Leni Robredo and the epidemic of voter remorse gripping the Philippine public

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The lesson around the need for Filipino voters to choose wisely sinks in the most with those who supported — and, worse, voted for — “vice president” Leni Robredo. One tweetizen proposed a pretty good term to encapsulate this: “voter’s remorse”.

Before we go on, recall first that there is a major precedent to all this — back in the 2009-2010 presidential campaign that saw former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III ride on the back of a similar emotional and Yellow-stained campaign straight into Malacanang. BS Aquino was, at the time, also the popular and “decent” choice by a vast margin to the alternatives. Ateneans said so. LaSallistas said so. The priests and bishops said so. A bevy of celebrities and credentialed “thought leaders” said so. Hell, the Scribes and the Pharisees may as well have said so!

This is the whole problem with Filipinos’ investment in their traditional belief systems, their school book definitions of “decency”, their rote learning of “values” from their traditional social circles, and the mainstream media they regard as their bible. When these traditional sources of information and thinking fail, they fail big time. In this case, they failed on a vast national scale.

On one hand, one’s gotta admire those who possess the rare courage and capability for self-reflection to change their minds publicly. Former supporters who changed their minds about Robredo represent strong testimonials to the way the true character of the “vice president” emerged over the last several months. They supported and voted for Robredo presumably on the strength of her emotional appeal, the seductiveness of her promises, and, perhaps less sensibly, because she was “the lesser evil” to the alternative: a Bongbong Marcos vice presidency. But, as keen observers focused on performance, they quickly realised the emptiness of her campaign and the flatness of her character in the context of actual practice.

On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, there is a bigger lesson to be learned by those who changed their minds after finally stepping outside the echo chamber that had once been the sole context surrounding their decision to vote for Leni Robredo and regard the broader landscape of information available to make more sensible decisions. In this regard, there are two parts to this lesson:

(1) Keeping an open mind

In the age of social media, information essential to making informed decisions has never been more readily accessible. The key differentiator of those whose eyes have been opened to the dud that is the current presumptive “vice president” is that rather than shut out, “block” or ignore those who begged to differ to the popular sentiment at the time, they kept their minds open and, eventually, took steps onto the enlightened path and embraced the truth.

(2) Routinely challenge the popular sentiment

So far, the popular sentiment had already failed Filipinos three times — (i) when we watched like sheep as the Yellow camp took ownership of the 1986 EDSA “revolution”, (ii) when we chose BS Aquino above far more qualified candidates to be president in 2010, and (iii) when we gobbled up hook, line and sinker, the BS of Leni Robredo’s laylayan and tsinelas campaign rhetoric.

So we come to the final and most important aspect of the lessons surrounding the today’s epidemic of voters’ remorse.

Popularity has never been a strong indicator of what is sensible.

When an undertaking is too easy, too popular, or too easy to swallow, this should be regarded more as an alarm bell rather than a prompt to act impulsively. In hindsight (to those who were victims of the popular sentiment) the lure of an Aquino presidency in 2010 then the Robredo “vice presidency” in 2016 were simply too juicy, sugary, and colourful to resist. They pushed all the right buttons — appealing to our religious upbringings, our textbook notions of “decency”, and our addiction the warm fuzzy comfort zones of our social circles — sort of like that man in a trenchcoat in a white van parked outside a schoolyard offering candy to little kids.

The only truly admirable thought leaders here are those who, as a matter of habit, consistently step back from the morass of emotional and shrill activism that surrounds elections — and, for that matter, one or the other outrage fad — to regard with a sound mind the full landscape of information available on the matter. They do this even at the risk of being alienated by their own social circles. As a society, Filipinos need to move away from blind emotionalism and the habit of reacting on the back of incomplete information and get better at thinking things through independently as human individuals instead of like cows moving with a herd.

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18 Comments on “Leni Robredo and the epidemic of voter remorse gripping the Philippine public”

  1. Now it can be told, “vicious president’ Leni Robber redo is a wily charlatan that has made our gullible countrymen end up iike sheep being led to the slaughter. No use crying over spilled milk, it’s time to kick out this pretender the install as VP the real winner Bongbong Marcos.

    1. The nonstop lambasting of VP Leni Robredo from the shoes she wears and her family reunion in USA to personal manners and where she goes appears to be from a well oiled attack machinery.

      1. or just a barrage of rants from an army of random angry filipinos.
        the current trend is simply the feeling of being cheated. i doubt if a majority of them cared to read some of the lenileaks messages themselves. of course, filipinos are not known for their rationality or skepticism and usually take things at face value. The problem for the yellows though is that du30’s voluntary pr team (sass, tp, mocha et al) has enough evidence to back their claims. coupled with the fact that nothing makes a filipino’s ass spin faster than being made a fool of, i think all this aggression against the LP is therefore warranted.

  2. BBM has the VP position destined for him if only the Marcos heirs apologize the the Filipino but never to the Aquinos. Instead the Marcos should sincerely thanks the Mothe and Son profusely because if not for them, the Marcoses would not have risen like a phoenix in the eyes of the new generation of pinoys.

  3. The yellows knew that Pinoys have a deep need for conformity and this is what they exploited to market Noynoy Aquino and Leni Robredo.

    The formula is this: get celebrities, socialites, priests, journalists, professors, famous businessmen, and other authority figures to endorse yellow candidates, and everyone else will follow out of sheer fear of sticking out.

    Pinoys only snapped out of their yellow trance when Duterte burst into the scene and cursed at everyone in the establishment, exposing them for the false idols that they were.

