Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has warned against effort by Mr. Duterte and his allies to get ahead of the opposition in the 2022 elections by making their bids and their presence known in different parts of the country even ahead of the campaign period.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, lamented how Duterte is attempting to fool people into voting for them anew by using the same tactic he used in the campaign to win the presidency in 2016.
“Here they go again. Kunwari, it’s ‘destiny’ or if the ‘clamor’ is ‘strong’, blah blah blah. But we’re no fools to not see that it’s exactly what they’re cooking now — a Duterte-Duterte or Go-Duterte tandem for 2022. Resist we must!” De Lima’s tweet read.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque recently said that Duterte will “leave it to God” whether or not he will run for vice president in next year’s elections – a remark that is similar to those he made in 2015 when asked if he would seek the presidency.
Likewise, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo earlier floated the idea of Mr. Duterte running as vice president while his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio fights for the presidency. Panelo suggested that an alternative presidential ticket is for the President possibly becoming the running mate of his former aide and now Senator Bong Go.
Panelo further said later that “Ultimately, we let the sovereign Filipino people decide their own fate. After all, the Presidency is a matter of destiny”.
In her commentary entitled “The stakes in 2022” published by Rappler last May 27, De Lima said it is already obvious that Mayor Sara Duterte and Go are in the running to clinch the much-coveted Duterte anointment.
“Whether or not this will do them any good in terms of getting more votes is really a big question, as the power of endorsement of an incumbent President – especially one who has crashed the economy and bungled the pandemic response – is definitely not automatic. The two administration frontrunners might have to be careful in that a Duterte anointment can actually be a kiss of death,” De Lima said.
“The 2022 elections will not only be about Duterte’s treason and the Chinese invasion of the WPS and our territories there. It will also be about poverty, the economy, and providing opportunities to the lot of impoverished Filipinos made worse by this administration’s bungling of the pandemic response,” she added. (30)