Leni versus Sara in 2022
Women’s power, although yet to see its complete victory, has gone a long way already. We already had two women presidents: Corazon Cojuanco Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
The next presidential election may still be a little far, but in politics there is no such thing as far. Every day is a preparation day for every astute politician. And whether you like it or not, those who harbor presidential ambition have this early already prepared their machinery, and all that it takes for them to win.
Many of them, of course, will not go public at this very early stage. The bitter lesson of the presidential bids of Villar and Binay is that don’t declare your intention too early. Long before the election, Villar and Binay, during their respective bids, were already damaged goods. Both lost.
Currently, two names, two faces, appear in the horizon when we talk of the 2022 presidential election, namely, Vice President Leni Robredo and presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Leni, a lawyer, has done her might in leading the opposition to the current administration. When she ran for vice president, she projected herself as a woman of simplicity. She benefited a lot from the good image of her late husband, Jessie Robredo, who was also a mayor of Naga City who went around the city on “tsinelas” to converse with the common people.
Leni, it appears, is the opposition’s last hope so far. Aside from her, all LP stalwarts are either rendered insignificant in the public eye or have not shown any interest at all in the presidency. It is already difficult to talk of Mar Roxas as a contender, and Franklin Drilon seems to represent everything negative about the LP.
Leni, in my view, is trying to play her card very well. Although she leads the opposition, she is less confrontational towards President Rodrigo Duterte. She knows too well what hurts her political ambition, if she harbors any.
Sara, also lawyer, although many times denied having an eye on the presidency, has been very visible to the public. She organized and strengthened her own Hugpong Ng Pagbabago. Not a few urge her to run in 2022, especially from among the diehard supporters of her father. It has been said that she is tougher than her father. If the president maintains his popularity until the end of his term, Sara, should she run, will surely be a beneficiary of such popularity.
She was wise enough to have not yielded to the prodding for her to run for senator. She preferred to stay in Davao City as mayor. She must have known that the senate, contrary to common wisdom, is not anymore the jumping board to the presidency. If she is in the senate, Sara will become the favorite targets of her father’s enemies. In Davao, she will be safe while at the same time preparing for anything great in the national scene in 2022.
Leni and Sara will always carry their respective burdens. Leni will have to make the opposition acceptable to the people. The recent senatorial election where no candidate from Otso Diretso won serves as a serious warning. The opposition is in a quandary — almost lost. Its credibility is at its lowest.
Sara, for her part, will have to deal with all the issues which the opposition will resurrect during the campaign, such as the EJK, the West Philippine Sea, and etcetera. There is no doubt that those whose business interests have been hurt by the anti-corruption and anti-illegal drive of the administration will spend their fortune to see to it that another Duterte era will not happen again.
The Catholic hierarchy, which has been President Duterte’s favorite target in his attacks, will surely move heaven and earth to make Sara lose. Its only problem is that there has never been a demonstrated Catholic vote.
At the end of the day, it is still the people who will continue to shape the destiny of our beloved country.
By the way, I do not intend to remove Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Panfilo Lacson, et al from the picture. That requires another space.
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