Today’s Working Day One of the 12-month homestretch to the 2022 national elections. As much as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, the Philippine Opposition sputters. They still lack a vision to pitch the Filipino voter and a credible leader to deliver that pitch. Much of the previous year was invested by the Opposition propping up presumptive “vice president” Leni Robredo as the leader of all Philippine Opposition parties. Unfortunately that was time and bandwidth gone down the drain. Robredo remains a mere footnote in popularity surveys and, though a prolific sound bytes issuer and one backed by the Philippines’ top media channels, has so far (1) not imparted to her flock any semblance of a coherent election winning strategy, (2) shown no skill nor clout at building political coalitions, and (3) comes across as a social-climbing tita who spends her day on “issues” that have no relevance to ordinary Filipinos.
Recent days have revealed that the latter is, indeed, Robredo’s comfort zone seeing how she now spends some of her vice presidential time in the company of said titas.
Thanks to significant collateral sunk into the Robredo brand and that persistent yellow shade that the Opposition have, try as they might, been scrubbing off their personas, gaining campaign momentum has proven challenging. Meanwhile, other camps are gearing up. One is the fledgling 1Sambayan coalition led by retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio who, after an unimpressive launch of his mob in March this year, scored a media circus win with the brouhaha over a debate with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. Perhaps due to his chi chi Atenista upbringing, his corporate background, and his stint in the “above politics” ivory tower that is the SC, Carpio still struggles with the notion of engaging at a level in the discourse where it counts.
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One thing going for Carpio is that he has the vote of esteemed national artist F. Sionil Jose who announced today that “if former Justice Antonio Carpio will run, I’ll campaign for him.” Sionil also goes as far as endorsing Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, former presidential candidate and Defense Secretary to former president Gloria Arroyo. “Whatever office he elects to run for, I’ll also campaign for Gilbert Teodoro,” Jose writes. If this is indication of some promise in Carpio and his bid, it would do him well to seize every opportunity to gain media mileage including stepping up to the challenge of debating whoever Duterte throws at him on the issue of the loss of Scarborough Shoal to China in 2012.
And then there are the sure things of the moment, former senator and vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos who I wrote about earlier in “The time has come for Filipinos to consider a Bongbong Marcos presidency!” and Davao City mayor Inday Sara Duterte, who consistently tops recent popularity and approval surveys. Unlike Carpio and Teodoro, both are seasoned politicians who have demonstrated remarkable consistency, mettle, and tenacity in their jobs and on the campaign trails. Both also have top-notch PR and messaging apparatus that had clearly given the best communications and PR minds of the Opposition literal runs for their money.
The mass media propaganda machine of the Opposition is also in disarray. One-time jewel in the blogging crown of the Opposition, Jover Laurio, has dropped the ball with her PinoyAkoBlog.com having gone offline (the URL now just redirects to its Facebook page). This is not before she tainted the personal brands of just about every guest who attended her notably under-reported wedding of the year in 2019.
So-called “social news network” Rappler consistently comes up as one of the Philippines’ least-trusted media channels. Not having learnt a thing from that stinging lesson, Rappler aspires to be the go-to information source for anything to do with the 2022 elections. In their pompous manifesto “#WeDecide: What you can do to take the Philippines back in 2022”, Rappler proclaims “Atin ang Pilipinas” (“the Philippines is ours”) and asserts “We have lost so much in the years Rodrigo Duterte is president.” So much for being the impartial reporter of the 2022 elections, right? One can’t help but wonder when mulling over what they say here…
More than demonstrating our resilience, which abusive officials have exploited when they couldn’t or wouldn’t serve our interests, we will aim to exercise our collective power to pull this nation back up.
Is Rappler a news organisation? Or is it an activist organisation? The mystery persists…
The demise of ABS-CBN was, of course, the biggest news of 2019 — “biggest” according to ABS-CBN “journalists”, that is. We are told it was “forced off the air” by the Philippine government. However, the fact is that its license had expired and was not renewed by Congress. The blame for this fiasco falls squarely on the shoulders of its chief executive, Carlo Katigbak who, quite simply, did not kiss Duterte’s ass enough as any CEO worth his or her salt would a sitting president. That’s why they’re paid the big bucks, right?
So far, the Opposition led by the Yellowtards and the strangely-silent (for this week) communist bloc within it are not living up to Filipinos’ expectations of an Opposition they deserve. What Filipinos get today is one that insults their intelligence rather than stimulates it. A democracy can only thrive with a modern and intelligent opposition party or community holding it up as one of its key pillars. Sadly, with just 12 months to go, no such Opposition is in sight. The clock is ticking. Tick tock tick tock…
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