MANILA — Ever wonder why former Liberal Party president and 2016 standard-bearer Mar Roxas is not seen in any “Pinklawan” sortie, and why Leni Robredo, a staunch “Yellow” lackey who earned her spur under former president Benigno Aquino III’s tutelage, decided to run independent and aligned herself with 1Sambayan?

Well, that’s because all are not well inside the Liberal Party and Robredo’s camp, according to sources.

Robredo, the LP titular head, dissociated herself from the discredited “Yellow Army” and helped form the 1Sambayan as a launching pad for her presidential bid.

The source, a former official during PNoy’s administration, said Leni’s young Turks, which include Bam Aquino, Erin Tañada, Teddy Baguilat, were apprehensive because the “old traditionalists” have already lost credibility with the public, as conspicuously reflected in the rejection of the Otso Diretso slate in the 2019 midterm polls.

In fact, Bam, who is Robredo’s campaign manager, has blocked every effort of the Liberal Party to dip their fingers in the Pinklawans’ cookie jar and rejected any financial support just to isolate them, to the chagrin of Roxas.

PNoy’s former Budget and Management secretary Butch Abad had reportedly tried engaging Robredo and her group through Kiko Pangilinan and several backdoor channels but was flatly rejected, a testament to the depth of the wedge that divide the Pinks and the Yellows.

And now comes the appeal of Renan Dalisay, Pangilinan’s former chief of staff to all Leni-Kiko supporters:

“We have received information that internal surveys conducted by different local officials show Leni overtaking Marcos and Kiko closing in on Sara. As a result, a lot of Duterte local chief executives are shifting to Leni. However, to ensure that they are still in the good grace of Pres. Duterte, they are pushing for a Leni-Sara or RO-SA,” Dalisay said in his statement.

He added that “a highly funded PR campaign will be launched in the coming days to popularize RO-SA.”

“Knowing him, Kiko will welcome anything that will help ensure Leni’s victory. And he will gladly accept the shifting of support of these local officials even if Sara is their choice for VP at the moment,” Dalisay said.

However, Pangilinan immediately repudiated such pronouncements and stressed that he doesn’t agree with Dalisay’s statement.

“Hindi tayo sang-ayon din doon pero panatag ang loob ko, around 30 years na ang aming advocacies ni Vice President Leni mula pa noong ako’y batang abogado na single. Abugado na ako ng mahihirap. Ganun din si Vice President Leni. Our tandem and our basis of unity, Vice President and myself, is really based on principles,” Pangilinan said, calling the Yellow’s efforts as just “disruptions.”

He said he is comfortable that “these political maneuvers will not succeed (and) our commitment with VP Leni will not be shaken because we have common goals and aspirations.”

Over the past few weeks, Robredo has been paired with some of her supporters, including key officials like Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, with Duterte.

The LP “Jacobins” was so used to being in the proximity of power but they understand now that the political tide has shifted dramatically.

They reckon that Leni and Kiko don’t even have a Chinaman’s chance to steal the presidency from presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. but they want a piece of the crumb just to show the world that they still have clout.

However, the ruckus inside their party and the apparent domination of the Marcos mystique have rendered everyone in the Liberal Party inconsequential.

The worst part of it is that they have been dreading the return of the Marcoses to power for more than 30 years to preserve their distorted narration of history.

Now their worst fear has arrived and they are all in for a rude awakening. (ai/mtvn)

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