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Political bullies

It was rather anticlimactic the way the Liberal Party “formally” selected former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as its standard bearer for the May 2016 elections. Like, were we really surprised at all since President BS Aquino had already endorsed and anointed Roxas as his “successor” (which makes one think as if Roxas’ assumption of the presidency was already a done deal)?

For many LP die-hards, a sour note in what was supposed to be a rah-rah national convention was the absence of Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo—who is being pressured into becoming the running mate of Mar, whose overtures (via President BS) to another presidential aspirant, Senator Grace Poe, has been rebuffed. Robredo does not have to speak at all for people to figure out the enormous stress that she and her family must be going through—what with big LP men like Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Sonny Belmonte issuing statements to the media that Robredo will be the running mate of Roxas.

Robredo denies having given her consent—not even informally as Speaker Belmonte earlier claimed—to run for vice president under the Liberal Party banner, and one can only surmise why it’s taking her a long time to say “yes” when others would die to be in her position. Surely, there must be something the lady knows that we don’t—other than the reason given that her children are also not sold to the idea of their mom gunning for a higher position.

As the lady solon said, if it were true that she has given her consent, then she would have made an announcement or declaration to the media and the public. But no, the way it looks is that the big boys of LP are trying to really weigh down the lady and use that “kahiyaan na ito” kind of strategy to pressure her into saying yes —if only to save the face of Mar Roxas and the whole LP.

But hey, why put the burden on Robredo and her kids? Whose bright idea was it anyway to announce to everyone that the LP is eyeing Robredo who, in the eyes of many, now looks like a second choice after Grace Poe thumbed down the “invitation” to be the running mate of Roxas? Let’s go hypothetical here. Even if Robredo eventually agrees, most likely because she has been placed in an untenable position and told that she is the only one that can make the LP and its standard bearer save face —you know, the kind about the groom all ready and waiting but aw, shucks, no bride???­—what kind of a vice presidential candidate will she make when at the back of her mind, the run is halfhearted?

There’s a word for people who try to compel, coerce and pressure someone into something he or she would rather not do: bullies. It takes all kinds—but bullies are the kind that use undue advantage (weight, age, position, status etc.) to try and intimidate others into agreeing with what he wants. Bullying can come in many forms other than the physical. It can be emotional or psychological, evident when one’s peace of mind is disturbed and when one is put through undue emotional stress—more like hounded if one were to really think about it.

Bullies. They can be very nice if they want something from you, but nasty when you refuse like what some people did to Grace Poe when she decided to go it “alone” for the presidency. They were all praises when they were trying to convince Poe but when she turned them down, that’s when the dirty talk and tactics began. Oh well, what can you really expect from politicians who berate media people when they get a less-than-positive kind of coverage, or who would rather belabor technicalities and legalities while everyone is dying in the aftermath of a storm or would argue over uncollected body bags?

Oops—a bully just bopped us on the head because now we can’t keep this thought from popping in our mind: Heck—how can you trust someone to show you the way when he can’t even blaze his own trail and has to parrot the line of someone else?


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