Discovered attack and foolish gambits
After a well-played midterm election campaign, President Duterte got a strong mandate from the May 13 polls with 9 administration bets winning and not a single opposition candidate from LP-led Otso Diretso making it to the Senate. Three non-aligned candidates, however, are poised to win.
In the local races, most administration candidates also won, with most opposition bets unable to mount a good offense.
In chess, this result may be called a "discovered attack." The president can now move forward on his pending campaign promises and priorities in the next half of his 6-year term.
The people have spoken. They want the aggressive anti-crime campaign to continue, as surveys show people feel safer now. They are also satisfied with unconventional leadership and pragmatic policies that deliver quick results.
Similar to what happened in Davao City, President Duterte is reaping the gains from improvements in peace and order. The economy continues to grow, and many businessmen and citizens feel optimistic about the future.
But there are still a lot of things that need to be fixed, including traffic and lack of water in Metro Manila, expensive electricity, slow internet, low wages and poverty, among others.
Hopefully, the next moves of the president will focus on these major problems rather than foolish gambits.