Hope springs eternal

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Even after the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy for those seeking elective posts in the 2022 national and local elections came and went, and there was not even a sign in or near Sofitel Hotel that she or even a representative was to present her intention to run for the highest position in the land, those who are pushing presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio to supplant her father and take over the reins of the executive department come July 1, 2022, still haven’t felt jilted. In fact, despite her pronouncements that she is not running for the presidency at this time to seek a third and final term as city mayor, her supporters are still adamant they still have until November 15 to convince her to run and, as her supporters hope, continue the unquestionably solid gains of her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, in nation-building the last five years or so that was only ambushed by the economic bane that is the present coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic.

Of course, it doesn’t help to ‘kill’ hopes of Sara eventually conceding to a run for the presidency that Duterte ‘lackey’ Sen. Bong Go filed his COC for vice-president on the second day of the October 1-8 electoral exercise despite still being a senator of the republic until 2025. And to add to the hopefulness of those believing that Sara alone is deserving to replace her father as the occupant of Malacanang’s high chair despite a good array of other presidential hopefuls that include Vice President Leonor Robredo, former senator Bongbong Marcos, Manila mayor Isko Moreno, and Sens. Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson, also filing their COCs, this time for president, in virtually the last hour are Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abello. Of course, it need not be said that both are, or were, close to President Duterte, so it can be reasonably suspected that both are acting on the behest of the President so that there’s plenty of choices for substitution even in the slimmest of chances that Sara changes her mind and go for it in November.

With such a scenario looming in the national political scene today, not much has been set by the filing of COCs as far as deciding which candidate to support for a great majority of the 63 million or so registered voters in the country. With the real possibility of Sara eventually diving into the already healthy mix of presidential hopefuls, albeit belatedly like her father in 2016, the country, or at least those still rooting for another Duterte to seek the presidency, is at a standstill until after November 15, when by then they can already throw their full support for whoever it is they are rooting for to win the chief executive’s seat post-Duterte.

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Recent COVID-19 figures for Western Visayas for the week ending October 10 appear to be promising at the very least compared to the numbers of previous weeks, as for the first time in 17 weeks, or since the first week of June, new cases are now only at 3,762.

Additionally, weekly recoveries have not outnumbered the new cases since the middle of August…until now, that is—and certainly not by this much—as recoveries were pegged at 4,601, almost a thousand more than the new cases.

Unfortunately, it seems the number of COVID-19 deaths isn’t ebbing as there were still 141 fatalities for the period October 4-10, the third-highest weekly fatality figure next to the 194 of August 16-22 and the 146 of September 6-12.

Still, overall, it’s a huge improvement to when we occasionally saw new COVID-19 cases by the thousands, culminating in mid-September when new cases hit the roof with 6,693 new infections. And we can only hope that the decrease in numbers as regards the new cases and fatalities continue while recoveries enjoy a constant spike in weeks to come.

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