The DDS dilemma

Communication specialist Jose Bayani Baylon is a keen observer of Philippine politics. He is sharing with VERA Files readers his reading of political movements, obvious and not-so-obvious, leading up to the election in May 2022.


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, if the most rabid DDS is to be believed, is perhaps the greatest world leader that mankind has ever produced.

According to the DDS, PRRD has been hailed by fellow world leaders including the Pope and Queen Elizabeth, as well as by U.S. President Tom Kirkman. Before you do a double-take, yes, you read that right : US President Tom Kirkman, the lead character in the hit US TV series “Designated Survivor”.

That’s how rabid they are, the DDS.

So much so that anything the President has had to say between 2016 to today has always been received as gospel truth. Who are we to question him when he obviously has information that only he has and which is not accessible to us mere mortals? And if opinion surveys are to be believed, that deep and unwavering faith in the President’s words has been the foundation of his amazing survey results, with satisfaction rates of higher than 80% from 2016 to 2020.

Of late however, everything has been changing. Many DDS are staring to realize that the “Emperor has no clothes”, or has clay feet. As a result, many DDS are bewitched, bothered and bewildered: what has happened to PRRD and what do we do now?, they ask.

The biggest source of internal conflict for the DDS world is the apparent split between the President (with ever loyal Sen Bong Go beside him) on the one hand, and presidential daughter and outgoing Davao Mayor Sara Duterte on the other. That split is best symbolized by Mayora Sara’s decision to run as vice president to former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. under the banner of the Lakas NUCD- Partido Federal. Her decision immediately sidelined Sen. Go who had earlier filed as the vice presidential candidate of PDP- Laban (Cusi). If rumors are to be believed, Go was first hoping to run for president with no less than PRRD as his running mate.

Sara’s entry closed that option.

We all know what happened next:Duterte had a subsequent change of mind: apparently pissed, he had Sen. Bato dela Rosa withdraw his presidential bid, has Bong Go move up to president, and then tantalized the country with the idea that on the last day of substitutions he would finally run for vice president bringing to fruition the supposedly original idea of a Go-PRRD continuity ticket.

But Monda,y November 15 came and went; PRRD filed for the Senate and not for the vice presidency, but unleashed an attack on Marcos that is what has left the DDs world in shambles, the DDS world that was ready to warmly embrace the Marcos -Sara ticket.

Take a friend from my PBA days, one of the rabid fans of our team. An even more rabidPRRD supporter, this guy has spent the last five years mocking PNoy and hitting“Dilawans” and the communists while praising PRRD to high heavens. A few days ago I found out on Facebook that he was BBM- Sara: I messaged him that PRRD will not like that. “Sabi ni PRRD, weak daw” , I said. And gumagamit yata. To which he replied “Not true boss.” I again replied “Sinungaling si PRRD? Hala ka! Hahahahahahahaha” (and yes I put that many hahas).

He changed the topic to the UP Maroons.

It’s like having a “sarado Catolico” waking up one morning and being told by the Pope that Jesus Christ died but did not in fact rise again. Most Catholics will be lost: some would stay, some would stray.

The DDS in dilemma: that’s the DDS situation today. It’s a church of true believers lost in the wilderness. No longer sure what to believe.

And maybe, just maybe, too splintered now to win again.

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of VERA Files.

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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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