For love of country . . .
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has accepted his party’s nomination to run for vice-president in the May 2022 elections to “see the continuity of [his] efforts.” Duterte is constitutionally limited to a single six-year term but is not precluded from running on the VP ticket, which is separate from the presidential ticket. His PDP-Laban Party had endorsed him to run as VP, with his loyalist Senator Christopher Go as president, but Go nixed that possibility after declining the nomination. Opposition leaders have denounced Duterte’s bid for the vice-presidency, calling it an unconstitutional ploy to maintain his grip on power and avoid investigation and potential prosecution for the thousands of killings and other human rights violations in his infamous war on drugs.
Jumping into the ring . . .
With the candidacy registration deadline of October 6 approaching, more candidates have hinted at or outright thrown their hat into the ring. One front-runner was the president’s own daughter, Sara Duterte, who has strong backers and fairly positive public support. She decided not to run following her father’s VP nomination acceptance, stating that “only one Duterte” should run for national office. Senators Panfilo Lacson and his running-mate Vicente Sotto were the first to formally declare their candidacy for president and vice-president, respectively. They seek to challenge Duterte’s strongman leadership with a similar tough-on-crime platform, but by branding themselves as incorruptible and more competent. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of former president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who ruled from 1965-1986, has also announced plans to run. There is also speculation that boxer-turned-politician Manny Pacquiao may also run for president backed by another faction within PDP-Laban.
COVID-19’s reach into 2022 elections . . .
Filipinos have until September 30 to register to vote. Nationwide and localized lockdowns have suspended voter registration schedules and operations, causing certain jurisdictions like Duterte’s own stronghold of Davao City to lose over 40 days for voter registration. Lawmakers and advocates have put pressure on the Philippines’ Commission on Elections to extend the voting registration window, but to no avail. They also fear that due to these constraints, around 13 million eligible Filipinos could be left out of the electoral process altogether. The elections are slated for May 9, 2022.
- Inquirer.net: Sambayan on Duterte’s VP bid: ‘A clear mockery of our Constitution’
- South China Morning Post: Rodrigo Duterte accepts nomination to runs as vice-president in 2022 Philippine election
- Rappler: Comelec decides not to extend voter registration