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Knocked out?

Did the recent PDP-Laban assembly of President Rodrigo Duterte and Sec. Alfonso Cusi knock out Sen. Manny Pacquiao from being a presidential contender this May 2022? The exclamation of victory by the DDS seems to be premature.

One, the organic national and global enthusiasm for Pacman in his fight against Errol Spence Jr. this August 21 will drown the troll-driven victory brouhaha of the Duterte camp. More so when the Pambansang Kamao announces on the ring after the anticipated victory that he will run for president.

Two, amid the Pacman frenzy, his camp will now have the perfect reason in case of a defeat. The Duterte horde led by the president himself would not make him concentrate on his training to favor Inday Sara.

Three, the activities of the Digong camp now should push his supporters to expose more vigorously corruption in his government. Here in Cebu, for instance, how can one presidential assistant cough up billions to buy a luxury hotel in Lahug and an exclusive resort in Bantayan Island?

Four, the assembly of mostly politicians many of whom failed to undergo the required PDP-Laban seminars rekindled the fire among grassroots members and the originals during the Marcos dictatorship.

In the Cebu chat group of the Political Officers League of the Philippines (POLPhil) for instance, an original member shared a message from Sen. Koko Pimentel. The response was electric. Most POLPhil members were part of the anti-Marcos dictatorship movement in the early 80s. Carrying out meaningful change today is a prevailing sentiment.


Is the tandem of Inday Sara and Digong the way to go for the Duterte camp? While this goes against traditional political pairings, it has its own selfish dynastic logic. As the sitting president, Digong can mobilize government resources. For example, all Comelec commissioners by then will be his appointees. 

By November this year, the PNP chief will be a Duterte appointee. Imagine, what happened in Cebu City will become a nationwide phenomenon.

But then, a Duterte-Duterte tandem would deny major allies of a major piece of the pie. Would the arrangement get the support of GMA and the Marcoses? Hmmm. It would also show them how “swapang” and “gahaman” the Dutertes are.

(Emmanuel Mongaya is co-founder and director for strategic communications of PRWorks Inc. DM him @anol_cebu)