How to defeat Bongbong Marcos


FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao

In a survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) from October 20-23, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos topped the list of presidential candidates with 47 percent of the respondents favoring him to win in next year’s election.

Marcos was followed by Vice President Leni Robredo with 18 percent, Mayor Isko Domagoso with 13 percent, Senator Manny Pacquiao with 9 percent and Senator Panfilo Lacson with 5 percent.

The survey was commissioned by SRATBASE ADR, a think tank founded by former Foreign Secretary Alejandro del Rosario, one of the main prime-movers of 1Sambayan, a coalition whose raison d’ etre is to prevent allies of Duterte from gaining power in next year’s election.

Another interesting thing is that the survey was conducted before the team-up of the political forces of three former presidents, all expressing support for the tandem of Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as his running mate. These are former Presidents Gloria Macapapal-Arroyo, Joseph Estrada and Fidel V. Ramos.

If a new survey would be conducted, there is no doubt that the lead of Marcos would increase and perhaps, even become insurmountable.

So, what to do in order to prevent the young Marcos from returning to Malacanang?

As I have always said in my previous columns, it is only Robredo who can stop Marcos. The fight between Marcos and Robredo can be likened to a fight between decency and indecency, between a dark past and a bright future, between order and chaos.

But to get rid of Marcos would need a lot of sacrifice, and patriotism, on the part of those who are also running for president. The other candidates should withdraw and rally behind Robredo. Marcos and Sara are now perceived as administration candidates and there is no other way for the opposition to fight this so-called Unity Team but to forge their own unity team with Robredo as the standard bearer.

Of course, it is easier said than done. But as I have always emphasized, these are trying times and our country needs heroes who willing to sacrifice their own ambitions.

Ping’s gambit

In August when Vice President Leni Robredo was trying to unify the opposition, she approached some prospective candidates for president, one of them Senator Panfilo Lacson. Lacson proposed what he termed as “sure-fire” unification formula under which both he and Robredo run for president and if one lags behind in the surveys, he or she should withdraw in favor of the other.

Now that Lacson is at the tail-end of the latest SWS survey, he should be gentleman enough to withdraw in Leni’s favor based on his own “sure-fire” unification formula.

Afterall, Lacson has a slim chance of winning since he and his partner, vice presidential candidate Vicente Sotto III cannot even agree to run under one party; Sotto is running under the Nationalist People’s Coalition of which he is the president while Lacson is running under a resuscitated Partido Reporma of which he is now the president.

But even if Lacson withdraws, what about the other candidates? Are they willing to forego their dreams and support Robredo?

Manny Pacquiao has the least chance of winning. He is mobbed whenever he goes around simply because he has wads of P1000 bills to dole out. Isko Domagoso is a crowd-getter because of his good looks and Mona Lisa smile but nothing more.

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