Pinks versus VP Robredo

Analysis and Opinion

By JoeAm

Let’s consider the charge by Pinks (alleged Robredo supporters) that VP Robredo “compromised” in putting together her Senate slate.

Never was a description – an accusation by some – so off-target. The tag totally misses what Robredo is trying to do.

First, let’s consider fundamental elements of the VP’s work:

  • Her personal character
  • Her professional principles
  • Her political objectives
  • Her output

Personal Character

Does anyone really think Robredo was dishonest or suddenly conniving for offering a slate that had Gordon and Binay in it, two people that ‘yellows’ (remnants of the Liberal Party) didn’t like? She changed character overnight? I don’t think so. She was completely candid in explaining her slate. Honest. Not conniving. Direct. Sincere. She did not compromise her personal values one iota. She was of highest character before her announcement and remains of highest personal character today. No one in Philippine government matches her. No one. Then. Now.

Professional Principles

Robredo believes in laws, proper priorities, hard work, inclusivity, and well-being of Filipinos across the land, especially the disenfranchised. Did she sacrifice any of these principles in selecting her Senate slate? “Binay’s corrupt, Joe!” Ah, you mean she should only put nuns and priests in office, no one (like Trillanes) with smudges? She should not get the strongest representative of the richest city in the Philippines in her Senate? Only angels and people Pink’s like? The way I see it, she has to build a power Senate or spend six years in hell, going nowhere, and Binay and Gordon represent power. She wants to succeed, the ultimate professional principle.

Political Objectives

Politics is deal-making for success. This is the part a lot of Pinks don’t seem to get. They thought Robredo would be yellow with a louder voice. One person on Facebook said she should have picked otso diretso senators, the failed 2019 slate. Their mistake?Robredo is not yellow. She is Filipino. Her political line in the sand is not between yellows and the rest of the Philippines. It’s drawn around Marcos and Duterte. She wants the rest of the Philippines in her base. Her Senate slate is built to reach that big Filipino base, pinning down the two corrupt dynasties. It’s brilliant. When Pinks say she compromised, they mean she moved beyond their narrow self-interest and THEY have to compromise to move with her. She’s building a winning political machine. They want her to mirror their narrow interests.

Even if the Philippines is bigger.


Robredo gets the most out of scarce resources. That’s what she is known for. Think of what she can accomplish with a five trillion peso budget! Yet some Pinks want to hold her back. They want a set of senators different than the ones she has decided on. They want her to compromise.

Go figure.


Photo from The Art Institute of Chicago. Text:

Britannia Between Scylla and Charybdis

published April 8, 1793

James Gillray (English, 1756-1815)
published by Hannah Humphrey (English, c. 1745-1818)

The prolific James Gillray often included Classical nautical references in his contemporary political satires. Around the time of the French Revolution, Gillray depicted the British prime minister William Pitt as the wandering Odysseus, who pilots a small vessel holding the buxom Britannia through a dangerous strait toward the “Haven of Public Happiness.” Pitt attempts to steer between two conflicting forms of government: a whirlpool (Charybdis) on the right, symbolizing the crown and absolute monarchy, and a perilous rock with lurking monster (Scylla) on the left, representing democracy.

63 Responses to “Pinks versus VP Robredo”
  1. Karl Garcia says:

    I asked about Gordon and Binay.
    Kasambahay gave a good take on Binay.

    • JoeAm says:

      I like Binay myself, holding nothing against him for being the godfather of Makati. Nancy is no Cayetano either.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Nancy made the Binays look good. Call it offset or whatnot.
        Until last month Gordon gets in my nerves.
        You can”t really be inflexible in your estimations of someone.

        • JoeAm says:

          True. I think he’s better, more focused when he’s angry than when he’s doing political dances around issues and talking too much.

        • NHerrera says:

          In some, there are redeeming phases of their lives. St. Paul is an example. Those are the ones with a fully functioning or even superior brain. But in quite a few, redemption is almost impossible. Marcos Jr who faked his Oxford credential at a young age, combined with a much less than stellar brain makes redemption almost an impossibility. The anecdote is: Marcos Sr after having praised Imee for her brain and being close to his way of thinking, when asked about Junior, said that the latter has good muscle coordination. But that was then. Have you seen him walk lately? So even that peso worth of redeeming “good muscle coordination” is gone.

          But I agree with Joe, Gordon has to temper his motor mouth.

          • kasambahay says:

            gordon can make full use of his motor mouth the 3months during campaign, and not to use it to malign his own kapartido. anything he says against his kapartido will reflect on him. I’m hoping they’ve all been very well briefed, all kinks ironed out, as agreed.

            as party line up, gordon must know he is now part of the whole, and not anymore his own lonesome cowboy and will lighten up. bite his own tongue if he must, for that could well be the only thing that can save him from further ado.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Thanks NH, as Kasambahay put it, his motor mouth has a use as proven in his tit for tat with Duterte. Other than turn Philippines into a Subic and Makati whch is very good alreay if will come into fruition.
            Redemption was the word I was looking for instead of offset. Thanks.

