Inquirer.net : Opposition must win this May or face long years of oblivion

8 February 2022

By Jake J. Maderazo | Inquirer.net

Today, presidential candidates will launch their individual proclamation rallies in different areas, signaling the start of the official 90-day campaign period.

If one believes all pre-election surveys, we are told that if elections were held today, the BBM-Sara Team is the runaway winner. Even if you combine the survey votes of the opposition, it is still less than half of BBM’s numbers. Yes these are just numbers, they are not actual votes, but they clearly show the trends of how the people will vote in May.

The UniTeam has consolidated major political bailiwicks across the country—Solid North, Sara’s Solid South, PGMA’s Central Luzon, Central Visayas, ARMM, the seven biggest political parties, the INC and many others. MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. resigned recently to focus on his new position national campaign manager of BBM-Sara. Abalos was head before of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), an organization of 1.2 million elected/appointed officials in the country, from governors, mayors down to Sangguniang Kabataan. Again, a move to further strengthen ground and logistical support.

On the other hand, a united opposition may emerge allegedly being brokered by Americans, asking Isko Moreno, Ping Lacson and Manny Pacquiao to back out in favor of the strongest opposition which they believe is Vice President Leni Robredo, whose bailiwicks are Bicol, Western Visayas, the Makabayan 3-million votes and the middle class of urban areas. The strategy wants to trigger a far-reaching bandwagon effect using anti-Marcos mainstream media, the US controlled social media (Facebook, Google’s YouTube and Twitter) and propel VP Leni in a winning position.

But her numbers failed to rise drastically even after the recent Presidential interviews and debates. Most telling is this recent Social Weather Stations national quarterly survey on her net satisfaction ratings that VP Robredo had at +24 in September 2021, falling into only +1 in December 2021, a monumental and unprecedented 23 points drop.

Quite frankly, these are dreary and depressing signs for the opposition. Since 2016, the Liberal Party and their compatriots have been in oblivion, with the biggest defeat the poll shutout of Ocho Direcho in 2019. They must really win in the coming May elections and get back Malacañang with the help of the Americans.
However, If VP Leni loses, the opposition will suffer six years of torment under BBM, and possibly another six years or a total of 12 Sara Duterte succeeds in 2028. And here speculations are rife, that people who plundered the “Marcos loot” during the EDSA 86’ Revolution will be hounded by a “revitalized” PCGG, this time specifically against their former persecutors, and some families who disowned them, took their properties as their own in the past 36 years.

Another threat is the numerous pending graft cases of former Pnoy officials which languished in COA and other office, but will now be tried and promulgated in the next six or twelve years under the DOJ or the Duterte appointed courts.

But if by chance, Bongbong gets disqualified before the elections, the substitution rules say the replacement candidate must be of same surname and nominated by the political party. This means Sen. Imee Marcos replaces him, and once again the Imee Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem will be unstoppable. If Bongbong is in turn disqualified after the elections, then VP Inday Sara, if she wins the vice presidency, will succeed, and the torment continues.

So, this is quite an uncomfortable situation for the opposition that may unfold in the coming days. We will watch with vigor how these colliding political forces (administration and opposition candidates) will execute their separate plans. Will they be able to bring down Bongbong’s numbers in the next 90 days? Or just be ran over by a juggernaut?

My guess is that once the still popular President Duterte endorses the Bongbong-Sara tandem, probably in April, that would create a real bandwagon. And to us players, we call this move as the end of game.