Sara vs. Leni in 2022 looms


FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao

Both Vice President Leni Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio have not even confirmed that they are running for president in next year’s national election. But it is clear as crystal that the two women will seek the highest post in the land in 2022.

In fact, the two had a verbal sparring recently when Robredo, perhaps out of concern for the people of Davao City, suggested that Davao could learn some lessons from Cebu City in managing the upsurge of Covid-19 cases in Davao.

In her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong Leni, the vice president made no mention of the mayor although it was apparent that she was referring to Mayor Sara. In the program she told her co-host Ely Saludar that she thought it might help if Davao will find out what Cebu City did in controlling the spike of Covid cases.

Mayor Duterte reacted strongly to Robredo’s remarks, taking them as an “attack” on her mayorship and the city’s medical community. The mayor told Robredo to “refrain from giving advice if she knows nothing about what is happening on the ground.” And then she added: “This has been the hallmark of her term as VP, where she puts forth comments on matters and affairs she lacks understanding and knowledge on and does not offer anything helpful to solve a problem.”

This is just a foretaste of what would happen if the two will fight it out in the presidential derby next year.

Will they run?

Never mind the support of the so-called super coalition1Sambayan, Robredo will run as candidate of the Liberal Party, the oldest political party in the country. 1Sambayan is consumed by its hatred for President Duterte while the LP is still a potent force backed by the vast resources of some of its officials including former President Benigno Aquino III and former Senator Mar Roxas. Its political machinery is still intact.

Both Aquino and Roxas are in hibernation but in the upcoming election, they will definitely back up Robredo. It must this assurance that prompted the vice president to abandon her earlier plans of running for a local post. At least this is what we can perceive at the moment.

Leni and Inday Sara have excellent credentials. Both are lawyers and passionate public servants. Robredo was a former congresswoman from Camarines Sur. Sara, on the other hand, has been mayor of Davao City for multiple terms. Both she and Robredo are lawyers.

I am 99.99 percent sure that Mayor Sara will run under her home-grown Hugpong ng Pagbabago but this does not mean that she will not be adopted eventually by her father’s political party, the PDP-Laban.

Sara’s running mate

Will President Duterte be her running mate? We don’t think that Inday Sara would fall for this vacuous proposal from some sycophants in the ruling party who are afraid of losing their perks and privileges once Duterte is out of power.

Time and again Mr. Duterte has said that he is tired of working in Manila and would prefer to go back to Davao City, his comfort zone. In his latest interview with Pastor Quiboloy, he said categorially that he will retire after 2022.

But since he has changed his mind too often in the past, we really can’t tell what President Duterte’s political plans are after 2022.

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