THE fanatics among their ranks — cultists would be a more accurate term — will of course never get out of their delusion that Leni Robredo has started a “Pink movement,” or as the craziest among them has claimed, a “New Pink Army,” a play on the once-dreaded communist-led New People’s Army.
But Robredo is history. She’ll vanish in a few months, just as a more formidable but losing candidate, Mar Roxas, did.
The only “tsunami” of volunteers was in Facebook posts claiming there was. Former super-yellow senator Sergio Osmeña 3rd revealed what most people suspected as he couldn’t help boasting, and told the New York Times that he “paid for 10,000 volunteers.”
Osmeña and the likes of him certainly wouldn’t pay for “volunteers” for the vaguest of objectives as Robredo’s “Angat Buhay” NGO, unless she packages it in a way that would interest the CIA-linked National Endowment for Democracy (Rappler and VERA Files funders) enough to fund it.
In the first place, Robredo, with her Alfred Neuman smile (of Mad magazine fame) was completely out of her league. She never had the qualifications — both the intellectual qualities and political savvy — to be president, as her stint as House representative and vice president obviously had shown. The Yellows though could not get anybody else to be their presidential candidate.
The Pinks remind me of the Progressive Party of the Philippines, led by Raul Manglapus, which, as in the case of Robredo, the Jesuits especially and the Catholic Church pushed for, and the “disente” elites, which I rooted for when I was in high school.
I bet you haven’t heard of it. The presidential bid in 1965 of Manglapus — who was a hundred times more eloquent and intelligent than Robredo — failed miserably. It got only 5 percent of the vote, with Ferdinand Marcos getting 52 percent and Gerardo Roxas getting 43 percent. It disappeared just a few months after, as the Pinks will.
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM) got 31 million, or 59 percent of the votes, certainly a landslide victory. Data in a survey undertaken by Laylo Research show that 55 percent of BBM voters are “hard voters,” i.e., those who would not change their minds in choosing him — i.e., his hardcore followers. This means a solid base of 17 million potential cadres.
By comparison and using the same methodology, Robredo would have only 2 million — but who I think at most are the types whose political participation does not go beyond electoral episodes.
Most Filipinos aren’t really partisans, in contrast to Americans who would identify themselves as members either of the Democratic Party or Republican Party. Most of those who voted for Leni will be patriots, who would now be hoping that the BBM presidency succeeds which success after all means the upliftment of Filipinos’ well-being. This doesn’t of course include the Reds, who have since the 1960s opposed all administrations, and tried to bring them down, in the hope that they could grab power.
But after all, the number of people who voted for the Reds’ candidate Leody de Guzman is just 94,000 — which I think is a liberal estimation of the Communist Party’s active members and activists. The Reds fared very poorly in the party-list elections. Only Gabriela — which is known more as a women’s movement rather than a “national-democratic” (i.e., Red) organization — will be winning a seat. The people have rejected its once mighty Bayan Muna and Anakpawis.
Now look at the Senate. All except Risa Hontiveros were either endorsed by BBM, President Duterte or both. Hontiveros has become a political orphan, as her party Akbayan couldn’t even run as a party-list.
Including Hontiveros, there are now only four among the 24 senators who are not under the Marcos-Duterte wing: Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay, the latter two not even known to be anti-Marcos persons.
While I am unable still to make a count, I was told that only a tenth — at most — of the winning Congress representatives are from the opposition — and the lower House of course is populated mostly by politicians who would kowtow immediately to the incumbent president.
With his appointment to the Supreme Court of Court of Appeals judge Maria Filomena Singh, Duterte has appointed 13 of the 15 high tribunal justices, the biggest number of sitting justices ever appointed by a single president. While they of course are not beholden to BBM, their political beliefs are certainly not that of the Yellows or the Pinks, or else the politically astute Duterte would not have appointed them.
In short, with a feeble an outfit as the really ephemeral “Pinks” and the tiny CPP, the BBM-Sara Duterte tandem is the most powerful political hegemon in this country now.
With its formidable power, I would think its main, immediate task — to strike while the iron is still hot, as the cliché goes — should be the total destruction of the Reds, a task BBM’s father set out to do, but failed, ironically because he wasn’t as ruthless as other heads of countries were.
However, while reduced to a tiny group now, the Communist Party controls key institutions positioned to broadcast its views way beyond its actual strength, such as media, a major faction of the Catholic Church and the universities, especially UP, the Ateneo and La Salle.
Other countries — Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia — decades ago wiped out their communist scourges. What his father failed to do, BBM must accomplish: to destroy the CPP completely and grind it to fine dust. If he accomplishes only that, he will be viewed as one of our best presidents ever.
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