And just like that, the month of May is almost over. Before you know it, it will be the end of June and while we, in Daily Tribune, will be celebrating our 21st anniversary then and our second “going strong” one amid a health pandemic, some people in the neighborhood will probably still be discussing PLANS.
It’s just that talk of elections had gone from murmurs months ago to actual discussions in recent weeks, but to look at what the Commission on Elections (Comelec) actually has on the table in definite terms is to look for a Covid-19 miracle cure in these days of quarantine catatonia.
At this point, everything is just about “possibilities” and the pushing of this or that scenario — but what can we really expect in terms of actual process?
Will face-to-face campaigns be allowed? Will there be hybrid elections? Will people be able to vote online or by mail?
All these things will no doubt to go through another round of processing and, pandemic delays notwithstanding, we are certain that the Comelec is racing against time to come up with a safe, efficient, clean and credible 2022 elections.
While the Comelec is busy wading through “possibilities” on how the campaign and electoral process should proceed, political parties and wannabes are already quite sure about what they want and what they should be doing.
They are keeping mum, of course, but actions speak louder than words.
In fact, some politicians have gone way ahead of their future contenders in placing ads on social media, radio and TV. Search “potential candidates Facebook advertisers” on Google and you will know who these people are.
They have made sure, of course, of their timing so that these ads will not be counted in the official campaign spending limit for each candidate. Official filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) isn’t until October of this year, after all.
Pushed back by the pandemic, aspirants are at a point now where they are floating the idea of running to see if the public bites.
Surveys on potential candidates have also come out, and among the latest ones, the name Sara Duterte had emerged on top.
Initial survey results quickly led to “Run, Sara, Run” streamers to sprout all around the country, but the reticent daughter of the President has refused to give an inch about her plans.
With interest in “possibilities” piqued, people want to know if certain personalities will, indeed, gun for the presidency next year.
Yet even President Duterte is “leaving it up to God” to decide if he will seek another stint in government next year. Would he acquiesce to running for the second highest position in the land beside either his daughter Sara or his most trusted man, Sen. Bong Go?
Between Mayor Sara and Sen. Go, who would stand a better chance in the elections knowing their top endorser enjoys at least a 70 percent approval rating to this day, in spite of issues arising from the government’s pandemic response?
Close contenders appear to be Sen. Grace Poe and Sen. Manny Pacquiao along with former Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso. Vice President Leni Robredo is in the mix, too.
If you ask any of them, they would likely say 2022 is the least of their priorities these days, as they would rather focus on the pandemic-related concerns.
But then, political party moves reveal some preparatory actions already in place.
Pacquiao, who topped a recent OCTA Research senatorial race survey, is rumored to have plans to make it to Malacañang in 2022. His skirmish with fellow PDP-Laban leader Secretary Al Cusi is very telling about the power struggles within the ruling party.
Familiar names made it in the said survey, some of them also floated for the presidency and the vice presidency. It should give aspiring candidates some idea on what position they stand a better chance at winning.
Of course, anything can still happen between now and 9 May 2022. Covid-19 is uppermost in our minds, as well as getting back to a robust economy once more and making a stand about the maritime disputes once and for all.
Many issues will burn by the time candidates are ready to face their opponents. Right now, they should quit the in-fighting in their parties and create a unified path or program so that the voting public can easily decide which one they would like to support.
One thing is sure for now: All this hemming and hawing is very tiresome.