By Herbert Vego
THE readers’ response to my column on former Vice-President Leni Robredo’s silence after her unbelievable “loss” to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on May 9, 2022 were mostly in disbelief. How could she and her senatorial candidates have said and done nothing when they knew they had been cheated?
How could the son of the late dictator have catapulted himself to fame three years after losing to Leni for vice-president in 2016?
But there was a man from Sta. Maria, Bulacan (name withheld) who had recently talked to VP Leni and had digested her two cents’ worth.
A portion of his text message to this writer said: “Her silence is a strategy. She knows that Bongbong and Sara would destroy each other. If she were to join the fray, their supporters might accuse VP Leni of instigating the conflict. And so, she would rather spend time for her Angat Buhay Foundation, which is aimed at helping the poor.”
To live peacefully and fight again another day?
Of course, Leni could have howled against Marcos’ 31 million votes against her 15-m only. Everybody knows she had attracted millions of warm bodies during her campaign sorties while the BBM-Sara “uniteam” had to hire buses to transport the audience to rally sites.
As the late assassinated broadcaster Percy Lapid was saying on the air after election day, “A day will come when Marcos and Duterte will break up.”
Take note that VP Sara appeared more popular with 32 million votes than the President with 31-m.
There is now a snowballing move among well-paid vloggers and bloggers to project Sara as “the rising opposition,” if only to win against whomever Marcos would anoint as his successor through the next presidential derby in 2028.
Both of them, however, are also reaping snowballing public condemnation for being recipients of the Comelec-Smartmatic collusion that resulted in their forced win against the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan tandem.
I would not belabor the matter anymore. The internet now throbs with stories about the plan of former Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Secretary Eliseo Rio to file an impeachment complaint against Comelec chair George Garcia on the ground of betrayal of public trust. Incidentally, Garcia was the lawyer of Marcos in the latter’s futile election protest against VP Robredo in 2016.
Rio, a computer expert, questioned the possibility of 20 million+ votes counted by the transparency server within one hour after the 7 p.m. of voting closure on May 9, 2022.
Marcos himself hollered in a televised interview concerning his loss to VP Robredo in 2016, “They [Smartmatic personnel] are not here to sell an election system; they are here to sell a system of cheating.”
Did he buy that system that resulted in his landslide win against Leni in 2022?
SO LONG, DR. JUANITO MACA ACANTO
CONDOLENCES to the family of Dr. Juanito M. Acanto, 86, president of the Central Philippine University (CPU) for 12 years (1996-2008). He passed away last Sunday.
Acanto has touched the lives of thousands, including this writer who is a “kumpare” and a friend, personally and on Facebook.
He was one of a kind, always smiling even during hard times – as in the days when his wife Edith was about to undergo a critical surgery. She survived.
“He asked me about his goddaughter,” his neighbor and nurse Joy recalled her recent visit to his bedside. “He broke into a smile on learning that your daughter Lenlen had passed the board exam for medical technologists.”
We used to be office neighbors at the YMCA building, where he practiced his law profession in the 1990s. When he knew that I was facing a libel case, he volunteered to be my lawyer pro-bono. We won.
I clearly remember the last time he phoned me on August 1, 2022, asking why he had not seen my columns in the local paper that I used to edit.
I could think of only one and the right answer, “I now write for the Daily Guardian.”
“Oh,” he quipped. “In that case, I will subscribe to the Daily Guardian.”
His passing is another fulfillment of this Bible verse from 2 Timothy 4:6–7: “My life is being given as an offering to God, and the time has come for me to leave this life. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
The CPU High School Building, by the way, was renamed Juanito M. Acanto Hall on April 19, 2018.
Incumbent CPU President Teodoro Robles has announced a vigil service for Dr. Acanto at the university church on Thursday (Aug. 3), 7 p.m.