By Herbert Vego
VICE PRESIDENT Leni Robredo may not show it, but she knows of the plot to deprive her of victory in the May 9 presidential election. This could be done by manipulation of election returns to suit the results of surveys by commercial pollsters like the SWS, Pulse Asia, Laylo Research, Publicus Asia and Octa Research.
After all, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and its provider of vote-counting machines, Smartmatic, are remembered for the seven-hour glitch that delayed the transmission of votes in the 2019 elections.
It resulted in the loss of all eight opposition senatorial candidates known as Otso Diretso.
Of course, it would be harder this time to do hocus-pocus. The eyes of the world, through foreign observers and journalists, would be watching the conduct of the polls.
Our main objection to the orchestrated surveys is their obvious contradiction to obvious present-day reality and irreversible history. Does pollster Pulse Asia not insult human intelligence by asserting that presidential candidate Ferdinand “BBM” Marcos Jr. is the “frontrunner” with 56 percent of 2,400 surveyed respondents, a far cry from Leni Robredo with 24% only?
That assertion does not show in their political rallies where Robredo commands a bigger audience.
How could Marcos have earned such popularity when he had already lost to Robredo in the 2016 vice-presidential race? Also jokingly called “False Asia,” the survey firm must have forgotten that it had wrongly predicted Marcos to win that vice-presidential race.
Thank God for the internet, we have a way to retrieve the erroneous prediction. In its last vice-presidential survey for the 2016 election, Pulse Asia had given Marcos a voter preference of 29%, followed by Robredo with 24%.
A survey apologist masquerading as a political analyst argued on national TV the other night that if the surveyors were wrong, how could they have come up with similar rankings among 10 presidential candidates?
Any ordinary thinker would ask back, “How, unless they were paid to chorus the same ranking?”
So, what’s the survey for if not to mind-condition us into expecting the “frontrunner” to win?
But that’s only half of the story. The other half revolves around this question: Assuming BBM wins, would he sit on the seat his dictator dad used to sit on in Malacañang Palace?
You see, President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has never endorsed the dictator’s son to be his “successor”. He would have been the last person to allow his only daughter Sara to be Marcos’ mere running mate.
It’s only the party to which he belongs, the PDP-Laban, that has endorsed the BBM-Sara “uniteam”.
How could Digong have seconded the party stand when he had said derogatory words against BBM? He had described him as a “weak leader” and a “spoiled child.”
If we remember right, it was former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who had brokered the “uniteam,” but with Sara for president.
Grapevine has it, however, that Marcos would not agree because his mom Imelda would want him to be president before she passes away.
With the disqualification cases filed against him already dismissed by the Comelec, he is now media-hyped as the “next president”. Will he?
Assuming he and Sara win and get proclaimed – according to lawyers we have talked to — it would not prevent the Supreme Court from hearing on appeal the disqualification cases that the Comelec had dismissed en banc. A ruling of conviction for “moral turpitude over non-payment of taxes” could enable the “spare tire” to replace BBM.
Oh well, the above is not a prediction but just an unpalatable possibility.
WHERE DID LOREN GO WRONG?
ANTIQUE Congresswoman Loren Legarda, the frontrunner in the senatorial race, is saddled with the burden that her son Lorenzo Legarda Leviste, 23, has thrown at her.
Practically all media outlets yesterday “feasted” on the open letter that the son had written against his mother for joining the senatorial slate of “fascist” presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr., widely described in the media as “the son of the dictator.”
“She was once a journalist who taught me to value truth and justice,” Lorenzo wrote from an undisclosed foreign country.
I would rather not quote him further, since the open letter was all over the streamline and social media yesterday. Suffice it to say that we in the media are as surprised that she joined the Marcos-Duterte tandem rather than the opposition Leni-Kiko. After all, she had authored that law providing for the increase in the annual budget of the office of Vice President Leni Robredo from P702.04 million to P713.4-million.
I understand that she later attempted to be a “guest candidate” of the Robredo camp but was spurned.
Having written well of Loren in my previous columns, I could hardly believe the emergence of the mother-and-son feud. May we hear a valid explanation from her?
Her son’s open letter could also affect the candidacy of her brother Antonio Agapito “AA” Legarda, who is running to replace her as congresswoman. After all, it is no secret that AA faces a more qualified opponent in the person of former Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) president Abdiel “Ade” Fajardo, who is a “kakampink”.