It is about this time (or thereabouts) last year that the “Unity Team” of then presidential and vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and Sara Duterte were well on their way to burying the Opposition “led” (or so her followers believed) by Leni Robredo. Indeed, even at the eleventh hour of that “important” national election, it still remained unclear who was even leading said Opposition. That leadership conundrum at the time will go down in history as the most baffling aspect of the 2022 national elections because, even before the campaign started, it was well-recognised that the then emerging Marcos-Duterte “administration” ticket was on its way to a landslide victory that only a unified opposition can stop.
All that is, of course, history and enough analysis of that story had been done. Well, for that matter, there really was no need to apply any rocket science to analyse what is, really, a massive Opposition failure. The Opposition should have ideally been unified in late 2020, locked and loaded with a leader by early 2021, and equipped with an intelligent pitch to Filipinos (as opposed to the limpdicked pink one they came up with) at about that same time. In short, the Opposition was already a failure early in 2021.
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The debate on the Philippines’ strategic direction is now one being had between camps largely within the original “Unity” camp with the most intense exchanges happening between camps loyal to the Dutertes and those loyal to Marcos. To be fair, it is still an adolescent war-of-words between two cults of personalities. The point, however, is that the presumed “opposition” — what remains of Robredo’s discredited “KakamPink” force — is no longer even a footnote in the national debate. This is largely due to their persistent belief that they were “cheated” out of a win they were entitled to by sinister forces of “disinformation” and “historical revisionism” and continue to prop their waning relevance up with their old Martial Law Crybaby narrative.
Again, we only need to face simple facts about why the old “Opposition” find themselves in the dumpster today. They failed to unify, failed to put up a competent leader, failed to come up with a campaign pitch based on an accurate reading of public sentiment, and refused, as the campaign progressed, to learn from insights described by data published by reputable polling firms. They were utterly buried in May 2022 because of their arrogance, lack of capacity for inward reflection, and tone deafness to the national pulse.
Today, the Opposition stew in their own juices of failure while the “victors” gloat Talo si Leni (Leni lost!). That’s because that is what really happened. Leni Robredo is not a victim of “sinister forces”. She lost because she did not play well. Rather than stew, the Opposition need to focus on levelling up. Play a better game. Anticipate the feints, the bluffs, and learn to think three steps ahead. It’s simple, really. Whether one likes it or not, democracy is a game all Filipinos signed up to. You can’t dismiss a game you chose to play just because you lost.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.