WWSD

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.


A few years back a fad swept America, with the letters “WWJD” appearing on walls, on bumper stickers, on shirts and wristbands. Standing for “What Would Jesus Do?” it was a campaign meant to conscienticize the public and cause them to pause and think during a heated or controversial moment, before finally acting or reacting in what is hopefully a much more reasoned manner.

WWJD is similar to the “I Found It” craze that swept Manila in the 1980s, again another religion-linked campaign directing people to finding God.

If there were a political version of this for the Philippines of today, it would be WWSD, with J for Jesus being replaced by S representing Sara (Duterte). But the letters could mean many things: “What Would Sara Do”, “Who Would Sara Displace”, maybe even “Who Would Sara Displease”.

And what used to be “Why Would Sara Declare” is now “When Will Sara Declare” and the answer to this would be “very soon”.

Everyone’s talking about Sara. As a friend wryly remarked, “sa pagkahaba-haba ng prusisyon, sa Comelec rin pala ang tuloy”. All these talk was precipitated first by Davao Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte’s withdrawal of his certificate of candidacy for vice mayor, followed by his sister’s own withdrawal of her certificate of candidacy for Mayor. Not long after, SenSAP Bong Go who had filed as the VP candidate of PDP Laban-Cusi was giving a tearful speech in Antipolo hinting that he would be having to forego his candidacy for VP upon orders of the President himself. (Poor SenSAP - he has been moved to tears so many times.)

As this is being written, Mayora Sara is now in Balesin island ostensibly to celebrate the birthday of Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. She is expected to be joined by former President Gloria Arroyo and about 100 members of the House all aligned with GMA’s Lakas Party. And, reports say, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr will be joining them too. It will provide everyone there an opportunity to hammer out the final arrangement for a much talked about BBM-Sara or Sara-BBM tie up that has to be signed sealed and delivered by end of Monday, November 15. If all goes well, the result will undoubtedly be a formidable tandem. But if things fall apart…

Many ask: who would benefit if SDC and BBM fail to reach an agreement and decide to go their separate ways? My answer is VP Leni. It will still be a tough fight, because Sara would be the Admin candidate, but then the Mayora would be splitting the Duterte/non-yellow/non-pink voters with BBM. Pacquiao would also eat into the Mindanao voters, while Isko would take some of the votes in NCR away from them both. These seem like good things for the Kakampinks.

But I would suspect that GMA and even PRRD will move Heaven and Hell to be able to hammer out a workable alliance between the Ilocanos and the Dabawenyos and unveil on Monday that powerful team up. So all that the rest of us mere mortals can just do is wait and see.

Indeed the rest of us have our own WWSD: We Wait, See, Decide.


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

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