Think tank: Dutertes likely to win in 2022 elections

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Think tank: Dutertes likely to win in 2022 elections
This undated photo shows President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Presidential photo / Arcel Valderrama, File photo

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, are likely to win their respective vice-presidential and senatorial bids in the 2022 elections, Fitch Solutions said.

“The Dutertes should perform well in the upcoming elections, given their strong public support, with Sara a likely favourite for vice president,” the United Kingdom-based think tank said in a commentary published Tuesday.

Fitch Solutions said it expects Duterte-Carpio’s popularity to remain strong in the vice-presidential race as she is seen to benefit from the continued support her father enjoys.

Frontrunners in surveys for top posts this early in the election season have usually lost as voter preference typically shifts the closer election day approaches.

In the 2016 presidential polls, it was then Vice President Jejomar Binay who was the early frontrunner, but Sen. Grace Poe later on followed and then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte overtaking the surveys up to the election date.

Duterte-Carpio’s toughest opponent, Fitch said, would be Senate President Tito Sotto, who surged to the top in the September 2021 Pulse Asia pre-election survey, with 25% of Filipinos saying they would vote for him as vice president.

Fitch Solutions also sees a tighter presidential race with Duterte-Carpio out of the picture, while it expects Sen. Bong Go’s chances of clinching the presidency improving dramatically as the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan and the president are backing him.

Duterte policies continued

With the Dutertes expected to remain in the political arena beyond 2022, Fitch said they will likely exert continued influence on policy making.

Fitch Solutions added that the Philippines can expect leading candidates for the presidency to continue the president’s policies, especially Go and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos Jr.

“As a former close aide to Duterte during his presidency, Bong Go will likely press ahead with key policies such as Duterte’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure initiative and improving ties with China,” the think tank said.

It added, “Bongbong tends to favour the ‘strongman’ approach of Duterte and has shown support for his father’s rule, posing risks of increased authoritarianism. Bongbong appears to be one of the few candidates to agree with Duterte’s policy of engagement with Beijing, potentially offering the most policy continuity out of the announced candidates.”

Presidential candidates Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso and Sen. Manny Pacquiao are also likely to maintain some of Duterte’s policies, but will govern under a “big tent” government, tackling corruption and potentially cooling relations with China in favor of closer ties with the United States.

Prospects are bleak for Vice President Leni Robredo, who Fitch said “will struggle to mount a strong challenge for the presidency.” — with a report from Ian Nicolas Cigaral

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