‘High uncertainty around polls remains over Sara candidacy’

14-Oct-2021 Intellasia | PhilStar | 5:53 AM Print This Post

The uncertainty surrounding the presidential race in May next year remains “elevated” amid the prospect of a late entry by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, according to Fitch Solutions Country Risk & Industry Research.

In a commentary titled “Duterte Not Yet Out of the Philippine Presidential Race,” Fitch Solutions believes there remains a strong possibility that President Duterte’s daughter would still run for the highest position in the country despite not filing for candidacy before the October 8 deadline.

“We at Fitch Solutions believe that the uncertainty around the Philippine presidential race remains elevated in the near term, as the prospect of a late presidential bid from Sara Duterte remains,” Fitch Solutions said.

It added the absence of Duterte-Carpio from the presidential and vice presidential candidate lists was somewhat surprising given her strong showing in recent opinion polls as well as the need of President Duterte for an ally in the face of possible trial and arrest by the International Criminal Court investigating his bloody war on drugs.

“However, there remains a loophole in which Sara could still run, substituting for another candidate before the November 15 deadline, as President Duterte did six years earlier,” Fitch Solutions said.

Duterte-Carpio filed her certificate of candidacy (COC) for reelection as Davao City mayor for the third and final term.

“Sara has insisted that she intends to run for Davao city mayor, but the potential for her to mount a late bid for the presidency remains. Indeed, campaigning will officially begin in January, allowing time for further political surprises and alliance shifting before year end,” Fitch Solutions said.

It added there remains the issue over who represents the ruling PDP-Laban, which is wracked with internal conflict that the Commission on Election hopes to resolve before the campaign season begins.

Presidential bets include vice President Leni Robredo, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. as well as Sens. Ping Lacson, Manny Pacquiao and Ronaldo “Bato” Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa said he is ready to give way and allow Duterte-Carpio to take his place as presidential bet.

The race for the vice presidency is led by Sens. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Tito Sotto and long-time Duterte aide Bong Go.

“There were few surprises among the presidential candidates and we believe that most candidates will offer some policy continuity from the Duterte administration,” Fitch Solutions said.

President Duterte decided to withdraw from the race for vice president and instead asked Go to run. He also announced his retirement from politics

“However, with Duterte withdrawing from the vice presidential race, the possibility for a shift in policy following the election has risen. In particular, we expect the next president to take a more distant approach to relations with China and potentially seek international support over its disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea,” it added.

The research arm of the Fitch Group believes a shift to a liberal democratic presidency remains of low probability as it highlights the potential for key Duterte policies, such as his focus on infrastructure development and the drug war, to be continued to varying degrees.

More than 100 candidates have filed certificates of candidacy for president, 29 for vice president, 176 for senate positions and 733 for seats in the House of Representatives.

Next year’s polls also cover party-lists and local government positions.



Category: Philippines

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