JUST three months to election day, the field of candidates for the presidency is the weirdest ever in Philippine history. Other than a disqualification (or incapacity), not a single analyst — given Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s over 50 percent ratings in the polls — will dare say it “ain’t over till it’s over.”
What makes the elections a bit Kafkaesque is that Leni Robredo, billed in the running just a few months ago, is now viewed universally as a laughingstock, which even her strategists concede to be so. Every week, it seems, she makes a gaffe that makes people wonder why in the first place did the Liberal Party — or the “Pinklawans” — ever think she could be president. How the hell do you reverse a perception of being dumb in just three months?
Why, as she showed in that ridiculous simultaneous interview by Jessica Soho of the four candidates — which by any measure cannot be called a debate — she can’t even understand a simple instruction as reacting to a set of pictures with just one word. Nothing she has said has impressed Filipinos that she could be president.
What adds to the absurdity of the presidential elections is that one candidate is running simply “for the funds of it,” appealing for “campaign funds” from taipans he has been friendly with and even helpful to for his “muscle” since President Estrada’s time, which — the donors know — he intends only to be his huge retirement fund. That really could run into hundreds of millions.(more…)