[OPINION] The silent majority is silent no more, and the trapos are desperately trying to stop the Leni momentum

Photo shows presidential candidate Leni Robredo at a campaign event in Silang, Cavite. | Photo courtesy of Facebook/@VP Leni Robredo

SURVEYS had been touted by the campaign of Bongbong Marcos as proof that the Filipino people are now solid in supporting the son of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who was ousted by the 1986 People Power Revolution.

This surely emboldened the Marcos family who hired Cambridge Analytica to “rebrand” the Marcos family, that they are, indeed, on their way back to Malacañang through Bongbong’s candidacy for president.

After all, they invested a lot of money on those YouTube videos, TikTok contents and troll farms to spread disinformation to achieve two goals: Make Marcos be the hero and the underdog, by historical revisionism, and paint Bongbong as smart, hardworking, intelligent, patriotic, high achiever. They claim that Bongbong will continue his father’s legacy but at the same time counterargue with “The sin of the father is not the sin of the son”, when the atrocities, human rights violations, and abuse of the Marcos dictatorship are brought up.

The second goal is to destroy Vice President Leni Robredo by creating memes, maliciously edited/spliced videos to attack Robredo, the Aquino legacy, the Liberal Party and Marcos’ critics — painting them as the “lutang,” “bobo,” salot ng lipunan,” komunista,puppet, bayaran, etc.

Trolls are paid to create a toxic discourse online by using expletives, name-calling, intimidation and even threats aimed at Marcos critics and Leni supporters. They immediately respond to pro-Leni and anti-Marcos posts and dominate the discussion threads with the aim of silencing the critics.

The Marcos campaign dominated the conversation and the surveys, for a while until the official start of election campaign season in February, when people had the chance to watch Leni, hear her talk and discuss about her vision and platform toward “Gobyernong Tapat” — beyond the online propaganda of the Marcos campaign against her.

And with caravans and political rallies moving from province to province, with fora and debates, EPIPHANY happened…

Let me quote Ding C. Velasco’s post on Facebook:

“The Team Leni – Kiko Grand Rallies have now become an upmanship on cultural exposition extravaganzas, with provinces outdoing other provinces in good fun and cheer.

It started in the Proclamation Rally in Naga City on February 8; the Quezon Circle Mass on February 13, then the February 18 rallies in Cagayan de Oro. Loren tried to sabotage the February 20 rally in Antique (while theirs was postponed) then Cebu happened with the biggest crowd there in the Visayas but outgunned by Iloilo City a night later, then Little Balic-balic in Sampaloc stole the show, then another miracle followed in small Calapan on March 3 (where Marcos cancelled their March 7 Grand Rally).

Leni-Kiko rally in Gen. Trias, Cavite. Photo courtesy of Cavite Connect/Facebook

Two nights later at General Trias, Cavite the Team Leni rally was sabotaged in many levels of obstacles but VPLR capped the night riding a motorcycle just to join the massive 47,000 crowds of Caviteños gathered.

The next night, Bulaceños timidly opined that Cavite was a hard act to follow but as things proceeded later in the bday 45,000 Bulaceños graced the Malolos rally where gorgeous fireworks and the singing RobreDocs stole the show with their rendition of “Les Miserables” in Tagalog.

In every way, the nation aside from Leni were the winners.

Clearly, the unique cultural traditions of each province get displayed, night after night – in a friendly upmanship game awakening rich cultural displays each time.

This is a good thing. Not only are hundreds of thousands more people are engaged, but the political momentum has been clearly manifested that it has started in Cavite when the people there defied their governor not only in numbers showing up but the variation of personal placards and tarps ridiculing the promise to deliver Caviteños to Marcos Jr without asking the electorate.

Who will follow Bulacan?

Albay says they want another stab at another grand rally in their province, but Northern Luzon beckons where Leni Robredo would be most interested to test her Robredo People’s Councils against the established sway of the dynastic politicians of the Solid North.

Leni Robredo has the momentum. It had been a miracle that in all these massive rallies – the People’s Councils shouldered the expenses in order to make her their Guest of Honor each time. It’s a beautiful thing too, to watch that our national culture is being dragged by Leni’s momentum to full display, every night.

We are witnessing a miracle a unique chapter in socio-politics never witnessed before.”

The political network of Bongbong Marcos campaign was caught flatfooted because of their own lies and disinformation that they did not anticipate the growing open support for Leni Robredo by the Filipjno people. They scrambled to try to turn the momentum back to their favor by doubling down on their dirty tactics that would appear to violate election laws.

“Res Ipsa Loquitur” — Latin word for the thing speaks for itself: videos of the Marcos campaign in violation of election laws as stated in the Omnibus Election Code Article XX11 Section 261 on vote buying, hakot, public officials intimidating and accusing Leni’s supporters of receiving money to attend her rallies without evidence, etc.

And then there are questions on the integrity of the May 9, 2022 elections because of questions and doubts on the impartiality, objectivity and independence of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) because of recent developments.

The COMELEC junked the Disqualification Case against Marcos despite strong black and white evidence that he did not pay taxes for years as evidenced by a guilty verdict by the Regional Trial Court that should have imposed sentenced jail time and ban from running for any political post, had it not been for the Court of Appeals that overturned the sentence.

The COMELEC’S apparent favoring the Marcos campaign in setting up election materials while violating the rights of citizens in the privacy of their own homes by destroying the tarps, posters, billboards they put up in support of Robredo.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent appointment of veteran election lawyer Greg Garcia as new COMELEC Commissioner. Garcia’s clients include Bongbong Marcos, who he represented in the electoral protest vs Robredo in 2016. Isn’t this conflict of interest, especially because of the unholy alliance between Duterte and Marcos, with the President’s sonSara Duterte-Carpio being Marcos’ running mate? Are there no other qualified candidates to fill this position without raising even more doubts about COMELEC’s impartiality?

And the DEBATES issue! Marcos and Duterte declared they would not participate in any debates. Would COMELEC enforce its new rule that candidates who skip the COMELEC debates will be denied streaming time on the poll body’s e-rally channel on Facebook.  (To be continued…)

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Gel Santos Relos has been in news, talk, public service and educational broadcasting since 1989. She was a news anchor, TV host and radio commentator and public service host for ABS- CBN and DZMM. She is now working on her advocacies independently, serving the Filipino audience using different  media platforms. You may contact her through email at gelrelos@icloud.com, or send her a message via Facebook at Facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos. Also on Twitter, Instagram: Gel Santos Relos

 

Gel Santos Relos

Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com and www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos

1 Comment
  1. Fake news.

    BBM is leading in all the credible surveys.

    I value the writer’s opinion. But VP is known to be “yellow”, and Filipino People are sick and tired of “yellow.”

    http://www.manilatimes.net/2022/02/28/news/marcos-sara-lead-octas-february-election-survey/1834583

    http://www.rappler.com/nation/elections/results-pulse-asia-survey-end-february-2022/

    https://sovereignph.com/2022/03/29/bbm-still-leads-in-latest-laylo-survey/

    You can Google it for yourself.

    Why are we allowing Propaganda in this respectable page? Please, base it on facts.

    God bless! ??

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