March is approaching and still no standout Opposition leader. The 2022 national elections are looming in the horizon and the only person being put forth as a “viable” challenger to the administration camp of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is “vice president” Leni Robredo — that is, for those who see the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtards) as representative or even leaders of the broader Opposition. But is Robredo really up to the task?
This is the latest “report” on Robredo’s personal position on the matter of Opposition leadership.
“If I run for president, I need to be really ready — ready not only for the job but for the fight, and that’s where the problem is,” she said in Filipino in an interview with GMA News in Naga City, Camarines Sur, when asked for a reaction to calls for her to run for the highest government post.
“As in all my other elections, I’m open to all possibilities. I’m okay with everything — with various positions,” she added.
Later on, she said that she would be much “happier” in local office where she would have “direct contact” with people.
“So very, very honestly, if I had a choice, I would prefer a local position,” she said.
From the above, it is easy to see why Robredo consistently fails to hit the mark on “leadership”.
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For one thing, this most recent of Robredo’s ululations clearly exhibits the hollowness of her national leader rhetoric (or at least the script fed to her by her handlers). If she truly has a strong vision for the Philippines which she is presumably resolved to see through, why then is she expressing a preference for a local position? To be a leader of nations, one is expected to see nothing less than the top spot as a means to execute a strategy to achieve this vision. To change, reform, and make nations great, one needs to be a national leader. One cannot do any of that — certainly not the stuff expected of her by her own followers and supporters — if she apires to be no more than a town mayor.
“I am open to all possibilities” is such a lame cop-out. It is something said by a mere cork bobing on rough waters content to end up wherever the current takes it. That is not a leader. Leaders know what they want and know what it takes — the resources and steps required — to get it. Leaders take people for the ride and pull them along the journey they map out. Robredo is doing it the other way around. She is waiting for people to push her along and tell her what she does next. Robredo’s claim to national leadership is a dishonest one — because she clearly has no intention of leading.
Therefore, a political party that tries to drum up support — and funding — for a lame politician like Leni Robredo is, by association, a dishonest one. It is evident that all the Liberal Party really want out of Robredo is for her to open the door for the LP mafia to walk through. Robredo’s supporters cry “Let Leni Lead”. Ironic, because it seems there is no intent on the part of Robredo’s own party to let her lead.
What is laughable about the LP “strategy” to put up Robredo as their ticket to the 2022 race is that it has long been evident that she is not even winnable. The most recent popularity poll shows Robredo languishing at a 57 percent rating and she continues to trail way behind other strong politicians who rate in the mid to high 70s and 80s. What is the LP winning strategy then seeing that there is no way they will ever seize power legally again? Another “people power revolution”? Quite disturbing when one recalls how Senator and LP President Kiko Pangilinan routinely suggests that Filipinos break the law by ousting Duterte through “people power”. Coming from no less than a Philippine Senator, this sort of public incitement is nothing short of criminal.
It is increasingly clear that the broader Philippine Opposition is in deepening trouble as time runs out and their pitch to the Filipino people is nowhere near as compelling as it needs to be considering who and what they are up against. The stubborn loyalty to the LP and the losing proposition they put up to their lot — “vice president” Leni Robredo, who aspires to nothing more than a “local position” — is setting them up for catastrophic failure in 2022. Filipinos deserve a better and more intelligent Opposition than this.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.