The acoustic campaign of the opposition slate hoping for at least eight senatorial positions in addition to those that they already have in place has gotten ominously noisier in the last couple of weeks.
Understandably, they need some attention. Now only their self-absorbed frontrunner recidivist is out of sync as he irrelevantly rails against run-away inflation in spite of the undeniable economic data where aggregate prices have been tempered significantly. In the academe, not known for his analytical abilities, and known more for his mommy’s money, pedigree and his celebrity wife, he probably preens over mirror images more than economic data.
Probably the worst of the lot, there are conceptual upsides where he betrayed and abandoned his teammates. It relieves them of a negative overhang based on a notoriety for elitism, incompetence and fakery.
Allow us to admit to two things in the Liberal Party’s (LP) belated analysis of the criticality to provide a slate of eight and no less to overwhelm not simply the Senate but what they perceive as the grand design of the Rodrigo Duterte presidency.
The first is the unimportance of specific platforms as a factor in getting their seven candidates within the Magic 12. In other words, any and all of the LP candidates simply espouse any motherhood ideal or promote a typical politician’s promise enough to show they stand for something. Each knows these promises and platforms do not count in getting them elected relative to a dangerous albeit shallower gambit which they now focus on — destructive and seditious attacks.
This segues us into the second realization where traditionally candidates pit their individual platform, track record, experience and merits against those they are running against. This would have been the ideal, but even the relatively brightest in the LP knows that this is not the reality. Florin Hilbay knows Bong Revilla does not lead over him on the basis of merit.
Analyze the discourse. The LP, applying a hodgepodge of random brickbats, has chosen to claw up in the electorate’s top-of-mind by attacking Duterte.
They’ve identified that the inherent strength of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago coalition is a dedication to a competent government able to pursue inclusive economic development sans the ineptitude, corruption and the fundamental aberrations spawned by the previous administration.
Note the content of the electoral discourse in the last two weeks. These are in no particular order of absurdity.
Commenting on the admission by the President that the illegal drug problem the previous administration catalyzed is daunting, the candidate with the lowest intellectual wattage among the slate demanded Duterte’s resignation, ignorant of the scope of Executive responsibility.
The LP slate of remnant seven complained that local government unit (LGU) officials fail to extend them campaign support due to deep fears. The statutes prevent LGU from partisanship activity. Raising the specter of fears is disingenuous and is meant to cast an atmosphere of violence where there is none.
Vice President Leonor Robredo, selective and careful not to antagonize the moneyed and partisan interests behind the Manila Water concessionaire crisis, criticized the administration instead, hoping to segue and spark a divisive discourse on water supply projects funded by the Chinese.
One election lawyer running under the LP slate opined that Robredo ascends to the presidency should a revolutionary government be declared. One wonders what this guy is smoking.
Two former Aquino government officials filed a case against a foreign head of state in a court that has no jurisdiction if only to ignite negativity against the Duterte administration. Again, a dishonest and disingenuous ploy.
There is underlying sedition in each of these attacks. On the surface however, all the LP offers is disunited obstructionism and nitpicking on anything they can weaponize not so much to present and debate legislative positions but more to simply attract media and generate some mention-mileage.