Mindanao

Early birds to catch the worm

Punchline

Ali G. Macabalang

WILL this title, a popular adage especially among Filipinos, work for personalities being floated in social media pages by supporters for the 2022 Presidential race work?

Several groups have kept on tagging this columnist ostensibly to join their in their groups common goal to persuade Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to run for President.

In a video clip, Mayor Sara warned the public about her receiving information that some personalities or groups have been out allegedly soliciting funds to bankroll her candidacy. She said such movements do not have permission from her or her family, and asked prospective victims to report immediately to nearest police for punitive action.

But Sara did not comment about the growing prodding for her to run as if replicating her father’s (President Duterte’s) style in keeping the public becoming more eager in the 2016 per-campaign period until he suddenly filed candidacy late in schedule but with PDP-Laban candidate Martin Diño waiving in his favor.

Mayor Sara could also be sizing up the strength of supporters’ mettle and mileage that she would neither encourage nor stop them from early political maneuvers.

For me, her actions are good. She could have learned a lesson from the fate of my fraternity brother, Jojo Binay, who got convinced by a nationwide network of supporters to sound off categorically his intention to run for President just a few days after getting elected Vice President.

Due to the premature announcement, political foes trailed their barrels of mudslinging onto to VP Binay that peaked in the lodging of a litany of alleged graft practices (during his Makati City mayoral stint) and drew a Senate inquiry in the guise of God-damned legislative significance.

Yellow party members in the Senate grilled Binay in protracted fashion that blackened his image. But the Yellows did mind the outcome of the inquiry outcome as well as the legal suits in court that all actually turned out later to be air-filled innuendos. But to their dismay, the Mindanao aspirant Duterte soared high in popularity, which translated to his overwhelming lead in the 2019 Presidential derby.

The Presidential timbers defeated by Duterte have reportedly allied forces to put up a common candidate, possibly VP Leni Robrido, to face any candidate from the ruling allied force of PDP-Laban and Hugpong Pagbabago. Their supporters’ analysis showed that the combined votes for those defeated Presidential bets – Mar, Grace, Meriam and etal. – could substantially dwarf the voting prospects of the ruling coalition’s candidate.

In some Facebook pages, I saw some cabinet members helping rally efforts to convince Sara into running, with one of them allowing a team of visitors from Mindanao led by a governor to pose with a tarpaulin bearing the words: Run, Sara Run.”

Meanwhile, Senator Manny Pacquiao, perceived to be the most popular among Presidential wannabes, has been elected president of the PDP-Laban. But neither Manny nor his supporters have openly pronounced anything about Presidential intention. Manny has the popularity, the money and political machinery to vie for the top post. But he is still mum, perhaps awaiting for the right moment for ruling parties’ bigwigs will set a dialog between him and Sara,

This columnist asked more than 50 village people in Mindanao about their preferences for President. Forty six of them expressed preference for Pacquio, while the rest favored Sara.

I think there is an imperative need for Sara and Manny and their respective backers to dialog and decide who among the two should run for the sake of sustaining the momentum of development mileage started by PRRD for Mindanao.

Or else, asahan natin na mabubuhos ang sabaw nila. And the power will return to Luzon-Metro Manila corridor.

Comments and suggestions to this column should be addressed  to: alimac.bulletin@gmail.com.

(Ali G. Macabalang/PMT/SRNY/RSP)

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