August 8, 2022

HOTSPOT

Tonyo Cruz

On May 13, Vice President Leni Robredo declared a “fight against disinformation,” and called on supporters to help make Angat Buhay the biggest volunteer network in history.

Conscious that supporters are stricken with grief or anger, Robredo said: “Ang paghilom ay hindi darating habang nagkukulong o nagmumukmok. Darating ang paghilom kapag kapag sinimulan na muling ituon ang ating sarili sa ating kapwa.”

She promised no political test either for those who will join or benefit from Angat Buhay. “Hindi tayo mamimili ng tutulungan. Ipapakita natin ang buong pwersa ng radikal na pagmamahal.”

Robredo herself was dignified in the transition and transfer to the new vice president. She congratulated Sara Duterte, and personally met with her representatives.

I would like to think that more Kakampinks are eager to answer Robredo’s call to action.
But there are some so-called Kakampinks who are out to sabotage Robredo’s efforts. They are not many but they have loud voices that project fury and foment division. They tend to misrepresent their views as representative of all Kakampinks. They openly preach that Angat Buhay should focus exclusively on provinces where Robredo won. The worst of them call on people to retreat to apathy and cynicism.

The dominant theme among some Robredo supporters has been to lay the blame on voters. It is a mindset with the DNA of traditional politics written all over it. Traditional politicians can not always accept defeat, and are prone to bash the public for the crime of rejecting them in the polls. Traditional politicians cannot, or refuse to admit their own weaknesses, or to call out the institutional and structural hindrances to free choice, or to situate the elections against the backdrop of disinformation, administration advantages, the worldwide rise of populism and the collapse of liberal democracy.

The disappointment though is understandable, considering that there remains no closure to the people’s campaign. A people’s campaign should lead to a people’s assessment, so that the next people’s campaign would be informed of the strengths and weaknesses of the past edition. If the traditional politicians among themselves assess in exclusive resorts, the people’s assessment must be inclusive in word and deed.

We must heed Senator Kiko Pangilinan’s call: “Turn grief into revolutionary courage.”

Courage starts where assessment begins. For if the campaign is just one of the many means toward a noble end, assessment could also help everyone — leaders, supporters, and the public — find out what’s next for the movement.

We have to do this first before foreign journalists and analysts from abroad do it for us. We must be able to tell our own story, and be the first and most accurate in telling it.

This is true not just for Robredo and the millions who backed her. This is true for all candidates, parties and coalitions, for history didn’t end on May 9. Neither was it the last elections.

Some matters are basic. For instance, there were more than 18,000 posts at stake in the last elections. If a campaign can only manage to field presidential, vice presidential and a handful of senatorial candidates, such a campaign immediately allows others to contest and win the other posts. It is out of contention for the entire House, capitols, municipios, and city halls. Even before the first ballot is cast or counted, it is already defeated.

Some matters are about the agency and role of citizens. Should citizens be satisfied with the role of volunteer? Is higher political education needed? Should citizens have a voice in determining candidates, platform, or financial matters? Should citizens be more actively encouraged and developed into candidates? Or should we just slide back to the traditional politics of superheroes and their inner circles deciding for millions?

Some matters are more profound. Did the campaign miss the pulse of the public? Was there a serious deficit in our understanding of the headspace, concerns, hopes, frustrations and levels of public anger? Did the campaign offer something new, credible, and acceptable to voters? Are we the same or different as a country to others where populism has gained ground over liberal democracy?

Surely, there are many other questions that must be asked and answered.

The answers would be helpful in charting the way forward: from how to relate with or confront the new administration, how to continuously serve the public by many other means, to how to prepare for the next elections. Our nation deserves nothing less than a self-aware, gracious, and courageous opposition.

HOTSPOT

Tonyo Cruz

On May 13, Vice President Leni Robredo declared a “fight against disinformation,” and called on supporters to help make Angat Buhay the biggest volunteer network in history.

Conscious that supporters are stricken with grief or anger, Robredo said: “Ang paghilom ay hindi darating habang nagkukulong o nagmumukmok. Darating ang paghilom kapag kapag sinimulan na muling ituon ang ating sarili sa ating kapwa.”

She promised no political test either for those who will join or benefit from Angat Buhay. “Hindi tayo mamimili ng tutulungan. Ipapakita natin ang buong pwersa ng radikal na pagmamahal.”

Robredo herself was dignified in the transition and transfer to the new vice president. She congratulated Sara Duterte, and personally met with her representatives.

I would like to think that more Kakampinks are eager to answer Robredo’s call to action.
But there are some so-called Kakampinks who are out to sabotage Robredo’s efforts. They are not many but they have loud voices that project fury and foment division. They tend to misrepresent their views as representative of all Kakampinks. They openly preach that Angat Buhay should focus exclusively on provinces where Robredo won. The worst of them call on people to retreat to apathy and cynicism.

The dominant theme among some Robredo supporters has been to lay the blame on voters. It is a mindset with the DNA of traditional politics written all over it. Traditional politicians can not always accept defeat, and are prone to bash the public for the crime of rejecting them in the polls. Traditional politicians cannot, or refuse to admit their own weaknesses, or to call out the institutional and structural hindrances to free choice, or to situate the elections against the backdrop of disinformation, administration advantages, the worldwide rise of populism and the collapse of liberal democracy.

The disappointment though is understandable, considering that there remains no closure to the people’s campaign. A people’s campaign should lead to a people’s assessment, so that the next people’s campaign would be informed of the strengths and weaknesses of the past edition. If the traditional politicians among themselves assess in exclusive resorts, the people’s assessment must be inclusive in word and deed.

We must heed Senator Kiko Pangilinan’s call: “Turn grief into revolutionary courage.”

Courage starts where assessment begins. For if the campaign is just one of the many means toward a noble end, assessment could also help everyone — leaders, supporters, and the public — find out what’s next for the movement.

We have to do this first before foreign journalists and analysts from abroad do it for us. We must be able to tell our own story, and be the first and most accurate in telling it.

This is true not just for Robredo and the millions who backed her. This is true for all candidates, parties and coalitions, for history didn’t end on May 9. Neither was it the last elections.

Some matters are basic. For instance, there were more than 18,000 posts at stake in the last elections. If a campaign can only manage to field presidential, vice presidential and a handful of senatorial candidates, such a campaign immediately allows others to contest and win the other posts. It is out of contention for the entire House, capitols, municipios, and city halls. Even before the first ballot is cast or counted, it is already defeated.

Some matters are about the agency and role of citizens. Should citizens be satisfied with the role of volunteer? Is higher political education needed? Should citizens have a voice in determining candidates, platform, or financial matters? Should citizens be more actively encouraged and developed into candidates? Or should we just slide back to the traditional politics of superheroes and their inner circles deciding for millions?

Some matters are more profound. Did the campaign miss the pulse of the public? Was there a serious deficit in our understanding of the headspace, concerns, hopes, frustrations and levels of public anger? Did the campaign offer something new, credible, and acceptable to voters? Are we the same or different as a country to others where populism has gained ground over liberal democracy?

Surely, there are many other questions that must be asked and answered.

The answers would be helpful in charting the way forward: from how to relate with or confront the new administration, how to continuously serve the public by many other means, to how to prepare for the next elections. Our nation deserves nothing less than a self-aware, gracious, and courageous opposition.

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