"Is it too early to claim to know the peopleís pulse?"
With almost 10 more months to go before the May 9, 2022 elections, there is already a lot of political posturing going on.
President Duterte, for example, has been quoted to have said that he is sold on running for vice president. Who will be his running mate? Will it be his daughter, or Bong Go?
I believe he can run if he really wants to. There’s no Constitutional prohibition. I have read Article VII, Section 4 of the 1987 charter and I see no legal impediment.
The only prohibition on Section 4 is that “no person who has succeeded as President and has served as such for more than four years shall be qualified for election to the same office at any time.” Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, when she took over the presidency after Erap Estrada was convicted for plunder and ousted, served only for three years and a half.
But will Duterte really run? I don’t think so. Recall he said earlier that his candidate for vice president is House Majority Floorleader Martin Romualdez. To my mind, if Romualdez does not run for Vice President, he will surely become the House Speaker under Sara as President. Who then will be Sara’s vice presidential candidate? My sources tell me it is Bongbong Marcos. This will be a perfect geographic and demographic combination.
Meanwhile, I see a disunited opposition. That’s the reason Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan are saying there should be only one opposition candidate for both president and vice president.
Still, there might actually be two or even three opposition candidates: Liberal Party Vice President Leni Robredo, if she does decide to run. If she doesn’t, it will be former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as the candidate of the yellows. Unless, of course, 1Sambayan can come up with a better choice.
No wonder Pangilinan and the others are worried.
At the rate Senator Manny Pacquiao is following up his suspiciously orchestrated and scripted political posturing, he will be another opposition candidate. Why else would Pacquiao be talking about corruption in government agencies if he will not be an oppositionist?
Then there are Senator Ping Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto, who are now on a national tour. This is actually premature campaigning, even though they are saying that they want to feel the pulse of the people. Ping Lacson has been acting as an oppositionist and Tito has been critical of the way Duterte is conducting his “war” on illegal drugs.
In fact, Lacson has been mentioned as Pacquiao’s vice presidential candidate. But, Ping, the wily politician that he is, is keeping mum. There is also Senator Dick Gordon, who said he would run for President. Surely, not under Sara. anybody running for the top post is considered opposition if he or she is not under Duterte, father or daughter.
Indeed the May 9, 2022 polls are unique in every way. This will be the first time that the daughter of a sitting President will run as president. Only in the Philippines, as they say. Other presidential daughters before Duterte ran, but only after their fathers had retired or died.
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It may be a bit too early to feel the pulse of the people with 10 more months to go before Election Day. But Pulse Asia tells us that people are already sold on Sara as the next President with Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and former Senator Bongbong Marcos tied for second place, and with Senators Grace Poe and Senator Manny Pacquiao in third place.
I also find it rather amusing that the Pulse Assa survey also finds that those interviewed would vote for the President if he were to run as vice president.
There are actually aspects of the Pulse Asia survey I find significant: First, that Isko and Bongbong are the preferred presidential candidates in Metro Manila; second, that Sara is very popular among the ABC, D, and E categories of voters; third, that Pacquiao, contrary to belief and Grace Poe are within the same bracket among the people; and last, that VP Leni Robredo got a very low rating.
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I consider it bad news that health experts believe that contrary to earlier prediction, herd immunity won’t be achieved until early 2022. This, to me, is certainly bad news since there were predictions by health experts that at the rate the vaccine rollout was going the Philippines may achieve herd immunity by the end of the year, which means that we may have a mask-free Christmas.
The failure is reportedly due to delays in the procurement and arrival of vaccines, and the slowdown of vaccine rollout as a result. There are other factors that contribute to the slowdown of the vaccine rollout. There is a concern that the Delta variant of the COVID-19 pandemic has already entered the Philippines which has contributed to the imposition of some restrictions on community quarantine.
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The Comelec decision to ban hand-shaking, kissing, and other public displays of affection (PDA) during the campaign period of the 2022 elections could affect the outcome of both the national and local elections. People want to be near their favorite candidates to shake hands with them.