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Midterm elections, Digong, and Inday

May 14, 2019 - Tuesday 4:05 AM by Allan Nawal

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The result of Monday's elections, at least in my view, would prove two things.

Foremost, it would show how the people regard Digong and his administration, and second, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte's convincing power.

In the case of Digong and his administration, it would show if there was indeed massive discontent as the opposition has been claiming, or it would validate survey results that showed his overwhelming satisfaction rating among the people.

It would only take two of Digong's senatorial candidates – who were endorsed by Mayor Inday's Hugpong ng Pagbabago – to win to prove that the satisfaction ratings shown in surveys were correct.

It is like this. The senatorial race featured such popular reelectionists as Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, Nancy Binay, and Pia Cayetano or movie and television actors Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla. Of these candidates, Villar, Cayetano, and Revilla were among those that Digong had endorsed – in addition to Imee Marcos, Sonny Angara, Koko Pimentel, JV Ejercito, and Jinggoy Estrada. Even if they were not endorsed by the President, I believe that they would win anyway – because they have  already imprinted themselves into the people's consciousness.

But the validation of Digong's satisfaction rating would really come from Christopher “Bong” Go and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa. They were the object of so much criticism by the opposition. Go had been called many names to pull him down, including his just being an alalay. The opposition also tried to taint him with corruption issues in the hope of preventing his rise in the survey rankings.

Then there is Bato, whom the opposition claimed to be the implementor of the massive killings of drug suspects and criminals.

The opposition also belittled their intelligence, if only to further trample on them.

Amid all of these efforts, Digong was tireless in endorsing the two of them. In fact, in his speeches, he mentioned Bong and Bato more than any other candidate.

And judging by the survey results, that worked.

However, the real measure of one politician's success is not the survey results: it is the outcome of any election.

If we use the survey results as benchmarks, we can see that Bong and Bato were likely to win the elections. If that's the case, this early, the opposition's claim of discontent is already proven false.

In the simplest interpretation, if there was indeed massive discontent against Digong, Bong and Bato would have fared poorly in the surveys.

Another indication that Digong's convincing power remained strong was Bam Aquino and Mar Roxas' poor showing in the surveys.

If the two of them, or any opposition candidate, fail to enter the Magic 12, the discontent is towards the opposition and not Digong.

Granting that any of them wins, it would show that only a few Filipinos did not like Digong. Most likely, these were the diehard opposition supporters.

As for Mayor Inday, her convincing power would be mirrored in the local and provincial races. If her chosen candidates dominate the local and provincial race, Mayor Inday would become the next kingmaker, whether the opposition likes it or not.

Of course, it is given that not all HNP candidates would win in their respective turfs, but dominating most of the towns, cities, and provinces would already be enough to make her a formidable power in Philippine politics.

Even during the pre-election, the Kingmaker's power in her was already evident, which was why politicians of all colors rushed to seek her endorsement and become members of her HNP.

Local survey results showed that majority of those endorsed by the HNP would likely win.

But then, like the survey results, all of these remain tentative until after all the votes had been counted in.

When the results come and perceptions had been validated, Mayor Inday's convincing power would be doubted no more.

And with this, 2020 isn't far-fetched.