Filipinos are up in arms following “vice president” Leni Robredo’s monumental gaffe of a video to the United Nations in which she painted the Philippines as a failed state and made statements just short of inviting foreign agents to intervene in her country’s domestic affairs. Indeed, for a purported “vice president” to suggest that her own government is not in control of its own country is an administrative mortal sin that cannot be forgiven.
Understandably, Filipinos are now faced with a bevy of options to pursue. Some are screaming “Impeach!”. Others are mounting an even stronger rally behind the on-going investigation into electoral fraud allegations that may have contributed to Robredo’s ascent to her presumptive vice presidency. Still others are calling for an extra-constitutional ouster in an ironic twist of the “people power” styled activism popularised by Robredo’s ilk in the Yellow camp.
The trouble with the impeachment path is that proceeding down this road necessarily builds upon the presumption that Robredo actually is the Philippines’ legitimate vice president. Once down this road, any electoral fraud case against her, the Liberal Party, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), and its alleged accomplices in technology firm Smartmatic will be voided. Unlike the impeachment route, the electoral fraud path may be harder. But this hard path offers potential yields that far transcend Robredo’s embattled claim to a legitimate vice presidency. The electoral fraud investigation initiative puts on the spotlight the very system that has long caused grief for Filipinos. The electoral process — a key pillar of any democracy — has long been recognised to be crooked in the Philippines. Resolving — or at least casting a bright light upon — this governance cancer in the Philippines will be more far-reaching than removing Robredo who, in the overall scheme of things, is a mere political blip.
To be fair, Leni Robredo and her lame claim to the Philippines’ vice presidency has served as a powerful rallying point for Filipinos fed up with the empty promises and outright lies of Filipino liberals and their extremists in the Liberal Party as well as the false position corporate media (and mainstream “journalists”) had long taken as “guardians of freedom of expression”. Robredo’s recent antics have done a nifty job exhibiting the utter intellectual bankruptcy of the Opposition — one that, as it turns out, is desperate and foolish enough to pin their hopes on a sad holdover hanging on to power by her manicured fingernails.
Filipinos should heed history’s lessons, however, and proceed with a clear mind rather than one blinkered by personalities and the blind adulation of one politician or another they espouse. Key to this is critical thinking, and nowhere is this more important than in the context of the opportunity this widespread outrage over Robredo’s bimboism had ignited. Whilst emotional charge is important in politics, tapping that emotion and channeling it to productive use requires careful planning and lucid strategies. The important guideposts to observe here are those that lead to clear results.
On this, Filipinos need to ask themselves the right questions.
Do we want to simply replace one “bobo” politician with another?
Or do we want real change that encompasses many administrations, many elections, and many personalities over the next several decades?
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