Credit-grabber in chief

It is often during crisis that the best, or worst, in a person comes out.

In the case of Leni Robredo (sorry I am dropping even the FVP because even that would seem like an honorable title), it has brought out the worst in the woman.

It could be because the pressure is much too much for her. Faced with the grim prospect of being booted out of office in the electoral protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos, Leni is filled with terror. She is fully aware of the truth: that she was catapulted to the vice presidency with the aid of Smartmagic with Andy Bautista as the wielder of the magic wand. And it’s now a matter of time before the fraud — long obvious to majority of the Filipino people — is exposed by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

I can also speculate that the trauma of losing a husband by way of a murderous yellow Presidency in 2012 is gnawing at her conscience. I detect in her behavior the advanced symptoms of a deranged mind. It doesn’t take a psychiatrist to understand these signs manifesting through her eyes and face. She is more like a puppet than a human being the way she acts.

Ambition drove her to set aside her emotions as a widow who knows her husband was victim of foul play and play along with the game of the previous administration. Leni was a nobody in Philippine politics, or even Naga politics, until the day Jesse Robredo was murdered. But she was ambitious. She saw the murder as a doorway to the Presidency in the same model as Cory Aquino’s ascent to that high office.

Her biggest problem, however, was that her position didn’t provide her the resources to make a big difference in the lives of Filipinos. The vice presidency, copied from the American model, is a spare tire. A vice president can take luxury cruises his or her entire term and nobody would even notice. It’s only when the President gives the occupant powers and responsibilities that the position becomes relevant. That is discretionary on the part of the President, however.

With the clock towards doom ticking, Leni is agitated. She needs to set into motion the gameplan concocted by Drilon, Trillanes and the rest of the Liberal Party gang: to cause enough destabilization activities to force President Duterte to resign, or be driven out of Malacanang. All the tricks in the bag have been sprung, to no avail. The efforts hardly caused a dent on the armor of President Duterte.

Hence, Leni swung into action when two super typhoons hit the country in succession: Rolly and Ulysses. Her PR machinery worked overtime to project her as a hardworking President-wannabe. The propaganda angle was that President Duterte was “absent” when the disasters struck, that he was sleeping while millions of Filipinos shivered in evacuation centers, or their rooftops.

But the propaganda, as usual, didn’t cause a stir. The people’s trust and confidence in President Duterte remained rock-solid.

Leni is running out of ideas. And that’s when she tried crazy ones. With the dilawan propaganda machine flooding Twitter with the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo, Leni started to act as if she were the commander in chief. She tweeted messages to the military top brass to deploy troops in the flood-stricken areas and put helicopters into the air to conduct rescue operations.

Being ridiculous has long characterized Leni, but this time she really went overboard. She was making herself sound as if the government was whirring upon her orders and directives. Without as much as truck of relief goods at hand, she grabbed credit for the prepositioned food supplies that were quickly dispatched to the affected areas. Leni was making the government machinery purr like a Rolls Royce engine, her propaganda tried to project.

If Leni thought she could give traction to her desperate efforts to unseat President Duterte, she is dead wrong. On the contrary her efforts only earned her more scorn, and ridicule, from ordinary Filipinos. Now, she is not even fake vice president. She is credit grabber-in-chief.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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