The chance to bury the Aquino legacy FOR GOOD is ripe for the picking — for politicians COURAGEOUS enough to go there

Non-administration allied politicians are in a conundrum. The deluge of messages related to the recent death of former president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III is a mix of the expected responses from the bleeding-heart side and those that are, shall we say, a bit more circumspect with being too “generous” in their outpouring of grief. This is an election period after all and not a few politicians aspiring for lucrative seats in Congress and Malacanang are well aware of the fatal effects of being associated with the Yellow narrative of the Aquino-Cojuangco feudal clan. Indeed, considering that many would be hard-pressed to issue even a low-ball stock-take of the achievements of the Second Aquino Administration to prop up Noynoy’s legacy and considering that it is widely-known that he did not even want to be president to begin with, framing this development will be an interesting challenge for the handlers of this year’s crop of candidates.

Key to messaging decisions being debated behind closed doors in the campaign rooms and Viber chats of politicians’ staffers revolve around one singular metric: vote conversion. The stakes are high and campaign teams cannot afford to allow traditional emotionalism to get in the way of a lucid regard for what hard data is telling them. In this time of pandemic where the primary channel for reaching constituents is of the digital sort, politicians facing off with formidable incumbents need to be surgical.

If there is one thing that this generation of politicians must learn from the from-left-field win of current Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte 2016, it is that a leader must possess the conviction and courage to dive straight into no-go-zones and skewer sacred cows. Right here today is a sacred cow — the dead Noynoy Aquino that tradition dictates demands the respect the dead deserve — and the no-go-zone waiting for a politician to plant his or her flag upon and claim as his or her territory: burying the Aquino legacy for good. The politician who can claim that space will be the courageous one and is one who will likely reap the rewards of such audacity.

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Indeed, it was audacity that catapulted Duterte to power in 2016. He had the audacity to thumb his nose at the sacred (albeit dying) cows of the time — the Yellow narrative, the Church, “human rights” BS, American Junk, etc. All through that, he remained open and unapologetic about his bugoy — even bastos — persona, going all out with his use of candid language when addressing the public and candid mannerisms when engaging with his people. Suffice to say, armies of political analysts (some fancying themselves “chief political analysts”) are burning the midnight oil figuring out how to replicate this stunning coup Duterte pulled in 2016. Well, for those who who are serious about replicating such a coup, the answer is staring them in the face today.

Shhhh… Can you hear it? It’s the deafening sound of silence about Noynoy’s death coming from the majority of non-admin-allied polticians. Why the silence? Because it is widely-recognised that being associated with the Yellow narrative of the Aquino clan is a death sentence to any aspiration for higher office in 2022. Silence will not cut it though — specially in this tough, deathly-competitive political environment. You need to go for the kill while the deer paralysed by fear is in your sights. Those camps that can muster the courage and audacity to exploit the singular opportunity that the death of The Last Political Aquino presents will make his or her mark in a race where stark brand differentiation will spell the difference between victory and defeat.

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6 Comments on “The chance to bury the Aquino legacy FOR GOOD is ripe for the picking — for politicians COURAGEOUS enough to go there”

  1. I can probably say the same thing to this admin as well as it seems to be the “sacred cow” to its followers. President Duterte is also right up there in age, when he passes, he’s going to become the same thing.

    You’re right though, that the next candidate should have the same mindset to “go-for-the-kill” when it comes to winning. But let’s get one thing straight, we’ve tried the Aquino narrative, we’ve tried the Duterte narrative while both have their pros and cons, it is still quite the same ol’ narrative. End of the day, life still sucks for the average person and if they could not find it in their conscience to look for a better leader and representative of this screwed-up country then we’re all going to fall to the same narrative just with different masks and actors.

    Getting really tired of the show called “Philippines”, I keep hearing that one day this place will sink beneath the waves and I guess that could be a fitting end to this country that never should have been beyond a few chiefdoms and barangays.

    1. Don’t worry, it’s getting there once Trillanes the mutineer seizes the Presidency.

      He’s going to go all gung-ho against the Great Wall only to be silenced by a warhead from the Middle Kingdom.

      Yay!!! No more Philippines, just a buncha barren, highly irradiated rocks in its place. It’s going to be worth nothing more than a convenient landfill for China’s toxic wastes

  2. More than Duterte’s audacity, he may have just been lucky in 2016 (garnering a 39.01% of the vote) to be at the right place at the right time. Miriam is the only other worthy contender to Duterte but health conditions prevented her from going all out in the campaign. With the sickly Miriam out of the way and with no other credible candidates available, Duterte is already a sure winner.

    It would have been interesting to see the play up between two opposite approaches, Duterte’s “bugoy — even bastos — persona” which attracts attention and Miriam’s wit, intellect and issues-based approach that makes people think.

    1. Is Duterte really worthy? Do you know that his regime added taxation on cars? Cars are already expensive in the Philippines, more than in the Europe and the US so why do they need to make cars even more expensive?

  3. Using the dead , to win political points, is not respecting the dead…let the dead rest in peace, and not be used in politics…

  4. “… a politician to plant his or her flag upon and claim as his or her territory: burying the Aquino legacy for good. The politician who can claim that space will be the courageous one and is one who will likely reap the rewards of such audacity.”

    I don’t know if anyone will have the courage do it in the open, out of our natural respect for the dead… at least at this moment. Even Duterte, with his being ‘bugoy’ and ‘bastos’, will not do it. But let us see when the campaign period begins…

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