The withdrawal of Senator Bong Go as presidential candidate consolidates the administration bet for leadership of the Philippine government over the next six years following the May 2022 national elections. For the first time since 1986, a majority-elected Philippine president has become a possibility if we are to consider the popularity numbers of leading candidate Bongbong Marcos. Together with his running mate Sara Duterte, the two collectively account for the lion’s share of polled voter preferences over the last 12 to 18 months. With President Rodrigo Duterte running for a Senate seat and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo a strong contender for House speakership if she succeeds in her bid for a congressional seat, Filipinos may be witness to the rise of the most powerful Philippine government yet.
The Opposition led by the Yellowtard “KakamPink” camp of “vice president” and presidential candidate Leni Robredo are already shittin’ bricks over the coming together of a “four party alliance” that will back the Marcos-Duterte tandem. The alliance is a formidable and experienced coalition. Together, the parties that make it up had collectively catapulted three presidents to power; Arroyo, Joseph “Erap” Estrada, and Fidel Ramos. As if that were not enough to crush the spirits of the Yellowtards and their new unfriends, the communists, the administration camp have also managed to attract the support of all 44 mayors of the province of Cebu.
The key to Marcos’s success can be gleaned from what Rappler “journalist” Lian Buan was forced to admit in her piece “Marcos woos Duterte vote, gets backing of Cebu mayors” published the other day where she “reports”…
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A divisive figure because of his father’s dictatorial rule marked with human rights violations and corruption, Marcos has so far stuck to a message of unification and says he shuns “gutter politics.”
Marcos had remained consistent to this tack even as other candidates — most notably Robredo herself — stuck to the tradition of mudslinging and demonisation as a means to prop up their personal brands. Marcos exhibited grace even in the face of attack from President Rodrigo Duterte himself who, at one time, referred to him as a “weak leader” and even hinted that he uses cocaine.
Robredo, for her part, in mid-November had already recognised the fatal effect on her political brand caused by overzealous bird-brained partisans. The bigotry in the Robredo camp was at such levels that many reported family ties and friendships collapsing over political differences leading Robredo to urge her followers to “initiate reconciliation, approach other people, and when you see something untrue or something that does not coincide with our beliefs, explain in a calm and respectful manner.”
“Nasaang panig ka man, gaano man kasigurado sa paninindigan mo, may nakasakit ng kapwa. Panahon na, tayo na ang magsimula, lumapit sa mga naka-alitan, kung may nakita sa social media na hindi naaayon sa mga pinaniniwalaan natin, magpaliwanag nang mahinahon at may respeto,” Robredo said.
Politics is, indeed, addition. The Yellowtards are learning their lessons too late and instituting too little reforms within their ranks. Their embedded culture of Martial Law Crybabyism, fear-mongering over the fantasy of a “return to authoritartianism”, and a stubborn parroting of elitist concepts like “human rights” and “gender equality” that are irrelevant — even alien — to the average Filipino had really done them in. As a result, they have ended up even more disunited now than they were just a few months back when an early attempt at an Opposition coalition dubbed “1Sambayan” sought to elevate one single unifying Opposition candidate to go up against the administration camp. Meanwhile, the administration camp has achieved all of that and more — a single presidential candidate and a slate of Senate and House candidates that will likely mobilise the backing of both chambers of Congress around the coming Second Marcos Administration.
What now for the Opposition? I wrote just this morning that in the face of imminent defeat, they will need to change their mindset from an aggressive regard for a “winnable” battle to one where mitigation of impending losses is paramount. The Yellowtards need to let go of the delusional strategy they currently apply to their campaign where members within their comfy echo chambers assure one another of the righteousness of their “cause” (and, therefore, their entitlement to victory) and adopt more of a strategic retreat mindset. It is either that or they lose big in May 2022 — i.e., not just suffer a catastrophic loss of face and obliterate what remains of their political capital but also drag down with them the fortunes of the oligarchs who continue to foolishly bankroll their “cause” and stake the futures of their family enterprises on a Yellowtard return to power.
The most powerful government in recent Philippine history is coming. People will need to decide amongst themselves which side of the equation they would like to see themselves situated over the foreseeable future. It starts with your own social media accounts. As the eminent communist “activist” Katrina Stuart-Santiago observed, “after I removed myself from the Leni campaign groups, my newsfeed on FB has ceased to be pink. I took only about 10 days for that algorithm to change, and it’s an important thing to consider whenever you think, or imagine, that the numbers on our side are growing, or that there is ‘public clamor’ for anything at all. Know that algorithms make us think that, for a reason.”
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.