2 presidents

Published January 16, 2021, 12:02 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

“No one is safe unless everyone is safe.”

A mantra that should be dinned into every pair of ears now that we’re facing a more easily transmissible variant of coronavirus, waiting to see how high the spike will hit after the Quiapo fiesta, and biting our nails as results pour in from post-Christmas testing. A triple whammy!

No wonder the 2022 guessing game is such an engaging piece of entertainment. No harm to speculate, drop names, offer scenarios devilish or delightful. Weeks ago, a nonpolitician’s  name suddenly floated above the heads of the usual suspects. As the days progressed, the nonpolitical name gained traction.

Especially when President Duterte was seen with another president, Ramon S. Ang of San Miguel Corp., at the inauguration of Skyway Stage 3 (why does it sound like a disease?), and the Commander in Chief wished Mr. Ang a happy birthday. Now the talk, in hushed tones, is that it’s President Duterte himself who “wants” president Ang to be his candidate in 2022. As it is, the election season has virtually begun – nine months away from October, when candidates make known their deepest desire to serve their countrymen by filing their certificates of candidacy.

It’s sooner than you think. In a country where everything arrives late – SMS texts, brides, vegetables from Benguet, airplanes, vaccines – the race for power is the only exception.  Election season always starts prematurely but Comelec cannot punish those who jump the gun because campaigning before the campaign season has officially begun is not illegal (if you can follow that kind of logic).

Although he’s a viable, highly qualified candidate, people who think they know RSA say he’s too smart to fall into that kind of temptation. Wouldn’t he be happier and better off as a kingmaker, like his best friend, Danding Cojuangco? Danding was much more a politician, yet he did not make it to Malacañang; instead he thrived in his role as leader of a political party (Nationalist People’s Coalition) that is currently allied with the ruling party.

RSA’s name was not in the list of presidential probables mentioned in a recent survey, but give the rumor time to catch up. If business editors are nervously excited at the thought, imagine what businessmen are thinking!