To first give a bit of credit, blogger Katrina Stuart Santiago wields a pretty good portfolio of blog posts that lay out an intelligent critique of the state of the Philippine Opposition these days. In her particularly-cluey piece posted in March this year, she admits that, in this Game of Thrones that is Philippine politics, Duterte’s killing it. She writes that “despite thousands of dead bodies, the militarization of the government, billions in unaccounted public funds, the stench of corruption growing stronger by the day, and an epic failure of a Covid-19 response, this government has stayed afloat”. The more important part of Stuart-Santiago’s piece is her lucid call to action to the Opposition; that “the only way we even have a chance of winning 2022 is if we go back to basics: understand the enemy, battle with propaganda, set aside difference, unite on common issues, and get our shit together.”
Ok na sana, right? But then she goes on to field this tweet thread today where she beseeches the powers-that-be in the emerging New Opposition to take one for the team…
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Just when you thought that there was one ray of light in the Opposition, it turns out she’s just like the rest of them – harebrained. A Grace Poe – Isko Moreno tandem will not win just as a Moreno-Poe will not either. Why? What have they actually accomplished as public servants? In 2016, Duterte was an outlier. He won because he focused on the issues bedevilling the public for the past 30 years. He also has the natural ability to connect with his audience. He focused on his areas of expertise and left those he had no or little knowledge of to the experts. What he had tucked under his belt was the transformation of Davao City. What does Poe or Moreno have?
Asking the Ping Lacson – Tito Sotto tandem to give way to a Poe-Moreno tandem is not only illogical but stupid as well. Why? Even if they won, they would have a steep learning curve. Proof? Look at the previous administration of Noynoy Aquino when it assumed office. It was described as a student council government. Ping De Jesus resigned even before he could warm his seat at the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC). Contrast this with the Lacson-Sotto team each with their own network of appointees who already have experience in government.
A Poe-Moreno tandem wouldn’t even be appealing to voters because of their lack of vision. Both are illusions like the mirage of an oasis in the desert that recedes as you approach it. As for ground machinery all they would have is what remains of the Liberal Party die-hards. Nonetheless, there have been reports that Moreno-Domagaso is “it” for the Liberals, not the other way around. Word on the street is that Vice President Leni Robredo is about to be scuttled. The Yellowtard Opposition’s mouthpiece in the Inquirer, John Nery, has come out swinging against former Senator Antonio Trillanes yesterday. It was he who tweeted about the fractious factions in the opposition ranks.
The political environment has changed. The Opposition still can’t read the tea leaves because they’re more stubborn than a mule with regard to “ideological purity.” The more realistic assessment is their campaign backers don’t find the Lacson-Sotto tandem palatable. They prefer Poe-Moreno for malleability.
The 2022 race will probably be a referendum on Philippine politics from 1986 to the present. We have had an Aquino book-ended thirty year period of the Yellows. Duterte is Marcos Lite. Now it’s up to the public to make up their mind what they think is best for them. The center now belongs to Lacson-Sotto. Not Moreno-Poe. The latter would find it hard to sell themselves to the public by claiming not to be Yellow. This is why Lacson-Sotto is being labeled as “Duterte enablers” by the Yellows.
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