Duterte Eyes Senate In Philippine Midterms, Threatening Marcos

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In a surprise move, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has announced his intention to run for a Senate seat in the upcoming midterm elections, a development that could have significant implications for the country’s political landscape and potentially threaten the influence of the Marcos family.

Duterte, who has been a dominant force in Philippine politics since taking office in 2016, has been hinting at a possible Senate bid for months. However, his formal announcement has sent shockwaves through the political establishment, with many analysts interpreting the move as a bid to consolidate power and extend his influence beyond his presidency.

The Philippine midterm elections, scheduled for May 2023, will see voters electing 12 new senators, as well as thousands of local officials across the country. Duterte’s decision to run for a Senate seat has sparked speculation about his motivations and the potential consequences for the country’s political dynamics.

One of the most significant implications of Duterte’s Senate bid is the potential threat it poses to the Marcos family, which has long been a powerful force in Philippine politics. The Marcoses, led by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., have been seeking to regain their former glory after being ousted from power in the 1986 People Power Revolution.

Duterte’s entry into the Senate race could potentially block the Marcoses’ path to power, as the President’s popularity and influence could split the vote and deny them a majority. This would be a significant blow to the Marcos family, which has been seeking to rebuild its political fortunes in recent years.

Moreover, Duterte’s Senate bid could also have implications for the country’s legislative agenda. As President, Duterte has been known for his strong-arm tactics and controversial policies, including his war on drugs, which has been criticized by human rights groups. If elected to the Senate, he could potentially use his influence to push through his legislative priorities, including a proposed shift to a federal system of government.

Duterte’s decision to run for a Senate seat has also sparked concerns about the potential erosion of checks and balances in the Philippine government. The Senate has traditionally served as a counterweight to the presidency, providing a platform for opposition voices and scrutiny of executive branch policies. With Duterte in the Senate, there are fears that he could use his influence to stifle dissent and undermine the independence of the legislative branch.

Despite these concerns, Duterte’s popularity remains high, and he is widely expected to win a Senate seat if he decides to run. His entry into the race has already sparked a flurry of speculation about potential alliances and rivalries, with many analysts predicting a intense and potentially divisive campaign season.

As the Philippine midterm elections approach, one thing is clear: Duterte’s decision to run for a Senate seat has thrown a wild card into the political mix, with significant implications for the country’s political landscape and the balance of power in the years to come.

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