‘Run, Sara, Run’

‘Run, Sara, Run’

The President and daughter Davao Cty Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio (Boomberg)

We are in danger of destroying ourselves by our greed and stupidity. We cannot remain looking inwards at ourselves on a small and increasingly polluted and overcrowded planet.

— English theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking

PRESIDENTIAL daughter and incumbent Davao City mayor Sara ‘Inday’ Zimmerman Duterte-Carpio has less than a month to decide with finality whether to substitute for Senator Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa as the presidential bet of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party as well as the Lakas ng Tao-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Though the feisty Inday has steadfastly refused her nomination to the presidency and instead decided for reelection in Davao City, I am sure that many of us will not be surprised if her teeming supporters of Hugpong ng Pagbabago would flood the country’s streets and plazas with motorcades and rallies and fill the TV-radio networks, newspapers and social media with pleas of “Run, Sara, Run.”

If Inday Sara relents her refusal and eventually gives in to the clamor (they say) of the Filipino people for her to aim for the country’s top post, she would then be given the privilege of selecting her senatorial slate and also the new leaders of PDP-Laban. And as the ruling party’s standard-bearer (and the top choice of poll surveys), she would inherit the electoral machinery of her father and likewise be assured of enormous logistics.

The truth is that her enviable problem if she runs for president, would be which donations to accept and which ones to reject.

But if she stands by her decision to refuse, then most of the administration’s candidates must review their campaign strategies and seek the blessing of those people in power. Past elections have shown that the administration can shepherd up to 10 percent of the votes and in a tight multiparty contest, these votes can mean victory or defeat. Hence it would be favorable for Duterte and his party if there would be several candidates against their presidential choice for the presidency.

Manila mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso will probably be a big beneficiary of Inday cops out of the presidential derby and while he has criticized the administration’s poor handling of the pandemic, he has nonetheless positioned himself as the apostle of national reconciliation by his rather canny adoption of the “good policies and projects” of President Duterte and of former president Ferdinand Marcos and the rejection of their dubious ones.

We have said that before, stressing that Isko is someone who practices practicality at every turn of his political career. The only misgiving we have is that there are rumors he had been financed to run for president to further confuse the electorate. We have heard a Palace source remark, “the more the merrier” and so they believe it is going to be a cinch for the administration party to snatch a victory over a divided opposition.

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