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Manolo Quezon is #TheExplainer Newsletter - Issue #9 (Monday is Electoral Merry-Go-Round Day!)

Manuel L. Quezon III
Manuel L. Quezon III
This Monday’s Electoral Merry-Go-Round looks at the electoral calendar going on, plus zeroes in on one week in political time. And by taking a cue from Randy David, we get to look at framing for the coming contest(s).

The political calendar
A couple of weeks ago in some Twitter conversations I put forward the schedule political observers have been pointing out, as explaining what we’re seeing, on the part of candidates, both declared and mulling over declaring. If we’re aware of the dynamics at play because of this schedule, a lot of what we’re observing will make sense.
Editorial cartoon by EZ Izon
Editorial cartoon by EZ Izon
Pre-campaign
May 31, 2021 Last day for filing of Registration of Parties/Coalitions
June, 2021 Initial benchmarking surveys (viability)
July, 2021 Last SONA of incumbent president (anointing)
June-October, 2021 “Consciousness-raising” activities to raise awareness of and excitement/interest/support for potential candidates; selection of standard-bearers (formation of new coalitions)
October 1-8, 2021 Filing of candidacy 
Campaign
Feb. 8-May 7, 2022 official campaign period (National)
March 25-May, 2022 official campaign period (Local)
March 25-May 8, 2022 Ban on appointments (creating/filling positions) and public works
Elections
April 10-May 9, 2022 Voting overseas
April 27-29, 2022 Absentee voting period
May 9, 2022 Election Day
June 8, 2022 Submission of statements of contributions and expenditures
Campaign checklist
[ ] political party (for pollwatchers/copies of cert. of canvass)
[ ] Comms: strategist/pollster/SocMed/writer(s)/Spox/Advertising
[ ] Fund(ing/ers)
[ ] Logistics: local (sorties)/HQ/allies
[  ] Legal (incl. opposition research)
[  ] Security
Electoral Merry-Go-Round
The Duterte-Marcos-Arroyo-Romualdez Axis
As with most things, the next two pictures you’re about to see, circulated privately in online chat group apps before being featured in the media. Based on the above, you can see why this is the season to be putting forward names –to see if they will sink or swim– and taking others down —limit their room for maneuver.
My own recollection is that the Imee Marcos photo circulated first, followed by the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. photo. Although, as it turned out, the Ferdinand Jr. event preceded that of Imee.
See caption below
See caption below
“Ex-President Gloria Arroyo meets with Bong Bong Marcos, who is reportedly again running for a national post in 2022 polls; House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez (current head of Lakas-CMD party) says their meeting took place last June 14 at Arroyo’s house” (Philippine Star)
Note two ex-Speakers, Arroyo and Romualdez, with Arroyo widely expected to go out of (her extremely temporary) retirement and run for the House of Representatives again. And while Arroyo left her former administration party, Lakas, to form Kampi, only to leave it to join PDP-Laban and wrest the speakership away from Pantaleon Alvarez, she continues to have many former lieutenants in her old party, Lakas-CMD. Romualdez for his part does the heavy lifting in the House, as Majority Leader.
See caption below
See caption below
“Senator Imee Marcos met Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte again this week [June 15], barely three weeks after they saw each other in the Dutertes’ bailiwick.” (Politiko, June 17)
Then again, the Imee-Sara shindig was a follow-up to an earlier one; and in the end, it became very clear they were all tied together. Ultimately, the message is a strong one: the main factions of the ruling coalition are holding together, and with it, the reputation not only of an immense war chest (the Marcoses) but the fanatical following of the President (presumably, this includes the power of his endorsement), and a geographical bailiwick for the allies: the “Solid North” for the Marcoses, parts of the Visayas for the Romualdezes, Davao for the President’s family (especially if it remains undivided with Pacquiao unable/unwilling to run), and Pampanga for the Arroyos.
The continuing problem of finding a viable tandem for the administration means eliminating the non-fully-controllable while floating as many names as possible to see which ones take off.
It was the President himself who got the ball rolling as far the public was concerned:
Philstar.com
@XaveGregorio Duterte then says he will not run for vice president if House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez runs for the position, saying that he has promised the House leader his support should he gun for the vice presidency. | via @XaveGregorio
Followed by a loyal, humble, response by Romualdez.
Marianne Enriquez
House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez holds a press conference on Pres. Duterte’s endorsement should he run for vice president. @News5PH @onenewsph https://t.co/lkfhN5EgPt
One step ahead of eviction
