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Manila Standard : Hopelessly hoping

News & Interviews
25 December 2021

By Charlie V. Manalo | Manila Standard

“How to deal with demoralization.”

First of all, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. As John Lennon once said, “Let’s hope next year will be a good one.”

Well, finally, there’s something I have something to praise about former spokesman Barry Gutierrez. That is for being a good leader to what is left over at the Pinklaw camp.

Early this week, Gutierrez, Pinklaw presidential candidate Leni Robredo’s spokesperson, in reaction to to the results of the Pulse Asia poll survey showing Robredo with a 20 percent rating, a far second to Marcos with a 53 percent rating among the presidential bets for next year, declared that that the presidential race has now become clearly a one-on-one tussle between Robredo and Marcos.

“The 12-point jump in Vice President Leni’s numbers, which more than doubles her results from the last survey, is definitive affirmation of the energy and momentum of the people’s campaign that emerged following her declaration of candidacy on Oct. 7,” said Gutierrez.

“2022 is now clearly a Robredo versus Marcos contest. We are confident that in the next four months, Vice President Leni’s consistent, hands-on leadership and the enthusiastic efforts of our volunteers, will continue to broaden and increase her support,” he added

But beyond Gutierrez’s bravado lies a grim scenario of hopeless hopes and their soon-to-be shattered dream. For no less than three of the hardcore Yellows, precursor to the Pinklaws, have already waved their white flags, long giving up on Robredo’s chances of emerging victor in May 9.

In their articles published in other dailies, Manuel Quezon III, Randy David and Richard Heydarian, whom Rigoberto Tiglao has branded as Yellow ideologues, warned their readers of an impending Marcos victory.

Quezon even criticized Robredo’s handlers saying she “lost the chance because her ads were weirdly angled to please perhaps those who made them and approved them, but not the voters.”

“In a similar manner there was a ridiculous motherhood-oriented pitch that threatened to sink her campaign before it could even be launched until wiser heads prevailed and ‘Let Leni Lead’ moved up her numbers to make her a viable candidate,” Quezon said.

But their wisdom proved temporary, Quezon said as Robredo’s “first campaign salvo was beyond a flop.”
David, in his column, appears to have already admitted defeat as people now view BBM to be messianic.

“There is a long messianic thread deeply embedded in our political culture. It runs through the series of mass uprisings that preceded the 1896 revolution, furnishing the primal motive that powered the rapid recruitment into Andres Bonifacio’s Katipunan. I would not be surprised if someone or a group that understands the power of this messianic thread is behind the design of the precise messaging of the Marcos presidential campaign,” David wrote.

“The projection of Bongbong Marcos as a unifying figure is the key element in this clever appropriation of the messianic motif,” he added.

Heydarian, for his part, is already accepting a Marcos victory saying the Philippines is now confronted with “the prospect of a century of Marcosian politics, where authoritarian nostalgia trumps democratic truth.”

Except for the admission of defeat for their candidate, I can’t find anything else to agree with them, as their eloquence doesn’t seem to impress anyone else but themselves.

Of course, equally dismissible is Gutierrez’s display of bravura that outspoken Yellow critic, Kilusang Bagong Lipunan senatorial bet Larry Gadon averred Robredo’s spokesman, along with the rest of her propaganda team, might have wrongly evaluated the numbers laid down by Pulse Asia survey when they claimed that the 2022 presidential race is showing to be a fight between her and Bongbong Marcos.

Gadon said that “clearly, the presidential trial poll by Pulse Asia conducted between Dec. 1 and Dec. 6, 2021 showed that BBM is a sure winner with at least 53 percent respondents’ preference; while Leni scored 20 percent and Isko got an 8 percent.”

At best, Gadon says, “next year’s presidential derby is a fight between Leni and Isko for the second place because of the proximity of their survey numbers,” as Isko needs only 12 percent to catch up Leni’s 20 percent trial poll rating, while BBM’s 53 percent is far and away.

“Gutierrez’s unbridled and unfounded optimism is baseless at the very least and utopian at the most,” said Gadon, who had visibly toned down after taking flak for his social media rant last week.

“How in the world can you say that somebody who is tailing the leader of the pack by overwhelming numbers could be in a position to challenge, much less be in a so-called showdown. That’s simply preposterous. He must be in another world,” Gadon stressed.

Gadon has a strong point. For the past two months, BBM has been lording it over all the surveys and consistently walloping the perceived oppositions in all polls — SWS, Publicus, Kalye-Survey, DZRH, RMN and Pulso ng Pilipino by The Center.

“When did it ever happen that someone who is tugging the coattails of the leading candidate with a double-figure deficit is being branded as a contender? Gutierrez must have been drinking in Shangrila to even think of it. Ano ito perde gana?” Gadon quips.

But nevertheless, we have to laud Gutierrez. At least he isn’t abandoning his people even if it means giving them false hope while they engage their opponents in the political battlefield.

I have to admit he is a dependable leader, never the one who would cause demoralization among his troops even as they wordlessly waits for the proverbial last nail on the coffin to bury them and their dreams to oblivion. But other than his ability to uplift the sagging morale of whatever remains of his Pinklaw troops, I refuse to comment any further.