Manila Standard : Locked and loaded

13 November 2021

By Charlie V. Manalo | Manila Standard

"It would be a political blunder for Sara should she decide to seek the top post."

It seems the waiting game has become Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte’s favorite play. Months before the aspiring political aspirants filed their respective certificates of candidacy for next year’s elections, the presidential daughter had every major political party on their toes waiting for her decision on whether or not she would seek the presidential post. The result – no major political party was able to field their own standard-bearer including a senatorial slate.

Now, days before the deadline for the filing of CoC for substitute candidates, Inday Sara again has everybody eagerly awaiting her pronouncement of whether she would be vying for the presidency, or the vice presidency as Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard-bearer Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

However, unlike before, the situation now is much different. While the political parties, especially the Lakas-CMD where she took her oath in preparation for the filing of her substitute CoC, are still awaiting what position would she really be taking on, the people, including BBM and Sara supporters, have already committed to their respective candidates and are simply awaiting confirmation if they would be campaigning for the duo or go separate ways.

For Sara supporters, it has always been the Davao City mayor for them as they banked on their battle cry – continuity (for the Duterte reign). They have declared it before: it’s Sara or no one else.

But for the throngs of BBM supporters, there’s no backing or sliding down at this point. In fact, the BBM Day organized last Sunday was meant as a show of force, aimed at showcasing the former senator’s political strength. And his supporters came in droves.

And they intend to do a repeat this coming Sunday when the caravan organized to convince Sara to seek the presidency, is supposed to arrive. And then again on the Sunday after this coming Sunday, and so on and so forth.

Yesterday, hordes of BBM supporters gathered in Batangas to express their support for their presidential bet. Marcos did not disappoint them as he showed up personally for their gathering. And there he declared, he will not back off, he will not slide down, his pronouncement reverberating throughout the country, much to the delight of his supporters.

Of course, he should not. As early as this, it seems the people have already made up their mind. They have already chosen whom they will write down in their ballots come May 9, 2022. Actually, this corner believes it would be a political blunder for Sara should she decide to seek the top post as she will be reneging on her own words when said before she would be supporting BBM’s presidential run. Even former Duterte Cabinet member and now one of the senatorial candidates, Salvador Panelo, acknowledges Sara as not the type of person to back down from her word. And now is not the time to do it. It would be a major turn off even for their supporters (not the diehards of course).

When this article comes off the press, it would still be two full days before the deadline for substitute candidates on Monday. Until then, the political parties would still be groping in the dark as regards to Sara’s decision.

But for BBM’s supporters, the die has already been cast and they’re just waiting till the gun signaling the start of the official campaign period is fired. Every one of them is raring to hit the road.

They are locked and loaded.

• • •

Who says the Pinklaws already have the youth in their yard?

A recent survey conducted by a state university strengthened the pole position of BBM and his potential tandem, Sara should she decide to play second fiddle to the former senator.

Marcos and Duterte were the top picks for President and Vice President, respectively, among students of the Pangasinan State University (PSU) according to the ‘Pulso ni PSU’ survey results.

The survey was participated by 16,837 randomly selected respondents from various campuses of PSU located in Eastern, Western, and Central Pangasinan and conducted for three days beginning on November 4.

The sample size of the survey represents almost 56 percent of the total student population of PSU.

Marcos ranked first in the Presidential preference survey after garnering 64.96 percent or 10,938 of the total votes. Leni Robredo follows him with 9.41% or 1,585 votes, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno with 3.44% or 580 votes.

According to the report analysis and interpretation, the PSU data “suggests” that Marcos would win the presidency via “a landslide victory” if the elections were held during the survey period.

Other presidential candidates included in the survey were Senators Manny Pacquiao, Ping Lacson, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Grace Poe, together with Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte. All got less than one percent of the votes except Poe, who obtained 1.28 percent or 215 votes. However, Poe had previously announced that she has no plans to run for President in 2022, although like Sara, she has until Monday to substitute another candidate who has filed his or her CoC.

Marcos, who is advocating a unifying leadership style, is also admired for his humility amid moves to derail his candidacy.

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Duterte pulled away from the pack in the vice president survey with 31.03 percent or 5,224 votes. Following her are Senators Grace Poe 10.50 percent or 1,768 votes, and Tito Sotto III with 9.25 percent or 1,558 votes.
Interestingly, the vice-presidential survey data showed that 16.61 percent of the respondents have not yet decided who to vote for as Vice President among the names provided. In comparison, 12.56 percent said that their choice was not on the list in the survey.

These figures translate to 29.17 percent of the respondents without a clear candidate to vote for in the Vice-Presidential race.

The survey also showed 83.5 percent or 14,060 of the respondents prefer to have a candidate with the following characteristics: Maka-kalikasan (Nature lover), Makabayan (Patriotic), Maka- Diyos (pro-God), Makatao (Humane), Matalino (Intelligent), and Mahusay (Capable).

The majority of the respondents, or 47.92 percent, want the government to prioritize addressing problems related to health and the Covid-19 pandemic.

PSU has campuses in Alaminos City, Asingan, Bayambang, Binmaley, Infanta, Lingayen, San Carlos City, Santa Maria and Urdaneta City.