Siete Abandonados


It is nothing new and the ill-fated remnant seven senatorial candidates of the quickly fragmenting Liberal Party (LP) pathetically campaigning to sparse and small groups should have seen it coming. They should have known that for the most part they would be campaigning ruptured, disunited and short of one even where a show of teamwork, cooperation and solidarity was critical to compel synergies and economies of scale.

It’s sad. More so when their campaigning turns even more pathetic as funds run low and the painful reality that each LP senatorial candidate subconsciously denies begins to kick in.

Virtually betrayed from the inside, the motley LP crew is facing not only overwhelming odds from a public that’s constantly awarded consistent approvals for the governance of Rodrigo Duterte but has also elected to reward with even higher ratings a good number running under the Hugpong ng Pagbabago led by an incredibly attractive, charismatic and competent Inday Sara Duterte.

That the residual LP team of seven seems to have been abandoned by their frontrunner is simply history repeating itself. He’s done it before.

It is however a validation of the remnant seven’s inexperience, naïveté and perhaps, their gullibility in trusting someone who, unlike most of them, is patently a veteran traditional politico.

When the LP launched its 2019 senatorial slate they were short of one candidate who later claimed that in each instance he ran for an elected position he launched his candidacy from his hometown and nowhere else.

Beat newsmen however note his constant absence from most of the combined LP sorties thereafter.

Effectively snapping at a reporter who innocently inquired as to why he was not at the LP launch, Manuel Roxas bared what reporters had become accustomed to concealed behind a public persona to the contrary — an acidic disposition comprised of visible arrogance, quick and uncontrolled temper, venomous sarcasm and a hubris-laden demeanor that earned him the descriptive monicker hambogero or conceited.

Allow us to review his rationale for jump starting from his hometown instead of being a team player, unifying and cooperating with the rest of the LP senatorial candidates. Let us also analyze the rationale behind a self-indulgent refusal to associate with, embed and submerge among newbies, unknowns and the inexperienced who lack bailiwicks.

Inheriting his late brother’s bailiwick, he ran for a local post. It made sense to launch from a parochial spring board. The debut however established superstitious propensities. But since he’s been a loser since aiming for national elective posts, this “tradition” to kick off from district constituencies now makes little sense.

But the propensity to campaign solo is consistent from a strictly utilitarian perspective. Note the logic. He is simply being practical.

Among the LP team, he alone has the financial wherewithal to bankroll a national campaign several times over. Should he share the stage given the funds such logistics requires, he would effectively be subsidizing other candidacies. The viability of subsidizing is a function of mathematical formulae.

One is the law of liquid displacement. Since he straddles the brim of the Magic 12 with another LP candidate, subsidizing effectively supports the other, thus imperiling his chances and possibly displacing himself.

The other involves probabilities. If he subsidizes fellow LP candidates whose probabilities of winning are nil, the “Ekonomista” in him compels re-channeling funds to his campaign. Thus, his solo flight makes sense. Why should he invest on losers when this redirects funds from his own campaign?

There is also the question of electoral realities where name recall remains a potent factor. Of the LP candidates only two qualify. Joining a team effectively dilutes his name and thins out the electorate’s focus.

Finally, the electoral proposition is for representation unblemished by scandal. Compared to the LP senatorial neophytes, in investment banking parlance, Roxas is considered a “net negative carry