"Maybe the President is right."
We have not by any means cleared the COVID-19 hurdle yet and the economic devastation that it has wrought, but already, politicians are talking about running for president next year.
Out of the morass of pre-election claptrap that has filled the recent new cycles comes this gem from none other than President Duterte, who says he sees nobody “deserving” to be his successor. He also said he warned his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, not to seek the country’s highest office because it will be all about work, doing an “empty” job.
The advice, of course, runs counter to the whisperings of failed politicians who seek to ride on another Duterte’s coattails. One is a failed presidential candidate who says he will be happy to run for vice president as the mayor’s running mate. Another is a frustrated senatorial aspirant who was told by President Duterte that he had no chance of winning in 2019, and who now says he will run for senator only if the President’s daughter runs for president—providing us with yet another reason Sara should not run.
Then there is the freshman senator who has made it his life’s mission to be in the same room as the President and to photographically document their activities together. He has disavowed any interest in the presidency and says he will blindly follow another Duterte—but issues press statements like a presidential candidate.
Still other politicians want the President to run for vice president and to nominate his presidential running mate in a move that clearly seeks to bypass the constitutional ban on a second presidential term. In their eyes, this is the best way of ensuring that the good times continue to roll after Duterte’s six-year term ends next year.
There is, too, the former senator and pardoned coup plotter, who once thought he could change a government through the barrel of a gun. He is now offering his services as the standard bearer for opposition groups, should the current vice president, who is the leader of the opposition, decline to run for president next year.
Another senator declared he, too, would seek the presidency, only to backtrack after a few days to say the plan was still under study.
Still another senator—an ally of the President—says he will either retire from politics or seek the highest elected position in the country again, a contest he lost in 2004. The Senate President has said he will run for vice president, only if this failed candidate tries again next year.
Maybe the President was right after all.