Trillanes TV meltdown a fatal blow to the credibility of the Philippine Opposition

Following the “burning” of Philippine “senator” Antonio Trillanes IV on live TV in the BBC talk show HARDtalk, attention now turns to a beleaguered Opposition faced with the hard question: What now? Trillanes, after all, had been one of if not the most aggressive of the Philippine Opposition’s attack dogs. Now reduced to a national laughingstock, Trillanes threatens to pull a huge chunk of the Opposition’s brand equity down with him.

To be fair, long before Trillanes’s televised meltdown, the Philippine opposition had already been suffering from a crisis of leadership. By default, they had latched onto “vice president” Leni Robredo who, along with Mar Roxas led the Liberal Party camp in the last national elections held in 2016. Since assuming office, Robredo had opposed Duterte’s administration at every step much to the glee of members of her camp, many of whom, like Trillanes, couldn’t wait for Duterte to be ousted from the presidency.

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Robredo, for her part, represents the Liberal Party which is most associated to the “Yellow” faction of the opposition — the clique that claims sole ownership over the narrative surrounding the 1986 “people power revolution”. This “revolution” was really a coup attempt by then General Fidel Ramos and Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile that would have failed had it not been rescued by a massive outpouring of civilian support on Manila’s streets.

This tradition of coup d’etat is what binds Trillanes and Robredo’s Yellow camp. For his part, Trillanes has quite the track record of mutiny behind him having led two major coup attempts against then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the 2000s. But the commonality ends there. Whereas the Yellow Camp’s mutiny succeeded in toppling a government and was subsequently branded a “revolution”, Trillanes’s adventurism fizzled after no more than a handful of giddy “activist” journalists came to his support. Indeed, during his HARDtalk interview, host Stephen Sackur described the two attempts at rebellion as rather “pathetic”.

Both Robredo and Trillanes clearly come from a political school of thought that ingrains a perverse sense of entitlement to, shall we say, habitually expeditious methods of opposing an incumbent administration — not just opposing but aiming to implement extra-judicial steps to prematurely end an incumbent’s rule. Unfortunately for Duterte’s enemies, both Robredo and Trillanes have turned out to be hopelessly inept statesmen and not up to the formidable task of leading a fragmented Opposition against a massively-popular incumbent. Robredo has so far demonstrated an inability to string together a full English sentence, finding comfort instead in a giddy pedestrian-flavoured “Taglish” vernacular that appeals to the colegiala teeny-bopping sensibilities of her audience. And Trillanes? Well, we’ve recently seen what he’s like in a conversation with a real journalist.

It’s no wonder the Philippine Opposition is the humungous national embarrassment that it is. To be fair, the quality of a democracy can be judged by the character of its Opposition. An intelligent and competent opposition after all is what molds the quality of the national debate itself. Seeing how things are panning out today around the Philippines’ moribund Opposition, one ought to be worried about the health of Philippine democracy.

[Photo courtesy ABS-CBN News.]

14 Replies to “Trillanes TV meltdown a fatal blow to the credibility of the Philippine Opposition”

  1. The opposition, represented by the Liberal Party,” shot itself on the foot”, by cheating in the 2016 election. It literally destroyed itself, by the depraved behaviors of Leila de Lima, who was involved in Shabu Drug business and Mar Roxas, who stole the Typhoon Yolanda Fund. Too many scandals and wrongdoings…

    Unfortunately, the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, with the Liberal Party as its political banner, showed themselves to us as : incompetent, corrupt, thieves, depraved, etc…

    They cannot give us, a better alternative, nor any good program to solve the country’s problems. Instead, they become : obstructionists, political witch hunters, and Fake News advocates.

    The Party itself, was on the verge of self destruction, with the idiotic interview of Trillanes, their “running dog”…

    BBC HARDTalk TV host, had given Trillanes , a hard time. Trillanes did not even know the difference, between, being a Democrat , and being a member of the Nacionalista Party. It seems, he does not know anything about Political Science…and he is a Politician…

    He was using Statistics, to cover his ass. Where did he learn that the country is full of Marijuana users, instead of Shabu addicts ? Almost all the illegal drugs confiscated in the country are Shabu drugs…I have yet to see some Marijuana…

    The only lesson for politicians, or political wannabees, who would be grilled in a face to face interview with a learned International TV host, is to learn and to educate yourself. International Media is a Cruel Media, to ignorant people. International viewers are non forgiving viewers…most are learned and well informed…

    Otherwise, you will only expose your ignorance and lack of knowledge to the world, and become a laughing stock…

    I would like to see Leni Robredo, grilled in the BBC HARDTalk TV show. A face to face interview, will be good… We will see, if she has really some brains inside her head… Posing for pictures to become a magazine model, does not help solve the country’s problems…we want people with brains, leadership, and dedications for public service…

  2. trillanes is staging an attack again. will he also ask president duterte ‘bygones be bygones’ too?

