As expected, the Philippine Opposition under the leadership of the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) are screeching over the return of certain “evil” characters — former president now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for one. It’s déjà vu, they say — as if that, by itself, is an argument that supports the “evilness” they believe characterises the situation today. They are now throwing a monumental tantrum over what is, essentially, a failure on their part to stay on top of their political game. Instead of being good chess players, they’ve allowed themselves to be outmaneuvered by the “enemy”.
The Opposition played really badly. They accepted every gambit dangled before them by the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, swarming around and biting at every one of the outrage fads that “trend” on social media and quibbling over every spelling error and every blooper that blips on the radar they use to track the movements of their low-value targets. All the while, the political “maneuverings” they now brattily stomp their feet about in infantile anger went on right under their noses.
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What is remarkable is that every one of the “sinister” maneuvers the Yellowtards whine about today were conceived, planned, and implemented where they should be — within the framework of the law and within the offices that house legitimate democratic institutions (i.e. in courts and the halls of Congress, among others). Democracy and its processes were actually at work and these were used shrewdly by the camp of Duterte and its circle of allies to outplay the Yellowtards.
The trouble with the Yellowtards is they had spent an inordinate amount of time and effort plotting extrajudicial and even criminal approaches to re-acquiring power. They continued to rely on their tired old “people power revolutions” that are essentially just garden-variety coup d’état disguised as prayer meetings. Rather than work with their duly-elected representatives in Congress, they deferred to the Cold War relic of a notion they call the “parliament of the streets” as a source of legitimacy. They relied on slander, lies, and good old-fashioned appeal to emotion, styles that their chosen “leaders” were all cut from the same mold to exhibit: “vice president” Leni Robredo, never-had-been-chief-justice Lourdes Sereno, convicted mutineer Antonio Trillanes, and accused drug lord coddler Leila De Lima. The irony that flies over the pointed heads of the Yellowtards is that they are now the first to dismiss use of due process to get things done in favour of antics that are actually destructive to Philippine democracy.
What the Yellowtards had neglected over two years of wasting time on 1980s-era political relics was the important task of winning elections and accumulating legitimate political capital on a 21st Century landscape. Rather than use social media as a platform for constructive discourse, they used it to keep the discourse stunted at infantile levels. This can be seen in how their most revered political bloggers found very few intelligent words to fill the commentary they issued before, while, and after Duterte delivered his SONA. Instead of working on forming strong coalitions amongst already-elected officials within Congress, they undermined the institution itself and dismissed it as a lost cause. Rather than recognise real achievements delivered by the government and contributing to enhancing these achievements and proposing additional innovative ideas to produce more and better results, they engaged in economic sabotage.
This is not an Opposition Filipinos deserve. This Yellowtard-led sorry excuse of an “Opposition” is nothing more than a den of carpetbaggers loosely unified by no more than a hollow-headed hatred for Duterte. They have latched on to a lowest-common-denominator approach to seizing power — through dishonesty, inciting anarchy, and even through terrorism. This is a thuggish Opposition hungry for power and will not think twice to implement methods that could unravel the very fabric of Philippine society just to achieve their insidious ends.
Under such a dysfunctional Opposition, Philippine democracy can neither evolve nor mature further. Those who do the right thing and work within its institutional frame are the ones who deserve to be lauded today. Filipinos no longer need those so-called “heroes” the Yellowtards keep pining about. This is because there is no longer any of that “fight” the Yellowtards imagine still exists. There is only work to be done to build a country. And for that sort of work, “heroes”, “martyrs”, priests, nuns, failed CEOs, and “professional activists” need not apply.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.