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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Shift to issue-based campaigns needed

The “circus” has arrived, says political analyst Carlos

MANILA – There will always be surprises and scenarios that would come as the national political exercise draws near.

Speaking at the weekly Tapatan sa Aristocrat, Dr. Clarita R. Carlos, former President of the National Defense College of the Philippines, she said although the filing of certificates of candidacy, the announcement of names of possible presidential candidates has triggered different activities including putting up of posters and billboards in major thoroughfares.

Meanwhile, IBON executive director Sonny Africa said it is difficult to see what’s going on in the political sphere because it is “always in motion.”

However, he expressed concern people may no longer choose their candidates according to their qualifications and track record as they would rather support candidates perceived to be “unbeatable.”

“Elections ought to be a process of choosing candidates according to platform and not based on one’s winnability,” Mr. Africa said.

Atty. Antonio A. Ligon, a professor from De La Salle University, said the pandemic has worsened the political exercise because there will be no physical interaction with candidates and would make those in power have the advantage because they have access to resources and social media.

“Those out of power may have minimal chances of winning,” he said.

Prof. Carlos said with a significant number of national, regional and local political parties accredited by the Commission on Elections, it may be better not to call them such but merely aggrupation or organizations.

“Politicians are focused on issues like reducing poverty, political parties with provincial constituents that has gone weirder. A vice presidential candidate choosing his presidential candidates, sobrang weird,” added Professor Carlos.

However, Atty. Ligon said he believes there’s no law that would bar President Duterte from running for vice president in 2022.

“What is prohibited by law is for the chief executive from running for the same position. This is the reason why the Philippine Constitution of 1987 gave a sitting president a single term lasting for six years,” Atty. Ligon said. He added former Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Joseph Estrada also ran for other political positions after their respective terms.

He added the only test for President Duterte is to check on his conscience on why seek other political position if he has accomplished what he vowed to deliver.

Asked if there’s a strong possibility that there would be no election due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Atty. Ligon said people in the countryside have always looked forward to the elections to complement their meager income from farming and fishing.

Professor Carlos said the surprise of surprises would be on who will be Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s running mate.

Still, IBON’s Sonny Africa said the COMELEC should also check on the voters’ list as he has been delisted allegedly for not voting in a separate political exercise.

Atty. Ligon said when politicians are backed by business interests, it would be difficult for them to seriously consider the issues faced by poorer Filipinos. (Melo M. Acuña)

Screen shot of Tapatan sa Aristocrat Guests on Surprises and Scenarios for 2022.

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