The Philippine Opposition has so far failed to step up to contribute to the national effort to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Rather than propose solutions, they merely undermine government efforts to get on top of the situation. This is certainly something that will not go down well with Filipino voters considering the next national elections are just around the corner. Rather than consolidate their efforts into a coherent force, the Opposition remain a disorganised lot of rabblerousers who do nothing better than take lame potshots at the incumbent.
Led by the a bloc loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan (a.k.a. the Yellowtards), the Opposition engage in rhetoric with an intent to demonise Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and discredit efforts being taken by his government to manage the situation. They even suggest that Duterte let his “vice president” Leni Robredo “lead” the Filipino people instead!
If you cannot lead, give it to VP Leni. https://t.co/QhGWSuAsVl
— PinoyAkoBlog (@PinoyAkoBlog) March 9, 2020
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There is no merit in proposing a disruption to governance, specially at a time when the need for Filipinos to work together is of the utmost importance. Then again, disrupting governance is something the Yellowtards specialise in. Rather than work within the frame of the law to push change, the preferred operating model of the Yellowtards is to rouse mass action in the hope of inciting another “people power revolution” reminiscent of the ones that eruped in 1986 and in 2001 that resulted in the ouster of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos and former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada respectively.
It is easy for top Yellowtard “thought leaders” to make sweeping statements that suggest that anyone other than the duly-elected current president can do a better job. Harvey Keh who, at one time, was “Director for Youth Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship, Ateneo de Manila University’s School of Government” issued the following tweet…
The government’s current handling of the COVID-19 should give us all the more reason to make sure we elect the right President and leaders in the 2022 elections. Literally, our lives and the lives of our love ones depend on it. You can start by making sure you register to vote.
One wonders though what bases Keh applies to his thinking that an Opposition president would handle the crisis better. Last time a Yellowtard president was in office, he botched a hostage situation in Manila, a police commando operation in Mamasapano, and a supertyphoon disaster in Tacloban all of which resulted in enormous death tolls of tragic proportions.
Even more baffling is the fact that the Opposition is still to find a strong leader capable of uniting their different tribal units into a force capable of challenging the hugely popular Duterte. For now, all they have to show for their trouble is their “vice president” Leni Robredo who, beyond mirroring the Yellowtards’ penchant for melodramatic virtue signalling, exhibits neither the character nor the statesmanship to rally a nation of more than 100 million towards a compelling national vision.
On that last point, does the Yellowtard-led Philippine Opposition have a national vision to begin with?
That’s a question that could launch a thousand debates. But therein lies the more important point. The Opposition, as the campaign begins for the 2022 elections is hopelessly fragemented and being pulled in a thousand different directions. In contrast, the Duterte administration remains resolute, singularly focused, and consistent with its 2016 campaign rhetoric. Small wonder that this government continues to enjoy approval ratings that dwarf whatever semblance of public goodwill the entire Opposition community could muster.
Seriously. Unfit. For. Office.
— Gang Capati ?? (@gangbadoy) March 9, 2020
Whatever any garden-variety Yellowtard may say — or tweet — the bottomline is whether those words or actions (if any) can translate to converted voters. That’s a tough challenge to face when you are a community of partisans who squandered every ounce of the vast political capital you enjoyed at the close of the 1980s and, in the six years of the Second Aquino Presidency, lost the trust of an entire nation.
The only way forward for the Opposition is to apply a bit of humility to the challenge ahead and learn. The lessons are obvious and the solutions even more so. The first thing they need to do is re-evaluate all the negative campaigning they engage in and ask themselves: Do these actually deliver results? Granted, there may be a lot about the current government to criticise, the Opposition are evidently not building political capital doing what they are doing today. Indeed, there is even a lot to learn from people they summarily dismiss as “trolls”.
In short, the Opposition must learn to be more inclusive in their approach and ditch the pompous high-nosed exclusive airs in the way they conduct themselves today. The Philippines, after all, is a vast and diverse country — certainly one not fully-represented within the chi chi grounds of Diliman and Loyola Heights. Neither do most Filipinos care about high-fallutin’ Western notions of “human rights” and “gender equality”. All Filipinos really need is clarity of vision and purposefulness in action. This requires that we as a people focus on the future and cure ourselves of our fixation on an increasingly irrelevant past. The Opposition need to take heed and build upon that foundation for the sake of their future electoral success.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.