I hate Mondays. This what beloved 1980s comic strip character Garfield declared. The first half of 2021 is about to end. It will be June by Wednesday and the last half of the year begins. 2021 is our first full year in the pandemic environment. It’s also an election year. The jockeying should’ve begun in January but was delayed by the pandemic. No politico would dare be political in a time of crisis. That’s political suicide. Yesterday, photos of Inday Sara with the Marcos’ surfaced. It was her birthday and the Marcos siblings paid their respects personally. The opposition’s socmed machinery had no response. Whether they were in shock or in denial couldn’t be fathomed. They’re getting ready for another event on June 3. Wakasan. What that means is only known to them.
Boo Chanco’s PhilSTAR piece today “The trolls have it” is mixed. You can’t ascertain if he’s throwing in the towel or giving the opposition pointers. Chanco labels the DDS (“Die-hard Duterte Supporters”) as trolls. Not all of them are. Most are genuine supporters of Duterte. Many of them are OFWs. The trolls are actually the bloggers or as some refer to them bloogers. They’re the mercenaries who claim to be for the country but are just minding their own pockets. They don’t have much influence on voter preference because the latter have made up their minds.
Nevertheless, in Chanco’s mind, it’s all a bit too simple…
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The DDS or the Duterte Diehard Supporters (DDS) is a formidable social media army. And they keep the lights burning for Rodrigo Duterte.
That explains why Duterte’s ratings remain high even when the performance of his administration tumbles. The DDS shields him from any fallout. They are focused on protecting the Duterte brand.
The DDS messaging is kept simple. They attack the opposition through smear campaigns; distract or divert criticism away from important public issues; and suppress commentaries through personal attacks or harassment.
The result is a Teflon-coated Duterte. People may be dissatisfied with the administration’s handling of national problems as revealed by opinion polls but it hardly dents Duterte’s approval rating.
The emerging reality is that it’s Inday Sara Duterte or Bongbong Marcos either on top or as number two. As far as the Opposition goes, their sorry state is pathetic to say the least. It’s actually much worse because they’re only looking at Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator and convicted mutineer Antonio Trillanes as standard-bearers. No way Senator Grace Poe or Manila Mayor Isko Moreno will submit themselves to the selection process of primary Opposition coalition 1Sambayan. But even with the two, the Opposition still isn’t united. There are those who insist that it should be Robredo by default. Leni is up to her old tricks again by playing coy. In truth, she believes she should be the default candidate even if her chances of winning are weak. Trillanes barely rates among the public as Presidential material. He’s the only one who thinks he’s capable. He’s that desperate because he now even has a TikTok account.
Chanco missed out on the solid piece of advice needed by the opposition; a credible and coherent alternative platform of government. Enough with the childish memes about President Rodrigo Duterte. Insults and vilification do nothing for their cause. It actually turns off voters. They should be less elitist also. They claim to be part of the majority but have a natural disdain for the masa whom they refer to as bobotantes. Even Jover Laurio is beginning to sound elitist. But if an Inday-BBM tandem is in the works, the Opposition should just prepare for the Senatorial and local races. It’s actually an exercise in futility to put up a ticket against such a formidable opponent.
The President has begun reigning in recalcitrants in the PDP-Laban. He ordered party Vice-Chair Alfonso Cusi to call for a national assembly. This is to put Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao, Senator Koko Pimentel and his mutant turtle Ron Munsayac in their proper places. Duterte is still the titular head of PDP-Laban. We must not forget former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) is supposed to be a member as well even if she also has de facto control of the National Unity Party and Lakas-CMD. It remains to be seen if Isko will run as a third candidate. This is all up to the opposition oligarchs led by Manny Pangilinan (MVP) along with the Ayala and Lopez families. The question is, which political party will serve as their vehicle? In a previous piece, I explained how Duterte broke the political template of party machinery. This was the old normal. In a campaign that will rely more on digital platforms because of the pandemic, the party machinery will only be essential on election day to get the vote out and guard against fraud.
Chanco got this part right, and the Opposition should take heed…
Finally, no more Otso Diretso self-righteousness. Focus on winning the election. Fight fire with fire on social media. But find a winnable candidate first. Or prepare for a political dynasty’s national coronation.
The 2022 election is for the administration to lose and for the opposition to miraculously win without the intervention of SmartMagic.
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