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Leni and the opposition

Jesse E.L. Bacon II

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That Vice President Leni Robredo had to literally offer herself to lead the country’s fragmented political opposition speaks volumes about their inability to present themselves as the people’s best alternative to the administration.

I have no problem with Robredo leading the opposition. Being the highest elective official outside of President Duterte’s political circle, it is logical for her to lead the opposition. However, by offering herself she only diminished her stature.

To occupy the top post of any group’s leadership is a privilege readily bestowed on the leader by the membership. It is an act of recognition of one’s ability, capability and ascendancy to lead.

When Robredo sought to become the leader of the opposition she failed to see the blunder that exploded in her face right away. And for sure, it did not bode well to the opposition and to the very leadership she is offering. The move only painted her as not the overwhelming choice for the task.

Her move likewise pictured the opposition as lacking in quality leaders. Indisputably, this is not good for the opposition. What she did that pundits described as unthinkable, Robredo only allowed herself to be viewed as trying to prevent equally competent leaders from contesting the opposition’s leadership with her in the future.

This move is saddening for it only confirmed to a certain extent President Duterte’s assessment of her as incompetent, thus not worthy a successor. Robredo self-destructed even before becoming the political opposition’s recognized leader. Robredo, factually, is just the recognized leader of the Liberal Party which is just a fraction of the entire opposition.

She should have been advised by her political handlers not to publicly and openly offer herself as opposition leader. She should have first silently worked for the consolidation of the opposition to ensure she is handed the leadership on a silver platter.

That would have been most logical move Robredo had pursued. Undeniably, the opposition at this point is so fragmented. And it is practically divided on all fronts. They differ ideologically in their platforms and strategies.

What the opposition needs at this point is come up with a solid front. This can only be achieved if they can get their act together.

Lacking a clear political agenda would be fatal to their cause. Undeniably, what we see and hear from the opposition at this point are all criticisms that can’t even be constructive. They need to present a viable alternative to Duterte.

Failure to do this could be fatal to their cause.

Robredo should first concern herself with the task of unifying the opposition. And unification should not be anchored on personalities but on something more substantial like how to address the country’s economic woes. They should understand that these are the results of the current world economic order favoring rich nations and the one percent of the world’s population who, economists say, control more than half of the world’s wealth.

The opposition should clearly define how to make the bureaucracy effective in carrying out its constitutional duty of serving the people and how they intend to eradicate corruption.

This is a tall order. But if Robredo dreams of installing herself as the opposition’s undisputed leader, these concerns should be first in her agenda.

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