MANILA - Opposition coalition 1Sambayan must refine their guidelines if they really wanted to unify opposition groups and win the national elections next year, experts have said.
Former University of the Philippines College of Law dean Pacific Agabin and University of Santo Tomas (UST) Political Science professor Dennis Coronacion gave this advice to the coalition's convenors, a day after Senator Panfilo Lacson formally declined the group’s invitation to have him as a possible 2022 candidate.
Coronacion believes that strictly setting the bar of moral politics might not qualify others who want to join the coalition.
“'Yung mga policies... kailangan pro-democracy... at the same time parang malinis ka… I think pag ganun, number 1 baka walang makasali, walang mag-qualify sa kanila. In their own ways, karamihan ng politicians natin may mga na-compromise ang kanilang mga principles during their political career,” said Coronacion.
Agabin, meanwhile, said an advocacy group like 1Sambayan, in order to be effective and inclusive, might have a hard time gathering their needed force, most especially in terms of tapping their candidates.
“Medyo mahirapan sila because alam naman natin na yung mga pulitiko ay oportunista eh, pangalawa lang sa kanila yung prinsipyo. Ang unang-una sa kanila yung opportunity, 'yung victory," he said.
"Kaya medyo mahirapan silang pumili ng kandidato nila kasi mabibilang mo sa daliri ng isang kamay ang mga pulitikong ma-prinsipyo eh,” he added.
1Sambayan's criteria, he said, qualifies the likes of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno who also does not agree with the existence of political dynasty in the country.
The group should also refine its standards and avoid getting identified as an “elitist” group as this would turn off the mass voters when the election period begins, he noted.
“Mahirap sa crème dela crème, ang tingin ng ordinary voter eh it is an elitist group. Ayaw ng mga masang Pilipino ng mga elitista. Kaya baka matatalo pag yan ang tingin nila sa kandidato ng 1Sambayan,” the former law dean said.
For the group to achieve their goal, Coronacion urged the convenors of the group to “refine” their criteria so they could become stronger.
Requirements they set on politicians must also be realistic, he added.
“Baka wala silang makuha, hindi sila makapag-establish ng makinarya, may not work para makatulong sa pagkapanalo ng kanilang mga kandidato. Kumbaga, Haluan nila ng element ng realism, huwag lang ho basta moral politics, if their goal is to win in the next election,” the political science educator said.
1Sambayan is reportedly considering endorsing the possible presidential bids of Vice President Leni Robredo, Moreno, and former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.
The coalition, led by former high-ranking officials of the country, was launched last March to seek a single slate of national candidates in the 2022 elections to counter the Duterte administration's bets.