Presidential switcheroo

LOOKING ASKANCE - Atty. Joseph Gonzales - The Freeman

This circus isn’t over yet. Just when we thought the dust had settled, when the deadline for the filing of candidacy applications for elective positions had come and gone, it seems the fun is actually set for another season of musical chairs.

We’ve heard the analysis of many brilliant minds, all armed, some to a greater degree than others, with the actual wrestling by the real power players happening in the background.

How, for example, former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo failed in her machinations to have a Sara Duterte-Bongbong Marcos tandem. How the prodigal daughter Sara spurned her father’s moves to have her run with or in replacement of his favorite whipping boy, Senator Bong Go, and relied on GMA to steer her towards the right decision.

How Marcos Jr. supposedly refused to slide down to the vice presidency, as Imelda Marcos put her designer-shod foot down, given her advanced age (the rumor was, Imelda’s views were, she may not last another six years to wait for her unico hijo to become president so as to be able to protect her from all those illegal wealth criminal cases). Besides, he already lost the vice presidency the last elections, so why run again for the same loser position?

And so, given all the above considerations, it was Sara who ended up sliding down, a decision that shocked a nation already prepared to be shocked in the first place. That decision apparently shocked, as well, the Garcia Clan of Cebu, who, if rumors are correct, had already spent a fortune preparing the groundwork for her presidential candidacy over the whole of Cebu, peppering the entire island, from north to south, with banners urging “Run, Sara Run” beside streamers of their own.

Then, we let out our collective bated breaths as the events sank in. Deadline arrived, the slate became clear, more or less. True, there was a minor cloud fogging the racecourse, when we weren’t sure Sara was going to accept a joint campaign with Bongbong Marcos after he extended the olive branch, but she eventually did. And we thought that was that.

Well, the election season has just started, and here we are being treated to more smokescreens and magic tricks. Senator Bong Go, erstwhile candidate for president who upped his candidacy from the vice presidency mere days after sobbing that he was withdrawing from that particular race, is now sobbing that he isn’t ready to be the president, and how therefore he might withdraw from the race. Real emotions, real concerns? Or just another mind-conditioning trick, so as to bring out the “real” supporters who will “clamor” for him to continue running, a challenge he is therefore “constrained” to accept despite the “burdens” of campaigning?

Or is this prepping their core supporters with the real deal that henceforth, they should stop expecting a Bong Go-Sara Duterte tandem, and recalibrate their support towards the announced and ever-solidifying alliance of Bongbong-Sara?

If Senator Bong Go really withdraws, the Duterte minions could evaporate towards the Duterte fille, or place their bets elsewhere on candidates whom they think will protect the schemes they profited from during his presidency. Or, if not to protect their schemes, then just their persons, so they aren’t dragged to jail and accountability. Something the president wanted for himself as well with his attempts to control the outcome of this election season.

Meanwhile, yet another survey from the scores of two- and three-bit surveyors has been trumpeted, finding that Isko Moreno is tied with Bongbong Marcos in the lead for the candidacy, even despite the crash and burn we saw from Moreno’s campaign headquarters. A way for Isko to rustle up more financial backers into positioning themselves with him? Or to extract more juice from his current backers? Who knows?

It’s the season for giving. Not just surprises, but more likely, shocks and even more plot twists. So stay tuned.


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