Palace hits 1Sambayan launch, says it’s early politicking

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MALACAÑANG categorically described the launching of a pro-democracy political coalition as an apparent display of early politicking at a time the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

The administration nonetheless told the group behind 1Sambayan “good luck.”

At the launching of pro-democracy coalition 1Sambayan, convenors composed of retired Supreme Court justices said that they are looking at fielding a unified opposition slate in the 2022 elections.

“Napakaaga pa po para mag-usap nang eleksyon at pulitika. ‘Yan naman po ang aming sinasabi palagi. Isantabi na po muna ang pulitika habang nandito po ang pandemya. Kami po sa administrasyon, gawa muna, pandemya muna bago ang pulitika,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Hindi pa po panahon sa pulitika. Pero hindi natin po sila mapipigilan. I wish them the best. Good luck to Justice (Antonio) Carpio,” he added.

Interestingly, it was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who first made a political announcement in Dumaguete City last week. In his speech, Duterte bared his longtime aide Senator Bong Go’s dream of becoming a president.

Relatedly, posters, streamers, banners, calendars and watches bearing the name and picture of the President’s daughter,  Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, swarm public places across the country.

During its launch on Thursday, Carpio said the “government is really incompetent” and this warrants “better alternative” against Duterte’s so-called “anointed one” in the next elections.

He said that there could have been a better COVID-19 response, but 1Sambayan said the government “wasted precious time and resources with charter change, shutting down mass media, threatening businesses with the cancellation of franchises, threatening the academic freedom of universities, and terrorizing legitimate dissenters with surveillance and arrest.”

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