ROUGH CUTS| Who Duterte should team up with

THAT NEW alliances are being forged at this early stage of the political season are a given.

     Every political group wants to be part of a ruling coalition if no single party is capable of winning the election on its own. Candidates, especially for President, run to win, not to lose. And to ensure a win they would find ways to get as many backer s as possible. That is why nowadays, we have political parties and prospective candidates who in the past would not even touch each other with a ten-foot pole but now appear to be building bridges of friendship just to be on the same political boat.

   In fact, even those who are known to have serious difference in political ideology are now trying to set aside their tiff in the hope that they can consolidate their forces to ensure success in the coming election.

     Some columns back we wrote about the possibility of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte eventually running for President. We insinuated then that if the mayor wants to have a fairly good chance of winning he must have as his tandem for Vice President somebody who can carry him in areas where he thinks he is weak. At the same time, if he is also to carry that candidate in his bailiwick, that person should be more of an asset than a liability to his ticket.

     We mentioned at least three names that he could consider for the vice presidency. The three are Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., neophyte senator Grace Poe, and Sen. Francis Escudero.

     Our basis in naming the three as the mayor’s potential tandem is not so much on their ranking in surveys conducted by Manila-based research institutions but more on their known bailiwicks, and how the population of these areas voted for them in the last many elections that they were candidates either for local or national positions. It is also premised on the assumption that none of the three will run for the Presidency and will settle for the number two position.

     Of the three, we believed it is Marcos Jr. who could best provide the assurance of a winning team for the Davao City mayor. We are of this view because despite all the name-bashing in the past many years, the so-called solid north which is the bastion of the Marcoses, has remained loyal to the family. And the Ilocano region is clearly a vote rich area that would most likely carry whoever is Marcos Jr.’s Presidential candidate. So, if Duterte teams up with Marcos Jr. he will surely have the latter’s solid north.

     We also are of the opinion that while the Metro Manila area would most likely go for Poe, Marcos Jr. can also easily get some chunks of the metro voters. He is married to an Araneta, a family of substantial business interests in the central region. The family of Marcos Jr.’s wife can even chop into the voters of Western Visayas, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas’ known bastion. Roxas’ mother is also an Araneta from Bacolod and a close relative of Marcos’ wife.

     In the case of Senator Poe, it is now clear that she would not settle for the number two position. She is bent on running for President based on her recent sorties and pronouncements. Escudero, on the other hand, appears to be committed to team up with Poe as his presidential bet. Besides, his known bailiwick is the Bicol Region, much smaller than the solid north or the Metro. We also feel that he cannot lay solid claim of the nearby Southern Luzon area including Palawan.

    Now, the Mayor of Davao City, should he eventually run for President with Marcos Jr. as his vice, need not ponder on whether he has a bailiwick or not. Being the only possible candidate from Mindanao and Central and Eastern Visayas, Duterte definitely has no rival claimants to these regions as his political turf. The mayor’s late mother hailed from Maasin, Southern Leyte in the Eastern Visayas region, and Duterte’s father is from vote-rich Cebu in Danao City.

     So, if Mindanaoans and the Visayans in the Central and Eastern regions want to have a President they can call one among them, they will go all out for Duterte. And if they want that the Duterte administration will succeed, then it is most likely that they will also vote whoever will be Duterte’s vice presidential candidate.

     Visayans, too, have certain level of affinity with Marcos Jr., he being a son of a Visayan mother in Imelda Romualdez Marcos from Tacloban City.

     No, we are not implying that a Duterte-Marcos Jr. team is the most ideal to lead this nation to its rightful place in the global society. All other tandems can also claim the same.

     What we are saying is a team-up that could give the Davao City mayor a better chance of winning the Presidency should he finally decide to run.

     To prove our point, in the 1992 presidential election we considered the most ideal presidential-vice presidential team was that of the late Sen. Jovito Salonga and Sen. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. But it turned out that the best and most ideal team was not the winning team then.

     So we Filipinos missed the opportunity to have the best administration we should have.

     Of course, if a Duterte-Marcos Jr. team-up comes about and win the 2016 election, it is not a remote possibility that they can evolve into the best leaders of the nation. That is, if they walk their talk.

     That was what Bill Clinton’s presidency in the United States all about, so much that Americans did not give a damn of his impeachment on the grounds of immorality.


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