A new low: Candidate switch-ups like playing games with voters, says analyst


Posted at Dec 15 2021 12:29 PM

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Administration candidates switching positions or dropping out of the 2022 electoral race altogether can be seen as a new low in the Philippines' electoral politics, a political analyst said Wednesday.

Prof. Aries Arugay of the University of the Philippines Diliman campus said the series of political maneuverings among the administration candidates is unseen in the country's electoral history.

"If I will assess it, this is a new low in our electoral politics. It seems that politicians don't really care about what voters think, what voters feel and I am sorry to use the term pero parang napaglalaruan na po ang taumbayan," he said in a TeleRadyo interview.

He added: "It seems decisions are being made out of the blue, whims. Sa Pilipino po, kapritso."

President Duterte on Tuesday withdrew his candidacy for senator in the 2022 elections while his chosen successor, Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, also withdrew his candidacy for president. 

Go had earlier filed his candidacy for vice-president, only to switch places with Sen. Ronald dela Rosa who had filed his candidacy for president upon the instructions of the administration PDP-Laban. Dela Rosa has dropped out of the race.

Go's withdrawal has left a faction of the PDP-Laban headed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi without a standard-bearer.

In the interview, Arugay said there is a possibility that some administration officials could go the camp of presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso but only if his numbers go up. 

"There could be a bandwagon if his numbers go up. If Isko's numbers do not improve, maaaring 'yung pagkampi ng ibang administrasyon ay hindi mangyayari. They will hitch on the winning candidate," he said. 

ABS-CBN TeleRadyo, Dec. 15, 2021