Thu. May 26th, 2022
Imaheng nagpapaka “banal” [Tag.] – Santa Maria Leonora? Her problem is that the voters can see through the colors, and maybe what critics say you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip, apply here.

There is a palpable attempt by loyal supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo to spin a narrative of divinity around her. One supporter even imaged her beside Jesus Christ as he delivered his sermon, casting it in the context of her being a miracle.

Not content with committing blasphemy, someone who is actually a priest, who personifies Christ on earth as is conduit for our confessions for our sins as we seek forgiveness and for his words when he delivers his sermon, condemned people who are not voting for Robredo.

This priest accused Robredo nonbelievers of siding with evil, and practically ordered them not to go to church and hear mass anymore.

This is so typical of Yellow elites, which we saw in the previous push for the canonization of former President Corazon Aquino as a saint. And their real color comes out naturally despite their attempts to turn the color of idolatry into glorious pink.

This is the “yellow” playbook — to turn Robredo into another saintly widow, incapable of lying, the paragon of virtue, one who will not violate the Ten Commandments of God, as a contrapuntal to the evil and corruption of President Rodrigo Duterte and the person they image as his clone, former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Once the pride of “born-again Christian” laymen, the Roman Catholic clergy have also adopted “praying-over” as “casting out evil spirits”, empowering humans, even politicians to perform marvels and supernatural occurrence.  

And this is the fundamental problem with the Robredo campaign that is undermining her viability and winnability as a candidate. She is being entrapped and held hostage by a jaded political playbook that turns political campaigns into a Manichean opposition of good and evil, or a modern version of the Crusades where power has been usurped by those who claim God to be on their side and turned it into an instrument to mark, vilify and demonize her nonbelievers.

The bad thing about this strategy is that it doesn’t apply to electoral politics, particularly in the age of the internet. It is so patently medieval. Gone are the days when those claiming virtue win by killing heretics, by burning them at the stake, or quartering them while still alive.

WATCH: New Catechism by Soc Villegas – tagged in social media as the re-incarnation of Jose Rizal’s “Padre Damaso”

Political victories are no longer achieved through genocidal campaigns waged to strike fear in the hearts of nonbelievers. Winning entails converting the hearts of the unconvinced, and this cannot be achieved by condemning them as political heretics unworthy of hearing Mass, or its more secular equivalent of lacking the ability to think simply because they do not wear the color pink.

Robredo is being held down by a campaign that dwells on exclusion instead of inclusion. It is dominated by an air of arrogance that treats every criticism as an attempt to take down, undeserving of serious consideration, simply because it comes from nonbelievers. The mantra is to demonize not just the candidates opposing Robredo, but even their supporters, by treating them as inferior and immoral.

The Marcos and Duterte partisans also engage in vitriolic taking down of Marcos and Duterte critics, but these are not delivered with an air of moral and intellectual superiority. It is the elitist arrogance of the Robredo crowd that has turned a huge swath of the electorate against her.

Robredo supporters are so lost in demonizing nonbelievers that they literally forget that elections are decided by voters, many of whom they have demeaned, insulted and demonized.

But it is not surprising that they do it to the nonbelievers. Without losing a beat, they even do it to their own kind, particularly in how they treat their volunteers, as for instance in the way they spun the fall-out from criticism of the instant lugaw packs distributed by a volunteer group.

When it received negative reviews, pro-Robredo media platform Rappler came out and fact-checked that the kits were actually from volunteers and not from the Robredo campaign.

The layers of dishonesty and insincerity in this single instance are just so many. It prominently displays the tendency to abandon volunteer efforts if things go south, even as such are bannered as integral parts of the campaign if they generate good reviews. In fact, volunteers are an integral part of a campaign, and the resources put into their efforts, whether monetary or in kind, are technically donations to the Robredo campaign.

Duterte Lashes Back at Bishop Bacani for Disparaging His War on Drugs                                          

Robredo and her campaign have imaged themselves in the narrative of voluntarism, as one fueled not by big corporate money but from grassroots support from her loyal followers. They banner the fact that her supporters spend for gasoline and improvise their campaign paraphernalia using their own resources, in contrast to Marcos supporters who they image as simply paid and bought for their participation.

For a campaign with this culture, it is therefore disingenuous to deflect a bad review of an act by pointing to the claim that it is done by volunteers. This is so typically elitist, where lower-placed functionaries are usually offered as scapegoats.

Robredo would have been true to what her handlers are presenting as her image had she corrected Rappler, stressed that her volunteers were an integral part of her campaign and that she was taking responsibility for their actions, and expressed gratitude for their efforts.

She could have cemented the image of her campaign as one emanating from the ground and borne by unpaid volunteers. She did not. Apparently, she probably did not see the need for it, or failed to appreciate the relevance of doing so, or was clueless.

In a previous column, I urged Robredo supporters to let her be. It is now apparent that this may not help and save her campaign, in that her real self might be the problem.

One recalls that unguarded moment captured on video when she urged her driver to speed up even as a throng of supporters were eagerly awaiting to get a glimpse of her. The sudden change in her mood when she was told that she was being taped live gave it all away.

Truly, despite the contrived divinity being used to frame her, her inauthenticity and innate inability to connect are like bad gifts that keep on giving.

WATCH: Bishop Bacani Recently Collapses While Saying Mass: Social media speculates “karma” has befallen the Pink Clergy.

Prayers requested for his recovery.

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