The tandem of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte may be headed for victory in the 2022 elections unless non-administration candidates give way to the aspirant who has the biggest chance of winning, retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban said.
In his November 21 column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Panganiban urged Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Manny Pacquiao and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to consider the previous proposal of Senator Panfilo Lacson to withdraw their candidacies in favor of the strongest bets.
“What should the opposition do to negate these scenarios? I think they should unite under the original proposal of Sen. Ping Lacson to support the winningest contenders as shown by credible polls,” the former Chief Justice said.
Lacson in August said he talked to Robredo about his proposal to unify the opposition and increase their chance of winning against administration-backed candidates.
Under Lacson’s proposal, presidential aspirants will file their candidacies in October for the 2022 polls, then withdraw their bids in favor of the “best” bet based on voter preference surveys.
Robredo, however, rejected Lacson’s proposal.
A survey conducted by Social Weather Stations in October showed Marcos leading the presidential race, followed by Robredo, Moreno, Pacquiao, Lacson and Senator Ronald Dela Rosa, who subsequently withdrew his candidacy.
Senator Bong Go is running for president with President Rodrigo Duterte’s support.
Panganiban said the clock is ticking for non-administration bets to come together to defeat the Marcos-Duterte tandem.
“Wait if the bets must, but not for too long, because the earlier the unity is forged, the better are the chances of winning. In fact, unity by January 2022 may be a bit late because the winning candidates, as previous elections have shown, may have gained irreversible momentum by that time,” he said.
Panganiban said early indications point to a possible showdown between Marcos-Duterte and a tandem between Robredo and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who’s running alongside Lacson as vice president.