THE press conference called by presidential aspirants Isko Moreno, Ping Lacson, and Norberto Gonzales turned out to be the exact opposite of the general expectations. The presumption was that these presidentiables will have change of heart, let go of their aspirations and throw their support behind second placer Leni Robredo to overcome the lead of Bongbong Marcos.
What would have been the most dramatic political show in this year’s electoral derby was in fact an autopsy of the character of Leni Robredo and expose’ of the serpentine agenda of her political alliance if she is defeated in her quest for the presidency as in “magkaroon ng gulo” (there will be trouble). Is this the reason why for the nth time she changed the logo of the Liberal Party from Yellow to pink and now with yellow, pink, a dash of green, and screaming red?
The three presidential candidates made public their stand that none of them is withdrawing from the race. Manny Pacquiao who was in General Santos City made known his stand in a conversation with Tito Sotto that he is one with the group in not withdrawing from the race.
What prompted the joint press conference is the persistent speculation on social media that Lacson, Moreno, Gonzales, and Pacquiao will eventually give up the fight and support Leni.
Now it turns out that the last person they would give way to is Leni. The Leni defenders were quick to raise the gender issue as the trio was ganging up on the pink lady making her appear as an underdog. Actually, if we were to believe the confession of the three presidentiables, they had their fill of Leni’s importunities for them to withdraw and support her to defeat BBM. Lacson for one bared that former Quezon City Mayor Jun Simon had been bugging him in favor of Leni, an issue which Robredo’s camp already denied claiming Simon is not authorized to speak for Leni.
Lacson has countered this saying the crux of it all is “who benefits from the call for his withdrawal?’’. This means while the Vice President may not have said it herself, the indubitable fact is that she was the cited beneficiary. Lacson raised how Robredo preyed on Partido Reporma and how he was unceremoniously jettisoned from the party over money matters.
For his part, Isko Moreno recalled how often was he sought after by people identified with Leni for him to make a supreme sacrifice by withdrawing from the race and support Leni. Obviously, Isko was hurting over the shift of some of his leaders in Manila and Cebu to the camp of Robredo. An infuriated Yorme proposed that instead, it should be Leni to make the supreme sacrifice because her numbers in the surveys are not improving.
The three presidential aspirants pointed out that there is no such thing as 60% Marcos loyalists behind BBM. That it is the peoples’ antagonism of the “dilawan” which VP Leni represents that makes BBM a better option. Isko explained that if Leni withdraws then the electorates will have an option different from what the dilawans have.
This feud among the adversaries of the UniTeam will radically alter the election scenario. Talking of beneficiaries, one thing is certain -- BBM and Sara are the happy pair that will reap the gains and the spoils in the aftermath.