Local politicians start disclosing alliances with national candidates, says analyst
MANILA, Philippines – The campaign season for the local elections kicks off on Friday, but what good is an official poll calendar when the candidates have been going around their constituencies since last year anyway?
Political analyst Ramon Casiple said that under the automated election law, people running for local office could only become official candidates once the campaign season started.
“Meaning they are not considered candidates yet even after they file their certificates of candidacy. And all their actions, even if they go around the city before March 29, is considered only as freedom of expression,” Casiple told the Inquirer.
“There is no such thing as precampaigning anymore. So, technically, the candidates were not violating anything,” he added.
Under the old election code, he said, a person running for office is immediately considered a candidate after filing his certificate of candidacy.
What’s exciting about Friday’s event, he said, is the unmasking of a candidate’s true political friends and foes.
“It’s a crucial moment for local and national candidates because here they will see the maneuvers made by their opponents,” Casiple said.
During the campaign season, local candidates are expected to disclose what Casiple says are their “true colors.”
He explained that the local battles would force candidates to show the public the type of coalitions and networkings that national candidates had made.
“You have to remember that the words of the preferred mayoral candidate have a big effect on the voters,” Casiple said.
Starting on Friday, he said, the winnable senatorial candidates would finally be known in the surveys.
“This happened in the 2010 and 2016 elections. President Duterte looked like a winnable presidential candidate only after the campaign for local candidates started in 2016. The same thing happened with former Vice President Jejomar Binay in 2010,” Casiple said.