FIRING LINE: 1Sambayan falls short of expectations

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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

I have said this before and I will say it again: 1Sambayan has good intentions but is shooting for the stars. Dreadfully, the last thing I mean by that is any reference to its six nominees for a presidential tandem against the Duterte wrecking train on E-Day 2022.

The first time I heard the buzz about 1Sambayan back in March, I got excited about the idea of a grand coalition of democratic forces non-aligned with the administration that could unite from as far-Left and as far-Right as possible to support a unified opposition slate that could actually win Malacanang.

Well, it has accomplished reeling in militant former congressman Neri Colmenares and ex-Sen. Sonny Trillanes to move those far-end poles under one umbrella, but what about the in-betweens?

By revealing the six nominees for a “dream tandem” to the presidency last Saturday, 1Sambayan convenor former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio gave us all an easily calculable measure of how thinly this “grand” coalition spreads out.

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I mean no disrespect to 1Sambayan or its nominees. But if we are looking at winnability, flatly I would say it is problematic. That roster has two nominees who previously ran for president and lost – one of them twice; one could not get himself elected vice president; the other one has, but could not even tell if she would rather be governor; one could not even come close to winning as senator; and the last, my favorite actress, has never run a national campaign.

AJ Carpio has floated this lofty idea of uniting “all the democratic forces” and having them all accept and support 1Sambayan’s decision on who runs for president and vice president and who doesn’t. And because of that, we have those non-aligned with the ruling party who won’t participate in completing or making the coalition as grand an opposition as it touts itself to be.

Let’s see. There is Sen. Ping Lacson who, for having co-authored the Anti-Terrorism Act, is not getting nominated, so his “partner-in-crime” Senate President Tito Sotto is out of the equation, too. Sen. Nancy Binay? She is not too hot about being in the company of those who bludgeoned his dad’s political career. How about Manila Mayor Isko Moreno? There is a man made wise by broken promises, so he won’t be bamboozled into taking any of it anymore.

And if we look at the roster, four of the nominees utterly showed disinterest in even running the race – Sen. Grace Poe, Bro. Eddie Villanueva, House Deputy Speaker Vilma Santos-Recto, and Chel Diokno. 

Truthfully, I just wish to see something more realistic shape up so I can actually use my one precious vote to elect a better administration that could get us out of this rut made worse by the pandemic. Sadly, I don’t see 1Sambayan giving that to me yet.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at https://www.thephilbiznews.com

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