Early forecasting

Published September 16, 2021, 12:01 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Pia Hontiveros, CNN Philippines anchor, gathered three political analysts/campaign strategists to talk about “new alliances in 2022” – and they all agreed with one another. If there was a difference of opinion, I didn’t catch it.

Truth be told, I found myself nodding my head as they spoke. With such calm there was no room for contentiousness. How explain such a pacific discussion among three articulate commentators when the highly flammable subject is the upcoming presidential elections? As every fencesitter knows, similar discussions have led to duels and character or actual assassinations.

Ms. Hontiveros’ guests were Greg Garcia, Lito Banayo, and Alan German. On her Politics as Usual, she showed pictures of the candidates – one column for president, one for vice president, one for senator.

Bong Go was first in the presidential column. German pointed out that his ratings are low, though he may have the machinery and resources. In Garcia’s opinion, “they know the numbers, it just doesn’t make sense (to make him run).” [Senator Go has declared time and again that he’s not interested.]

On a what-if daughter-father tandem of Sara and Digong, Banayo said, “It won’t fly.” Garcia added, “It’s fraught with danger.” German opined, “It won’t sit well with Filipino voters.”

Will Isko make a run for Malacanang? German thinks Yorme “is playing coy,” but Garcia’s gutfeel is that based on “his numbers and character,” he will run: “This is Isko’s moment.”

As for a Sara-Bongbong teamup, German foresees a “likely scenario” while Garcia minces no words, “Marcos is such a strong brand,” pointing out that “the young people then are running the country now; the bad things about Martial Law do not matter to them.”

Should Manny Pacquiao aim for the presidency? Garcia: “Filipino voters bracket their candidates,” they don’t see the champion boxer in Malacañang. Banayo predicts competence prevailing over popularity: “I don’t think he will win if he runs.”

What are Vice President Robredo’s chances as a presidential candidate? Banayo: “I wish her well. She has other options, including running again for VP.” Garcia noted how her handlers have portrayed her as a critic, “and people hate critics.”

And the winner is . . .? Pia, first to tease poll watchers with such a show.