PAST TO FUTURE TENSE: Former Senator Bongbong Marcos (left) and DPWH Secretary Mark Villar (right) are seen in tandem here in this file photo distributing relief goods six year ago way back September 13, 2015 in Ilocos Norte. Political observers aver the two could be a team or tandem to beat in the 2022 national elections. Marcos and Villar both belong to NP. (Photo courtesy by Ilocos Sentinel)
By Junex Doronio
MANILA — Notwithstanding that his electoral protest has dragged on for five years already, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos Jr. will likely be a strong presidential material next year, especially if his running mate is Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
This was the analysis of some political observers who said that Marcos, who placed second in the latest survey of Pulse Asia on the “presidentiables in 2022,” may carry the torch of the grand old party — the Nacionalista Party (NP) — now led by Mark’s father, business tycoon Manny Villar who is the only Filipino in the company of the world’s super rich people, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Reports said that as of January 8, Friday, the former Senate President’s total net worth was valued at $6.72 billion, or about P323 billion, ranking 383rd in Bloomberg’s list of the 500 richest individuals.
It was NP which propelled Bongbong’s father Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. to the presidency in 1965, a post that the late strongman held until 1986.
To recall, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has revealed that Mark’s mother Senator Cynthia Villar, the richest member of the Senate, supported financially the erstwhile Davao City mayor during the May 2016 presidential campaign.
However, her name was not declared in his Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (Soce) submitted before the Commission on Elections.
Needless to say, the Villars could play king-maker and could prod their son Mark to run for the post that is only “one breathe away from the presidency.”
Sources said the survey topnotcher presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is not really keen on running for president as she even asked Pulse Asia to scrap her name among possible presidential contenders in the succeeding surveys.
Unlike Marcos who has command votes from the Ilocanos of the reputed Solid North and the Warays of Eastern Visayas, Duterte-Carpio is only “malakas sa Mindanao.”
Pulse Asia president Ronald Holmes was even unimpressed as he earlier told ANC’s “Matters of Fact” that a closer scrutiny of survey results showed that a large part of the support for Duterte-Carpio’s candidacy comes from Mindanao, their family’s bailiwick.
“It’s basically not exactly a high electoral support for the President’s daughter,” he said.
It can also be noted that in 2019, all local candidates of Duterte-Carpio lost in Davao del Norte, bailiwick of Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez who was ousted as House Speaker in 2018 through the machinations of the presidential daughter.
Meanwhile, Senator Manny Pacquiao is uncertain to run for president under the PDP-Laban while Manila Mayor Isko Moreno reportedly prefers another term to “clean up” further the capital city.
Sources said the Liberal Party (LP) which will certainly field Vice President Leni Robredo as its standard-bearer will be choosing its vice presidential bet from among LP president Senator Kiko Pangilinan, former Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV of Magdalo, former Akbayan party-list Congresswoman and now Senator Risa Hontiveros and detained Senator Leila de Lima.
The opposition has expressed hopes to win with the administration votes split if Marcos, Pacquiao and Senator Bong Go all run for president 16 months from now. (AI/MTVN)