MANILA - The failure of the opposition to unite against the Duterte administration, and the worsening feud within the ruling political party PDP-Laban may diminish their respective chances to bag the majority of votes in next year’s elections, a political expert said Thursday.
“Nagiging mas makitid 'yung possibility ng united opposition... Habang lumiliit ang bilang niya, lumiliit din yung expected niya na botante na magsu-support,” former UP National College of Public Administration and Governance dean Edna Co said as she notes the failure of the opposition to come up with a single candidate to challenge the administration.
(The possibility of a united opposition is getting slimmer... While it is getting smaller, its potential voters are also declining.)
Vice President Leni Robredo last May said the opposition must accept that President Rodrigo Duterte is "very popular" among Filipinos despite several issues involving him and his officials in the past years. She said only a united front can challenge the administration's presidential bet in 2022.
Although, even the standing of administration bets can also suffer because of the warring leaders of PDP-Laban, Co said.
The rift between the factions of Sen. Manny Pacquiao and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi continues to worsen, with both parties already questioning the legitimacy of each other before the Commission on Elections.
Such conflict gives a negative impression to the voting public, Co said.
“Bakit ganun 'yung pinagaawayan, eh magkakasama nga sila eh, magkakaibigan?" Co said.
(Why are they fighting among themselves when they're supposed to be friends and allies?)
Politicians rumored to be eyeing the presidency or vice presidency next year remains “fluid” and can still change, given the many factors that must be considered when running for public office. This gives the public a better opportunity to evaluate those names, Co said.
Eight months away from the 2022 elections, she said Filipino voters should now analyze the country’s situation and prepare for the polls, which she sees as a “turning point” for the Philippines.
The 2022 elections are "very, very important", given the country’s need to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and recover from its already slumped economy, Co said.
Voters who have access to information must do their own research about candidates so they can validate their messages, she said.
People's organizations should also help in promoting voter’s education.
“Ang tindi ng dagok ng pandemya. Ang isang question sa eleksyon, who can help us come out, makalabas dito sa what's seemingly an indefinite period of lockdown? Dapat may katapusan ito. Dapat may paggalaw tayo mula dito," Co said.
(The effect of the pandemic is severe. The question in the upcoming election is who can help us come out, help us escape from what's seemingly an indefinite period of lockdown. This needs to end. We need to act on this.)
"Sino ang tutulong sa atin? (Who will help us?)"