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The Manila Times : Even Yellow ideologues losing hope over Robredo

News & Interviews
22 December 2021

By Rigoberto Tiglao | The Manila Times

AS I've been saying, Leni Robredo is totally out of her class. I doubt if she would win were she to run for the Senate or even for representative in her district.

Now even the Yellows' ideologues, all writing in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, have unabashedly been writing columns giving up on her bid for the presidency.

I thought of posting their views — at least they're intellectually honest to accept reality — since they've been losing readership from the time their master stepped down from power in July 2016 with all their analysis and prognostications against this administration having been proven wrong.

Manuel Quezon 3rd ("Lost opportunities," Dec. 15, 2021):

"My view is that Marcos Jr. grabbed the most precious characteristics of a presidential candidate for himself: namely, being the candidate of Change and Hope. He did so, by means of his ad. All the rest: the highly organized motorcades, the crushing prediction of an unstoppable landslide being promoted online, the explosion in anticipation of Tallano Gold and Bataan Nuclear Plant bonanzas for lucky supporters, flows from the candidate capturing the emotional and even moral high ground.

"Robredo 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. But wisdom proved temporary. Her first campaign salvo was beyond a flop. Her latest commercial is better: a friendly but firm, enumeration of her policies for labor. A perfect ad: for a senatorial candidate since most campaign on only, or at most only a few, issues to set them apart. But it is not a presidential commercial. The overarching heart and soul of her candidacy in the public mind still does not exist because it hasn't been communicated."

Quezon, ("Last hawk standing," Dec. 8, 2021):

"The Road to Rehabilitation began when his mother unsuccessfully ran for the presidency, and he ran, successfully, to be the congressman for the second district of Ilocos Norte in 1992. The Loyalist constituency was large enough to have eked out two Senate seats in 1987, when two Grand Alliance for Democracy senators were elected (both, by this time, avowed Loyalists again): Juan Ponce Enrile and Joseph Ejercito Estrada. The latter, joining his own fan base to the Loyalist base, successfully contested the vice presidency in 1992 and the presidency in 1998. He (Estrada) would prove accommodating, even welcoming, to the Marcoses.

"Second, it planted the Marcos flag once more in the heartland, Ilocos Norte. I was once told that Imee Marcos once referred to her home province as the "grand duchy," a term more clever than you think: for in our baronial political culture, a fiefdom is the essential basic requirement to fulfill national ambitions. Her brother's congressional seat was later taken over by Imee in 1998, when he became governor, again, of Ilocos Norte (he'd been vice governor in 1980 and became governor in 1983, concurrently serving as what seems to have been a decorative chairman of the board for Philcomsat in 1985): clinching the restoration of the clan to preeminence in their home turf. Marcos Jr. then returned to the House of Representatives in 2007. Having lost a bid for the Senate in 1995, he was successful the second time around in 2010, placing seventh. Along the way, his mother had successfully undertaken a restoration of her own: hoisting the Romualdez flag in 1995 in Leyte, which meant the North-South power bases of the family were once again secured (ever-useful, when someone was needed to keep the Ilocos congressional seat warm, she fluttered over to her husband's province and became its second district congresswoman in 2010).

"The point was that the grand duchy was safe again; and Marcos Jr., by becoming governor for the second time, had his own personal vindication. The only thing left was the redemption of the family name by reclaiming the Palace.

I believe the first instinct of the Filipino is to hop on a bandwagon; it takes special circumstances to convince ;the Filipino to back David in a battle with Goliath. The remarkable, measurable, jump in Marcos Jr.'s support from the 30 percent he and his sister have commanded at the polls, to 40 percent and even beyond, is made possible by the whole panoply of his candidacy designed to project it as an unstoppable thing."

Randy David even claims the masses see Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as — que horror! — the Messiah.

Randy David ("The messianic motif in Philippine politics," Dec. 19, 2021):

"In here, I think, lies the insidious potency of Bongbong Marcos' present campaign for the presidency. It is subliminally framed in messianic time. And within that frame, past events are flattened, and only the image of the redeemer stands out. 'All things are recapitulated in the Messiah,' is how the Pauline letter to the Ephesians (1:10) renders it.

"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. This mindset did not disappear with the advent of Western modernity. It has lain dormant in the Filipino psyche, like a virus ready to spring into action when summoned by a confluence of events.

"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. The projection of Bongbong Marcos as a unifying figure is the key element in this clever appropriation of the messianic motif.

He promises to unite all — friends and enemies alike — and to bring together all things in heaven and on earth. More significantly, he is cast in the role of one who "recapitulates" everything that is past, rising above the fragmentations of history, in order to deliver a comprehensible vision that his father left unfulfilled. Accordingly, he submits to all insults hurled against him while remaining outwardly impervious to these attacks. He will not defend himself because his mission is higher and nobler: He unites all in him — like the Messiah.

"This messianic narrative allows him to gloss over the past, and to refuse to engage those who would argue using the truth of facts. For the truth he is supposed to represent is the higher truth of redemption — the Filipino people's deliverance from poverty, oppression, humiliation, and hopelessness. When you frame the presidency in these mystical-religious terms, all debate about qualifications, experience, and record of performance appears almost petty — pulitika lang (just politics)."

Even that writer who tries to impress people by having a quote from famous men in every piece he writes, after ranting at Marcos and insanely believing Robredo has started a movement, concedes there will likely be "century of Marcosian politics."

Richard Heydarian, "A century of Marcosian politics," Dec. 13, 2021):

"For almost half a century, the Philippines has lingered in the shadow of the Marcoses. Not even the two EDSA 'people power' revolutions managed to provide a decisive break from the toxic legacy of the dictatorship.

"If current trendlines continue, the next administration would likely oversee constitutional change and, accordingly, full consolidation of a reactionary regime. What the Philippines confronts is the prospect of a century of Marcosian politics, where authoritarian nostalgia trumps democratic truth."

After your rants in the past six years against President Duterte having been proven wrong, especially those claiming he couldn't tackle the pandemic crisis, shouldn't you write apologies to him now, guys?