“Marcos and his handlers are well advised to focus not on his margin of victory of 17 million votes, but on Leni Robredo’s losing total. Fifteen million malcontents acting in concert can be extremely worrisome for the administration…”
Given the tendency of post-Edsa Revolution elections to degenerate into a rush of small-party winners to join the so-called congressional supermajorities, the eyes of most Filipinos are focused on the size and composition of the super majorities formed in the Senate and the House of Representatives. Almost no notice is taken – certainly not by the minions of presumed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – of the emergence of the largest political party in the history of this country.
It is not a political party in the ordinary sense, but given the spirit and motivation behind it, its adherents may just as well be called members of a political party.
The political party I am talking about is made up of over 15 million Filipinos who voted for Vice President Leonor Robredo.
Predictably, discussions and analyzes of the results of the May 9 political exercise tend to dwell on the 31 million voters who chose to cast their lot with the president’s son and namesake. Ferdinand Marcos.
Thirty-one million voters represent a winning margin unprecedented in the political history of the Philippines.
But Vice President Robredo’s more than 15 million votes are also a huge number. They are not – as the quaint expression goes – to sneeze at.
Ferdinand Marcos and his handlers are well advised to focus not on his margin of victory of 17 million votes, but on Leni Robredo’s losing total. Fifteen million malcontents acting in concert can be extremely worrisome for the administration that is the object of their disaffection.
The history of elections in the Philippines shows that after a relatively brief period of protests and grumbling – often of a legal nature – election losers generally accept, reluctantly of course, the outcome of the recently concluded elections and continue their pre-election Lives.
But the 2022 election is different: the non-victors are unwilling to dissolve.
The millions of volunteers who gave their all for Vice President Robredo, who called themselves the Kakampinks, want to stay united – devour your heart, Uniteam – and continue the effort to achieve meritorious governance for the Filipinos.
Why don’t the Kakampinks want to dissolve and instead want to maintain the national organization that Leni Robredo was able to put in place?
There are three reasons. First and foremost, the wickedness and blatant injustice of the campaign that trolls and other Marcos Jr. minions waged against Vice President Leni (and near the end, her family).
The record will show that no presidential candidate in the history of the Philippines has been subjected to the kind of campaign tactics that the late dictator’s son and his minions inflicted on Ms Robredo.
The second reason is the unvarnished poor 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 the parents of alleged President Marcos.
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 is recorded in Supreme Court decisions, victim compensation laws and official inventories of jewelry, land and corporate assets clearly classifiable as illegally acquired wealth.
The third reason why the Kakampinks do not want to disband and instead want to be an unofficial, 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 don’t wish him harm, but they don’t see how to wish him well.
A de facto political party of nearly 15 million Filipinos. This is a reality for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his super majorities will have to take it into account.