Wenceslao: The pink movement

·3 min read

I wasn’t able to attend any of the two major political activities in Cebu, the first one by One Cebu and Barug combined and the other one mainly by volunteers of the pink movement. Until now, the discussion on who attracted the bigger crowd has rippled through social media.

But I won’t indulge in that. What I am interested in are the signs that change is finally coming.

I remember the last election in the US when the forces of team Donald Trump refused to acknowledge that Donald Trump’s rule had ended, that liberal democracy triumphed once again.

Here on our shores, the forces of Team Duterte are doing everything they can to hold on to power. Their initial strategy was to make Isko Moreno the successor. I know of former Duterte officials who tried all they could to boost Moreno’s candidacy. The problem was that some of them were anti-Marcos. Moreno to them was the lesser evil.

They theorized that team Vice President Leni Robredo is a spent force. She was initially lagging in survey ratings. So they pooh-poohed her effort to unite the opposition. The “dilawans” are nothing, they thought. Then when the campaign period started, they got the surprise of their lives. Robredo used the color pink, which negated the yellow tag. She ran as an independent, distancing herself from the highly maligned Liberal Party. I saw this as Robredo’s attempt to forge a new route. All hell broke loose. The pink movement began to emerge, led by a woman who stood her ground when threatened and laughed at.

Moreno and her strategists were the most surprised. They thought everything was in the bag. It turned out they were wrong on two counts: that liberal democracy is no longer an issue and that they would be able to raid the ranks of Duterte diehards. Instead they went to the dictator’s son, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The stage was set for another electoral battle between Robredo and Marcos. In the first one, Robredo won. Will she do it again?

Of course, both Robredo and Marcos obviously learned lessons from the past. For Robredo, here are the positives:

1. Unlike before, Robredo is no longer an unknown commodity. The people have seen her achievement in her six years as VP.

2. While the pairing of Marcos with Sara Duterte served to unite the Marcos-Duterte forces, it also awakened the forces of liberal democracy. What we saw in the six years of Duterte’s rule was the utter lack of decency and respect for people’s rights. The slogan “never again” is relevant once more.

3. A generation, the older ones, who are steeped in the tenets of liberal democracy, has come out in droves merging with the younger generation who feel that it is now their responsibility to save the country. I have visited the Leni headquarters near Fuente Osmeña and I saw mostly young people keeping the spirit of liberal democracy alive. I remembered my old self and was teary-eyed. They have learned the lessons of the past.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting