Daily Tribune (Philippines)

Tight race now

“The main Catholic church seems to support Leni, but there’s no official declaratio­n of it if the majority religion really backs her candidacy.

- HE SAYS ALDRIN CARDONA

There’s no doubt the election fever is scorching the country, hopefully not to the ground.

It’s like tectonic shifts are happening by the hour, but it would not be until the month — or days — before the 9 May 2022 elections when we’d have a clear picture of the aspirants’ chances at winning.

If we’ll take what the surveys say hook, line, and sinker, doubt not that Bongbong Marcos has the biggest chance of unhinging the door back to Malacanang where he had spent his young and early adult life being the son of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

He had his happiest days at the Palace, and his family’s loyalists could rekindle their best days of those years, like the stories they tell their grandchild­ren about their glorious past.

There are opposition­s now, though, and they’ll do everything to catch up with and beat Bongbong’s numbers.

The surveys could not be the accurate guides to determine an aspirant’s winnabilit­y, too. Bongbong knows he could not just bank on those figures. He has to work hard to get his ticket back to Malacanang.

Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Manny Pacquiao and Ping Lacson, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko

“Leni could be the most formidable opponent to Bongbong when decision time comes. Bongbong’s camp sure knows about this.

Moreno” Domagoso, and labor leader Leody de Guzman are pricking his sides, though.

They are magnets to certain sectors of society, and we could not discount their chances at winning, too.

Ka Leody is an example of a determined aspirant. He has been drawing crowds wherever he goes. His senatorial bet, labor lawyer Luke Espiritu, has also become a crowd-drawer. They may not have the biggest of chances, but they sure are household names already.

Ping has been barnstormi­ng the provinces, interactin­g with his supporters in gymnasiums, and even in restaurant­s. They are also enthusiast­ic about the kind of leadership he offers.

Manny, the Pacman, never fails. He’s not an internatio­nal boxing superstar for nothing.

If he can draw presidents and kings to his side, there’s no doubt he can have the common folk rally around him for this most important part of his life.

His sorties are full. His motorcades are awaited. Now, Isko.

He’s being given superstar treatment wherever he goes. He’s a hit, and he knows how to fire up his crowd.

Isko can mix entertainm­ent with his serious politics. The people are buying it. He has proved to be a man of action, and his supporters do not see his chance as weak.

Leni has also pulled surprises in recent days. Considered a political pariah at the height of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term — being “dilawan”, she seems able to have regrouped the civil society and the various groups that supported the liberals of the past.

Her recent rallies were big events. Accusation­s of busedin crowds to fill her rallies are also crap. She does not have the financial capability to gather a paid lot, and her crowd consists of volunteers who spend on their own.

Leni could be the most formidable opponent to Bongbong when decision time comes. Bongbong’s camp sure knows about this.

Various religious groups also seem to have taken sides.

Bongbong’s proclamati­on rally at the Bulacan arena was viewed as support given by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC). The INC said it was not.

Apollo Quiboloy’s cult based in Davao has also given Bongbong its support.

Mike Velarde of the Catholic El Shaddai is also for Bongbong.

The main Catholic church seems to support Leni, but there’s no official declaratio­n of it if the majority religion really backs her candidacy.

Pacman has the Evangelica­ls behind him.

Ping, Isko, and Ka Leody have no major religion or sects openly giving support to them.

Counting the days towards the polls, we are seeing a fight closer than we had anticipate­d.

It’s a contest among the aspirants’ committed supporters, though, and these elections would no longer be about the trolls, hecklers, and “hakot” crowds that have replaced the old “guns, goons, and golds.”

They sure show the level of maturity of the Filipino electorate. It’s a welcome sign.

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