Opinion: Pacquiao will be a lightweight challenging the Duterte-ticket

I boldly accept the challenge of running as PRESIDENT of the Philippines. We need progress. We need to win against poverty. We need government to serve our people with integrity, compassion and transparency. The time is now. I am ready to rise to the challenge of leadership” – Senator Manny Pacquiao” (19.09.2021)

Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas Ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has already a resolution where the incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte is the Vice-Presidential Candidate and with Christopher Lawerence “Bong Go” Tesoro as the Presidential Candidate in the up-coming election. That was official like 10 days ago.

Now today, the other PDP-Laban fraction of Senator Pimentel have announced Pacquiao as the Presidential Candidate and with Senator Koko Pimentel as the Vice-Presidential candidate. This is happening a day after Pacquiao signed a coalition agreement led by MP3 alliance, which is between PDP-Laban – People’s Champ, PROMDI President Mimo Osmeña and PCM legal counsel Atty. Gacal.

So, the Pimentel fraction is giving Pacquiao a boost for his campaign now. They are willing to risk the newbie in the Senate who was only elected into it in 2016. He held a legislative seat in Mindanao since 2010, but haven’t been long in the Congress or a high ranking office. For some this will mean little, but the dismissal of “Bong Go” is for the same reasons as well.

While Pacquiao have been for a full term, as “Bong Go” only was elected in the midterms. These two will challenge each other and the PDP-Laban – People’s Champ have to prove this. This shows that both PDP-Laban tickets isn’t foolproof.

While the other ticket has the incumbent President on it. The main ticket is weak with the aide and a short term senator. These are both not winning or sincere ones. Yes, PacMan is a favoured man and a popular one. However, he is not a seasoned politician in the conning landscape of Filipino lawmakers.

Pacquiao has to show power towards the dynasties, the powerful families and the incumbent President. He is not only challenging “Bong Go”. He is going after Duterte who still has a huge following. It is not like Pacquiao is fighting against random candidates. That he has Sen. Pimentel on the ticket is helping, but is it enough?

I cannot see how Pacquiao or Pimentel will get this through the PDP-Laban at this stage. As they are working directly for Duterte and his causes. The fraction will have to challenge outside the party. Even if that meaning Pimentel have to leave the party of his father. “Nene” Pimentel Jr. founded the party in 1982 and this would be an end of an era with the possible break from the party. Because “Koko” does not have enough strength to compete with Duterte at this point of time. That seems impossible.

This is why with the challenge and dispute between these two tickets. Expect the “Bong Go” ticket to go ahead. While Pacquiao will have to do this on the outside. They have to make the People’s Champ Movement as a national party and run with that. Since, the PDP-Laban will be Duterte domain for now. Until proven otherwise, I will stand by that statement and Pimentel will not change this. He will be vital for the ticket of Pacquiao, but not enough to beat Duterte internally.

Pacquiao needs a K.O. but he will struggle on this one. He is not in the ring, but outside his comfort zone. This will be hectic, unfriendly and he will battle every step ahead. Pacquiao has been beaten and gotten punched before, but this will be humiliating and he deserves better. As the hero and champion he is. It is too early and he challenges someone who does whatever to get his way. This is why he going into a ring where he will be outplayed and outmanoeuvred. One wrong step and he will be an easy target to fall. Peace.

Opinion: Is this the war-chest for Duterte’s campaign?

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 3) — The Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives on Friday terminated the briefing for the proposed ₱8.2-billion budget of President Rodrigo Duterte’s office for 2022. ₱4.5 billion of the Office of the President’s budget request is for intelligence and confidential funds” (CNN Philippines – ‘House terminates briefing for ₱8.2-billion 2022 budget for Duterte’s office’ 03.09.2021).

In December 2020 President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed the Congress to look into the usage of the confidential funds in the 2021. Now, there is yet another questionable move, as the Office of the President has another budget post on the National Budget, which is for intelligence and confidential funds.

When the President haven’t allowed the committee and inquiries into the previous spending of these billions of pesos. You can wonder…. What is he spending this money on? Is this spend on his side-dishes? Is this the porkies of the budget and the ones used for “private projects”?

It is also striking that he gets these funds in his final year as President and as his the Vice Presidential candidate for PDP-Laban. In my mind… these funds could easily go to campaigning and greasing the wheels. This would be a nice war-chest for a campaign and paying a team to secure another office.

What is also striking for a man that is speaking so publicly about anti-corruption and red-tape. A man who is supposed to be against greed and misuse of office. The President usually use these methods to strike at his enemies. However, here is a budget post made for open corruption with no accountability or transparency. That’s why this can go to his baby-mama’s, side-dishes and build another story on his private resident in Mindanao.

Let’s be clear, if the President wanted to be honest and sincere. He wouldn’t have vetoed the same funds last year. Now, the committee isn’t allowed to look into similar funds of next year. Meaning, he could spend these billions of pesos recklessly and whatever he deems fit. It is confidential and the Congress isn’t allowed to get the audits of it either.

Duterte could easily use this to boost his campaign or secure the VP seat. That’s how it looks to me… as he has a fountain of money and nobody can look into it. It is confidential and at bay for whatever things he see fit.

It is naturally to question this and the need for it in this manner. Why can’t the AFP or any agency need these funds more? Can’t the military intelligence or agencies allocate or appropriate the funds for this without the privy of the President before the possible usage of it. That just seems like a wasted hurdle and a way of disbursing funds to complicate the end-game.

President Duterte should be open about it, if his not … I will claim it is for his “war-chest” and preparation for the up-coming elections. If not it is for his side-dishes or secret affairs, which he doesn’t want the general public to know about. Because, why should he need to veto it and now they are not allowed to discuss it.

That just shows to me that something is up and these funds are not spent in the interest of the Filipino people. If they were than there would be nothing to hide or shield the public from. The President acts like there is hidden skeletons in the closet and he doesn’t want anyone to see them. Peace.

Philippines: Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases – National Task-Force Against COVID-19 (NTF COVID-19) – Temporary Suspension of Travel into the Philippines of Foreigners and Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROFs) who are Non-Overseas Filipino Workers (Non-OFWs) – (16.03.2021)