The Philippine Liberal Party (LP) don’t seem to learn. They must be using the same lame PR consultants that ran “vice president” Leni Robredo’s personal brand to the ground. Sadly (for them), they come across as infantile in the continued use of religious hocus-pocus and prayerful posturing to style themselves as the “decent” choice. It’s a bad case of doing the same thing again whilst expecting different results.
The latest stunt unfolding in living colour in recent days is the re-branding of the LP in an effort to retire the now-poisonousdilawan (“Yellowtard”) theme in favour of a more virginal (presumably white) theme. The way they are effecting this “transformation” is so elementary in the way it fails that they will likely end up as fodder for lists of What Not to Do in public relations textbooks to come.
At the core of this PR failure is an inadvertent insulting of the Filipino’s intelligence. What the LP still don’t get is that the rise to power of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was a protest vote against the perverse “decency” that served as the main pillar of the LP brand. “Decency” had come to be seen as a notion hijacked by the LP and baked into the Yellow narrative of rallying “victims”, prayerful “heroes”, and angelic “martyrs”. Generations of Filipinos indoctrinated in this narrative believe that to be decent is to be Yellow, and to be not Yellow is to be evil. The simplicity of this narrative is what entranced an entire generation of Filipinos for 30 years.
It is astounding that this underlying premise remains a cornerstone of the re-branding effort we are now seeing. That LP stalwarts Senators Franklin Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, and Bam Aquino, former president Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III, and “vice president” Leni Robredo would strike prayerful poses before their official Rappler photographer in their new uniform attests to just how intellectually-bankrupt the broader Philippine Opposition are in continuing to allow these bozos to lead them.
Perhaps some credit is due to the LP for recognising the key task at hand, that the Philippine Opposition can REFORM and MODERNISE by purging itself of the Yellowtards, as we wrote back then. Trouble is, they are implementing a solution based on a mere superficial understanding of the problem, one that does not address the root cause of why the Opposition continue to fail to make a dent on Duterte’s formidable popular mandate…
The challenge for those who genuinely would like to reform the Opposition is to purge it of the clowns who infest it with medieval thinking and behave like religious zealots on social media. That’s a tall order if one considers how much the Yellowtards dominate the Philippine Opposition. It is quite obvious that Duterte won the 2016 elections on the back of a widespread public disgust for everything “yellow”. Indeed, included in the campaign paraphernalia used by the Duterte campaign machine were images of yellow colours dominating crowds of rallying Opposition “activists”. Even the relatively multi-partisan and multi-faith community of Martial Law Crybabies lament rallies that had failed because of what they perceived to be an effort hijacked by the Yellowtards.
Evidently, purging the colour yellow from Opposition collateral is not enough. The purge should go deeper, down to the people who subtract from its brand equity and the practices and beliefs that give the Opposition its Medieval vibe. It is quite obvious who those people are seeing how so quickly this picture of prayerful white-shirted clowns spread all over the Internet and attracted massive ridicule and contempt.
The broader Opposition deserves better than obsolete dilawan characters and monomanic communists whose professional “activist” leaders habitually accuse any sitting Philippine president with the same thing again and again using the same recycled slogans. They deserve more creative and more innovative activists — not those entitled Jesuit-educated “millennials” who use gay analogies to their telenovela lovelives to fill their glossy placards. For the Opposition to truly re-brand at the core they need to uplift their discourse and present an intelligent and modern alternative — one that befits a nation and society that aspires to succeed in the 21st Century.