Desperate Robredo now won't object to a Bongbong cabinet appointment

Tuesday April 18, 2017 ()


When I heard that Leni Robredo released a statement to the effect that she will pose no objection to the appointment of former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to the Cabinet of President Rodrigo Duterte, my first reaction was: Who asked you, anyway?

Of course, Duterte doesn't need to clear his Cabinet choices with Robredo. But this is, after all, Marcos, whose name only needs to be mentioned anywhere for Robredo to go into a fit of self-righteous, Yellow-tinted indignation.

Desperate Robredo now won

Robredo's belief that opposing Marcos at every venue, and not just concerning his election protest against her, is more important than anything is what cost her a Cabinet post. If Robredo had not decided to be both the leader of the opposition and nemesis of the entire Marcos family, the dead included, she would probably still be serving as Duterte's housing czarina and would probably never have been disinvited to Cabinet meetings in Malacañang.

After her resignation (or her sacking), Robredo continued on the same theme, second-guessing all of Duterte's actions and warning of the supposed specter of a Marcos restoration, if Bongbong gains any foothold in the government. She was all vinegar and bitterness, despite the sweet smiles for the camera.

And all of Robredo's political posturing has only made her lose even more adherents. In the latest public opinion survey, Robredo was the biggest loser, suffering a precipitous 11-percent drop in approval and trust ratings.

Clearly, the anti-Digong and anti-Bongbong positioning was not working. Perhaps it was time for a kinder, gentler Leni, someone who has to do more than grin as she recounts how even the relatives of suspected drug users are being killed by the government in its campaign against illegal drugs.

And so, the New Leni Robredo, who is now waiting for her turn to have dinner at the presidential palace with Duterte, now declares that she won't object to a Marcos appointment. Even if Marcos seems a cinch to be given the same post that her late husband held at the Interior department, something that the Old Leni would have gone to the streets to protest immediately.

The recalibrating to Robredo's strategy comes not a moment too soon. She is about to plumb the depths of unpopularity and relocate to the political limbo where many of her Liberal Party colleagues like Leila de Lima, Antonio Trillanes and Kiko Pangilinan seem to have made their home permanently.

Give Leni a little credit for realizing that the death of her political career need not be something preordained. Who knows, perhaps she will even return to the Duterte Cabinet, there to serve shoulder to shoulder with Marcos, if Digong makes her another offer.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Right?


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