For presidential campaigns come the 2022
elections, Cebu seems to
be strategic. Key developments involving three possible presidential candidates transpired last week.
Our friend Tonton Antogop, secretary
general of the Manny
Pacquaio for President
bared in a Facebook post
the president of their
movement – the pretty Cebuana publisher of iNews.ph Noreen Tormis. I understand they are busy recruiting volunteers
in Visayas provinces, Mindanao, and Luzon. But the senator
clarified he is focusing in helping communities amid the difficulties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Then a lady lawyer friend sent a private message. They
launched a campaign in change.org saying “I am ready for
Leni.” I checked just now. The petition already gathered 35,791
signatures. A counter petition got more signatures - 62,776.
However, I took a mental note of checking the veracity of the
email accounts shortly. It seems somebody is ready with DDS
troll farms. The trolls even descended on a thread about Khakie Pangilinan singing a non-political song in Wish. Let us see
if an online campaign for organic support is more effective in
persuading people than a paid ‘bastosan’ campaign.
Leni topped the 2016 vice presidential race in Cebu. But
then, Digong also won in Cebu. The pro-Duterte camp marginalized the opposition in 2019.
Finally, I learned about meetings of personalities identified with the Association of Political Operators (APO) with
political players in Cebu. The group formed last year in Davao
City and decided to support Davao City Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The core group of a national grassroots movement also had
a conference in Cebu City. They will be campaigning for the
Politically sensitive Cebuanos are watching Gov. Garcia.
Will she, as expected by observers, support Inday Sara? Will
other presidentiables support a potential rival for the governorship? Or, like the presidential run of FPJ in 2004, will
they decide on mere parallel movements in Cebu? I learned
that a self-styled political operator insisted: a presidentiable
could win even without a bet for governor.
Sen. Manny Pacquiao was supposed to give out relief goods
for Cebuano communities in Mandaue and Toledo cities early January 2021. However, this was cancelled at the last moment. The official announcement was because of the local rise in
Covid-19 cases. However, some quarters said both Sara and Gwen
did not like the support of some local mayors for the senator.
Condolence to the family of Sen. John H. Osmeña especially his only son John-john. I will write a mouthful in
next week’s column.
(Emmanuel ‘Anol’ Mongaya is co-founder and director for strategic PR of PRWorks Inc. He is also a member of the Political Officers League of the Philippines or POLPhil. DM him @anol_cebu)