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STANDPOINT: The fall of the ‘Dilawan’

January 13, 2019 - Sunday 1:01 PM by Jerico Javier

It is now getting clearer that the opposition candidates could be staring at a virtual wipeout this coming May senatorial polls.

    With only four months left, the opposition candidates identified with the Liberal Party (LP) or the so called “dilawan” did not fare well in the recent Pulse Asia survey conducted on December 14 to 21, 2018.

    They are the most noisy critics of President Rodrigo Duterte who, on the other hand, is obviously well loved by the people for his performance as his ratings are up to 74 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

    Among the eight opposition candidates, only Mar Roxas and Senator Bam Aquino had a statistical chance of winning. Experts believed that Roxas and Aquino were within the winning margin due to their names, both being identified with famous political clans.

    Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada III ranked 22nd to 31st with a 5.1 percent rating, while human rights lawyer Chel Diokno ranked 26th to 35th with a 3.4 percent rating.

    One of the most critical of the President, Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano, placed 27th to 37th with a 2.8 percent score. Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal placed 28th to 50th with 2.1 percent. Muslim aid worker Samira Gutoc only had a 1.3 percent rating to rank 34th to 55th.

    Also, the vociferous attacker of Duterte particularly on social media, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, had a dismal 0.4 percent rating to rank 38th to 69th.

    Political analysts Julio Teehankee and Ramon Caciple, in an interview over ANC, both claimed that the opposition might think of shifting to a different and “more positive” approach in a campaign that so far appeared focused on criticizing the President.

    “If you complain about inflation and high prices and they start attacking the President for it then the President is popular, definitely the supporters of the President will not consider voting for these candidates,” Teehankee said.

    Casiple, for his part, said, the opposition must present concrete alternative solutions in the issues and not just focus on attacking the president.

    The opposition candidates, including former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s cousin Senatpr Bam Aquino, have ditched “yellow” as the color of their party. Obviously because “yellow” or the so called “dilawan” has been tainted with corruption and other controversies during PNoy’s term. Also, majority of the people, particularly the diehard Duterte supporters, consider the “dilawan” their enemies.

    Everybody has disassociated from the color yellow and even the opposition has veered away from it. They all hate to be associated with the color. Even the so called “dilawan” are ashamed of wearing yellow.

    An unimpeachable source told this writer that some of the opposition candidates were even advised to avoid the endorsement of PNoy and other “yellow” stalwarts, including Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Risa Hontiveros, to avoid defeat. Indeed, gone are the days when everybody loves yellow.