“Even Roxas opened his campaign endorsing Rody saying that “democracy is very much alive” in the country.
President Rody Duterte, in one of his speeches, has stumbled on the most appropriate phrase to describe the campaign of the Liberal Party (LP) with the lineup it has unveiled: yellow has melted.
The death knell of the yellow dominance in Philippine politics was the massive victory of Rody in 2016 despite attempts to tamper with the results of the polls through automated cheating.
Reacting to yellow critics who constantly harp on unfounded allegations about his rights violations, Rody said “to the yellows and everyone, set aside politics. The yellows have long melted.”
It was a play on the word yellow which sounds exactly how ice, “yelo,” is translated in Tagalog.
Rody entered the political arena offering the alternative of huge departure from the callousness and incompetence under the six years of President Noynoy Aquino.
A forgettable list, supposedly bolstered by perennial also-ran LP top gun Mar Roxas, was formed but is expected to be drubbed in the polls next year.
The LP said in a statement that the bets will “fight for our nation’s soul” as it lined up its various allegations against Rody.
The bets are not even sure about pursuing the yellow line in the campaigns as even its chief candidate, reelectionist Bam Aquino was doing the fist bump of Rody on social media in an apparent effort to appeal to the overwhelming pro-Duterte netizens.
Even Roxas opened his campaign endorsing Rody saying that “democracy is very much alive” in the country.
Even political observers abroad predicted an opposition shut out calling the LP candidates as weak.
“A weak opposition bloc in the Philippines has become more apparent in the run-up to mid-term elections in May, boosting the chances of Rodrigo Duterte’s allies to clinch victory and adding impetus to the President’s reform agenda,” Nikkei Asian Review said in a report.
It added the opposition coalition fielded only eight senatorial candidates instead of a complete lineup of 12, “suggesting it struggled to attract other contenders to the camp.”
Talks about the mid-term polls being a referendum on the first half of Rody’s term and the likely sweep of his candidates will actually bolster his administration.
On second thought, the LP never had a good time in forming a fighting senatorial lineup.
Even during the 2013 mid-term elections under Noynoy the LP had to engage in a tug of war with the United Nationalist Opposition with so-called guest candidates to keep a decent slate.
The LP with its decimated membership had to field 2016 standard bearer Roxas.
The LP list wouldn’t be any better if it placed Noynoy on the Senate slate.
The party is merely getting the payback of past misdeeds under the previous regime where allegations of irregularities are surfacing.
What is unforgivable among voters was the yellow regime allowing the proliferation of the drugs trade in the country and even the minions of Noynoy benefiting from it.
The crackdown on the drugs trade netted Sen. Leila de Lima, who was the Justice Secretary of Noynoy when the New Bilibid Prison was converted into a shabu megafactory.
An affidavit of suspected Visayas drug lord Ricky Sereño to the Department of Justice also linked Roxas and an LP senator in the drugs trade.
“The LP with its decimated membership had to field 2016 standard bearer Roxas.
Rody and his officials have been hinting about the involvement of the LP, which was too plain considering that it was impossible, in anyone’s mind, that De Lima would have acted alone in the intricate sting where narcotics were manufactured inside the maximum security prison.
Sereño, who is considered the top drugs supplier in the Negros Island Region, was arrested last January.
The affidavit he submitted for the drug trafficking case against him pointed to Roxas and Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, who were interested to monopolize narco-operations in Western Visayas based on the Sereño narrative.
Sereño claims to be a member of the notorious “Berya Drug Group” in the region led by Berya Tolentino and is the rival cartel of the prominent Odicta Drug Group whose kingpin Melvin Odicta was gunned down last year in a port near Boracay, Aklan.
Sereño said Odicta was given protection by Roxas, another LP senator and Mabilog in its attempt to “destroy the drug business of the Berya group.”
More foul yellow deeds are expected to come out as the election season heats up.