The aim of the DDS in the senatorial contest is to again deprive the Liberal Party of a winner. Senators De Lima, Hontiveros and Pangilinan are the currently sitting LP senators that are eligible to run. Comebacking former Senator Trillanes, after serving two consecutive terms sat out 2019 and would again be allowed to run for senator in 2022. Senator Drilon would have to sit it out for senator in 2022. Senator Mar Roxas after three consecutive humiliating defeats, Senator Bam Aquino and former President Aquino may opt to improve their senatorial ticket. Since the LP would have to fill up the presidential and vice presidential slots, they are running thin on the sure winners.
Among the three LP incumbents, Senators De Lima and Hontiveros have garnered the most flak or negative comments from the DDS. Senator Pangilinan is slightly below the radar and, until the Sharon comment, could have coasted to win in 2022. Now due to Sharon’s dramatics, Kiko would have to bear the brunt of the DDS ire. Judging from 2016 and 2019, Pangilinan, De Lima and Hontiveros would reap a whirlwind in 2022.
Cuneta has been actively seeking out the man behind the threat, vowing to bring him to justice in successive social media posts.
The man, a certain Sonny Alcos, is identified as a “solid DDS,” or a loyal supporter of Duterte, in the viral post that Cuneta shared when she first exposed the threat.
Her statements against the rape threat, Cuneta said, have drawn the ire of Duterte’s followers, prompting her to clarify her warm ties with the president as well as his family.
“I’ve always been good, or at least I’ve tried separating politics from friendships and relationships,” she said in her live video.
Cuneta is the wife of opposition senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, and the daughter of the late former Pasay Mayor Pablo Cuneta.
“Ang trato sa akin ng Pangulo parang anak niya, ang tawag niya pa sa akin, ‘the singer of my life,’ tapos mahal ko si Inday Sara kasi maliit pa ‘yan Sharonian na ‘yan,” she said, referring to the president’s daughter and incumbent Davao City mayor.
Duterte, according to Cuneta, was also the one who convinced her brother, Chet, to run for Pasay mayor in 2019. Chet lost.
Cuneta then pointed out that despite Duterte publicly attacking Pangilinan in his speeches — at one point falsely claiming that the couple has separated — she has chosen time and again to be understanding.
Illustrating further examples of separating politics from her relationships, Cuneta recounted how she opted not to campaign for any presidential candidate in 2016.
She did not campaign for the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago, despite her being Cuneta’s “idol”; nor for Jejomar Binay, despite him being a family friend who even officiated her wedding with Pangilinan; nor for Duterte, despite their close relationship; nor for Mar Roxas, despite him being in the same ticket as Pangilinan.
“Ang gusto ko talagang maging presidente noon si Sen. Grace Poe. Isa pang ubod ng disente… Hindi ko siya makapanya noon dahil si Kiko was with the administration,” she said.
“I wanted Sen. Grace Poe to win, at alam ni Tatay (Duterte) ‘yun.”
Cuneta recalled that she did campaign for Robredo. She attested to Robredo and her late husband Jesse Robredo’s spotless record of public service in Bicol.
“I don’t know what’s happened to our country. I hope VP Leni runs for president next time, dahil hindi na rin naman makakatakbo si Tatay next time,” she said, noting the one-term limit for chief executives.
“Napakadisente,” she added, describing Robredo. “Nakakatakot na kasi… Ngayon lang ako naka-experience ng ganito.”
Cuneta admitted that even during her father’s term as Pasay mayor, she was mostly apolitical. What opened her eyes was the People Power revolution that toppled the Marcos regime, she said, because then she finally understood why a president shouldn’t be in power “forever.”
“Pagkatapos ng term ni Pangulong Duterte, sana talaga manalo si VP Leni kung tumakbo siya. Baka sakaling bumalik ang pagka disente ng karamihan sa atin.”