"He has the edge."
Vice President Leni Robredo is running for president. A few days before, she was nominated by 1Sambayan for the post. The group says it wants to unify the country against the dictatorial and tyrannical regime of President Duterte.
1Sambayan is led by retired Senior Associate Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio who has been very critical of Duterte’s foreign policies, particularly on the West Philippine Sea.
But how can the opposition be united when different people have different agenda? This is the reason 1Sambayan is finding it difficult to finalize its slate!
Speaking of promises, if you count all the promises of would-be presidential candidates, one would think that the FIlipino voters would be so stupid to believe them.
Let’s begin with Mayor Isko Moreno whose battlecry is to end all divisiveness and reconcile the country. Big words, indeed. Reconcile the country into what? The Philippines is basically tribal and regionalistic in culture and tradition. Can anyone, for instance, reconcile the Ilocanos with the Cebuanos or Illongos when their dialects are different and when their culture and traditions are entirely different? The Ilocanos are austere in habits and customs. Reconciliation and unity are big words.
Speaking of promises, here comes Senator Manny Pacquiao promising to end poverty, because he was once a poor man. End poverty? Now? Pacquiao promises to give houses and even condominiums to the homeless? A stupid promise, I must say. What about those without jobs?
The battle cry of Senator Ping Lacson to end graft and corruption may sound good when graft and corruption is endemic in government. For so long as there is human intervention in government transactions, it will be there.
Candidates for President should stand for what God and the country demand of them.
In my more than seven decades as a journalist, I have heard it all. I’m not looking for a saint, but somebody I can believe in. Oh yes there has been a President who, to my mind, was my dream president. But in my sunset years, I long to see other dream presidents who can fulfill my expectations.
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos is also running for President. That gives color to the presidential race since we can expect criticism and attacks from the usual Marcos haters and from the Left, recalling everything that the late strongman President Ferdinand E. Marcos did. It’s a yearly ritual -- portraying Marcos as the devil incarnate.
The press really can dent the popularity of Bongbong Marcos. We have seen how Bongbong was cheated of the vice presidency when the “Yellows” made their move.
But, all things considered, in the fight for the presidency, among the five - Lacson, Pacquiao, Moreno, Marcos, and Robredo, Bongbong stands out. Even in a one on one with Isko Moreno, Bongbong is way ahead.
I might be accused of being biased since I’m also an Ilocano. But Ilocanos are everywhere, even in far-off Mindanao!
The big question now is: Who will be the vice presidential running mate of Bongbong?
The Comelec has warned national candidates against premature campaigning. But can it prevent presidential and vice presidential candidates from distributing their campaign materials? Can you prevent moneyed candidates from using radio and television? Premature campaigns have always been a problem of the Comelec. There are always those creative enough to skirt the prohibition.
Many things remain in the realm of speculation, but the return of candidates like Chiz Escudero, Loren Legarda, Jinggoy Estrada, JV Ejercito and others are for certain. Other senatorial candidates from the opposition, like Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Leila De Lima, will also win because of name recall.
For the others, I have my doubts.
Thank God, my wife and I together with my son and grandson finally got our first dose of the Moderna vaccine, courtesy of Dr. Ben Valdecanas of Alphaland Eagle Wellness.
We expected the usual side effects, but thank God, we had none. Our second dose will be on October 25. Many thanks to Doctor Ben.
Having the first dose of vaccination gives one confidence against COVID-19. But, I must warn everybody getting fully vaccinated does not guarantee immunity against COVID-19. Wear the usual masks and face shields in enclosed spaces, observe social distancing, and wash hands regularly.