On the Two Players Left
Illustration by Justine Patrice Bacareza, Eduard Jude Jamolin, and Geralden Morre
The Philippine vice presidential race continues to hold us in suspense. With Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano ranking third and his number of votes barely reaching half of that of Sen. Bongbong Marcos’s, it is safe to say that the game is now between Cong. Leni Robredo and the aforementioned senator. As of 1:00 pm on May 12, Robredo and Marcos have an approximately 200,000 vote difference. On the other hand, the 6,000,000 vote difference between Mayor Rody Duterte and Secretary Mar Roxas — the former ranking first and the latter second in the presidential race, has long since led the people to acknowledge that even with 4 percent of the votes still uncanvassed, their next six years is in the hands of the tough but controversial Mayor Digong. Hence, while the citizens are now certain of who their next president will be, their vice president remains a speculation.
Robredo and Marcos’s close fight has set the social media abuzz with posts and shares about the allegations of cheating against the Liberal Party, the merits of Martial Law, the “iron” tandem that is Duterte-Marcos, the plan to oust Duterte if Robredo wins and, to my utter exasperation, the beauty and brains of Sandro Marcos. These posts have either been informative, entertaining or just downright false. Yes, my friends, I am sorry to say those successive tweets shared about the supposed undisclosed part of our history — whether they are for or against the Marcoses and the Aquinos — are rarely true and may just be the metaphorical showers used to brainwash our millennial mind.
With all these bits of information running around the internet about Marcos, Robredo, their families, their plans and requests, and the Liberal Party, it has become difficult to discern which ones are true. Let us just pause for a moment and pray that our next vice president would be worthy of the position. I’m joking. God cannot manipulate the figures to make the “worthy” candidate win. That would just lead the handsome and smart Sandro Marcos to say “the number of votes for president and vice president is not equal #DayaangMatuwid”. We all know that by virtue of his good looks, Sandro Marcos is always right. Especially in shading his ballot. Especially then.
The claims that the administration cheated in order for their vice presidential bet to lead in the counting of votes came to be in the morning of May 10 when the Marcos camp woke up to see that, instead of Marcos ranking first, it was now Robredo on the lead. This allegation was denied by the congresswoman, saying that if there will be a discovery of cheating, she will not let it come to pass without doing the right thing. Nevertheless, Sen. Marcos expressed his desire for a recount of the votes. I do not have an opinion as to the validity of the accusation itself, but a recount will only be proper when the count itself is finished.
A lot of the voters are leaning into what they term as “the iron tandem”. Some believe that the martial law period deserves praise because of the order and economical growth it brought to the country. They think that in the same way that the late Ferdinand Marcos once led the country to economic prosperity, the present Ferdinand Marcos can also do the same with the help of Mayor Duterte and his prowess in crime busting. I do not see the connection.
Yes, he is the son of the brilliant, albeit self-serving lawyer that was the former Pres. Marcos, but he is his own person. Whether or not his blood carries that of the late dictator’s does not hold much implication to the kind of values he has or the brand of leadership he will bring. There is no assurance that, if given the vice presidential seat, Marcos will bring the same prosperity and eventual downfall that his father brought before him.
For those of us who love the idea of martial law and how it would bring our country peace and eradicate poverty, maybe reading actual history books and watching real documentaries of what really happened then would help.
At this point, none of us control how the election results will turn out. Unless, of course, the PCOS machines decide, of their own accord of course, that Leni Robredo should win. Or a manual recount, by paid un-automated workers of course, results to Bongbong Marcos being the real winner.
So which side are you in? Are you for iron tandem? Or are you one of those affected by the Filipino’s penchant for electing good leader’s widows?
All we can do now is wait and hope. Hope that there will be no manipulations, no under-the-table transactions and no cheating. Hope that the next leaders of our country embrace the trust that was given to them and do nothing to compromise it. Hope that the Filipino people will realize that change does not come from one man working alone, but from men working for one end alone.
As to my female friends who support Bongbong Marcos because of your undying love for Sandro, all you can do now is also hope and wait. Hope for a miracle. Wait in vain.