• Liberals and yellows face a political power outage. Is Leni the cure?



    First read
    This is what makes politics such an interesting and compelling field to observe and study. One day political power can look invulnerable and impregnable. On another day, power can quickly evaporate and ooze away.

    The similarity between an electric power outage and a political power breakdown is so compelling, I thought it deserves a column today.

    Let’s start with a quick lesson on the definition of a power outage (courtesy of Wikipedia):

    A power outage (also called a power cut, a power blackout, power failure or a blackout) is a short- or long-term loss of electric power in an area.

    There are many causes of power failures in an electricity network. Examples of these causes include faults at power stations, damage to electric transmission lines, substations or other parts of the distribution system, a short circuit, or the overloading of electricity mains.

    Power outages are categorized into three different phenomena, relating to the duration and effect of the outage:

    A permanent fault is a massive loss of power typically caused by a fault on a power line. Power is automatically restored once the fault is cleared.

    A brownout is a drop in voltage in an electrical power supply. The term brownout comes from the dimming experienced by lighting when the voltage sags. Brownouts can cause poor performance of equipment or even incorrect operation.

    A blackout is the total loss of power in an area and is the most severe form of power outage that can occur. Blackouts which result from or result in power stations tripping are particularly difficult to recover from quickly.

    What happened to the Liberals and Aquino loyalists last May 9, and since President Duterete’s accession to office, is the equivalent of a political power outage.

    A party in disarray
    Since President Duterte’s inauguration, power has evaporated quickly for the Liberals and the Yellow loyalists. From a position of domination, wherein Aquino could impound budgeted funds and concoct a fund for himself and his projects, wherein he could detain and charge his predecessor (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), wherein he could impeach a sitting Justice of the Supreme Court, the Liberals and Aquino loyalists have lost all the apparatus and prerogatives of power.

    Now, the party is in disarray, and prospective indictments await its erstwhile leaders (notably former president Benigno Aquino III). Yellow loyalists still holding office (like the Ombudsman) could lose their hold on their posts much sooner than they realize.

    The party and the cult need to undertake a massive effort of rebuilding its ranks, infusing new leadership, and stopping their decline.

    They need to regain credibility as a political force, because unless they are believed, they will not be heard in the age of Duterte.

    The fair lady of the Opposition
    The question that I pose in my title – is Leni the cure? – is intriguing and it probably is an impossible role for her to fill.

    The Liberals-Yellows have become a political grouping that specializes in necro-politics – making political capital out of the death of personages. They have also developed an ability to transform inexperienced widows into politicians.

    With the help of the Americans, they turned Cory Aquino into a passable leader in 1986. They repeated that feat with the election of her son, Noynoy Aquino, in 2010.

    In the May 9 election, they used the same Cory playbook in fielding Leni Robredo for vice-president to stop Bongbong Marcos, who was running away from the field. This play may succeed if Leni’s election is sustained by the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (the Supreme Court) in the Marcos election protest.

    The big question now is whether Leni Robredo can be transformed a la Eliza Doolittle into “the fair lady of the Opposition.”

    Much as I wish that she could evolve into the role, I will say here that I am skeptical.

    This is a political stratagem born out of desperation. The prospective fair lady does not know what she has bargained for.

    Having worked with two presidents, and the CEOs of major corporations, and having a done my share of leadership studies, I must say that Leni does not have the tools for political leadership.

    She looks to me like more of a follower than a leader. She has not utilized her opportunities well.

    After a brief period of uncertainty, she was fortunate to be invited to join President Duterte’s Cabinet as housing secretary. Sadly, she did not have the executive ability and skills to convert this assignment into a significant mission. She looked like just another soul lost in the bureaucracy.

    And she did not have the intelligence to recognize that this assignment is probably the biggest government mission she will ever be entrusted.

    She did not seize the housing post as a great chance to show and prove her leadership skills, as well as a means to hone her political skills and instincts.

    Instead of building from this base toward a future of dignified stability and security – for herself and her family – she allowed herself to be seduced by the delusional politics and false promises of the Liberal Party and the Yellow Cult.

    In the major decisions of her fairly short political life, never has Robredo shown the core of a conviction politician, who has strong beliefs and policy ideas, and has a clear idea of where she wants to go.

    Stealing the vice-presidency
    Robredo’s allegation of “a plot to steal the Vice-Presidency” does not look like something that came out of her mind. It seems like the product of minds advising or using her.

