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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, May 14, 2016
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with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

At least we have Leni

Ninfa Leonardia What happened to Rodrigo Duterte's running mate? Isn't it strange that with the big win of his president, Alan Peter Cayetano was not carried off by the landslide as well? Anyway, give it to Cayetano, he immediately conceded to Leni Robredo, who, as of this writing, seems inexorably headed for victory. God is good to the Philippines, He gave us Duterte, but He balanced it with Leni.

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But what about the Marcos heir and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.? Up to this time, he is still crying foul although the signs are now very clear that the people are repudiating him. Maybe he is still under the spell of his parents' mantra of “Iginuhit ng Tadhana”, or that his fate of becoming the country's leader is written in the stars. The latest we hear is that he is questioning the process as well as the results. Just a way of delaying the inevitable.

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As of yesterday's reports, Leni Robredo was leading Marcos Jr. by 216,000 votes, with 98.87 percent of precincts nationwide accounted for. But don't be surprised if Marcos Jr. will try all the tricks of the trade to delay the process by questioning the counting and crying “cheating”. Shouldn't someone cite to him the saying that “Thinkers are doers”? Anyway, we know the Comelec will hold its ground because this is one of the most, if not the most efficient and fastest election we have ever gone through.

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This brings to mind the situation in Makati where the Binay family, in an effort to retain their dynasty there, fielded a daughter, Abigail, to run for mayor against the vice mayor who had taken over when Junjun Binay was dismissed and disqualified by the Ombudsman. Acting Mayor Romulo Peña Jr. who ran against the Binay heiress this time, apparently lost to her in the election. Binay got 154,207, Peña 138,308, and Jimmy Jumawan 1,755. What Peña is questioning is that Makati has only 257,313 registered voters, but the total votes counted were more than that. If so, he has reason to complain, hasn't he?

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Poor Robin Padilla. The once notorious actor is complaining and threatening to file libel charges against a netizen who called him an “ex-convict” because he says he is keeping the fact of his past from his daughter. He should have thought of this happening when he was living a life of unfettered enjoyment and irresponsibility that had led to his imprisonment. Records do show that he had been involved in a hit and run accident, and was also charged for illegal possession of firearm, which brought him a jail sentence, that he had to serve since the penalty was upheld by the Supreme Court.

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All these happened in 1994 yet, and he has since served his sentence (or was he pardoned), but that does not remove the stigma of having been convicted. Of course he has a lawyer to pursue the case, but will it prosper? As in all cases of libel, malice must be proven first. But his lawyer will think up something, you can be sure of that. This we've got to watch out for. If could be the first libel case involving instagram and it succeeds, it will probably make netizens think twice about bashing people.

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Maybe the “hele-hele” act is a sure sign for a candidate to win. Remember how often Rodrigo Duterte kept denying that he was interested in the presidency, until he did come out and “acceded” to popular demand? And there is also Leni Robredo, who really had no dream or ambition for the vice presidency so that it took a long time of convincing from the president and Mar Roxas to get her and her daughters to agree. And look where they both are in now – winners of the contest they had not planned for – at least in the case of Leni, we can be sure.

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I guess one of the hardest thing for a candidate to do is to admit defeat and concede. Some of them claim that it is for the sake of their loyal supporters that they have to make sure they did not win. Defeat is really difficult to believe. Those who can't say it may take a cue from that spiel about Alma Moreno who was quoted on TV saying “I conceive!”*

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