MANILA—Scions of presidential aspirants have started to be part of their parents’ sorties ahead of the 2022 national elections as various camps pushed to cover more ground introducing their platforms.
Similar to what was seen in previous presidential elections, sons and daughters of those vying for the Philippines' top elected posts have been delivering speeches, participating in charity events and other public fora organized for their mother or father.
Similar to 2016, survey frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has enlisted son Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos' help for next year's elections.
"Dahil nagkaisa ang Solid North sa tatay ko at Solid South kay Mayor Inday Sara (Duterte-Carpio), hindi lang ang north and south ang solid ngayon kundi maging ang buong Pilipinas," the younger Marcos said in a recent sortie in Bukidnon.
(Because my father's supporters in the north and Mayor Inday Sara's supporters in the south have unified, the entire Philippines can now be solidified as well.)
"Itong mensahe ng pagkakaisa ay nagsimula noong nag-partnership hindi lamang po ito tandem kundi partnership ng Tigre ng Norte at ng Agila ng Davao.”
(This message of unity that started as a partnership is not just about running as a tandem, but creating a partnership between the Tiger of the North and the Eagle of Davao.)
Vice-President Leni Robredo's daughters are also making a comeback in the pre-campaign trail to help their mother win the presidency next year.
Robredo's eldest daughter Aika recently participated in a program in Quezon City where they handed out porridge to several communities.
"Most of the time, irerepresent namin siya sa mga imbitasyon na hindi siya pwede," Aika told ABS-CBN News.
(Most of the time, we represent her in invitations she cannot attend.)
"Kaming 3 naman sumusunod lang kami sa kung saan tingin nila kami pinaka makakatulong."
(All 3 of us just follow where they think we can be most helpful.)
Robredo's second-born, Tricia, a doctor, has been helping with COVID-19 vaccination efforts and other health-related initiatives of the Office of the Vice President.
Despite studying abroad, Jillian, the youngest, said her siblings' dream of having their "Mama all to [themselves] again . . . would have to wait."
"Mama, I’ve never been more proud to be your daughter," she said in an Instagram post.
"Happy I get to cast my vote for you this time around."
The Vice President earlier said that her children were initially against her decision to run for higher office next year.
"Bilang mga anak, gusto naming protektahan ’yung nanay namin. Gusto namin mas makapagpahinga siya kasi mula nang mamatay yung tatay namin nung 2012, pakiramdam namin, tuluy-tuloy siya," Aika said.
(As children, we want to protect our mother. We want her to rest because since our father dies in 2012, we felt that she has been working and working.)
"Pero naiintindihan naman namin, at kami mismo naniniwala na siya ’yung kandidato na pinakahanda sa mga challenges na haharapin natin next year."
(But we understand, and we also believe that she is the candidate that is most prepared to handle the challenges we will face next year.)
At least 3 of the 5 children of Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso have been helping their father promote his candidacy by appearing in in-person and online gatherings.
Joaquin Domagoso, the Manila Mayor's middle child, recently hosted an online gathering of youth supporters.
"Lahat ng younger siblings ko, hindi sila part. But older siblings, kuya ko, ate ko, we're all doing our best lalo na sa mga small events na ganito . . . Where we can get exposed a bit to help Papa," the 20-year-old actor told ABS-CBN News.
(All of my younger siblings are not part of it. But my older siblings, my kuya and my ate, we're all doing our best especially in small events like these... where we can get exposed a bit to help Papa.)
"Si Mommy ko, she's like, 'OK, tulong ka dito' . . . Ganoon lang. Simple lang," he said, when asked how their family decides which sorties they should join.
(My mom tells us, 'Okay, we need your help here...' Just like that. It's quite simple.)
The younger Domagoso, who followed in his dad's footsteps into show business, said campaigning for their patriarch was an experience that is both "very new and old" for their family.
"Ilang beses na kaming nakapag-eleksyon but this time it's national so much bigger scope po," he said.
(We have been doing this for several elections, but this time it's national so the scope is bigger.)
When asked if there are dos and don'ts that their parents told them before joining the Manila Mayor's caravans, Joaquin said his dad told them not to engage with bashers.
"Don't attack them, just let them be. We shouldn't say anything negative about them kasi (because) that is their opinion. We can't do anything about that," he said.
"Just keep calm and respect their decision. Ganoon lang (Just like that). Don't reply. Don't attack the bashers din. Don't engage."
Partido Reporma standard bearer Sen. Panfilo Lacson's sons are not expected to actively participate in his quest to seek the presidency for the second time.
"I have always dissuaded members of my family from participating in my campaign as it was in my past campaigns," Lacson told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
"In fact, I have limited their participation in our hybrid Online Kumustahan events to driving me to the locations of such events... para lang may kakwentuhan ako at kritiko pagkatapos ng event," he said.
(In fact, I have limited their participation in our hybrid Online Kumustahan events to driving me to the locations of such events... So that I have someone to talk to and someone to evaluate my performance after the event.)
Aside from driving their father to and from speaking enegagements, Lacson sons Jay and Pampi have appeared in a vlog to give voters an idea of their father's brand of discipline.
"Strikto si Daddy talaga . . . May curfew kami," Jay said.
"Bilang ama mukha siyang sobrang seryoso, sobrang strikto pero mapagmahal talagang ama si Daddy Ping.
"Si Daddy will always be a father and public servant that we will always be proud of dahil sa track record niya."
PACQUIAO AND DE GUZMAN
Only the youngest son of Sen. Manny Pacquiao is in the Philippines, while his 3 older kids are abroad so they cannot participate in election-related events, the PROMDI standard bearer's camp said.
Labor leader Leody De Guzman's children have yet to be seen in his sorties.
Campaign and elections tend to be a family affair in the Philippines, where close-ties with relatives are valued, political science professor Arjan Aguirre told ABS-CBN News.
"What we are seeing here is the instrumentalization of 'family' in electoral campaigning. It can work for dynasties and it can help independent candidates," he said.
"The family is seen as an indicator of one's personality or character... So for many Filipinos, seeing the family in the campaigns can be factor in their decision to vote or not to vote for a candidate."
Members of political dynasties also get their children involved in campaigns and sorties to introduce their children to the public, and as a means of training their scions for their eventual career in politics, Aguirre said.
"Electoral campaigning is one of those things that the next generation politicians can get to learn from their parents during an electoral cycle," he said.
Politicians who do not hail from dynasties, on the other hand, need their family for additional manpower, the analyst said.
"There is nothing wrong about this. In fact, it is a plus to their image--showing the public that he/she is a family man," he said.
"The participation of the children (young kids) in particular is a plus too because it also gives the campaign a 'fun' and 'wholesome' vibe."