A professor of the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) shared his analysis of the recently concluded May 9 national and local elections.
Christopher Ryan Maboloc, associate professor of Philosophy at AdDU and visiting professor for Global Justice at the American University of Sovereign Nations, told Edge Davao that, although it is not yet declared but looking at the number, a Marcos would reign again.
Based on the partial, unofficial results aggregated from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) data as of 6:47 a.m. of May 11, 2022, and from 98.22 percent of election returns, Ferdinand ‘Bongbong” Marcos Jr, of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) amassed 31,071,674 votes and tailing him is Leni Robredo with 14,806,539 votes.
“The reality of Martial Law cannot be denied. But BBM succeeded in remaking the Marcoses as a brand. His campaign message of unity is plain and simple. The masses do not think that politics can change their lives, but social media created a different kind of enthusiasm,” Maboloc said.
He said the tandem of Marcos and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio is a marriage between North and South and the fact that Mayor Sara is with BBM sends the message of continuity.
“PRRD (President Rodrigo R. Duterte) enjoys a high trust rating two months before he vows out from office. The brand of politics that PRRD is known for, by implication, is helping BBM. It was EDSA that created Duterte. And as he is about to leave from office, they have not really understood the man. PRRD remains a puzzle to academics who insist on their liberal values, save for a few who are mature enough to recognize the fact that EDSA failed,” he said.
He added that the Marcoses never left their power base but have maintained it, including the loyalty of their followers.
“By choosing to run with BBM, Sara strengthened the candidacy of the former. Yet VP Leni, being the face of the opposition, has failed to rally the other political forces in the country,” he said.
Maboloc said while Robredo chose a different color to portray a different image, she is surrounded by members of the Liberal Party (LP).
“People do not trust the Liberal Party. The fact that VP Leni chose pink instead of yellow meant that she knows the bias against the party, which was burdened by issues such as Yolanda and Mamasapano,” he said.
He also said that the message of moral reform of Robredo has been used before during the time of the late President Benigno Aquino III.
“But much of Philippine society has not changed. PNoy focused on going after GMA (former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) to justify his campaign promise instead of instituting the radical changes needed by the country in order to improve the lives of the poor,” he said.
He also blamed Robredo’s supporters, whom he described as repulsive and condescending, for her defeat.
“The main problem of the opposition is the “repulsive and condescending attitude of many Leni supporters, who believe that they are seated on a moral high chair, insisting that their choice is the most supreme so that all who belong to the other side of the political fence are simply labeled or canceled,” he said.
“VP Leni was late into the game. 1Sambayan was represented by a critic of the President, Justice Antonio Carpio. The fact that the group unilaterally wanted the VP to run erased any chance of a united opposition. BBM started his campaign immediately after the 2016 VP race,” he added.
Meanwhile, Maboloc reminded that an election is a zero-sum game and has nothing to do with morals.
“It is politics as usual. Ideals can inspire us, but politics is about people making strategic decisions. Even good people fight out of their loyalty and political commitments,” he said.
He said that beyond this election, Filipinos must work together to achieve the common good, put aside their political biases, and support institutional reforms.
“The constitution must be changed to make it adaptable to the reality of globalization. A political structure that will establish a federal system of government that also clamps on local elites and dynasties is crucial in the early stage of the next administration,” he said.
He said the “Build, Build, Build” program of the Duterte administration must be continued as well as free college education and emphasis must be given to training farmers and future agriculturists.
He added that special attention must be given to the environment by promoting alternative sources of energy to minimize dependence on coal and that funds should be allotted to pay for the education and therapy of children with special needs.
“SMEs must be encouraged to generate more employment. To achieve this, Filipinos must trust the government while remaining vigilant to protect the interests of the people,” he said.