Substitution is now aging as a political strategy, analysts say

Through Russell Louis C. Ku and Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

POLITICAL parties risk losing votes if they use substitution as a strategy to buy time in choosing their presidential bets, analysts say.

“They can successfully overcome legal obstacles, but I doubt they will get the support of more voters,” said Dennis C. Coronacion, who heads the political science department at the University of Santo. Tomas, in a Viber message.

Filipinos might now be wary of the substitution, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte used in the 2016 presidential race. His presidential bid only became official at the last minute.

Substitution allows a political party to replace a member who has filed a nomination paper with another member. The deposit ended on October 8, but replacement is allowed until mid-November.

“It would be unwise for the administration party or its allies to resort to it again,” Coronacion said.

Lakas-CMD general secretary Prospero A. Pichay, Jr. said earlier that they had set up reserved spaces for the president and vice president, hoping the mayor of Davao city and the daughter Presidential Sara Duterte-Carpio will change their mind and run for president.

The party no longer expected Ms Carpio to show up and considered former Senator Ramon “Bong” B. Revilla, Jr. as its presidential bet.

Senator Ronald M. de la Rosa, who has applied for president of the PDP-Laban party, has also said he is ready to cede his place to Ms Carpio, who is seeking re-election as mayor of Davao.

“While this kind of political machination is to be expected of our political elites, their goal has always been to gain power by any means possible,” said Michael Henry Ll. Yusingco, a senior researcher at Ateneo de Manila University Policy Center, said in a Viber message. “Abuse of legal mechanisms to their advantage is just normal for them.”

Meanwhile, analysts said the coronavirus pandemic has made Filipinos more mature politically and may prompt them to vote based on issues rather than personalities.

“Apathy is out of sight,” Enrico V. Gloria, assistant professor of international relations at the Diliman University of the Philippines, said in an email. “Especially given the mismanagement of the pandemic, it is very clear to the average Juan that whoever we elect has a direct influence on the quality of life they can enjoy. “

“A lot of people are starting to realize that the current administration’s response to the pandemic is inadequate,” UST’s Coronacion said. “Health will certainly be at the top of the voter selection criteria.”

Thirty-seven celebrities and 13 athletes are running for national and local positions next year. Filipinos are used to voting for popular candidates who know nothing about governance.

As of September 30, 63.7 million Filipinos have registered for next year’s elections, according to the Election Commission. The participation rate in 2016 was 81.95%, or 44.5 million out of 54 million voters.

There appears to be a “hunger” for participation, Gloria said, citing “ridiculously long lines” at registration sites.

Young voters will have a big impact on election results next year, Coronacion said, adding that social media campaigns would become the name of the game.

“The generation of content in this medium, however, is more democratized and varied,” he said. “There is the challenge of filtering legitimate content, but also the opportunity to capitalize on a pool of grassroots digital supporters who can more effectively diversify the influence and reach of candidates. “

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