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Pyrrhic victories

“The first two are not zero sums. She still needs to respond to the prosecution while the third continues. Do the arithmetic. That is hardly a victory.



Last week, had the political opposition enjoyed the support of a majority of the public and the trust and confidence of the electorate, then people would have rejoiced, cheering, celebrating, exchanging high fives, and there should have been dancing in the streets.

Church bells would have tolled, praises raised to the heavens, a new day should have dawned.

For the political opposition, two momentous albeit unlikely and unexpected events occurred.

After over four long years, some degree of closure over festering wounds was achieved, debunking persistent accusations of profound injustice on which the opposition founds their self-righteous cause.

Two bellwether cases stuck in the judicial grind had been adjudicated to their benefit that they had for so long not only complained represented the continuous denial of justice, but from their rather warped perspective, these stood as concrete proof that a dictatorship had returned.

The etymology of the term analysis is that it is the antonym of synthesis.

It is the resolution of a complexity by breaking it up into its simple elements.

For these two events, allow us to do just that.

Leila de Lima’s drug trafficking charges are being prosecuted in three different branches.

In one, her petition for a demurrer to evidence after the prosecution rested its case was granted without her having to present her defense.

That took all of four years.

In another, her petition for dismissal was denied.

Thus, she would then have to present her defense. In a third, the prosecution has not rested.

The first two are not zero sums. She still needs to respond to the prosecution while the third continues.

Do the arithmetic. That is hardly a victory.

The election protest against Leonor Robredo by Ferdinand Marcos Jr. necessitated a decision on three courses of action.

In the first, Marcos claims that the certificates of canvass generated were not “authentic.” That was quickly dismissed.

The second sought a recount in several selected areas.

That resulted in the discovery of numerous anomalies from spoiled and damaged ballots, to missing documentation and other irregularities showing bias.

The PET (Presidential Electoral Tribunal) eventually resolved in favor of Robredo when what could be counted showed a slight increase favoring her.

The third course of action was to independently annul votes cast in three areas in Mindanao where Marcos alleged widespread fraud.

The details of the PET’s action and investigations for judging that issue remain unknown.

We, however, know that an annulment may not be among the powers of the PET.

Hence, in toto, of the courses of action sought, the PET unanimously judged in favor of Robredo.

Note, however, that in two of the three, there was no recount.

The last is an issue of existential PET powers rather than votes cast.

Sans a quantifiable decision save for the second course of action, Robredo’s claim to the vice presidency remains tenuous and she is far from vindicated.

As expected, neither thunderous applause nor trumpets herald these events.

Pyrrhic victories negate any true sense of triumph or accomplishment.

The opposition has been stoking fires to sue for time until they can retake power.

Yet in both these instances there were not enough embers, nor even heat, to light the opposition’s path forward, save perhaps to ignite a pyrrhic funeral pyre to cremate their burnt ambitions and blackened agenda because, again in 2022, their ultimate power grab seems doomed to fail.