Paco Parkbut the Philippines has expanded. Aguinaldo’s Cavite was still province. A President from Mindanao and a Vice-President from Bikol are now seated. Where is this all going? Let us ask Nicolo Macchiavelli or better a short summary (link) of his main book, the Prince, which in the original is a rambling and difficult read:

The power to form a principality lies with either the nobles or the people. If the nobles realize they cannot dominate the people, they will try to strengthen their position by making one of the nobles a prince. They hope to accomplish their own ends through the prince’s authority. The people will follow the same course of action; if they realize they cannot withstand the nobles, they will make one of the people a prince and hope to be protected by the prince’s authority.

The Philippine situation is not in Macchiavelli’s equation. President Rodrigo Duterte is a kind of country noble by the Italian writer’s classification, but he was voted by people who wanted his protection. Vice-President Leni Robredo is one of the people, but she was fielded by the Liberal Party which could be seen as a party of “noblemen”, originally instead of popular Grace Poe.  Duterte was voted by many people in Metro Manila, many overseas Filipinos, and by much of Mindanao. Robredo was strong in Bikol, the Visayas, and in Muslim Mindanao.

It pays to have a look at which social groups voted for whom. Duterte had his main support bases in the new middle class both in the cities and overseas from all reports. Robredo could have had her support bases in the rising middle classes of the Visayas and Bikol, where apparently tourism has created new wealth. The really poor voted for whoever they thought could help them most, probably more urban poor for Duterte, and more rural poor for Robredo. Since Duterte and Robredo did not compete directly, the groups that voted both could be interesting to know.

Groups with common interests across a country. Their interactions, their alliances and their conflicts, will determine the next six years. Years worth observing – history in the making, ngayon.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, 1 July 2016, München