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Why Leni Robredo

The presumptive candidate of the opposition is Vice President Leonor Robredo. There can be no denying that. She is perhaps the most visible opposition leader with the strategic wherewithal in terms of current powers, tactical position and funding to launch a bid for the presidency in 2022.

Unless we start getting into the nuisance list, or those who run for reasons not entirely noble, ranging from the impractical to the downright ludicrous, Robredo might be the best bet of the opposition. Never mind that coyness remains her mantra, arguing that it is still too early and that a million things can happen from now until certificates of candidacies are filed and finalized.

Recall that the President’s own was through substitution carried out way into the campaign period of 2016.

The opposition’s biggest guns are history, dissipated, there is no one in the horizon that is distinctly from the opposing fiscalizing camp. Admittedly, we are discounting the likes of a couple of upcoming local government officials who seem to have captured our imagination, and perhaps two other politicians being ushered into the presidential fray.

While all four are popular and perhaps even qualified, they are neither integral to the opposition nor have they provided consistent checks and balances critical to a true democracy.

Of the weeds and tall grass grown from neglect, abandon and absence, the tallest remains Robredo.

On almost every issue the administration of Rodrigo Duterte has faced, from his war against a narco state spawned from the last Liberal Party politician who slept at the Palace, to our geopolitical military and trade issues with China, to timely action, relief and rescue efforts in natural calamities and the pandemic — indeed, on all matters of national importance — it is Robredo who has had the opportunity to present an alternative platform.

As expected, her perspective, to the annoyance of sitting officials, has uniformly been from the presidency. In each instance that Robredo has crossed, countered, criticized and, in many cases, deliberately cultivated a populist following, the high ground she takes is the highest office in the land. That Duterte occupies that position invariably pits her against him.

For some, the hem and slip that shows are nothing but the opposition’s ambitions, albeit camouflaged under a veneer of humble beginnings and even humbler qualifications. For indeed, Robredo could not at first cut it as a lawyer on her first attempt. She also nearly failed to qualify as vice-presidential timber from the perspective of 2016 presidential candidate Manuel Roxas who preferred Grace Poe had he not been spurned.

It was a testament to the low caliber analytical abilities of the Liberal Party and their overpowering self-delusions. Little did Roxas know Robredo would eventually end up a single-strike winner and himself, a serial three-time loser. First, when his beloved LP decided Benigno Aquino III was the better presidential candidate in 2010. And then against Duterte in 2016. And finally, his pathetic failure to even enter a field of 12 in 2019.

Due to the opposition’s delusional defects, routed and without followers, they have failed to cultivate viable senatorial candidates to support Robredo. She stands alone.

While she remains a stand-out armed only with conjured imageries and prepared speeches for nitpicking, uninspiring and uninspired, she now seems unconvinced of her own chances in 2022.

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