“Hambugeros culatados”
TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag (The Freeman) - May 15, 2019 - 12:00am

They asked for it, they got it. The opposition Otso Deretso senatorial candidates, rabidly anti-Duterte and bristling with the unbridled hubris that only unrelenting self-righteousness can summon from the depths of men, had wanted this election to be a referendum on the overall acceptability of the president, from his policies down to his very person.

And the results came in loud and clear. No ambiguity in the cold, hard numbers. And while this article is based on only 94.08 percent of the vote as was made available on the Halalan 2019 website of ABS-CBN by 9:46 a.m. of Tuesday, May 14, the probability of even one Otso Deretso bet winning indeed appeared very slim. They threw down the gauntlet and got beaten.

If indeed the 2019 senatorial race was to be a referendum on the president, then the leadership and person of Rodrigo Roa Duterte just got an overwhelming revalidation, a fresh mandate, a standing ovation. For Otso Deretso, on the other hand, it was a stinging rebuke, a slap in the face, a deserved loss.

Otso Deretso anchored its campaign on nothing else but its own perception of what a sad and sorry example Duterte was setting as a leader, how dangerous and evil his pro-Marcos leanings and tendencies are, and how, by contrast, they are God's anointed band of angels who are always right and are never wrong.

Otso Deretso peddled the idea that there is no tomorrow after martial law, that having once been nailed to that painful and ignominious cross, every Filipino must bear the scars of that episode forever. For them the nation is incapable of moving on. Even the innocents of today must sacrifice their bright hopes of a new day because their elders refuse to open the window.

But the nation does not want to be shackled to a vengeful past. There are so many new opportunities opening up as horizons broaden. Enough is enough. The politics of hate can never be masked by hypocrisy and self-righteousness, no matter how well couched in the sweetest of words.

And so look at the results. Imee Marcos is at Number 8. It is not because Filipinos love her or have forgotten. No. It is simply because they have had enough of hypocrisy and self-righteousness. And where is Bam Aquino, a good man but with a name that is at the very heart of the hypocrisy that is dragging all of us down. As of this writing he was at Number 14.

The rest of the noisy lot? Gary Alejano at 23 could not even get past 93-year-old Johnny Enrile who is at 22. Florin Hilbay? At 29 he is even below Larry Gadon of KBL who is at 28 and only a notch better than Freddie Aguilar at 30. It is truly a laugh if only it is not so sad. Sad because Otso Deretso could actually have been exacto if only they had not been so hambugero.

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