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Opinion

Divide, win, and conquer: Marcos-Duterte strategy

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

President Duterte may be on his way out, but he is the best strategist of all. All the good guys or those who claim to be, run and eliminate each other. To put it more mildly, the undesirable will most likely win because all the desirable ones shall hurt each other. And the people will most probably end up being the biggest losers, when the winner will not be the choice of the majority. The likelihood looks like we shall have another minority president, like Erap, GMA and Duterte, and the worst of all, FVR who got only 23.58 percent of the total votes.

With Isko Moreno running, the majority votes of Metro Manila will not go to Leni Robredo. The votes of the young and (idealistic children of the poor like Isko used to be) will be taken away from Leni. The votes of the university students and the youth in UP, Ateneo and the other universities and colleges will be splintered by Isko. Overall, Isko will most probably lose, but he will also cause the downfall of Leni. The biggest victim of Isko's candidacy will not be the tandem of Marcos and Duterte but the opposition. Thus, it can be said that Isko is a Marcos- Duterte enabler. He is the worst enemy of the true opposition.

The entry of Ping Lacson will divide the Luzon votes among himself, Isko and Leni. But the solid north of Bongbong plus the not-so-solid (no more) votes of Duterte in Mindanao and the Visayas shall remain formidable. Lacson will also take away from Leni the votes of retired military officers and men and their family and relatives. These are in addition to the hundreds of thousands of the police forces, the firemen and the jailers and prison guards and their families. These are big blocks taken from Leni. Thus, Ping will hurt Leni more and will unwittingly enable the Marcos-Duterte tandem to win.

Only Manny Pacquiao is not a very destructive Leni disabler because the "Pambansang Kamao" will reduce the Mindanao votes of the president a little bit. And that reduction becomes bigger with Pacman's alliance with ex-speaker Bebot Alvarez, who will carry the Davao del Norte votes away from Digong. But then, on second thought, the Visayans who are now in Luzon will go for Manny and away from Isko and Leni. Somehow, in a limited way some of Leni's votes will be siphoned away from her to the side of Pacman. Pacman, however, will take away a big chunk of the Visayan votes from Duterte. In this sense, Manny is more favorable to Leni than to Duterte.

At the end of the day, it will be a Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte tandem (before November 15, Inday Sara could still replace Bong Go). If Leni, Isko, Ping and Manny do not unite, all of them are bound to bite the dust. And Bongbong and Sara shall laugh their way to the palace again. The people will turn out to be the biggest losers again.

We never learn from the lessons of history and so perhaps, we deserve our fate. The bottomline problem in this country is not the trapos. It is the Filipino voters who refuse to use their coconuts. At the end of the day, President Duterte will be laughing his way back to the palace when Inday will just be a heartbeat away from the presidency. I am afraid that, for the nth time, the astute will win over the pure of hearts. That was how Miriam was defeated by FVR in 1992. And the same scenario may now be in the offing again. Deja vu.

RODRIGO DUTERTE
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