Manila Standard : Desperate moves versus runaway winner BBM

12 April 2022

By Erwin Tulfo | Manila Standard

“The rivals face the specter of defeat.”

The impending victory in the presidential race of former-senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM) has apparently compelled his rival candidates to make desperate moves.

Now faced with the reality of a looming defeat, BBM’s archrival Vice President Leni Robredo has taken steps to forge a united “Opposition” with 29 days till the May 9 national elections.

BBM and VP running-mate Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio have maintained their lead in all major poll surveys, garnering nearly 60 percent of voter preference for President and VP, respectively.

To boost her support, Robredo’s camp is reportedly pushing for the withdrawal of presidential aspirants Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Senator Manny Paquiao and Senator Ping Lacson.

Unfortunately for Robredo, her handlers’ proposal was reportedly flatly rejected by all the other bets who have spent millions of pesos on their campaigns.

Lacson, who was recently abandoned by his own political party in favor of Robredo, is adamant in fighting to the finish like the gallant warrior that he is.

Withdrawal means “surrender” which is not in the former national police chief’s vocabulary.

He abhorred the idea of withdrawing from the presidential race while Robredo’s handlers shamelessly proposed to junk her running-mate VP aspirant Sen. Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan in favor of Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto.

It was not clear if Pangilinan buys the idea himself, being treated by the like a “bargaining chip” or sacrificial lamb.

Sotto, on the other hand, had professed unwavering loyalty to Lacson.

The Lacson-Sotto tandem was the first presidential team to declare their candidacy with the promise to rid the widespread corruption in the government.

Despite their dismal survey ratings, Moreno and Pacquiao have reportedly vowed to pursue their presidential dream.

Even if they give in to Robredo’s gambit, there is no guarantee she will get the votes of the other candidates who would back out of the race.
Instead of putting up a united front versus BBM, they chose to engage in mudslinging, fabricating all sorts of fake news and recycling dubious issues against the Martial Law and Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth.

Robredo should accept the reality that the opposition to BBM cannot be unified then and cannot be done now, as everyone wants to be the next President.

Long before they declared their presidential candidacies, the group 1Sambayan led by former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio had failed to unify the so-called Opposition.

Unfortunately for them, a divided Opposition means Marcos rules.

They have also failed in their bid to have the Commission on Elections (Comelec) cancel BBM’s certificate of candidacy in connection with recycled tax issues against the former congressman, former senator, and former Ilocos Norte governor.

Political analysts and statisticians say at this point BBM’s lead seems “insurmountable.”

Marcos’ lead is almost impossible to overtake as it is impossible to get all his rivals together as they have no common campaign messages or platform.

Though Robredo’s survey ratings have improved significantly to 25 percent, they are running out of time to catch up with BBM’s ratings at more than 50 percent in the recent Pulse Asia and Publicus surveys.

The Pinklawans must accept the painful truth of a looming administration under BBM, a likely runaway winner in the upcoming elections.