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Guessing game

Robredo says only a Bongbong candidacy may persuade her to file her own bid.

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President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing the PDP Laban’s Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CoNA) on Friday had thrown Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s chances of a big political comeback.

For now, that is.

It’s no secret that Bongbong, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ son and namesake, has long been hoping to fulfill the family’s wish of returning to Malacañang.

More than the attempts at distorting history, a Bongbong Marcos election as president would be a validation of his father’s legacy as a leader — if any — as it has been erased by the abuses of his rule.

Primary of these was the plunder of this nation’s wealth as proved by three Supreme Court decisions (in 2003, 2012, and 2017), confirming the Marcos family committed fraud on a huge scale between 1965 and 1986, and had ordered them to repay millions of dollars.

Bongbong, however, admitted he is not ready to face Duterte. That is if he is going to seek the vice presidency, as it was earlier indicated by his followers soon after he saw Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to greet her on her birthday in late May this year.

The Davao City leader, however, has announced she will seek reelection and that it was an agreement with her father that only one in the Duterte family will run for a national position.

It’s Rody, and no one else.

The President has picked his long-time assistant and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go as his presidential partner.

His wish was granted by his PDP Laban party mates who nominated Duterte’s former Special Assistant, only that Go seems hedging at the thought that his peers now want him to lead and step out of the shadow of his former boss.

Where does it place Marcos now? He could not tell, himself.

“Everyone has to rethink their plans, that’s what’s been happening,” Marcos said, admitting that he is in talks with other politicians, including Senator Manny Pacquiao, who is hoping to wrest the PDP Laban leadership from Duterte — its chair — and party president Alfonso Cusi.

Pacquiao is a hotcake that even Vice President Leni Robredo is seeking to forge a deal with him and several others for two reasons, she says. One, is to stop a Marcos comeback, through Bongbong; the next is to halt the continuity of Duterte, through Bong Go — or in a presently unlikely event of a Sara Duterte presidential bid.

Robredo had also admitted to being in talks with Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, another likely top candidate should he pursue the presidency.

Robredo says only a Bongbong candidacy may persuade her to file her own bid, but her Liberal Party — in which she’s the chairperson — has been decimated by President Duterte and weakened further by the death of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III.

With a weak LP, Robredo’s vehicle could be the political coalition 1Sambayan, a hodgepodge of personalities that could not also form a truly strong opposition group.

It has admitted to seeking a possible alliance with Pacquiao and Moreno/Domagoso, two declared aspirants who have only just detached from Duterte.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, the third in the presidential mix, has opted out of the 1Sambayan consideration.

With the possibility of Robredo not running, there would be no central opposition figure to challenge the Go-Duterte tandem — that is if Go will heed his peers’ call.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV may try and present himself as one, and 1Sambayan is not discounting that possibility, but it’s gonna be uphill for him.

The filing of certificates of candidacies for president and vice president begins on Friday with nothing cast in stone yet, not even Duterte’s bid for the vice presidency, or so Bongbong hopes. That’s his only chance.

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