    The yellows are still in denial though. After #Lenileaks, there’s now “#Lumeleni” proving that they have no match when it comes to stupidity and lack of originality.

    The “#Lumeleni” hashtag was kicked off a few days ago by netizens who were disgusted with Robredo’s famous “waiting for a bus” photo that was apparently staged.

    Turns out she called the bus company to pick her up dahil ayaw na niyang pumunta sa station, at dun pa talaga nagpasundo sa no loading/unloading zone sa South Superhighway. Nagpa-picture pa sa assistant na kunwari “friend”, at pinakalat sa Facebook para kunwari humble.

    The guy who started the “Lumeleni” trend on Facebook defined it as: “Get a bag and have your picture taken waiting for an imaginary bus in the most absurd place possible. Pwede mag costume kung gusto nyo.”

    Pinoys from all over quickly took the “#Lumeleni challenge” and in a few hours hundreds of hilarious memes and photos parodying Leni’s bus pose were going around on Facebook.

    Another PR nightmare for Robredo. So what does she do?

    Robredo’s camp and her partymate Kiko Pangilinan hijacked the term “#Lumeleni”and are now claiming it’s their campaign. They’re trying to give it a positive spin by linking the hashtag to photos of Robredo “doing good deeds”, and they’re even spending on sponsored Facebook posts just to make her goody-goody pictures go viral.

    There’s really no end to the yellows’ juvenile idiocy. I can’t believe the f*cking alleged Vice-President of the republic and a Senator of the land are actually wasting time and taxpayer money battling “phantoms”, “bots”, and “trolls” (their words) on Facebook. Obviously they don’t have better things to do, since they can spend so much time playing these childish brainwashing games on social media.

    I expect any moment now Rappler, Inquirer, etc will come out with articles praising the supposed “spontaneous” show of support for Robredo. These yellows are so busy licking each other’s asses in their imaginary world that they don’t even realize everyone else already knows “Lumeleni” is just a synonym for “Noynoying”.

  4. You’ve also got to just laugh at one of the arguments being made, that those who changed their mind about their manoks – Leni Robredo being the most talked about among those manoks – did so because they were paid.

    It kind of shows you a glimpse that Filipinos can think of hardly any other motivation, other than money. Despite all that obsession with money, however, Filipino society remains bankrupt. Intellectually.

    Seemingly inherent in the Filipino mindset, is the concept of paninindigan – roughly translated as things one believes in. However, as with a lot of things, the practice in reality of this value becomes distorted. In this case, it becomes like religion – my beliefs, right or wrong. The more Filipinos perceive their beliefs are “being attacked”, the stronger they cling to them – almost as if it were a religion.

    Perhaps Filipinos were never meant to evolve to the next level, that of a more logical civilization. They like being too close to the trees. After all, that’s where the guava is, the one they’re waiting for to drop.

  5. president duterte’s administration should be very cautious. the yellows at the senate are making their moves again. the present constitution is a constitution to protect the yellow dynasty and its allies. martial law is the solution and proceed right away to federalism for a better pilipinos.

  6. The “voter’s remorse” of former pro-Leni bloggers is encouraging because it shows they have the maturity to acknowledge their mistake and make up for it.

    On the other hand, though, the fact that they were swayed by Robredo’s contrived laylayan image in the first place during the election campaign shows how naive they still are.

    Some of them now criticize Robredo heavily but still hope she will change, or quit the Liberal Party, or focus more on projects like her Angat Buhay program.

    Guys, wake up–Leni Robredo is a creation of Kris Aquino, Bam Aquino, Mar Roxas, and the Liberal Party. Her sole reason for existing is to propagate yellow PR. Even Angat Buhay is about PR. Not only is it about PR, it might also be a tool for recruiting LGUs back to the yellow fold. Like the DAP and pork barrel, the projects can be used as a front for funneling money to LGU officials.

    It may not be happening yet, but Angat Buhay would fit right in with the modus operandi of a certain foreign aid agency with a habit of using NGOs to topple democratically elected governments.

    Bottom line, never trust anyone associated with the yellows. Learn your lesson and don’t make the same mistake again.

  7. Because Filipinos love to:
    1. Judge a book by its cover
    2. Avoid thinking
    3. Rely on name recall, look at the personality and not the platform
    4. “Screw wrong decisions, lahat nadidiskartehan”

    1. Nailed it.

      That’s why the majority of Filipinos aren’t even smart and instead of logical thinking, they’re easily swayed by emotions.

      I remember someone told me that discarding emotions when making decisions means you’re discarding your own humanity. I cringed on that statement since…

      1. dude, oh, the humanity!!! what about the children???

        kidding aside, i can stipulate that rationality is inversely proportional to emotions.

    2. 5.Patronage system-

      Which, according to a legal dictionary, is also known as the spoils system voting politicians to government positions on the basis of political support and work rather than on merit, as measured by objective criteria.

      Actually, Sir ChinoF, your number 1 to 4 are the reasons why there is this no.5!

  8. Leni “The Bobo” Robredo was elected by fraudulent means.

    People who supported her and voted for her, were diehard YellowTards. These species of people, are like Robots. They do not think, or rarely think. They are like sheep, that follow the herd.

    It was an evolution of awakening of the Filipino people. With the advent of the internet, the Facebook, the Web Blog, the social media, etc…that people among us , who are more informed, can contribute to the awakening of the less informed…

    Let us all teach each other. You can contribute something for the betterment of our country, and our people, as a whole !

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