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Waiting for Leni


WILL SHE or will she not?

Very soon, people will know it, according to Vice President Leni Robredo’s spokesman. Presumably, that will be anytime before Oct. 1 when those who have a moist eye on the presidency are supposed to make an official declaration.

At this time, only Sen. Panfilo Lacson has made an unofficial announcement that he will go for the highest position in the land, with fellow Senator Tito Sotto his running mate. Other presumptive candidates are still playing the waiting game, among them former senator Bongbong Marcos, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and  Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte Carpio, the frontrunner in the survey of possible presidentiables.

VP Leni is still in the bottom of the survey, and that probably is making her decision to run or not for the next post extremely  difficult.

But there are indications that she would go for it, eventually. At least there is one in our neck of the woods.

In our neighborhood, people are recently trooping to a house where a listing of potential recipients of the vice president’s supposed ayuda’ is being held. Those who sign up will get P2,000 each, as promised. It could be a binary: it’s either true or it’s not. Where in the world will the Office of the Vice President, a mere reserve tire  for a flat or a blow-out, will she get the financial wherewithal for such a massive undertaking in the time of the pandemic?  

Assuming it’s true, the VP handlers must be exploiting the campaign fundamentals, the ACE approach, to the hilt: awareness, conversion and endearment. Hitting three birds with a single bullet, especially in light of a very low rating in the polls, and with time not really a luxury.

Or it could be a dirty ruse from some of her would -be rivals, even opponents before, now and maybe for a long time. Raise the people people’s faith and expectation high, as high as P2,000, and then suddenly leave them  in the air or holding an empty promise,  in the name of the VP.  That potentially could cost VP Leni the presidency.

Of course, the VP camp should know where that ‘ayuda’promise, legit or not, is coming from.

Broadly,the anxiety-riddled anticipation of VP Leni’s decision is part of the nation’s political calculus on the impending change in the country’s management, especially with the crippling pandemic getting worse as the Delta variant defies the government various control measures. Even the rest of the world must be waiting for a new sign on the door in Malacanang: under new management.

There’s the virus that has thrown just about out of kilter. But,maybe the problem is not really viral, but political. During Marcos’ martal law time, everybody thought the nation’s problem was political and moral by the Pasig.  Former Health Secretary Alran Bengzon saw the real culprit: our problem was renal.

Regardless, Filipinos look forward to a fresh start with the gloom- and -doom scenario writ large by the virus, especially the Delta variant.  

Unlike in the novel “Waiting for Godot” by Samuel Beckett where nothing happened despite the  flip-flopping wish that something would,  Filipinos, whatever their persuasion, believe something will definitely happen with the change in the administration. Anybody but Duterte, so goes one suggestion, or anything like it. Hope trumps the old idea about the Filipinos’ fatalistic character, que sera, sera.

One plausible idea could be that the VP camp believes its principal performance in the survey could rise surely, if not, suddenly, when the VP tells the nation she will want to become the country’s  next president and top leader, not necessarily synonymous in light of the national experience in the last five years or so as pundits saw it. 

At least 200 or so organizations of supporters and sympathizers have recently  come out calling for  the vice president to go for it. That should make some of those who may stand in her way think twice and probably just jump into  the bandwagon.

The growing numbers of brave and moving bodies,  not of bought men and women,  and the rest of the nation, are like Vladmir and Estragon in “ Waiting for Godot”  waiting for the VP’s final word vis-à-vis the 2022 presidential election – and change.  And they make it look like a good idea more and more. 

Vladimir: Let’s wait and see what he says.

Estragon: Who

Vladimir: Godot

Estragon: Good idea.

In the story Godot never came. VP Leni, however, is sure to show up and say what she intends to do in the forthcoming polls. 

If the VP ‘ayuda’ report is true, then it may not just be a good  idea that the vice president will finally pursue the presidency, but probably the best to come in the land where some get ‘ayuda’ while others still wait for their turn to come two years or more in the pandemic. Meantime, there are signs that money has been left idle in the vault or spent on overpriced health supplies. 

It is said quite often that one who doesn’t seek power  actually deserves to have it. 

VP Leni has epitomized one public servant who has displayed her passion for service rather than power and that might be her path to glory.

But she has to show up first and tell the nation what she intends do in the next years for a country that appears to struggle to rise from weakness to weakness on account of its leaders.

Godot should be left to existentialist authors.


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