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Unity against Duterte?

1Sambayan seeks unity among the presidentiables to field one candidate against the one supported by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. However, the convenors rejected one key presidentiable – Senator Manny Pacquiao.

The way I see the situation, President Duterte will field his daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio. Senator Bong Go now poses as her rival now inside the Duterte camp. Apparently, certain officials prefer the senator because they can continue with their present programs and whatever else they are doing. Inday Sara had this record of bringing new faces with her in Davao City Hall in lieu of her father’s trusted men. The young Duterte makes the incompetent old men around the president in Malacañang insecure.

Between Sara and Bong, however, most Duterte supporters I know today committed themselves to the candidacy of the presidential daughter. Yes, Senator Bong Go is the president’s most trusted man. He is said to be the one carrying his cell phone. Thus, he also manages the president’s private meetings. But will Duterte back him as presidential candidate? I will still bet on Inday Sara. After all, she has Duterte blood.

For 1Sambayan’s Carpio, Pacquiao is a Duterte enabler. The Pacman supported the drug war. He espoused the death penalty.

Apparently, the retired justice needs to learn more about political warfare. Let me cite two Sun Tzu quotes. “If his forces are united, separate them,” he said. Another quote went, “We cannot enter into alliances with neighboring princes until we are acquainted with their designs.”

The political world knows the unity within PDP-Laban nears breaking point. The faction supporting Senator Bong Go has forced the holding of consultations and circulation of a resolution asking President Duterte to run for vice president. The move earned the ire of Senator Pacquiao. Meanwhile, the DDS online horde began anti-Pacquiao tirades even as the faction allied with Inday Sara sits by and watches.

With this development, why is Carpio pushing Pacquiao away from 1Sambayan and its call for unity of anti-Duterte forces? A Pacquiao run will deny Inday Sara a huge chunk of votes in Mindanao and the Visayas. Nevertheless, 1Sambayan holds a basic flaw, said one veteran Duterte strategist. It seeks to unite personalities wanting to be the opposition standard-bearer themselves.

(Emmanuel Mongaya co-founded PRWorks Inc. He also belongs to the Political Officers League of the Philippines or POLPhil. DM him @anol_cebu)