There is a saying that at the homestretch of every national election, a last minute scandal or controversy erupts, enough to alter the mindset of many voters, and enough to affect the election results. It looks like that saying is true for the Liberal Party and its mindless supporters, as shown by the most recent scandal involving LP bigwigs and their fair weather allies.
Last week, a website which disseminated a video spuriously linking President Rodrigo Duterte’s family to the narcotics trade was exposed as a plot of the LP to discredit the President and his war on illegal drugs. Rodel Jayme, the uploader of the video, also known as the “Bikoy” video, has already publicly admitted that the LP is behind this latest political scandal hounding the party.
In a press conference covered last week by the Daily Tribune, Labor Undersecretary Jacinto “Jing” Paras showed photographs linking the video and the LP top brass and their allies.
Paras identified Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and outgoing Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV as the principals behind the discredited video.
This exposé reveals the duplicity of LP leaders. They are so desperate to win in the May 2019 senatorial elections that they have resorted to the last minute use of black propaganda. With Trillanes behind this underhanded strategy, that was to be expected.
This development is particularly damaging, particularly to Robredo. It will be recalled that Robredo raised the issue of honesty in public office and decried what she insinuated was the lack of honesty among the senatorial candidates identified with the administration of President Duterte. Now that the cat is out of bag, it looks like Robredo has not been so above-board herself when she allowed the “Bikoy” video to be produced, as Paras announced earlier, under her auspices.
At the end of the day, since Robredo is the highest ranking leader of the LP, her political indiscretion, dishonesty in public office, and close association with questionable personalities, are a collective reflection of what the LP is all about — a political party bereft of moral high ground.
This is not the first public embarrassment to be suffered by the LP as the election is reaching its finish line.
As early as March, Manuel “Mar” Roxas, the mainstay LP candidate for the Senate, was seen to be distancing himself from the infamous Otso Diretso senatorial line to campaign on his own. That move instigated three other Otso Diretso candidates to pursue separate campaigns, although they still make occasional symbolic public appearances with their partymates.
To make up for their being abandoned, the remaining Kwatro Desperado of the Otso Diretso ticket came up with a publicity stunt — an attempt to land at Panatag Shoal in the disputed area of the West Philippine Sea. In their desperate desire for political publicity, the four troublemakers almost provoked a shooting war with China, which currently but illegally occupies the shoal.
Last April, musician and sanctimonious die-hard LP follower Jaime Ramon “Jim” Paredes found himself apologizing to the public for a sex video that went viral on the social media.
At first, Paredes called the sex video a fake, and equated it with what he called “fake news” disseminated by the government. Soon after that, however, he admitted that the sex video is genuine, and that he was indeed in the sex video. He insisted, though, that the dissemination of the sex video violated his privacy.
While Paredes’ friends praised him for eventually admitting the truth, the fact that remains is that Paredes first tried to pass off the sex video as a fake, and one peddled by the administration. How his pretentiousness can be ignored but his eventual admission be praised is baffling.
Paredes’ sexual indiscretion, to describe the sex video mildly, has also invited suspicion that many other members of the yellow army of the LP, like Paredes, have skeletons in their closet.
In the end, Paredes’ credibility as a moral critic of the administration crumbled to pieces.
So much for the moral high ground he used to pontificate on.
Paredes fell from his pompous political pulpit where he stood tall to his allies, and he fell hard. As the saying goes, “The taller they are, the harder they fall.”