The presidential candidates who are 99.999 percent sure to lose held a joint presscon on Easter Sunday of all days and it was clear that the main purpose of the news event was to undermine the candidacy of Vice President Leni Robredo.
To a much lesser extent, there were some potshots taken at Ferdinand Marcos Jr, but these were negligible. Senator Ping Lacson did say that he found it incredible that more than 50 percent of the Filipino people are Marcos loyalists, given the experience the country had in the martial law years.
In short, Lacson cast doubt on the surveys that showed Marcos Jr as a sure winner because they really are hard to believe. Impossible, even.
Sorry to say that Isko Moreno treated Marcos Jr with kid gloves, often referring to him by his title of “former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr” in the many times he mentioned to son and namesake of the former dictator by name.
He could easily have said “Mr. Marcos” or even “Bongbong,” but no. It was always “former senator” followed by the full name.
It was clear as day that the candidates were throwing everything including the kitchen sink at Robredo, and it only goes to show that the “lesser” presidential bets have all but given up the fight, but want to be perceived as going down fighting.
It also indicates that Robredo’s momentum has reached a stage that she is now seen as the probable winner.
It was also apparent that the media practitioners present were ill-prepared for the presscon, asking questions that only sophomore journalism students would ask.
The candidates did stress that they had no intention of withdrawing, and would remain in the running to the very end.
So are they to be admired for their bravery, or should they be mocked for their stupidity?
In truth, the Easter Sunday presscon was nothing more than an exercise in futility.
It was former National Security adviser Norberto Gonzalez who compared the presidential race to a basketball game, when in fact he should have compared it to a boxing match.
Gonzalez said that the game was not yet over, but it was equivalent to the last two minutes.
So what was he expecting, his team to score 10 three pointers in a two minute span? Pretty silly of him, huh?
An analogy to a boxing match would have been better, with the underdog still in a position to land a knockout punch seconds before the end of the fight.
His failed logic that it may be better if the Number 2 candidate – meaning Robredo – was replaced with someone lower in the totem pole made absolutely no sense.
Moreno had been using a skewed version of this logic by pointing out that he was the preferred second choice of the electorate should Robredo or Marcos Jr. withdraw. As if this would ever happen.
The candidates were insistent that it was not a two-person race, that the electorate had other choices – meaning any of them.
The only thing they achieved was to leave a bad taste in the mouth. Ganging up on a woman who was not present was most ungentlemanly of all of them.
They figuratively stabbed her in the back, and gave her no chance to defend herself against their vile accusations.
One can only conclude that their impending defeat is too much for their fragile egos to handle.
The weak presidential bets couldn’t even get their messaging straight. While Moreno idiotically called on Robredo to withdraw, Lacson made it clear that his camp was not asking anybody to back off.
In the end, it can only be said that the presscon was held to lift their sagging spirits.
They should now tell the public who paid for the presscon, held at one of the high-end hotels in Makati City.
As one wag put it, that money would have been better spent in extending much-needed assistance to the victims of last week’s storm down south.
Very incidentally, the Office of the Vice President was again first to the scene of the devastation caused by Typhoon Agaton, which hit Eastern Visayas and caused more than 150 deaths as of the latest count.
While Robredo was busy making sure relief goods made their way to the victims, the camp of Marcos Jr. was equally busy releasing photos of their own still unreleased relief goods, along with another set of fake photos of assistance extended to victims of an earlier typhoon.
In the meantime, preparations are ongoing for Leni Robredo’s biggest rally to be held on her birthday. An estimated half a million are expected to attend, although no one would be surprised if a million kakampinks show up to show the world that Robredo is the only candidate worth voting for.
An area near the Mall of Asia will be the site of the rally, which should serve as the exclamation point on how the widow in pink has become the darling of the electorate.
Marcos Jr. has been getting the support and endorsements of a number of local government officials, but it should not be forgotten that those trapos are only entitled to one vote each. They cannot commit the votes of residents of their fiefdoms as votes are still cast in secret.
There is a valid report that a totally humiliated Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is insisting on holding a pro-Marcos rally in the exact same site where Leni’s true believers numbering around 220,000 showed that the former president is not the political kingpin – queenpin? – that she makes herself out to be.
To show she is still the boss in Pampanga, her fellow trapos are said to be committing on herding an even bigger crowd to meet Marcos Jr.
At P500/each, the local politicos will have to shell out more than P100 million to bring in a crowd similar to the one that greeted Robredo. And while they may gather a substantial number of paid attendees, they can never hope to match the fervor, excitement, and sheer joy that was displayed on that lovely day when Kapampangans made a stand for their preferred candidate.
Incidentally, I said last week that I would write about how the cheating was being done by the formerly respectable survey firms this week, but I am still gathering more data. Also, there is growing evidence that pre-shaded ballots are being distributed to Filipinos voting abroad. All favoring Marcos Jr. and his running mate Sara Duterte, of course.
Anybody still expecting free and honest elections next month?
Funny how none of the lesser presidential bets raised the probability that massive cheating can be expected three weeks from now, huh?