One of the most significant twists in next year’s polls happened on Saturday when President Rodrigo Duterte indicated his retirement from politics, which was a departure from his earlier decision to campaign for the vice presidency.
President Duterte and his confidante, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, arrived at the filing center at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila with everybody expecting Mr. Duterte submitting his vice presidency bid.
The turn of events threw kibitzers and odd makers off their chair as Go, instead, turned in the documents, while Mr. Duterte raised Go’s hands, along with the President’s announcement that he is hanging up his political gloves, citing “overwhelming sentiment” for his decision.
With his survey rating still on a level that a renowned foreign commentator described as one only politicians can dream of, Mr. Duterte, some pundits say, must have been mistaken with his decision.
His intention was, however, very clear in his next actions of supporting Go, and later on confessing to the public the eventual configuration would be her daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte gunning for the presidency with Go as her tandem.
The sentiment he referred to could be the strong support for Sara, which he took to mean as the Filipino public’s way of expressing their preference for a revitalizing force, but with the same brand of political will and determination for reforms that guided the nation for more than five years under Mr. Duterte’s term.
Critics then raise the latest survey results that show a three percent preference for Go, and asked how this can be public clamor.
The survey, however, included Go in the battle for the presidency, which the senator had made clear he is not joining.
Go indicated he will be a working vice president and not a mere spare tire, which was an allusion to the one waiting in the wings for something to happen to the President and then take over the job.
The fight for the vice presidency will be a different game since Go has proven his mettle as an able supporter and somebody whose loyalty is beyond reproach. These are qualities the people desire for the second highest post of the land.
Bigger and bolder steps could have been taken had the Vice President supported the pursuit of change, but instead, the post was used for political intrigues in the past few years.
Thus far, the biggest surprise of the year happened on the second day of the start of the political season, which means stronger jolts are on the way in the runup to the day the ballots are cast.
It promises to be a heart-pounding race for the highest posts of the land.
Credit belongs to : www.tribune.net.ph