Carambola: Sara-Isko vs Bongbong-Pacman vs Leni-Drilon

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 3, 2021 - 12:00am

Looking at my political fortune cards for 2022, I can see a realignment of forces in the electoral constellations that will offer the Filipino electorate a wide array of choices. And I can predict that the winners shall be Sara Duterte for president and Manny Pacquiao for vice president. This will be a major victory for the Minadanaoans and the Visayans and will be a major blow to the ambitions of Bongbong Marcos, Leni Robredo, and Grace Poe. Mag senador na lang sila.

Inday Sara and Pacman cannot run under the same ticket because they are both from Mindanao with Visayan roots. Mayor Inday must get a popular Luzon bet and Bongbong must get a teammate from the south for the same reason. That goes for VP Leni too, and since there is no other strong LP prospect from the south, then Frank Drilon, who is term-limited for reelection in the Senate, is the most viable choice. Kiko Pangilinan is a weak candidate, he is not even sure to be reelected to the Senate. Inday Sara has the solid backing of all the regions in Mindanao, from Region 9, the Zamboanga peninsula, to Region 10, the vote-rich northern Mindanao corridor. Region 11, the Davao region will give her 80% of the votes. Region 12, Region 13, the Caraga, and the Bangsa Moro will not be far behind.

Marcos may maintain his solid north and perhaps half of Central Luzon but Metro Manila and southern Tagalog will not go for him. This large chunk of votes will be split between Inday Sara, with the help of Isko, and Leni, with the help of the youth and the studentry. In fact, the candidacy of Leni will help Inday Sara defeat Marcos because a three-cornered fight will divide the anti-Duterte forces. Leni will get no more than 60% of Bicol and half of Mimaropa. Regions 7 and 8 will go all the way for Sara but will carry Pacman for vice president. Region 6 will not follow Drilon in making Leni win. The Ilongos will most probably go Sara for president and Drilon for VP, but Manny is also a strong dark horse.

At the end of the day, both Inday Sara and Pacman will win with a clear majority or, at the worst case scenario, with a convincing plurality. There is even a strong probability that Mayor Sara will get more than the 16 million votes garnered by her papa in 2016, even garnering between 18 to 20 million votes. There are many Visayans in Metro Manila who remain loyal to the Dutertes. The majority of the OFWs are from the Visayas and Mindanao regions. My informal survey with my network of OFW community leaders in Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, and the USA indicate that Sara and Pacman will be the strongest combination in 2022.

The Villars will be behind Duterte in 2022 as long as Mark Villar will be in Inday Sara's Senate slate and Cynthia will be the next Senate president. Speaker Alan Velasco will rally the congressmen behind Inday. Senate President Tito Sotto, who is term limited, may run for Quezon City Mayor (sorry, Mayor Joy and Congressman Mike Defensor) and will also support Inday Sara. If I know the Garcias of Cebu, based on their track record, I think they will join the bandwagon. I hope Inday Sara includes Governor Gwen for senator. And so, abangan ang sunod na kabanata. My crystal ball is sending a variety of signals. It will be an exciting 2022 polls indeed, even with the pandemic and all.

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