FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao
If there is one thing that could change the mind of Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio and run for president in the next year’s election, it would be if former Senator Antonio Trillanes would decide to run under the new political coalition 1SAMBAYAN.
During the launching of the coalition last March 19, lead Convenor former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio announced that they were considering Trillanes as one of their candidates for president along with Vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, Senators Nancy Binay and Grace Poe.
Senator Binay, daughter of former Vice President Jojo Binay, has already said that she is content with being a senator and not interested in seeking a higher office. Poe, who lost in the 2016 presidential election, has yet to respond to Carpio’s proposition
Only Trillanes has categorically said that he would run for president if Vice President Robredo would opt not to run. Robredo, who heads the opposition Liberal Party, herself has expressed her preference to run for a local office, probably as mayor of Naga City, the post held by her late husband, Jessie Robredo.
Citing lack of resources and the “thinning out” of membership of the Liberal Party, Robredo said that she might just succumb to the call of her supporters in Naga City to serve them as mayor rather than run for the presidency.
This led to the announcement of Trillanes that he would seek the presidency, the post that he has long lusted for and that prompted him to launch two coups to topple the government of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and install him as president. The last of these attempts and most comical was take-over of the posh Manila Peninsula Hotel on Nov. 29, 2007.
In the aftermath of that “coup” I wrote in the Manila Times that Trillanes had either a Messianic Complex or was just plain stupid in believing that in seizing a 5-star hotel, thousands of people would rush to save him from the military ala EDSA ’86. Without firing their guns but only hurling teargas, Trillanes and his followers surrendered. They were later convicted of rebellion.
Duterte’s bete noir
During his two full terms as senator and even when he was out of the Senate Trillanes continued to attack the President and his administration. It was Trillanes who instigated the filing of charges against Duterte in the International Criminal Court for his alleged role in the killing of innocent civilians in Davao City while he was mayor and later in the anti-drug war when he was president.
Thus, it would not be far-fetched to think that Mayor Inday Sara was only waiting for Trillanes announcement to convince her to succeed her father in Malacañang. Because if by any chance Trillanes wins as president, Duterte and his family would be targeted for persecution. And the feisty Davao mayor could not let it happen.
Mano a mano
A Trillanes-Inday Sara fight in 2022 would be a battle between the elitists of 1SAMBANSA side and the masses of the Duterte camp.
Trillanes, a former Navy officer, stern-looking and who seldom smiles, will be pitted against the lady mayor with a ready smile but with a temper. Sara once punched a Davao City prosecutor prompting the foreign media to give her the moniker “The Puncher” and her father “The Punisher” for his bloody anti-drug war.