ROUGH CUTS| Slowly but surely getting realized

IT’S STILL over two months until the deadline of the filing of candidacy for president, Vice President, and other national elective positions. However, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s final decision to cast his lot on the highest position of the government bureaucracy is still the subject of the nationwide guessing game.

In of his latest media interviews the feisty Davao City mayor gave some hints that he is inclined to try the presidency run. That was when he told members of the media that “Let’s see if there is still some space for me,” referring to the arena starting to get crowded with hopefuls.

Last week we read in the national broadsheet Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago saying she is contemplating to have another try at the presidency. We also learned of former Senator Panfilo Lacson starting to make pronouncements that made national news for him like the presence of the PDAF and DAP components in the 2015 and the proposed 2016 national budgets. And who cannot read between the lines of neophyte senator Grace Poe’s well-crafted statements in her media interviews?

Of course, there are the known mainstays in Vice President Jejomar Binay and Department of Interior and local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas.

In other words, the possibility is strong that from the original two contenders there might eventually be five to six presidential wannabes slugging it out come November 2016 national polls.

Now let us do some backtracking of Duterte’s journey to where he is perceived by many, headed to, Malacañang

He started his stories nationwide armed with his advocacy for a federal form of government. That is, he wants to have the president system changed into federalism where the local governments have more freedom to chart their own development programs.

While Duterte is not tying his advocacy to his possible political platform he has been insinuating that changing the government the present government system can only be successfully achieved if the next president will have a buy-in on the proposition and strongly endorse it to Congress that will finally decide on whether or not to adopt it through an amendment in the national charter.

Bur still, the mayor keeps on saying that he is not aiming for presidency. At the same time however, He creates a venues for speculations by capping his every answer with such intriguing words as “If God wills it that I run for president, Who I am I not to follow his call”, or words to that effect. He also said some weeks back, and lately, that “I was a lair, I might change my mind”.

And we had the opportunity to talk to one man who is part of the mayors inner circle, the group now planning his activities to get national exposure as well as executing every details of the plan.

According to the guy, one strategy is to “Confuse the enemies”. And that is exactly what is the objective of Duterte’s continued denial of his presidential run- let the other prospective as aspirants remain guessing up to the last minute of the deadline of the filing of candidacy.

Meanwhile, Duterte’s national team has succeeded in bringing the mayor’s name to the national consciousness. He is consistently in the national papers and in well-meaning and widely watched television programs. And there is no doubt about his being a major viewers and readers draw.

Now we can say that the Duterte strategy is working and is slowly but surely attaining its objective. The Davao City Mayor wants his potential rivals “confused”, and yes they are clearly in a quandary on what is really his real plan.

That there will be more candidates running, is also slowly falling into view as what the mayor wanted. So, if this scenario remains up to the last minute of the filing deadline, then Duterte has succeeded in getting what he wants. By then, he will have no more reason not to file his certificate of candidacy, And the journey of federalism as well as his march to malacanang will be on its first few steps and so on.

Posted in Opinion