Who’s to blame for Robredo’s dismal rating?
The best frontliner in the opposition’s campaign to put an end to President Duterte’s misrule would have been Vice President Leni Robredo. But in the wake of her own misgivings about her chances expressed publicly (“Robredo doubts her own poll ‘viability’” (News, 7/22/21), she may be done and gone for good. She has in fact lowered her sights and seems to be looking forward to being just a local leader—a nobody—in her own province come 2022. Doesn’t that cop-out prove she never had what it takes to succeed even a bungling president?
Garnering a truly pathetic 6 percent of those polled last June to see whom they would likely vote to succeed Mr. Duterte as against Sara Duterte’s 28 percent, Robredo has no one to blame but herself for her dismal rating. Sara has been on the hustings since years ago, shoring up political support for her regional Hugpong ng Pagbabago which is now gaining traction nationwide. It is most unfortunate that Robredo has all these years seemed mostly content with just issuing anodyne press releases—as if only to prove her office still exists! She has never even tried in earnest to demonstrate how stark the contrast is between her brand of leadership and that of the incumbent president.
From all appearances, Mr. Duterte has scared the hell out of her, what with his foul mouth on steroids spewing all kinds of expletives every chance he gets. Okay, sure, Robredo is not as feisty as Aung Sang Suu Kyi of Myanmar, but she has a voice and a high platform outside of prison. But the gentle lady really has no stomach for the cesspool of bastusan that Mr. Duterte has prepared for her if she runs for president.
To be blunt, Mr. Duterte’s bad manners are the least of Robredo’s problems. Redeeming the country from his misrule should have been her main focus and drive. Voted by more than 14 million Filipinos to be vice president, her supporters expected her to prove that she was made of sterner stuff they thought she had when she accepted the challenge. Alas, that has not happened. And as the shambolic opposition struggles with all sorts of wannabes in default of Robredo, the outcome has almost become a foregone conclusion.
YVETTE SAN LUIS-PETROCELLI
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