    1. This is the beginning of the end of Liberal Party era and even this current 1987 Constitution led by the Yellow Zombies. It’s time to make a new Philippines by creating an ONLY two/three party system instead of a multi-party system which is similar to United States (Democrats/Republicans/Independent) and a better/revised Philippine Constitution in which we should adopt a Swiss & Singaporean style constitutions, a federal type & a multi-cultural/autocratic style constitution that will surely have an everlasting peace & a genuine changes in our country, and the time should do it now!

    2. Senator Trillanes’ political career , I believe , is slowly crumbling into smithereens .
      How I wish that all the handful obstructionist would also be interviewed by Mr. Stephen Sackur.

  3. It’s going to be a beginning of a far-right for the Philippines. Too bad Marine Le Pen lost. It’s better if we want neoliberal conservative nationalism rather than federalism. We want is to junk 1987 Constitution, and bring back 1935/1973 constitution with unicameral legislature and hyperpresidential gov’t with constitutional authoritarianism just like it was in Han Dynasty or Saudi Arabia.

  4. mrericx,

    (edited for the second time)
    It will be better if Philippines will create and have only one-party sytstem instead of multi-party system, two-party system or three-party system to have military regime similar to Myanmar, just like that in Nazi Germany, China, Eritrea, Cuba and Vietnam. No opponents just like that in China. We want our constitution to be rewritten back in 1935 Constitution but to amend with one-party state, unicameral legislature without traces of showbiz or entertainment or congress or senate but with addition of military men and militarization. We want authoritarian government in exchange personal freedom and civil liberties, to live in fear if not technically tyranny, to have peace, order and discipline. And the change is coming for a great leap forward!

    It’s going to be better if Philippines will embrace right-wing to far-right politics like Nacionalista Party, to move away from liberalism and Liberal Party of the Philippines. They are wanting to long for return of New Society. One Spirit, One Nation, One Race.

    Because Liberalism and Liberal Party loves communism and ISIS terrorism. It’s time for PH to be conservative to have ultra right-wing to rid of it and opponents: the communists and ISIS terrorists in the future.

    Federalism may not be necessary but nationalism and conservatism will be optional.

    There will be no more showbiz and entertainment in politics, but only military and militarization in politics in the future.

    hope this helps.

    1. @Propaganda Boy it seems that your political ideology is quite authoritarian or totalitarian like Fascism & Communism but I don’t like either of these political system, not even democracy. Both of them are obsolete & not very applicable to this modern era. Better yet if our country should introduce this newest & more alternative part of political system which is better than Communism, Fascism and Democracy combined, and it’s called DEMARCHY (or also known as lottocracy) which is introduced by an Australian philosopher, John Burnheim. To know more about this new political system called Demarchy:

      Democracy v. Demarchy

      Demarchy: A Democratic Alternative to Electoral Politics

  5. Maybe you who condemn me are in greater fear than I who am condemned.

    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would say this to the stupid shitty dumbass kid named Antonio “Sonny” Fuentes Trillanes IV.

  6. mrericx,

    Why not talk to benign0 and ilda about this?

    Authoritarianism may be a sign of progress and development but to exchange freedoms for obedience, peace, order, if not tyranny.

    We got quite a research. Democracies around the world are dwindling in the 20th century. It would have been better if our Marcos and Duterte supporters and loyalists want to bring back the re-established constitution of 1935 + 1973 with unicameral legislature and constitutional authoritarianism with one-party state without any opponents. Lee Kuan Yew once quoted that developing countries, including ours and our neiboring countries need more discipline than democracy in the future, what it did to China since Qin and Han dynasty of ancient times. Western style democracy in the Philippines are not helping it at all. Those yellowtards are advocates of democracy, because the corruption thrived under yellow-ish Liberal Party of the Philippines and Democrat of the USA.

    When Marcos declared Martial Law in 1972, he abolished democracy and replaced it with authoritarian rule and regime. Similarities were like this. Chiang Kai-Shek, Chung Hee and Suharto DID copy Marcos’ style authoritarianism. Mahathir and Lee Kuan Yew adopted authoritarianism to improve their respective countries properly. Singapore is the best example with parliamentary democracy with strict rules.


    In middle of the 20th century, Mussolini abolished democracy and replaced it with near totalitarian state. Hitler did in Nazi-Germany to abolish democracy with totalitarian state fascism. Stalin in Soviet Union mimicked Hitler’s and Zedong did copy Stalin. Kim dynasty wanted to make it absolutely and totally and extremely totalitarian. North Korea is the worst example with barbaric laws that are ruthless.

    Hope this helps!

  7. Benign0 and Ilda,

    Are you in favor for re-establishing and bringing back 1935/1973 constitution to abolish 1987 constitution for constitutional authoritarianism what it was in Ferdinand Marcos’ thesis.

    It would be much better if we want one-party state with chariman and premier (like that in NK and China) rather than/instead of parliamentary democracy multi-party state or system so there will be no opponents like that in China.

  8. @Propaganda Boy:

    Your posts are totally out of context.

    But if you ask me, I’m in favor on something similar to Singapore, not the other countries that you mentioned. My advice: take your SHITPOSTING to somewhere else.

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