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Manila Standard : Substitution issue is a waste of time

News & Interviews
29 October 2021

By Erwin Tulfo | Manila Standard

"It's nothing more than a sitcom."

Some senators are pushing for a bill prohibiting the substitution of a candidate who withdraws from an electoral race.

This developed amid the continuing “sitcom” (situational comedy) being dramatized by the PDP-Laban Cusi faction in their hope to convince Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for President in the upcoming May 9, 2022 elections.

The senators’ preoccupation with the substitution issue was further fueled by Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s rendezvous with Inday Sara on Monday following her visit to Cebu province.

Bato said he came to see Inday Sara at the Davao City Hall “only to remind her” that the November 15 deadline for substitution is fast approaching.

Ironically, the news was all over town on the same morning that Inday Sara pledged her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s (HNP) support to former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM).

After a meeting with BBM in Cebu City last weekend, the Davao City Mayor pledged to help BBM in his presidential campaign, also reiterating her decision to complete her three consecutive term limit to lead her constituents to recovery from the pandemic.

The senators must similarly prioritize saving the economy from the devastation of the pandemic which, by the way, still remains. Its spread has only slowed down.

Lawmakers must be reminded that at least 42, 348 have died of COVID-19 complications in less than two years.

We have vaccinated barely 27 million of our 110 million population which is far less than half of our target 70 percent to attain herd immunity.

We understand the fear,  anxiety, and misgiving   of some presidential aspirants and senators’  against the substitution strategy but amending the Omnibus Election Code to that effect may not be immediately applicable, anyway.  

It is such a waste of time. Besides, can’t these honorable men and women of the Senate tinker with the Omnibus Election Code after the election?

Presidential wannabes Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Sen. Ping Lacson should instead petition the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to declare Bato a “nuisance candidate” and disqualify him for openly admitting he is merely a placeholder for Inday Sara.  

But, as I’ve said previously, why would Inday Sara join PDP-Laban and sub for Bato after rejecting the political party that is in utter mess and reduced to a disgusting sitcom? 

BBM strongly believes Inday Sara is true to her word. 

Senate President Tito Sotto, a vice presidential contender, should take the cue from BBM and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go to focus the Senate’s attention to the country’s economic rehabilitation and recovery instead.