By the end of December this year, there’ll be only 18 months to go before the next national elections in 2022. This means there are only just six months to go, more or less, before campaign season kicks off. As of now, it is still just Leni Robredo that the broader Philippine Opposition see as their “leader”. For her part, Robredo seems to have it in her head that she actually is the overall Opposition leader. One wonders then whether the loose coalition of Opposition camps are insane in continuing to put their bets on Robredo — clearly a politician too stupid to play competently in real high-stakes national politics — or have simply given up on a search for a leader strong and charismatic enough to go up against Brand Duterte.
Interestingly enough, the communists and their satellite “democratic” and “activist” fronts are quiet about the matter of Robredo’s “leadership”. Members of this major bloc within the Opposition refrain from expressing both direct support for and aversion to Robredo’s profile in the overall scheme of Opposition to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte. Perhaps they are sitting on the fence which, to be fair, is something a political camp with a singular mission to destroy any legit government would do. The communist strategy of waiting for or actively inciting chaos to create an environment ripe for “revolution” likely hasn’t changed. So, like vultures, the communists simply wait and see with AK-47s locked and loaded. For now they simply sustain a tactical operating rhythm of pretending to be legal participants in the democratic process.
The likely scenario that will play out closer to when campaign season kicks off is the once solid-looking Philippine Opposition who are thus far united only by a desire to remove Duterte from office at all costs (even illegally if an opportinity to do so presents itself) will start to unravel as would-be presidentiables start to emerge from the woodwork. The community of opposition social media “influencers” who know no argument faculties beyond those based on personalities will then start to fragment and coalesce into loyalty cliques and “fandoms” revolving around one or the other presidentiable. Following that, Filipinos will once again be subject to the same sort of bobo political debate — one where personalities rather than ideas are pitted against each other.
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Has the for-now key Opposition leader of the moment, “vice president” Leni Robredo, thought about her political strategy that far out? Quite unlikely given that she is also taking that all-too-familiar dishonest Coy Act where typical bozos like her, pressed to confirm an intent (or not) to run for office, defer to the “will of God” or, even cornier, the “will of the people” to decide their political fortunes. Politicians routinely insult their constituents’ intelligence that way. If Robredo truly had a vision for the Philippines and the ambition to build a strategy to see it realised and execute it as a national leader, we’d see a lot more commitment to a plan over the next 18 months than we are seeing today.
That a lame duck like Robredo is seen to be leader of a brain-dead Opposition is evidence that there is no viable alternative to Duterte at the moment — nothing that the Yellowtards (the bloc within the Opposition loyal to the Aquino-Cojuangco clan) nor the communists could cough up. No one camp within the Opposition exhibits any clear strategy to win the coming 2022 elections. Perhaps this is why all the Opposition could come up with collectively is a call to “oust” Duterte. Seeing that they cannot have their way legally, they aim to take steps to seize power illegally. Perhaps this is the reason Leni Robredo remains the default “Opposition leader” — because she ultimately does not matter in the bigger scheme of things.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.