Expect the handsomely paid trolls of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to continue to try and convince the electorate to vote for their master in the hopes that they will still have jobs when the son of the dictator becomes president next year.
The trolls truly are paid substantial sums to do what honest workers would avoid like the plague. I’ve been asking around and from what I’ve gathered, the typical troll earns more per month than a supervisor or manager working in the top 1,000 corporations.
No one asks where the money is coming from. They know deep down that the blood money they get is part of the stolen wealth amassed by the father of their presidential candidate. Most justify their working for the incompetent presidential wannabe as necessary because honest jobs are hard to come by in the age of Covid.
And while their work of the past many months have paid dividends with a portion of the electorate, there is a limit to what their obvious lies can accomplish.
The dishonest surveys from unknown organizations continue to release data showing that Marcos Jr. is the sure winner next year. The more honest ones, however, show a trend that may force Marcos Jr. to panic and seek solace in an expensive and illegal substance.
The Manila Bulletin came out with its latest survey which is ongoing as of presstime. Initial results show that Leni Robredo with 58 percent of the vote, as against Marcos Jr. with 39 percent. All the other candidates are in low single digits.
I can cite this survey because the Bulletin is the most conservative newspaper in the country and will not risk its reputation by showing false data. I am also mentioning it now before the trolls catch wind of the survey and flood it with their manufactured votes.
Less scientific are the two parties that I’ve attended recently. Of course the alcohol-fueled talk turned to politics. One tipsy friend told me that in his province very near Metro Manila, most houses were displaying Leni tarpaulins, with a scattering of Isko Moreno, Manny Pacquiao, and Ping Lacson tarps.
In the other gathering I attended, two business owners said they had been chatting with their lowest ranking employees who were leaning towards Marcos Jr.
While the workers may have been awed by their boss sitting down and shooting the breeze with them, my businessmen-friends found that the Marcos Jr. voters were unaware of what life was like in the dark days of martial law. All they knew was the lie that the Philippines was a land of plenty under Marcos Sr.
Few were aware that Ilocos Norte under Marcos Jr. as vice governor, then governor, then senator, remains one of the poorest provinces in the country.
They were under the impression that Marcos Jr. also received a special diploma which was better than a regular diploma during his college years. When told that it was nothing but a ‘consuelo de bobo,’ they were stunned.
They also believed that Marcos Jr. was a “successful businessman.” No one knew what business or businesses he actually owned, and were shocked to learn that their candidate never worked a single day in his life, except as an elected government official, thanks to the supposed Solid North vote.
All the lies that the Marcos camp has been spreading for months are now being exposed. His conviction for tax evasion is only now being known, although it took place more than two decades ago.
A good number of his misled followers are still not sure what the disqualification cases against Marcos Jr. is all about, believing only the rumor that it was being funded by the Aquinos.
Marcos Jr. may continue to play the victim card, but if the Commission on Elections studies the facts carefully, they can only conclude that the son of the dictator cannot validly run for president. His Certificate of Candidacy was full of lies, making it null and void.
And incidentally, President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that someone who can only be Marcos Jr. is or was a regular cocaine user is not helping his cause either.
Digong Duterte may be a fading political star, but he still commands a large following. His endorsement or lack thereof will certainly have a huge effect on the electorate’s perception of Marcos Jr.
It is not just the formal and informal surveys that show that Marcos Jr.’s popularity may have peaked too early and now has nowhere to go but down.
One sad spectacle involves a former rising star and her sister who have chosen to tie their future to the college dropout who never had a real job his entire life but who still wants to be president because his mommy told him it was his destiny to follow in the footsteps of his father.
This week, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) is ongoing. One of the films shown in the reopened cinema houses is ExorSis – likely a horror comedy — which stars siblings Toni and Alex Gonzaga, who are both allied with Marcos Jr. and proud of it.
As such, Marcos Jr. supporters were expected to support the movie.
They stayed away in droves. The box office earnings were beyond dismal, earning an unbelievably paltry P7,500 on opening day. That’s about $150.
The film may well be the biggest flop in the history of the MMFF. If it is showing in 30 movie houses, this translates to $5 gross sales per theater on opening day. And with an average of five screenings per day, that’s $1 or P50 per screening.
So less than one person was watching in every cinema on the average, for a film that starred the best known celebrities endorsing Marcos Jr.
At the very least, this indirectly says that Marcos Jr.’s alleged popularity is nothing but smoke and mirrors. The truth behind his messaging has begun to unravel, and he could be facing another defeat in the hands of Leni Robredo.
But don’t tell him that because he might run to mommy dearest crying that the Filipino people don’t like him very much.