”. Is she playing to the women’s votes, especially the feminists who cannot stand misogynistic remarks?
Or is it another DDS ploy to put down another woman --- the vice-president whom they cannot stop hating?
Meanwhile the President backtracks from his refusal of the PDP-Laban’s “clamor” for him to run as VP in 2022, with the right to choose his presidential candidate, a heretofore unprecedented political practice, by saying “it’s a good idea.”
Is he just being playful, which is in character?
What about mentioning Majority Floorleader Martin Romualdez as a vice-presidential candidate he would support, as previously promised? If so, it clearly would be a team-up with Inday Sara, n’e c’est pas?
Is he playing too, or is it a ploy to blunt attempts of some “kingmakers” to match his daughter Inday Sara with Martin’s first cousin Bongbong?
* * *
Remember 2015, the year leading to the elections of May 2016, where contrary to the prognostications of many pundits, Duterte stole the show from veteran pols like Mar Roxas and Jojo Binay?
The Davao City mayor kept saying he was not running, even missed the deadline for filing at the Comelec offices, then finally on the night of his dear friend and fraternity brother Atty. Alferdo Lim’s birthday gathering, declared he was running after all?
Was that rigmarole a play, or was it a ploy all throughout?
Whatever, it worked.
* * *
Will Ping Lacson run for president, or will he go for a certain re-election to the Senate?
He has declined a senate re-run with finality, saying it’s either the presidency this time, one last try, or retirement to his farm in Cavite.
Is that play or ploy? The man is always serious, so play isn’t in his vocabulary.
And then there is Senate President Tito Sotto, who has already announced he is available for the vice-presidency, with his colleague Sen. Ping as presidentiable. Notice again, that it is the vice-president proclaiming his presidential candidate, just like the PDP-Laban giving Pres. Duterte carte blanche to pick his president.
Is this the new modus?
In which case, would it be a Manny Pacquiao for president and Tito Sotto for vice, with Ping Lacson going into retirement?
In the other corner, would it be a Bong Go for president, with PRRD his vice-president?
Play, ploy, whatever. Strange is the way we deal with politics in the land of the benighted.