    The idea, as one blogger (GRP pundit) has commented: ‘is to preempt the Supreme Court sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal’s decision. It is to force the SC-PET into deciding in her favor. It is to poison the well so that there will be only one acceptable result.

    “They will accept a favorable decision from the PET. But if the PET finds that she benefited from electoral fraud, they will protest and claim that she was cheated and that the vice-presidency is being stolen from her.”

    But why are Robredo and the LP afraid of the PET? They have a copy of the protest. They have a copy of the evidence against her.

    The hard part will come when people start to question whether Leni really and truly believes that she won in the May 9 elections, and whether she knows how she won.

    Can she construct a plausible narrative and mathematical model of how she won the vice- presidential contest against Bongbong marcos?

    How does a candidate for the presidency or vice-presidency win office without winning a single city or municipality in Metro Manila, the richest trove of votes in the country?

    How does she win after losing decisively the Overseas Filipino vote?

    The Liberals and yellow loyalists know that an honest recount, superintended by the Supreme Court would return a negative verdict against Robredo.

    So the strategy now is to derail the protest and recount.

    A weapon against Duterte
    In being cajoled and finally persuaded to run alongside Roxas, Robredo allowed herself to be used by former president Aquino and the Liberal/Yellow cult. And now they want to use her as a pretend opposition leader against President Duterte, for an agenda that is not yet known.

    Leni will be turned into a weapon for attacks against Duterte, and against the possible march of Bongbong Marcos to the vice-presidency.

    It’s not Leni’s fault that the Liberals and the Yellows have lost power. Why should it be her responsibility to solve their political power outage?

    It’s time Leni learns to answer such questions herself.



    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. Even the yellows realize that EDSA I & II could not have succeed without mass defection of the gov’t and military, they tried to duplicate the same formula to oust PGMA in the Oakwood mutiny and Hyatt 10 and failed because they did not get the support they needed from these sectors.

      Survey the rank and file gov’t employee and soldier and you will find that they feel marginalized and victimized by the corrupt and incompetent Pnoy mis-administration, that they will never put another yellow into power, NEVER EVER!

    2. Yellow yards are afraid of the return of marcoses especially noink noink 3rd (blood boiling during campaign period). They know that using election, marcoses cannot be defeated therefore, their solution is different. Now that trump, an anti-globalist like Putin/duterte, are at the helm. Remember Leni visited democrat kil-liar-y and Nicolas in the USA.

    3. Leni as leader is she can’t. She is classic case of dumb blonde widow who calls her husband’s name when the going gets tough. Leni was never been a leader but just plain housewife volunteering for NGO charity activities just to have something to claim that she had a job outside the kitchen. Leni as follower before, now and forever is written all over her face and speeches.

    4. The voltage excesses of present administration will eventually need to be checked by the fuse box of the democratic institutions, including such extrajudicial denial of power as People Power I and People Power II. The metaphor of a household losing electricity should show us that the present executive cannot not allow its administration to be tripped by built-in circuit breaker within nor outside the system.

      Extra judicial processes such as government encouraged execution of alleged “dregs” of society may end up to extra judicial protests such as what happened to late President Marcos and then then President Erap Estrada.

      Bleeding the connections between source of power and outlets of power to erase or reinitialise the confusion in power distribution network, is one sure solution to bring back sanity in an increasingly disjointed use of power by this administration.


    5. Manila Times, I like your news content. Please fix the website so that a page full of annoying spammy ads don’t automatically load and take me away from the article, after just one second.

    6. Check also De Lima, how she gained a million lead over the 13th senator. This is the first time happened in senatorial election. if this will be solved, all other LP senator are questionable.

    7. The implication of a PET decison in favor of BBM is that the elections of De Lima and Drilon will become logical collateral damage.

      Their numbers may not stand scrutiny either.

