"Best of luck to Justice Carpio and his companions."
Here are some facts on the political situation of the country and realities on the ground. These are the reasons I say the plan of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and some well-intentioned people to change the political system of the country, calling for a united opposition against what they call the “dictatorial and authoritarian” tendency of President Duterte, is bound to fail.
First of all, President Duterte is in power, and we can expect him to anoint somebody he expects will carry on and continue what he has in mind. That’s the reason why those who believe in Duterte are clamoring for presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run and succeed her father.
Being President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte has the PDP-Laban, his political party as the ruling party. Consequently, other political parties tend to gravitate to the PDP-Laban. They constitute what they call “super-majority” in both chambers of Congress, in the Senate and in the House of Representatives.
In effect, a sitting President and the ruling PDP-Laban have about 50 percent of Philippine politicians -- an advantage over the opposition. Currently, the opposition is ruled by the “yellow.” or the Liberal Party. There are of course other opposition belonging to the left of center, mainly controlled by party-list fronts of the communist movement and some organizations of student groups who also believe there is a need to change the political system.
If the convenors of 1Sambayan believe they can unite all the opposition into one group and oppose Duterte and whoever he wants to succeed him will become the biggest problem of 1Sambayan. While there are many who are now opposing Duterte, most of them have different agendas unlike the “yellows,” whose agenda is only to change the regime,
Santa Banana, for how can extreme left cope with the extreme right?
If the convenors of 1Sambayan led by Carpio, for Associate Justice and former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario believe that by calling for a change from the “dictatorial and authoritarian rule” of Duterte will succeed, they have another guess coming.
I wrote that to become President in a poverty-stricken country like the Philippines, one must have at least P5 billion. This kind of money is not only for propaganda purposes like for radio, television and print but also many other things like propaganda leaflets, posters, tarpaulins, etc. and provincial sorties.
Before there was COVID, a city, municipal mayor and other politicians in the province must have to put up a stage for a rally of the presidential candidate and his group. A city mayor or a provincial governor may not have the party allied with a presidential candidate, and thus may not have the means to finance a rally. This would entail finding the means to stage a rally, pay for entertainment and most importantly, pay for the “hakot” crowd, including their food and transportation. Candidates must also leave some cash after the event.
Having ads over radio, television and print is also another thing. Usually, a politician allied to the party in power must seek ways and means to monopolize propaganda ads on local broadcast and local newspapers, jeepneys and buses.
The sample ballot is also a must.
I cannot foresee what can happen if and when the COVID-19 pandemic persisst in 2022. I am sure campaigning will continue out differently. My gulay, I am sure politicians will be able to innovate!
All I’m saying is that it takes a lot of money to run for public office. The usual donors are usually the taipans and the conglomerates, who also have means of finding out who will win. They usually spread out their money to all the candidates, but reserve the most for those who they think will win.
Cheating and acts of terrorism is another thing. The party in power is usually the culprit like the “yellows” cheated for Leni Robredo to become Vice President. They tried to cheat for Mar Roxas to become President but the difference between him and Duterte was too big. Meanwhile, only the police and the military can terrorize. An incumbent President being the Commander-in-Chief is the usual suspect.
The effort of the 1Sambayan to change the political system is a big challenge. From the looks of it, I believe it will fail – all things considered.
It’s for this reason why I am wishing Carpio and his fellow convenors good luck. May their dreams come true.