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The strongest senatoriables in 2022, none from Cebu

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 4, 2021 - 12:00am

Based on Pulse Asia's latest survey, there will be no Cebuano again in the Philippine Senate in 2022. Luzon and Mindanao will continue to monopolize the Upper Chamber of Philippine Congress. We have no more Osmeña, Cuenco, Rama, and Boy Herrera anymore. And Tito Sotto, the grandson of our venerable Sotto icons Don Vicente and Don Filemon, is term-limited. He can no longer run for reelection this time.

The survey says that Manny Pacquiao will top the senate derby with 58.9%. That is if he does not run for president or for vice president. Following Pacman is Manila Mayor Isko Moreno with 53%, if he does not run for vice president. He is too raw for president at this time. The surprise emerging strong bet is Raffy Tulfo with 48.1%. Social media exposures and his very popular programs have helped hundreds of thousands of Filipinos here and abroad, pushing his inevitable high ratings. Inday Sara is number four with 47.5%. If she plays it safe and declines the strong drives for her candidacy or foregoes the tempting chance to succeed her dad in Malacañang. Chiz Escudero has 46.6%, Loren Legarda 46.2%, Alan Peter Cayetano 44.4%, Bongbong Marcos 40.7%, both Migz Zubiri and Ping Lacson with 38.1%.

The eleventh place goes to Willy Revillame, 34%, followed by Jinggoy, 30.1%, Sherwin Gatchalian, 28.1%. The votes of the following are below the magic circle of 12: Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, Kiko Pangilinan, Dick Gordon, and Joel Villanueva. The following are disqualified due to term limitation: Frank Drilon, who might agree to run as Vice President Robredo's teammate under the Liberal Party; Ralph Recto who may exchange posts with wife Vilma Santos, and Senate president Tito Sotto III. If and when Ate Vi decides to run, then the dreams of Jinggoy and JV to go back to the Senate may as well be forgotten. Even Gatchalian and Villanueva and De Lima may say goodbye to being senators. But Gatchalian has a secret weapon; the billions of the Gatchalians. Villanueva has a religious group, the JIL or Jesus is Lord church, whose members are very passionate campaigners. The emergence of Raffy Tulfo and Revillame will deny some incumbents the chance to come back.

Another survey group, the WRN Numero Research, includes Lucy Torres-Gomez, and representatives Martin Romualdez, Mike Defensor, and Rodante Marcoleta among the senatoriables. The following incumbent senators will remain in their seats until 2025: Cynthia Villar, Francis Tolentino, Bong Revilla, Grace Poe, Koko Pimentel, Imee Marcos, Bong Go, Bato dela Rosa, Pia Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, and Lito Lapid. If and when Mark Villar runs (most probably) and wins (very remote), there will be a mother-and-son tandem in the Senate. To repeat the record of Dra. Loi Estrada and Jinggoy. If Bongbong and Alan Peter both run and win, we will have two brothers and sisters (Bongbong and Imee and Alan Peter and Pia). If both Jinggoy and JV win, that will be another deja vu. Wala na bang ibang qailfied sa Pilipinas?

And if Ate Vi runs and wins it will be a repeat of Dra. Loi’s replacing Erap, as well as Cynthia replacing Manny Villar. Well, in the Philippines, the number one industry is politics. The Senate and even Malacañang are virtual family corporations. Only billionaires can buy a Senate seat. This is no longer the time of Don Sergio Osmeña or Don Filemon and Vicente Sotto. Senators are elected not because they know how to legislate, but because they can afford to buy the votes of millions of mendicant electors. Maayo pa ug mag iphanay nalang ug milyones ug dili nalang mag-election. Parang money contest for barangay fiesta queen. Shame, shame, shame.

MANNY PACQUIAO
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