OFFLINE: A deadly RoSa tandem gaining momentum

One of the things that the growing momentum for a Leni Robredo victory in the May elections may not be able to stop is her ending up with a vice president from another party.

Senator Kiko Pangilinan is Robredo’s running mate, but the husband of popular star Sharon Cuneta may end up on the losing end of the vote, and there’s not much that the current vice president can do about it.

For the past many weeks, talk has been rife that there is an honest-to-goodness movement to convince the electorate that a Leni Robredo-Sara Duterte tandem would be for the best.

More than a month ago, a group of Davao businessmen and politicians who were partly responsible in convincing then Mayor Rody Duterte to run for president announced that they were now pushing for a Robredo-Duterte tandem, coining the term RoSa, for Robredo and Sara of course.

It was catchy enough as the Filipino word for pink – Robredo’s campaign color – is rosa.

Weeks later, another group held a press conference announcing that they too were pushing a Leni-Sara partnership. That group was led by former bold star Vivian Velez, who was given a cushy position in the Duterte regime. They even held their event at the historic Club Filipino.

Then this week, a group of governors allied with President Duterte but who had recently endorsed Robredo held their own press event calling for…you guessed it, a RoSa pairing.

While Robredo has nothing to do with the snowballing movement, there is strong suspicion that President Duterte himself approves of the proposed partnership. It seems clear that he is in no mood to endorse his daughter’s running mate, Bongbong Marcos, whom he had earlier referred to as a spoiled brat, a weak leader, and a cocaine addict.

It is also possible that the tandem is being pushed, especially in Mindanao, because Marcos is not too popular there. If anything, Mindanaoans would prefer to side with one of their own, the one and only Manny Pacquiao.

Born and bred in General Santos City (formerly known as Dadiangas), the greatest Filipino boxer of all time is running for president even if his chances of winning are pretty slim.

There is, to be sure, a Pacman-Sara tandem also being pushed, but this pairing has not gained any traction.

The RoSa tandem, however, could succeed. Whatever differences they may have, blood is still thicker than water and Daddy Digong is sure to want his daughter to win as VP, which would be her stepping stone to the presidency.

Some political analysts have an even grimmer view. They believe that if Marcos were to win, Sara would move to have him removed, either through impeachment or through the Commission on Elections declaring his candidacy null and void. Note that all of the Comelec’s commissioners are Duterte appointees, and most are from Mindanao.

And if Robredo wins, uneasy will likewise be the crown that lies on her head. Sara will also scheme to remove Leni.

In fact, there is widespread belief that Sara Duterte is little more than a puppet of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is again running for a House seat after she briefly held the post of Speaker.

We know the saying, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This is most certainly the case with GMA, who may further be scheming to return as Speaker of the House, after which she will move for a plebiscite to convert the system of government to a federal form. This would be the best way for her to become Supreme Leader once again, but her title will be Prime Minister.

This scenario is not as wild as it seems. With Sara Duterte as vice president, the majority of congressmen and senators who were loyal to Daddy Digong will certainly shift their allegiance to her. With his blessings, of course.

Sara and GMA scheming and plotting to unseat President  Robredo is a scary thought, but far from impossible.

It is for this reason that the so-called ‘kakampinks’ or Leni fans and fanatics are working doubly hard to make sure that Pangilinan also wins as VP. Kiko has sufficient street smarts to take control of a good enough number of congressmen and senators to make sure that President Robredo serves a full six year term.

The country’s lawmakers already have a well-earned reputation for being political butterflies, and there is little doubt that the Liberal Party will have a resurgence under a Robredo presidency.

Remember that she won the vice presidency in 2016 as the official candidate of the LP. Her being an independent is not sustainable, so she has to align herself with an established political party. Unless she opts to create her own, which is highly unlikely.

For now, Marcos Jr. must be suffering a lot of jitters knowing that Robredo has sparked a movement that threatens to end his political career. With every rally organized by the Robredo camp, the pink clad crowds grow progressively bigger and bigger.

At the same time, Junior is not sure that he has the full support of his own running mate.

A media friend who knows some insiders in the camp of Junior also informed me that they are running out of funds. Junior and Mommy Imelda only allotted a few billions for the campaign, it seems, and both were expecting substantial financial support from the cronies of old man Makoy who are still around. Sadly for them, that support has not been coming.

Marcos Junior is, therefore, in an unenviable place, between the literal rock and a hard place.

Had the elections been held a month or so ago, Junior stood a good chance of winning. If the elections were held today, it would be as tight as the 2016 vice presidential race. When the elections are held as scheduled in early May, the odds will almost certainly be in Robredo’s favor.

It is the vice presidential race that could spell the difference between a successful and productive Robredo presidency, or one that will be bogged down by self-serving politicos like Sara and GMA.

For the country’s sake, Kiko Pangilinan must be elected vice president of the Philippines.