There’s the continuing story of the slow-motion effort to neutralize Manny Pacquiao by either humiliating him so his bankability as a presidential contender suffers a fatal blow, or to deny him his current party, the PDP-Laban, as an electoral vehicle. Leading that effort are relative newcomers to the party (but then again, so is Pacquiao), known political lieutenants of former President (and ex-Speaker) Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Inquirer
Senators Manny Pacquiao and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III will skip the PDP-Laban national council meeting on July 17 to be led by Energy Secretary Alfono Cusi, party vice-chairman. | @CMRamosINQ https://t.co/FDB4Jq2AtB
If Pacquiao and friends are already classified as refugees from the PDP-Laban, the Marcos-Arroyo-Romualdez meetings suggest that there’s going to be a “No Vacancy” sign in Lakas-CMD, either.
Inquirer
Narvacan, Ilocos Sur Mayor Luis “Chavit” Singson officially joined the Nationalist People’s Coalition on Saturday, four months ahead of the filing of candidacies for the 2022 elections. | @cgonzalesINQ https://t.co/S5NM5R1pyZ
Months earlier, one of the earliest signs of a brewing Pacquiao campaign was an interview given by San Miguel Corporation CEO Ramon Ang, who said Pacquiao would win if he ran for president. Ang of course calls the shots in the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), which began as a breakaway faction led by Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., from the old Nacionalista Party (NP) hence the name (NPC). So if Pacquiao and friends are looking for a party, the NPC seems like a good bet.
Manny Pacquiao
I would like to thank Mr. Ramon Ang of San Miguel Corporation for his trust and confidence in me. Someday soon, I hope we can sit down and discuss ideas on how to make our country a better place to live in for every Filipino. https://t.co/55I9q02Anq
Recycling is Good for the Political Environment
An interesting Sunday article by Randy David (I will be quoting from it in my forthcoming podcasts on party conventions and the convenors’ scheme for selecting candidates). I’ve included the relevant portions for today’s newsletter, below:
The opposition’s dilemma | Inquirer Opinion
This, next, opinion provides a useful corollary to David’s ideas:
carlos jugo
Until 2016, the ' Law and Order' narrative was an also-ran compared to the Pro-poor narrative. In 2016, the Philipoines became rich enough for the Law and Order narrative to be more compelling. With the economic collapse, the Pro-poor narrative is making a comeback
Taking a cue from both of the above, it’s well and good to see how potential candidates are framing themselves as they attempt to raise their public awareness.
The Father’s Day weekend has featured political buzz –and outrage at least in some quarters on social media– over a “greeting” video sponsored by current Public Works Secretary Mark Villar. It’s widely understood to be the opening salvo in his quest for elected office.
Manny and Mark Villar Father's Day Paid Ad 2021 45s
Manny and Mark Villar Father's Day Paid Ad 2021 45s
Some eagle-eyed observers pointed out its content seems recycled from an old campaign ad –thus answering on question some observers, familiar with scuttlebutt that the Villar patriarch, Manuel, is unwell, supposedly due to Alzheimer’s.
Ang Pagtulong sa Mahirap, Markang Villar!
Ang Pagtulong sa Mahirap, Markang Villar!
The younger Villar for anything more than the Senate at this point seems a stretch; but it ties in with the calendar in terms of getting names and faces out there for a post-administration future.
Additional Readings Department
Someone who enjoyed reading Rizal in the original Spanish once told me Guerrero best captured the satirical humor of Rizal which is often lost in hyper-literal, over-worshipful translations of his works. I wonder how Richard Grant will handle prouncing Filipino and Spanish words.
Thank you!
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Manuel L. Quezon III
Manuel L. Quezon III @mlq3

I'm a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer; an Editor at large at Spot.ph; I write on history, politics and culture; and I write speeches and have worked in political communications; and I used to broadcast (which is where The Explainer comes from); I also set up and maintain the Philippine Diary Project; this is a newsletter to keep readers abreast of what I've written, am writing, and think about what's going on as well as a way to expand topics and conversations on all sorts of issues. Ideally, this will come thrice weekly:
1. Every Monday: Electoral-Merry-Go Round, on the Road to the 2022 Presidential Elections
2. Every Wednesday or Thurday: My column, "The Long View" along with additional material/thoughts on the topic.
3. Passion Project Weekends: reviews and recommendations books, movies, and other things; updates on The Philippine Diary Project and other things I find interesting. If my podcast comes out, this is when I'd promote it.

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