One recent news headline read: “Leni worried by Bongbong’s surge in surveys”. It is quite understandable why Vice Presidential candidate and Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo is “worried”. She must have a lot to worry about now that her rival Senator Bongbong Marcos has a big chance of winning the Vice Presidency. For one thing, it highlights how ill-thought-out her decision was to run for the second highest post in the land.
Deep inside, Robredo could be more worried about losing face after losing the election more than the possible return of Martial Law. I mean, if she were smart, she’d know that declaring Martial Law is not that simple. As another Vice Presidential candidate senator Chiz Escudero said during the recent VP debate, there are mechanisms in place now to prevent the President from simply declaring it. Besides, the Vice President does not have the authority to declare Martial Law. Robredo is simply being silly in thinking that Bongbong Marcos would be stupid enough to declare Martial Law considering the senator has benefited a lot from Filipinos who are vocal on the Internet especially people on social media.
Why would Bongbong stifle the people’s freedom to speak out against those who vilify him and the rest of the Marcos family, for example? Netizens actually played an immense role in helping expose the truth about EDSA and Martial Law. There is a lot of information coming out now – some new perspective about what transpired before and after both events, which do not paint Marcos Sr as the sole perpetrator of atrocities. For 30 years, the Aquinos and their allies have blamed Marcos Sr and his family for the bad things that happened and keep happening in the country. BS Aquino and his supporters even blame his government’s shortfalls on the Marcoses, if not former President Gloria Arroyo. If Bongbong removes the people’s voice through a repeat of his father’s Martial Law, it would work against him. He doesn’t come across as stupid enough to do something like that.
Robredo should worry more about atrocities and anomalies that are happening at present times instead of things that happened 30-odd years ago. If she had any sense of decency, she would speak out against BS Aquino’s lack of accountability for his government’s appalling performance in the last six years. A lot of people have noted how she turns a blind eye to BS Aquino’s string of broken promises, like the passing of the Freedom of Information bill — an initiative she is a strong advocate of. And after voting for the bill to increase pensions paid out by the Social Security System (SSS), she did an about-face after the President vetoed it. Robredo even defended Aquino’s veto decision after he received flak from SSS pensioners and contributors.
In another feeble attempt at winning the hearts of the voters, members of Robredo’s public relations machinery are posting photos of her on social media painting her as a “modest” and “humble” public servant. There’s this picture of her taking a bus. It is so trivial to be making a big deal of her taking public transport when, in most progressive countries, it is quite common for public servants to use public transport on a daily basis. Had the current government fixed the country’s public transport system, more Filipinos would take public transport without as much dramas. And it is interesting why there would always be someone who happens to be at just the right time and place to take a photo when she takes the bus!
In another photo circulating on social media, she is shown walking through a flooded footpath. This is supposed to come across as more proof that she is “modest”. Some Netizens have noted though, that she was carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag – a very expensive handbag. As social media commentator Leslie Bocobo suggested, she should have carried a bayong instead to complete the hypocrisy.
It’s no secret that Robredo didn’t want to run for the Vice Presidency to begin with but she still allowed herself to be bullied by her Liberal Party mates into filling out a certificate of candidacy anyway. That in itself says a lot about her character. She seems to be the type who would compromise her principles just to please other people particularly her allies. If she truly believed that she is not yet ready for a higher post, considering she only just joined congress as her district’s representative in 2013, she should have flatly said no to the offer.
One can’t help but wonder what else is Robredo willing to compromise for her party-mates? The absence of a husband or a partner to consult with and confide in could be weakening her defenses against bullies who are putting bad ideas into her head. She could pursue the passing of the unconstitutional Bangsamoro Basic Law just to please her allies. It is the Filipino people who should be worried if she wins the Vice Presidency in that case.
Members of the Liberal Party are known for bullying. Robredo’s situation is reminiscent of the time when then senator Benigno Simeon Aquino was also bullied into applying for the Presidency. We recall that BS Aquino also did not have any plans to run for the Presidency back in 2009 but leaders of the Liberal Party talked him into running to take advantage of the Sympathy Vote after his mother Cory died just a few months before to the 2010 Presidential Election. Fast-forward to six years later, they are now using whatever lingering sympathy votes are left for the death of former Department of Local Government and Interior Secretary Jessie Robredo in 2012 to help his wife, Leni win the Vice Presidency. After all, sympathy votes helped her win a seat in congress back in 2013.
Truly, Robredo should have been more honest with herself and realized that her Liberal Party mates, especially Presidential candidate Mar Roxas, are casting her for the role of “grieving widow” in a desperate effort to help boost Mar’s poor popularity rating. The idea is ridiculous because they are assuming that whoever votes for Robredo will also vote for Mar. It may work on some gullible and emotional voters but thank goodness, it doesn’t work on the majority of voters. It’s a good indication that people can see through what they are doing.
Robredo does come across as someone who can’t stand on her own two feet. First, she relies on her husband’s popularity and shamelessly mentions his previous policies as Mayor of Naga City to add semblance of substance to her own election campaign. She also relies on her Liberal Party mates as if they will always be by her side no matter what. Someone should tell her that these people would drop her like a hot potato when she loses the election. She’ll be cast aside like last month’s flavor of the month.