    8. robredo, i sincerly believe, lost to makoy jr. she is a product of the hocos pcos. sa tingin ko talang nag upload ng votes for the entire LP lineup ang smartmatic when their man tinkered with the server when the counting was going on. how can drilon, for example, overtake mr eat bulaga as no.1 senator?? it would be believable kung si pakyaw ang naging number 1 but drilon?? you can only conclude dayaan. another is how can osmena lose to the likes of de5 or hontiveros?? the yellows are frantic to destabilize du30 coz their patron, lewis-obama, will lose power come jan 2017 and it looks like trump will not support the destabilazation when he sits at the oval office. you can see in the columns of yellow supporters that they are saying that street protests will commence in january 2017. they know the plot. just read the opinion column of ric romulo of another paper yesterday i think and one or two of times’ columnist who detest du30 and loves robredo

    9. LP is a bastard Political Party …. remember Sen. Grace Poe on what she says when she don’t want to join the LP-Yellow band wagon. After that, all yellow attack dogs ganged up on her and slowly but surely shamed her, assassinate her character and destroy her credibility before election time. LP true to their color don’t want anybody to stay on their path competing against them in the highest position of the land, all of them bruised so that he/she can’t mount any counter offensive come election time. But to LP’s surprise, a lowly Mayor of Davao City and reluctant candidate beat them in great lengths. I see that it is God’s will to make LP woke up in their hallucination. Now they are gathering all their resources and oppose any issue as their political strategy to oust this they perceived a psychopath and lunatic President. To me, much more worst will come to LP until they realize their hold unto power is not theirs anymore.

    10. I think Ms Robredo should investigate first the true cause of death of Sec Robredo…if there was a foul play or not…

    11. LENI is good only in Lugawan business.Didnt she raise a barrel of money to her campaign kitty? As for a political leader….sus maria santisima ina ng saklolo.It’s true, how could she win as VP when she was clobbered from Aparri to Vote rich Metro Manila, Cavite, Rizal and Laguna. BBM lost only in Tarlac by a mere 25,000 votes In Quezon Province, the LP unleashed their attack dogs–Smartmagic by ng away BBM votes and padded to LENI LUGAW.Adding of course the Surveys owned by the Yellow and the manipulative media showing that Leni has overtaken BBM or in a dead heat with him……PATHETIC……………

      • Jimmy Santos Biglang-Awa on

        Hi Yen .. I am si delighted and enlighted with your editorial you hit it right between the eyes ..ever since I am a follower of your opinion writings.. this one is really something to be read by our people .. I hope you can write something about Loida Lewis trash talks

    12. Your last question nailed it perfectly, but the clerico-fascist puppet Mrs. Robredo’s political IQ is just as bad or might even be worse than that of the previous puppet, the retarded Boy Sayad..

    13. Leni may be a nice person and she may help marching with demonstrators in the street. As far as I see, that’s it. She is not a leader.

    14. Mr. Yen, you said it exactly as it is. Microscopic. Telescopic. The Aquino’s power lost was clearly written on the wall on May 9. But the Yellow’s can’t in their dream see their demise and in its stead is the resurrection of the Marcos power.
      Up to now, the Yellows still believe that they are above Supreme Court. They can call the President names. They are using two women, deLima and Leni to anchor their cause…..nostalgic of Cory’s charisma then. But neither of the two has the Cory factor. Let alone, the Palace leadership of today is not synonymous to that of then.
      PRRD is blessed with moral values in the highest form. How can our Heavenly Father ignore that?!

    15. Your article answered so many questions. I was wondering how she can be a leader of the opposition when she is not even the president of the LP. This means she just takes orders from their acting prez Kiko Pangilinan, a mere senator. She can be an activist, but she is no politician.

      • Leodegardo Pruna on

        Kiko , the greater pretender and Mr. Noted in a previous count, is trying a comeback which could not happen because the people is fed up with his antics and pretenses. Leni would be making a fool of herself by allowing the yellow cult lo play around with her. She knows her capacity. What she must do in order to justify her position is to use it to find out what really happened to her husband and who masterminded it. The accolades given her husband were meant to cover up and appease her. Leni should wake up from her slumber. God bless the Philippines.

    16. How can the Liberal Party or the Yellows regain power when in the people’s mind their insatiable greed for power and money during the past administration is still fresh? Leni Robredo may be lily white but those around her will run rings around her just in case that scenario comes into fruition.

    17. A very incisive analysis of the LP “power outage”…and a very interesting read, too. Leni this time should think so hard before accepting what ever “role” she is asked to play. Thank you, Mr. Makabenta.

    18. kale alaskador on

      Vice President Robredo will take the responsibility for solving the Liberals’ and Yellows’ political outage primarily because she will become President IF successfully solved!

      I seriously doubt if President Duterte and his supporters will allow this.

      In the remote chance that Duterte is threatened to be deposed, get ready for a CIVIL WAR!