Unless the Supreme Court decides in favor of Bongbong Marcos in the much-delayed electoral protest for the vice presidency, Leni Robredo is undisputedly just a breath away from being president. Even Duterte understands that.
But given the political history of the Philippines — especially post-Marcos era — the Filipino people have proven that they have the power to banish a president or make him or her extremely unpopular and consequently, ineffective as a leader.
Despite being from the opposition, Robredo had her chance to earn the people’s affection and trust. No less than Duterte gave her the opportunity to be part of his team by giving her a position in his Cabinet.
But Robredo chose to tread the path of faux leadership, caving in to the whims and dictates of her party mates and the small number of Duterte oppositionists. They duped her into a fantasy role of being “the voice of the opposition.”
From this opposition pedestal, Robredo mimicked the misguided ideas of the likes of Senators De Lima, Trillanes, Hontiveros, Aquino and Drilon. She allowed herself to be controlled by her clueless social media team and the trickling of vested interests both here and abroad.
In effect, she has earned the ire of the people — not just a few but a whopping 91% of the population. She chose to put down the president in the eyes of the international community. By doing so, she put down the entire country which she hopes to lead when the opportunity presents itself. That video message before the United Nations was the last straw.
Now there is a lot of talk about Duterte’s health and whether or not he can finish his term as president. While these are mostly rumors and speculation, the reality is that no one can discount the possibility of the Office of the President becoming vacant, which means the next in line for succession assumes the presidency. That would be Robredo.
But if that happens, there will likely be a crisis, given the unpopularity of the Vice President. The Filipino people whom she has effectively maligned will leave no stone unturned to ensure that her occupancy of Malacañang will be short-lived.
The Filipino people have again and again demonstrated that they will exercise their power to unseat a leader who has gone wayward. They have the means to do it — constitutionally. Or in the streets.
After all, the Preamble of the Philippine Constitution says it all about who establishes the government. It’s WE, THE PEOPLE.