Joma’s crystal ball: Opposition to pull upset in midterm polls
LUCENA CITY—As the 2019 elections draw near, exiled Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison has expressed bold optimism that the still fragmented political opposition could score a substantial victory against administration candidates.
“We can expect that the Duterte regime will lose heavily in the Senate,” he said in an online interview.
Sison said there would be fewer pro-Duterte members of the House of Representatives too.
The mainstream political opposition has yet to finalize a lineup, though.
Survey says otherwise
Based on early survey results, aspirants known as allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, had the higher chance of winning.
Sison said different parties and groups opposed to the Duterte administration “will tend to unite from month to month.”
He said election results were likely to be influenced by worsening economic conditions, rising number of killings and continuing corruption in the government despite repeated rants by the President about “hating” corruption.
Sison said by the time midterm elections were held in May 2019, the Duterte administration “shall have become even more discredited and isolated than now because of soaring prices of basic goods and services and other worsening economic conditions.”
Candidates and parties allied with the President “will be ineffective,” he said.
Sison said he was confident that the opposition could pull an upset and win enough seats in the Senate and House of Representatives “to frustrate a Charter change” to keep the President in power.
“Legal patriotic and progressive forces, like Makabayan bloc, will be the best articulators of people’s demands and will generate mass protests,” he said.
Militant groups joining elections, Sison added, will be a “swing factor for the further isolation” of the Duterte administration.
However, he said he still believed that the coming elections would not bring radical changes to erase poverty and end injustices.
“Elections are still a process that belongs to the oligarchy,” Sison said.
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