Although the 2022 presidential election marketing campaign is but to start, the machinations and drama are effectively underway.
Richard Heydarian, professor of historical past and political science at the Philippines’ Polytechnic University, says there is no such thing as a clear frontrunner. “It is going to be highly, highly competitive,” he added.
The Philippines has just one spherical of voting, not like many nations comparable to France, the place there’s a second poll between the two hottest candidates. This signifies that whoever is in entrance at the finish of counting will turn out to be president — irrespective of how small their complete share of votes.
In a decent race, the prize may go to anybody. And the stakes are excessive.
With China and the US more and more treating the Indo-Pacific as a staging floor for his or her international showdown, the Philippines will probably come beneath rising financial and geopolitical stress, notably as a claimant to a part of the South China Sea.
Not solely that, however his daughter — Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio — nonetheless has a month to resolve if she’ll run for president instead candidate.
Duterte has a private incentive to retain some management over the future authorities: he is going through an investigation by the International Criminal Court into his warfare on medication and his successor may affect how a lot entry they get to the Philippines.
“We’re at the edge of a cliff … whoever wins will determine whether we’ll have rule of law, whether our economy can grow, whether we can survive the virus, whether our society can heal,” she mentioned.
The dictator’s son
Marcos Jr., recognized colloquially as “Bongbong,” introduced he would run for president in the 2022 election, pitching himself as a unifying candidate who may convey the nation collectively after the ravages of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Marcoses remain scot-free from jail, they haven’t returned all the money that they got from the nation’s coffers, and now they are making a comeback for the highest position in the land. That is just plain, shameless gall,” Cristina Palabay of rights group Karapatan informed Reuters.
Duterte has not been ashamed to tie himself to the Marcos household. There have been even options he may be part of Marcos Jr.’s ticket as candidate for vice chairman. “That’s the plan!” Marcos Jr. mentioned Wednesday, in accordance to ABS-CBN.
Ressa mentioned Duterte’s reputation in the south of the Philippines, mixed with Marcos’ reputation in the north, would create a formidable drive.
Heydarian added the Marcos household had “grassroots support, resources and message discipline,” however their historical past wouldn’t play effectively with a inhabitants involved about corruption.
“The issue of corruption is very, very sensitive for a lot of people,” he mentioned.
Pacquiao’s talent as a boxer is unquestionable. After a 26-year profession, he’s thought of one in all the best boxers of all time, the solely man to maintain world titles in eight completely different divisions.
But the 42-year-old’s talent as a politician is much much less clear — and one thing he may have to show if he’s going to achieve success when he runs for president.
But Heydarian mentioned since he joined the senate, Pacquiao’s time in workplace has been underwhelming. “He’s entering this race as someone whose mantle of statesmanship is still under question. He didn’t have the most impressive performance as senator,” he added.
Rather than working for vice chairman first, to present he was critical about the position, Pacquiao has jumped straight to the prime job — and Heydarian mentioned that is likely to be a bit “early” for folks. Still, his reputation with the nation’s poor may make him a contender.
Ressa mentioned the Philippines will want pressing motion to get better from the Duterte years and the Covid-19 pandemic, and questioned whether or not Pacquiao had the political coalition or the governing expertise to make it occur.
“Whoever will become president next will have real problems to deal with, and they’re going to have to have competent people to deal with it,” she mentioned.
Pacquiao is not the solely rags-to-riches story of the 2022 marketing campaign — nor the solely star.
In reality, Moreno’s actual identify is Francisco Domagoso — Isko Moreno is his stage identify.
Using his fame as a stepping stone, Moreno moved into politics in 1998 as a metropolis counselor in Manila earlier than being elected vice mayor in 2007, after which mayor in 2019.
Just two years after his win, he’s aiming to lead the whole nation. Like Duterte, Moreno is a populist, Heydarian mentioned, however one in all a distinct stripe.
“(He) represents what I call ‘polite populism’: cost-free, family orientated, even pious kind of rhetoric,” he mentioned, including that Moreno trumpets centrist and even at instances progressive insurance policies.
The Vice President
At the different finish of the spectrum from Marcos is incumbent Vice President Robredo.
Accompanied by her two daughters, Robredo on Thursday referred to as for the nation to observe her and assist “ensure a future of equal opportunities.”
Heydarian identified that Robredo is at present working fifth in the polls regardless of her nationwide fame — behind Marcos, Pacquiao and Moreno.
However he mentioned the Vice President had a large community of supporters throughout the nation from her time in workplace. “We saw in the 2016 (Vice Presidential) election she was able to turn things around against all odds and against a very competitive candidate,” Heydarian added.
The shadow of Duterte
While the nation’s consideration has largely been fastened on the candidates who’ve already declared, none of them are main latest polls, in accordance to Heydarian.
He mentioned the hottest contender is Duterte-Carpio, Duterte’s daughter.
As of Friday, Duterte-Carpio had not declared her candidacy however as an alternative has filed paperwork to run once more for Davao mayor. On Monday, her spokesman mentioned she had “no intention” of taking the management of her father’s social gathering.
That’s precisely what her father did in 2016.
Heydarian mentioned Duterte-Carpio is not like the President in some ways — she welcomes the opinion of consultants and takes thought of selections, not like her impulsive father.
But critics have seen her potential candidacy for president as one other manner for Duterte to maintain sway over the Philippines after he leaves energy.
And that’s assuming her father does not change his thoughts about working for vice chairman. Ressa mentioned she does not belief Duterte’s assertion that he would retire from politics — he mentioned the similar factor in 2016 after which ran for the nation’s highest workplace.
Whoever finally ends up taking energy in the Philippines, Ressa mentioned they may inherit a rustic “in a far worse place” than Duterte did.
“The legacy of Duterte is the breakdown of the different branches of government and the corruption of the different weak institutions,” she mentioned.
“We were just at the point where our institutions were starting to solidify … the last five years have really taken those dreams and dashed them.”