(From Left) Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, Bro. Eddie Villanueva, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, Vice President Leni Robredo, House Deputy Speakers Vilma Santos-Recto and Sen. Grace Poe.

1Sambayan list target for attacks

The 1Sambayan coalition, which presents itself as a united opposition to the incumbent administration, seems to have prematurely released a list of five names for possible President and Vice President.

They are: Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Grace Poe, former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, House Deputy Speakers Vilma Santos-Recto and Eddie Villanueva, and human rights lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno.

Senators Ping Lacson and Nancy Binay and Mayor Isko Moreno respectfully declined inclusion in the list long before 1Sambayan released the list.

Convenors of 1Sambayan interviewed many before coming out with the list, although they said it was not final. Everyone supposedly agreed to support whoever will be chosen standard bearer. VP Leni asked them to keep their word.

Half in the list are trapos or seasoned politicians – Grace Poe, Antonio Trillanes and Vilma Santos-Recto.

Immediately, Grace, Vilma, Eddie and Chel declined the ‘early nomination’, leaving only Leni and Trillanes.

But who in the list is honest, trustworthy and winnable? The more important criteria is statesmanship.

The opposition wants to present a united slate who represents everything Duterte is not.

Leni, thrust into politics via her husband’s death (like Cory Aquino), should already realize she should not trust trapos and their promises.

Leni is honest, down-to-earth. She pushes the opposition mantra of unity. She joins 1Samabayan’s search for a worthy and strong match to the administration’s anointed bet.

Trillanes on the other hand does not hide anymore his desire to be a presidential candidate. But he needs to convince 1Sambayan convenors, the likes of former Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Justice Carpio strongly believes only a united opposition can topple the administration.

Therefore, the old tactic of fielding fake opposition candidates is distinctly possible.

Now that the opposition had shown its hand, PDP-Laban will be working overtime to dig up dirt to discredit those in the list.

Troll farms are now activated, weaving colorful stories to spice up the pre-campaign season. Comelec spokesperson Jaime Jimenez chided the commission’s own rules on early campaigning – the rule says early campaigning can only be penalized during the official campaign period. Ha?

In years past, trolls threw a lot against Leni but failed to destroy her or dampen her spirit.

Will PDP-Laban fast-track its own list? They have displayed cracks in their ranks – remember Pacquiao vs. Duterte? Digong won the 1st round.

Statements that daughter and father will not run for President and VP cannot not be trusted. It’s an old political ploy. In 2016, Digong lied and ran at the last minute.

Forget the COVID. Forget the economy. Forget the vaccine. It’s more fun in the Philippines. It’s Filipino political season!

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