BBM must know what his survey numbers mean

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

Bongbong Marcos must not mistake survey results for real ballots. True, he is consistently leading by the proverbial mile in virtually all surveys, including those by his enemies. He may keep the survey lead all the way to election day on May 9 but if he loses the vote by then, he will never get to sit in Malacañang, not even if he runs again six years later in 2028. This year is as good as it can get for him to regain the Palace.

It is understandable, of course, to get heady by the survey results. Bongbong after all is a Marcos, no less than the son and namesake of the late strongman whom a certain segment of the population hates for both real and painful reasons and for no reason at all than that it is hip to do so. It is thus not easy to be a Marcos in this country, much less lead in all surveys by a mile. It can very easily get to your head.

Several columns back, I wrote about how Bongbong already has a foot through the door and that all he has to do is keep his momentum and not do anything silly. I said then that his greatest enemy can only be himself as all his rivals put together cannot even muster half of his numbers in all the surveys.

Not even shortcuts by way of disqualification will likely succeed, not even if there is legal basis to do so, because the current popularity of Bongbong has given the case a new life of its own that is political. You do not disqualify the leading candidate without inviting the kind of trouble all of us can only regret later.

Still it is good, and best for everybody, if Bongbong is simply allowed to run and have his fate tested by the ballot, not by the pens of a few people in the Comelec who sit as judges in his disqualification cases. Yet, against this backdrop, Bongbong just did something that cannot be anything but plain silly. Why did he not appear in the first hearing of his case? What was he thinking? Is he trying to tempt fate?

Again, all Bongbong has to do at this point is coast along and play smart. By not appearing, he was courting trouble and promptly got it. He angered no less than Rowena Guanzon, the one commissioner in the Comelec you do not mess with. Appointed Cadiz City mayor by Cory Aquino after EDSA, she was later named to the Comelec by the son, Noynoy.

While Bongbong is certainly aware of how significant his lead is in the surveys, I suspect he does not understand what it is about or where his flying numbers are coming from. I suspect as well that neither does his sister Imee. Both Bongbong and Imee appear to be oblivious of the fact that they are still Marcoses and that many of what happened during the martial law of their father are real and can never be forgotten.

Bongbong, by being reckless, and Imee, by talking as if she is now back in Malacañang, both seem to read into the survey numbers that all is now hunky-dory with the Marcoses. The huge survey numbers do not mean a dramatic turnaround in popular sentiment. The vastly greater number of Filipinos may not hate the Marcoses only because they never did in the first place. That does not mean they love them either.

The huge numbers of Bongbong are not exactly fans but orphans of a new political phenomenon called cancel politics engendered by en elitist and self-righteous opposition. To the Pinks and Yellows, anybody who is not with them is against them, is unlike them, and therefore corrupt, criminal, vile, dumb, uneducated, uncouth, ignorant. They forget these outsiders make up the majority. Bongbong must take note of that. And Imee too.


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