Category Archives: THE DURIAN BEAT

THE DURIAN BEAT: Sara can still run for President, without substituting for Bato

Sara for President in 2022 still alive


Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte can still run for President in the 2022 elections through substitution, even if she cannot substitute for Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa or Ernie Abella, who have filed their Cetificates of Candidacy (COC) for president seen as in preparation for Sara’s presidency by substitution.

Sara has dumped a presidential run and has already filed a reelection bid. But speculations are rife she would withdraw her mayoral bid and switch to a crack at the presidency and file her COC before November15, the deadline for filing by substitution candidates.

But who will Sara replace as a presidential candidate?


She cannot replace Bato, a close ally of her father President Rodrigo Duterte, who belongs to the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), who filed his COC under that party. Also note that Sara has said that she and the regional party she founded, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, are not comfortable with the PDP-Laban, that is chaired by President Duterte.

Sara also cannot be a subsitute for Abella, a former Duterte spokesman, because he filed his COC as an independent candidate.

The Omnibus Election Code says a candidate can only be subsituted by another who belongs to the same party, which rules out Bato. An independent candidate, like Abella, can not also be substituted under the rules of the election code.

So, quo vadis Sara, if she wants to answer the call of Pinoys to be the country’s next President if she cannot file as a subsitution for Bato and Abella?

There is a knight in shining armor and a party she can hold on to in this predicament: Leonardo Fernandez, who has filed his COC for President, and the Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago (PPP), the national party that he leads. If Sara is looking for somebody to substitute, it is Fernandez. The election code does not bar any politicians from joininganyparty. The party would welcome her with open arms because it has in fact prepared the Fernandez presidential bid for the eventuality of a subsitution secenario for the 2022 polls for Sara.

What now? Sara becomes a member of PPP, gets a Certification of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA), go to Comelec anytime during the substitution period that ends on November 15, file a new COC and CONA as substitute for Fernandez, and, given that she is way, way ahead by many miles against potential rivals in the presidential preference surveys by Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, zoom away to victory in the race to Malacanang in May 2022.


The scenario of Sara runnong for President as a subsitute candidate of the Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago (PPP) is detailed in a Manila Times, October 9, report:

PPP presidential candidate offers slot for Mayor Sara

The chairman of the Davao-based Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago (PPP) has filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for president to keep their hopes of a Sara Duterte-Carpio presidency alive.

Former Tourism Secretary and Cebu gubernatorial candidate Ace Durano disclosed this move by PPP chairman Leonardo Fernandez.

Durano, regional president of PPP-Central Visayas, said Fernadez filed his COC for president so that Duterte-Carpio will have the option for a substitution should the Davao City mayor decide to run for the country’s highest government position.

The filing of COC ended last Friday, October 8, but changes remain possible as the deadline for substitution is on November 15 yet.

“During the convention, the PPP nominated Inday Sara-Duterte as the party’s candidate for president,” said Durano.

“Now the chairman of PPP, Mr. Leo Fernandez filed COC for President to give an opportunity to Mayor Inday for substitution if she decides to run for president,” Durano added.


The possibility of Senator Ronald dela Rosa becoming President after the 2022 national elections, ends on or before November 15, 2021.

The ruling PDP-Laban party is Senator Dela Rosa in the 2022 presidential race as Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is not running for President and only seeking reelection.

Will this close the door for Sara to run for President? No.

Because Bato is only a scapegoat for the presidential daughter’s race to the Palace to replace her father President Rodrigo Duterte whose term ends in 2022.

There is a law in Philippine elections that allows subsitution of candidates who have already filed their Certificate of Candidacy (COC)— deadline is October 8 — with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Sara running for President is easy and simple as ABC. On or before November 15 — the deadline for submission of the COC of the substituting candidate — Sara withdraws her COC filed with Comelec Davao for Davao City Mayor, and then file another COC for President with Comelec national.

It happened before. President Duterte filing for President through substitution in the 2016 election. This is going to happen again.

With the nation eagerly awaiting Sara— a no-show to thelast minute — to file her presidential bid, Dela Rosa filed his COC) at the Sofitel Garden Tent in Pasay Friday (October 8), taking everyone by surprise.

Should it still be go for Sara’s presidential run by substitution?

There could be a hitch. Remember, Sara is chair of her regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP). Senator dela Rosa is PDP-Laban.

Political parties can substitute candidates until November 15. The person who will be fielded as a substitute, however, should be from the same party as the aspirant who will be replaced.

Ernesto Abella, a former spokesperson of Duterte,also filed his COC for president on October 8. Could Abella be another scapegoat for Sara? Maybe.

But Abella could not be substituted bySara.

He filed his COC as an independent candidate.

According to the rules of the Comelec, substitution is not allowed for independent bets.

Are we looking at Bato as the next President of the Philippines?

But wait.

There is a third angle to this brouhaha over whether Sara will run or not for president.

Sara has said she was not comfy about being in the company of PDP-Laban? Forget that.

The Comelec says that the person who will be fielded as a substitute should be from the same party as the aspirant who will be replaced? No Problem!

Sara, for the sake of the country, could take her oath anytime as PDP-Laban member and file her COC to substitute for Bato on or before November 15. Neat.

So, stop wailing, you Pinoys losing hope over their dream that the next leader of the Philippines should be a President Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio. Madayaw Dabaw!


IN MY FISH FARM – AquaBalanza Ornamental Fish Farm – in Davao City, my menu, in these days of the new corononavirus (COVID-19) food crisis, of government- rationed odong, noodles, canned sardines and corned beef; and vegetables with bulad, guinamos or uyap, is spiced up, sometimes, by exotic food that should be the envy of everybody even the Chinese.

