MANILA – If President Rodrigo Duterte decides to run for vice president in 2022, 1Sambayan’s claim that the Duterte administration is incompetent will be put to the test, a Palace official said on Sunday.
In his commentary show “Counterpoint”, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo welcomed the launch of 1Sambayan saying the result of the polls will determine if Filipinos want “a better alternative” against Duterte and a candidate he will support.
“Lumaban kayo kay Presidente, magsama-sama kayo. Bakit? Para magkaalaman na kasi wala na nga kayong nakitang magandang ginawa ng Presidenteng ito e. So kung totoo lahat ng sinasabi niyo e di ‘yun ang ikampanya niyo sa taong-bayan. At ito namang si Presidente hikayatin natin tumakbong bise presidente para magkaroon ng performance test, magka-alaman (Run against the President together so we can find out what people think because you don’t see anything good this President has done. If what you are saying are true, use that in your campaign. Let’s ask the President to run as vice president so we can have a performance test, so we can find out once and for all),” Panelo said.
1Sambayan, which officially launched on Thursday, is a pro-democracy coalition which aims to form a unified opposition ticket in the 2022 elections.
Lead convenor and retired Supreme Court (SC) associate justice Antonio Carpio said that a united opposition could win against the authoritarian forces of the Duterte administration.
Panelo said if the unified opposition wins, then he will accept that the Duterte administration is indeed incompetent. However, if they lose, they have to accept that many Filipinos continue to support the administration.
“Pag nanalo kayo, e di totoo lahat ng sinasabi niyo pero pag nanalo ang Presidente bilang bise presidente o kung sino man ang kaniyang pangulong teammate whether si Mayor Sara o Senador [Bong] Go o di ibig sabihin sampal sa inyong lahat ‘yan (If you win then whatever you’re saying is true but if the President wins as vice president or whoever candidate he will support as his teammate whether Mayor Sara or Senator Go then it will be a slap in your face),” he added.
Panelo has been very vocal about his support for a possible daughter-and-father tandem of Sara and Rodrigo Duterte in the 2022 national elections.
However, Sara has repeatedly said she has no plans of being president. Last Jan. 31, she said she is willing to run but only if the opposition supports her.
Duterte himself earlier bared in at least two occasions that his former aide, Senator Go, dreams of becoming president which the latter dismissed as a joke.
On Thursday, Malacañang said it is too early to talk about politics as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Napakaaga pa po para mag-usap nang eleksyon at pulitika. ‘Yan naman po ang aming sinasabi palagi. Isantabi na po muna ang pulitika habang nandito po ang pandemya. Kami po sa administrasyon, gawa muna, pandemya muna bago ang pulitika (It is too early to talk about the election and politics. That’s what we always say. Let’s set aside politics while the pandemic is here. We, in the administration, focus on work during the pandemic, before talking politics),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser.
Roque, however, sent the pro-democracy coalition his good luck wishes.
“Hindi pa po panahon sa pulitika. Pero hindi natin po sila mapipigilan. I wish them the best. Good luck to Justice Carpio (It is not yet the time for politics but we cannot stop them. I wish them the best. Good luck to Justice Carpio),” he added. (PNA)