As I See It – Sarah Plays safe, files for vice president via substitution, a political strategy

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Many were surprised, even her ardent supporters were taken aback, when Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio filed her candidacy via substitution for vice president, instead of the presidency.

Yesterday was the penultimate day the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has allowed filing of candidacy via substitution. Unexpectedly, Mayor Sarah, after withdrawing her candidacy for re-election for mayor of Davao City, filed her candidacy for vice president. Almost everybody was expecting her to file for the presidency since she is the leading contender in various presidential surveys. While most people were dismayed, her supporters were just the same in high spirits as they saw their star candidate file for a higher position like the vice presidency.

In her public announcement, she said she filed her candidacy for vice president as a compromise “to meet my supporters halfway!”

Is this a political strategy? It’s almost similar to the strategy staged by her father and now President Rodrigo Duterte. He filed his candidacy for president via substitution and won the presidency. In the case of Sarah, however, she filed for vice president, not for president. What’s the plan here?

Well, As I See It, she is playing safe! Winning the vice presidency seem to be the sure path for her to the presidency in the medium run. This, to me, is the strategy being employed. How is this working?

Had she filed for the presidency, she thinks she is not sure of winning, considering that she will be pitted against Ferdinand “Bong Bong” Marcos, Jr. (that is assuming he won’t be disqualified by the Comelec); the popular Mayor of Manila Isko Moreno; world class boxing icon Sen. Manny Pacquiao; Sen. Panfilo Lacson; and Vice President Leni Robredo. She might have an edge but she is not sure of winning and may not want to risk her chances.

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, a Duterte loyalist, filed his candidacy on Saturday for president after withdrawing from the vice-presidential race. He filled the slot vacated by Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa (a placeholder supposedly for Sarah) who withdrew from the presidency to pave the way for Go, since Sarah is running for vice president.

While claiming to meet her supporters halfway, As I See It, she run for vice president because it is easier for her, or say have better chances of winning, against Senate President Tito Sotto; Sen. Kiko Pangilinan; Dr. Willie Ong; and Representative for Buhay and House Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza  If I read her mind correctly, she thinks she will handily win the vice presidency. Then, she will just be president-in-waiting. She is young and has all the time to prepare herself for the presidency after six years. That’s how I see her pollical strategy working.

This, however, could be complicated because of the move of President Duterte, her father, to run for vice president and oppose her daughter who may file his candidacy for vice president for tomorrow’s last day of substitution. It was reported that there is an ongoing rift between the father and daughter relationship, so he wants to teach her a lesson and defeat her. But… knowing him, he may have to withdraw the last hour as part of the overall political strategy and let Sarah alone in her bid for the vice-presidential race.

Should Bongbong Marcos win (again, that’s assuming he won’t be disqualified by the Comelec due to a pending disqualification case), she will just be waiting for six years to be the next president. Same thing… should Leni Robredo, or Bong Go or Manny Pacquiao or Isko Moreno win, she will just be president-in-waiting. She is young and can wait…a sure formula to be the next president.

Sara Duterte has filed for candidacy after months of speculation about her 2022 election plans. She has been endorsed by presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the late dictator.

Her Saturday’s announcement ends months of speculation over the election plans of the Philippine strongman’s daughter. Her father had announced that he would quit politics after the end of his term, which statement is still to be proven.

Actually, a lawyer filed the certificate of candidacy of Sara Duterte for the center-right Lakas-CMD political party, which she only joined two days earlier. Sara had repeatedly said that she was not interested in running for president, even though she has consistently topped opinion polls as the most preferred candidate for the presidency. 

She did, however, express willingness to forge an alliance with another presidential candidate, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the controversial son and namesake of the late dictator who was overthrown in 1986.

Marcos Jr, popularly known as Bongbong, announced he was running for the presidency earlier in October. He has already endorsed Sara Duterte as his choice for vice president.

Sara’s decision to run for vice president leaves Marcos Jr. in a strong position for the presidency. He has been ranking second in opinion polls, after her.

Marcos Jr. is confronted with some legal problems this early. The petition seeking to annul the certificate of candidacy (COC) of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has been raffled to the second division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), according to Catherine Gonzales, Inquirer.com

“The case has been raffled to the 2nd Div. Owing to a large number of cases on the docket, no summons for this particular case has been issued yet, but is expected within the week,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told reporters in a Viber message on Tuesday night.

Should Leni Robredo win, she may have to do the same thing to Sarah what she experienced as vice president for Duterte to not giving her key position in the cabinet and discounting her most of the time.

The political musical chair is on! Will Sarah triumph in her political strategy? All, we need to do is wait!

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