It will take a lot of convincing on the part of the
Commission on Elections
(COMELEC). The conduct of the counting left
disbelieving a large segment of the population,
including crucial business
sectors and the civil society, along with the international community.
The count showed
an overwhelming mandate for former senator
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio. But it begged the question: “Is
the count credible?”
The BBM-Sara leadership is going about as if the mandate is legitimate. The result confirms the bias of their followers. Expect them to browbeat those who disbelieve as
failures to accept reality.
The PR maneuver could be to engineer mass cognitive
dissonance. Force the skeptical population to do actions of
seeming approval though inconsistent with their thoughts
and beliefs. The desired tendency would be a mass delusion
to rationalize the discrepancy. This should be easy among
those who accepted a few hundred pesos to vote BBM-Sara.
They would like to excuse their criminal act as something
for another meal or even for “pagkakaisa.”
Immediately, “sipsip” business owners can blare that
hated Bagong Lipunan song on their business premises.
Once in Malacañang, Marcos can order the implementation
of what his father did in the past. The mass singing of that
despicable song in schools and government offices. However, the outgoing Duterte administration must manage the
seething social volcano. The recent electoral campaign has
freed millions from their apathy and trooped to the streets.
In the Philippine setting, this can easily switch into what we
know as “People Power.”
Let us look back at history.
• The First Quarter Storm erupted after the Philippine
election of 1969 --described by Newsweek and Time magazines as the dirtiest, most violent, and most corrupt election,
that gave rise to the term “Three Gs,” for guns, goons, and gold.
• The EDSA Uprising exploded after the gross cheating of the 1986 Snap Elections.
For the moderate pink leadership, I expect caution and
maybe a look at the long term. But first-time voters crying
overnight about their future may just be the tip of the iceberg.
For outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte, the bottom line
would be a mandate legitimate enough that his daughter Inday Sara can use to navigate the emerging mess.
For now, I can only expect in the next few weeks political madness and us living dangerously.
(Emmanuel Mongaya, co-founder and director for strategic
communications of PRWorks Inc., is a director of the Political
Officers League of the Philippines or POLPhil. DM him @