Senator Francis Pangilinan, the president of the Liberal Party (LP), is in a delirium caused by the wholesale defeat of his infamous Otso Diretso in the recent senatorial election.
Earlier in the campaign, Pangilinan predicted tongue-in-cheek that the eight LP-backed senatorial candidates, who have nothing in common other than their hatred for President Rodrigo Duterte, will be victorious. Now that the election is over, he has been issuing lame excuses in his social media account to conceal the people’s repudiation of his Otso Diretso candidates.
Pangilinan said that his group’s participation in the election “was premised on principles, not on the certainty of victory,” and that “if victory was our only goal, we should have sided with the administration and set aside our principles.”
His hollow disclaimer only raises more questions for him to answer.
If Pangilinan’s Otso Diretso was not running to win, then the LP was fooling the people all the while. In fine, they were urging the people to vote for them on the false hope of their winning in the polls. That’s called fraud.
Further, if the Otso Diretso wasn’t too concerned about winning, Pangilinan belatedly claims, then he and his candidates should have said that clearly in their campaign sorties.
On the contrary, Pangilinan and his poll bets publicly expressed their confidence in their victory. They said so when they were pressed to explain why hardly anybody attends their campaign rallies in the provinces.
Once, when it was observed that local government officials avoided the Otso Diretso campaign rallies, Pangilinan and his candidates boasted that although many local officials are afraid of retaliation from President Duterte, they are certain that those officials are secretly working for their victory.
Even Pangilinan’s official explanation at the start of the campaign, as to why the LP fielded only eight and not a full 12-man senatorial lineup, made no hint that he expected his candidates to lose. Pangilinan’s excuse was that the LP strategy was to field only eight bets, because statistically, there will be losers in a 12-man ticket. By fielding eight instead of 12, Pangilinan said, the probability of victory is more or less assured.
He may not know it but everyone monitoring the election knows that the LP could not field a full slate because of its unpopularity and lack of credibility.
Pangilinan’s other claim, that the LP should have sided with the administration if victory was their only objective, is plain crap. He assumed that the administration party was willing to accept LP candidates in the administration’s senatorial ticket. Pangilinan is mistaken.
From the start, the administration had a surplus of allies who wanted to run in the ticket. To state it politely, even if the LP invited itself to join the administration ticket, there was simply no room for them.
From the start of the Duterte administration, the LP dedicated itself to undermining the government. For this reason alone, it does not make sense for the administration to accept LP politicians in its senatorial lineup.
Pangilinan does not seem to realize that the LP was so abusive when it was in power, that by the time the LP’s President Benigno Aquino III relinquished power in 2016, the LP was very unpopular. It was known for many scandals and anomalies like the pork barrel issue, the defective MRT trains, and the Mamasapano massacre in Maguindanao. With that track record, association with the LP would have meant political suicide.
Finally, Pangilinan’s statement that the Otso Diretso’s participation in the election “was premised on principles” is a falsehood. A political party that fields an oligarch who pretends to be pro-people; an ex-military mutineer who does not obey the Constitution; a kid whose only skill is to look like his famous uncle; a solicitor general who allowed an alien to run for public office; and an election lawyer noted for handling cases of rich, controversial politicians cannot be a political party of principles.
It looks like the LP president thinks the Filipino people are fools.
Pangilinan was delirious before the start of the campaign season. From all indications, he remains delirious today. When he runs for reelection in 2022, he will still be delirious.