I gobble them up – wow! ang sarap! – like a piranha even as some authorities say that COVID-19 started from wild, exotic animals eaten by Chinese.

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China is said to be the source of multiple recent contagions breaking out and spreading around the world because of the Chinese culture of eating some animals such as bats, snakes, cats, dogs and anything eatable that normally is not found in a normal household table.

Accordingly, viruses from these animals were transmitted from the animal to the people and that’s why China IS BLAMED AS THE SOURCE of a lot of these viruses like SARS, MERS, the swine flu and now the COVID-19.
IN MY FISH FARM, regularly on the table are pantat (cat fish), halwan (mud fish), tikling and lapay (marsh birds), seagull, tulabong (heron) and bull frogs. The back-up feast of these exotic food, at least spared my kois and goldfishes — the primary ornamental fishes we grow at the farm — from ending in the pot in sinugba, fried and pinaksiw status.
I was knee-deep in muddy water repairing a dike in one of my large mud ponds, when the head of something that I thought at first to be a cobra, emerged from a hole in the dike!
I IMMEDIATELY GRABBED THE HEAD, and bingo!, IT WAS A MONITOR LIZARD (halo in Bisdak, bayawak in Tagalog).
Who cares about SARS, MERS or COVID-19?

THE DURIAN BEAT: Jun Bacolod, Covid-19 and acts of compassion and kindness

We need more Good Samaritans and philanthropists

the durian beatBy ROGER M. BALANZA

There are angels who appear to bring kindness and compassion and help in man’s hour of need.
I had this experience as the country staggers from the onslaught of the New Coronavirus Disease aka Covid-19.

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On Sunday, March 29, I supervised distribution of about one hundred food packs in the small village of Maisan in Malatabis, Lizada in Toril district in Davao City.
Consisting of families of pedicab drivers, jeepney drivers. fishermen, vegetable farmers, construction workers and others who are mostly daily income earners, Maisan is just one of the many villages in Davao City hit hard by the economic impact of the coronavirus tragedy.
A day before, a friend, Nene Berato, called by phone to inform that a “friend” of hers wants to donate foodstuffs to families who lost income as government declared a nationwide state of emergency to stave off the further spread of Covid-19.
Could I handle the distribution?
bacolod 5The state of emergency imposed a community quarantine that practically closed down businesses in the city and immobilized the Dabawenyos forcing them to stay at home.
For daily wage earners, the lockdown was catastrophic and rendered kitchens without any food to eat.
For the people of Maisan, the small packs of rice, canned sardines and groceries our team distributed could at least drive away hunger for a day or two. The most that I could do was bring to them the aid.
As a senior citizen in semi-retirement from journalism, I have imposed on myself a forced quarantine in my small ornamental fish farm not far from Maisan, following to the letter admonitions against Covid-19 infection by health authorities: staying at home, wearing face mask, social/physical distancing, more vitamin C. vegetables in the diet and all.
My children advised me not to bite Nene Berato’s request for a morbid reason: At 72, I am a potential candidate for a Covid-19 assault based on World Health Organization (WHO) statistics: Most of fatalities in the coronavirus infections were aged 60 years old and upwards.
The ongoing battle against Covid-19 is a war with morbid figures: In the Philippines, more than a thousand infected, with deaths nearing 50 and spreading in the provinces; worldwide, more than half-a-million cases and growing, thousands dead and the disease gnawing at almost all the countries of the world.
“Bayanihan To Heal As One,” the battle cry of unity that President Rodrigo Duterte used in an edict he issued urging Filipinos to unite against the deadly disease, rings nationwide as Filipinos contribute to the effort to fight Covid-19 in whatever they can.
I thought about the health workers – doctors, nurses and volunteers — who are in the frontlines risking their life and health in the battle against the deadly virus.
I thought that distributing food packs in Maisan entails a small risk compared to what the health workers faced.
I should be, nay, I must be, part of the President’s “Bayanihan To Heal As One.”
Also, I must not disappointment an angel who wanted to help his fellowmen in this hour of need.
And so, off I went to Maisan with a team to bring the pre-packed food aid donated by Jun Bacolod, the friend of Nene Berato.
jun-bacolodI came to know of “Jun Bacolod,” whose personal circumstances I am ignorant about, as an “anonymous philanthropist” who years ago donated a sizable sum to the House of Hope, a center for children with cancer, located at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, a project supported by then Mayor Duterte.
With business closing down and economic activity at a standstill, the Covid-19 attack is now more than a health security crisis, hitting most the poor who lost jobs and livelihood because of the lockdown.
Hunger is staring at us.
I write this story about an angel coming to the succor of the needy,  not in praise of Jun Bacolod.
There are are many companies who, out of benevolence and compassion, help their displaced employees with emergency cash and food aid. There are many companies rolling into play their corporate social responsibility (CSR) to assist communities.
There are many individuals, with wealth to spare driven by compassion to help those in need, packing rice and groceries for distribution.

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Good deeds beget good deeds.

I write this story of Jun Bacolod, the heroic health workers and the many others who march in unison with President Duterte’s “Bayanihan To Heal As One” battle cry, so that more of them would be inspired to help those in need in this most trying of times for the Filipinos.

The administration of President Duterte is doing its best to make life less painful for the Filipinos amid the Covid-19 tragedy but it should not be left alone in the fight against the deadly disease and the horror it inflicts on the people. 

We need more Good Samaritans, philanthropists and Jun Bacolods.