“Marcos and his handlers are well advised to concentrate not on his 17-million-vote winning margin but on Leni Robredo’s losing total. Fifteen million disaffected people acting in concert can be extremely worrisome for the administration…”
Given the tendency of post-Edsa Revolution elections to degenerate into a rush by small-party victors to join so-called Congressional super-majorities, the eyes of most Filipinos are focused on the size and composition of the super-majorities being formed in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Hardly any notice is being taken – certainly not by the minions of presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – of the emergence of the largest political party in the history of this country.
It is not a political party as commonly understood, but, given the spirit and motivation that drive it, its adherents may as well be called members of a political party.
The political party that I’m writing about is made up of the 15 million-plus Filipinos who voted for Vice-President Leonor Robredo.
Expectedly, discussions and analyses of the outcome of the May 9 political exercise tend to dwell on the 31 million voters who chose to cast their lot with President Ferdinand Marcos’s son and namesake.
Thirty-one million voters represent a winning margin without precedent in Philippine political history.
But Vice-President Robredo’s 15 million-plus votes are a very large number too. They are nothing – as the picturesque expression puts it – to be sneezed at.
Ferdinand Marcos and his handlers are well advised to concentrate not on his 17-million-vote winning margin but on Leni Robredo’s losing total. Fifteen million disaffected people acting in concert can be extremely worrisome for the administration that is the object of their disaffection.
The history of Philippine elections shows that after relatively a brief period of protestation and grumbling – often of the legal kind – the losers in elections generally accept, grudgingly to be sure, the outcome of the recently concluded election and get on with their pre-election lives.
But the 2022 election is different: the non-victors are not minded to disband.
The millions of volunteers who went all-out for Vice-President Robredo, who called themselves the Kakampinks, want to stay united – eat your heart out, Uniteam – and continue the effort to achieve meritorious governance for Filipinos.
Why don’t the Kakampinks want to disband and, instead, wish to maintain the nationwide organization that Leni Robredo was able to put together?
There are three reasons. First and foremost is the viciousness and gross unfairness of the campaign that Marcos Jr.’s trolls and other minions conducted against Vice-President Leni (and towards the end, her family).
The record will show that no Presidential candidate in Philippine history was subjected to the kind of campaign tactics that the late dictator’s son and his minions inflicted on Mrs. Robredo.
The second reason is the unvarnished, unrevised bad record of the martial-law era.
There has never been a public apology from any member of the Marcos family for all the bad deeds committed by presumptive President Marcos’s parents.
The 2022 electorate was told by Mr. Marcos and his minions that the period 1972-1985 was a “golden age” in this country.
Yet the record of mismanagement, corruption and human rights abuses are recorded in Supreme Court decisions, victim-compensation laws and official inventories of jewelry, land and corporate holdings clearly classifiable as illegally acquired wealth.
The third reason why the Kakampinks don’t want to disband and wish, instead, to be an unofficial and unregistered opposition party is their collective feeling that the man who garnered 31 million votes is not fit to be President of the Philippines.
They do not wish him ill, but they cannot see their way to wishing him well.
A de facto political party of almost 15 million Filipinos. This is a fact of life for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his super-majorities will have to reckon with.