The late President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino was partial to yellow. Her son, Benigno Aquino III, who ran for president in 2010 under the Liberal Party, adopted the same color during his campaign. Since then, yellow has been associated with the LP and its power-hungry and rabid anti-Marcos and anti-Duterte followers who specialize in media bashing, social harassment, and historical revisionism.
In the 2010 elections, Aquino III won but his running mate Mar Roxas lost to then-Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay. When Binay ran for president in 2016, all the big guns of the LP political armory were trained on him.
The LP strategy proved beneficial to a rival candidate, Rodrigo Duterte. Because he was very popular with many voters nationwide even before the start of the campaign, Duterte easily won the presidency, to the chagrin of the LP.
In the vice presidential race, LP candidate Leni Robredo was trailing rival Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. by over a million votes during the first few days of the canvass. Apparently due to the “very close ties” the LP enjoyed with the Commission on Elections and Smartmatic (the internationally discredited service provider of the automated counting machines), Robredo managed to “catch up” with Bongbong, and end up “winning” in the final Comelec tally by about a hundred thousand votes.
The “very close ties” the Yellows had with the Comelec and Smartmatic was obvious because before the canvass began, Smartmatic billeted its “foreign experts” at Novotel, a plush hotel at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City, which also served as the national campaign headquarters of the LP.
As expected, the yellows continued to lust for power. By late July 2016, the LP embarked on its agenda to oust President Duterte from Malacañang and replace him with Robredo. This was an ideal arrangement for the yellows—Robredo takes her cues from Aquino III and Roxas, her masters in the LP, because she has insufficient experience in high public office.
When Duterte began delivering on his campaign promise to rid the country of the drug menace, as seen in the elimination of numerous drug lords, the yellows decided to accuse Duterte of committing “extrajudicial killlings.” They chose Senator Leila de Lima, a rabid pro-Aquino stooge, to destroy Duterte.
The mission backfired. State investigators revealed that when de Lima was still justice secretary under Aquino III, she received millions of pesos in bribe money from drug lords detained at the national penitentiary in exchange for special treatment It was also revealed that de Lima’s driver-lover was her bagman. De Lima later admitted her romance with her driver.
Duterte debunked the alleged “extrajudicial killings” by emphasizing that when cops enforce the law and are forced to defend themselves against armed drug lords and their private armies, law enforcers are authorized to use deadly force against criminals. Thus put, public approval for Duterte’s policies remained high. Even top humanitarian agencies in the international community started acknowledging the need for a better understanding of the context of the Philippine war against narcotics.
The Yellows also tried to derail Duterte’s decision to allow the burial of ex-President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani—a promise he made to the electorate when he was campaigning for the presidency.
First, yellow zombies like Senator de Lima petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the Marcos burial. Later, when the Yellows suspected that they were going to lose the court battle, they organized a rally in the metropolis to urge the Supreme Court to rule in their favor. Despite the musicians hired to attract public attendance, and despite verbal claims to the contrary spread in cyberspace by the yellows, the anti-Marcos burial rally was a failure.
Next, the Yellows launched a hate campaign against Marcos among the private schools. That plan backfired after parents complained about school officials forcing elementary school pupils to participate in a political activity the youngsters did not even understand in the first place.
Thereafter, the Yellows bashed anybody who expressed pro-Duterte or pro-Marcos sentiments in the social media. Fortunately, many of those bullied fought back.
Ultimately, the Yellows accused their critics of being historical revisionists. They were rebuffed by revelations that yellow netizens are themselves engaged in historical revisionism by conveniently forgetting that the administrations of both Corazon Aquino (1986-1992) and Benigno Aquino III (2010-2016) are marked by unprecedented incompetence, vindictiveness, intolerance, and corruption.
By the end of November 2016, the Yellows were discredited by President Duterte himself, who proved that the negative image painted of him by the yellows is unfounded.
Take for instance the independent foreign policy espoused by Duterte. The results speak for themselves. China promised the Philippines $50 billion in government and private soft loans and investments, much more than what the Yellows predicted. Japan has reiterated its commitment to assist the Philippines in trade and commerce. In an unprecedented move, Russia opened its doors to the Philippines and promised agricultural deals, employment opportunities for Filipino workers, and access to military and police weaponry.
In fact, all of Duterte’s state visits have yielded international trade deals favorable to the Philippines.
United States President-elect Donald Trump, who will assume office next month, has expressed full support for Duterte’s on-going war against drugs. Trump’s personal invitation for Duterte to visit the White House in 2017 is viewed by political observers as a welcome reboot in Philippine-American relations.
What the Yellows cannot deny is that Duterte has been living up to his campaign promises. Drug lords and coddlers are on the defensive. A large-scale drug rehabilitation center has been constructed. Social security and health care pensions have increased. Casino revenues have been allocated for medicines for poor Filipinos. Peace talks have resumed between the government and its local adversaries.
Duterte even travels economy class on commercial flights when he commutes to and from his native Davao City.
In their desperation to project themselves as rightful successors to the reins of power, the Yellows have certainly over-rated themselves.