Sharon Cuneta considers herself apolitical but by openly endorsing VP Leni Robredo for President in 2022, she has transformed into a political animal, with tremendous drawing power to convince voters to support or junk candidates in the next national elections. The beauty or problem with this is that her own husband would presumably (unless he seeks higher office or run for a party list or local position) be running for reelection as senator. Since Senator Kiko Pangilinan is an incumbent, he has all the advantages aside from the fact that he has already been elected thrice for the Upper Chamber of Congress (2001, 2007 and 2016).
In other words, Kiko is a SHOO IN or SEEDED to win as senator in 2022. There are, however, possible roadblocks to an easy senatorial run and they read as DDS or Diehard Duterte Supporters. The phenomenal victory of then Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte in 2016 debunked the concept that the road to Malacanang passes through mainstream media, specifically ABS CBN. Tatay Digong, as he is fondly called used an alternative route (due to lack of financial resources) and won through social media. In 2019, the now more confident DDS delivered a devastating defeat to the Liberal Party Otso Diretso which counted former 2004 senatorial topnotcher Mar Roxas (losing vice presidential candidate/losing presidential candidate) and reelectionist Bam Aquino among those who failed to get into the Magic 12.
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.
‘Baka sakaling bumalik ang pagka disente’: Tearful Sharon hopes Robredo will succeed Duterte 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.”