        • kasambahay says:

          karlG, I’m going to take de lima’s lead. if she can stand side by side with gordon, smile at him and be courteous to him, I can too. and if gordon can do same to delima, and be magnanimous to her, I can too.

          trillanes and binay, de lima and gordon, and the rest of leni’s erstwhile line up are there as senatorial candidates for them to have a chance to serve the filipino and the republic of the philippines as best they could.

          they’re not there in the line up as gladiatorial combatants, to rip each other apart, or to put their own agenda above the party, rabidly vengeful and blinded by hate.

          under leni’s flagship, they’re there to win senatorial seats, to get the mace, halo is unintentional.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            Yeah Gordon and De Lima being able o set aside their differences as well as Binay and Trillanes. As for Nancy good thing, she is no Cayetano(all siblings) and no Marcos(siblings plus Mama)

        • mundski says:

          I agree Gordon and BInay, representing a great deal of power, only strengthens the ticket. They both showed signs of positive transformation in principle so one can assume they can be extremely reasonable. Gordon himself was recently a huge recepient of Duterte’s barage I thought he’d earned his right to the opposition by having suffered that onslaught.

          And what you guys think of the left Makabayan’s noise and acusing trillanes of making up stories? About that last 12th slot for Neri Colmenares. I’ve learned so much about Makabayan the past day, Rosa 1sambayan’s convenor also attested to their reluctance tto endorse VP Leni. Also learned tehy were quick to file an impeachment against Pnoy before, and endorsed Duterte back in 2016.

          • Karl Garcia says:

            They (Detractors)call Bayan Muna Bayad Muna, and MakaBayan Makabayad bloc. They hit Pinoy pre- Duterte as you correctly stated. usually, Trillnes knows what he speaks of.

            • mundski says:

              Yes, i havn’t done my research much I”m wondering when has Trillanes lied blatantly or said something ridiculously wrong.

              • Karl Garcia says:

                I really wanted to see the evidence of the triad links of Duterte and that tatoo before and after picture.

                And he was told by Leni supporters that he keeps on spreading kuryente rumors.

              • mundski says:

                Yes that, and that Bikoy guy were presumed was also his idea? Now the Triad connection is making much more sense , doesn’t it?

          • kasambahay says:

            makabayan has not a senator among its rank for a very long time, congress yes, but not senator. colmenares tried to be senator in 2016 but lost. tried again in 2019 and lost too, ranked 24th with 4.57million votes despite angel locsin’s endorsement.

            this would have been colmenares’ 3rd time lucky, and got pacman to endorse him.

            trillanes is very good k9, watch those fangs!

  2. NHerrera says:

    You made my day, Joe.

    As an engineer with some economics thrown in to round out our profession and drilled with the basics of optimization to achieve a goal under scarce resources and constraints, what can I say but a big fat BRAVO to this short and crisp piece.

  3. Belle Alba says:

    This is so insightful and echoes exactly what I believe Leni is trying to achieve with her senatorial lineup. I don’t think she “compromised” — more like she’s co-opted them to align with her goals.

    Please can you share this on her pages? Or may I?

    Best, Belle Alba

    Sent from my iPhone


  4. There are basically two meanings to politics:

    1) Filipino pulitika is the word for everything needed to get and wield power.

    2) Politics ideally can also mean everything done for the good of the “politeia”, BTW the original title of Plato’s “The Republic”. Republic also means res publica, public matters.

    To be able to do Politics Type 2 you need to play Politics Type 1. Gordon and Binay have huge political networks. I was amazed for instance at how one of the largest frats in the Philippines, Alpha Phi Omega, mobilized for their brod Binay back in 2016 – all ages.

    She still has the likes of Chel Diokno and Leila De Lima at the core of her line-up. Even relatively principled politics in more developed places has a spectrum of types from idealists to power brokers. The key to proper politics is keeping things in the middle. Meaning keeping the idealists grounded in what is realistic, and keeping the political animals from succumbing to their worst instincts and becoming like Marcos/Duterte. Keeping the extreme Left out of the equation also makes sense from that perspective.

    • VP Leni also worked with Isko when it was about getting her Vaccine Express to Manila.

      The reality of the Philippines is still one of tribes and chiefs, basically, with Isko as chief of Manila. Gordon and Binay are paramount chiefs, rajas with other chiefs as followers.

      The part of Philippine society that is already modern (either yellow, at its core urban professionals; or red, at its core academic people; or the human rights crowd that is a mix of leftist and liberal persuasions and will vote Chel Diokno; or the rule of law crowd, that will vote Leila De Lima) is still too small to get a majority, that is what 2019 proved. The society will change if it advances economically AND spreads the wealth to most, which is something Leni Robredo is best equipped to accomplish in my opinion.

      But for that she has to get into power first. She has been around the country in tsinelas with her social programs. She knows how the people in the barangays think and feel.

      Her instincts are usually right. Those of veteran power broker Drilon usually also are.

      • JoeAm says:

        I’d think UNA still has some pull outside Makati. To me the senate slate has Drilon prints all over it.

      • Karl Garcia says:

        Leni knows politics and she knows what she is doing.

        Supporters insist to call her Mama, se stilled used that ina ng bayan in her speech but as you told Wil that he is not like Cory and she must not be like a Mama Mary type.

    • JoeAm says:

      Ah, excellent insights there.

      • sonny says:

        I like your opening article a lot, Joe.

        The constitution of Leni’s senatorial slate is perfectly sliced & diced to the strengths & weaknesses in the senatorial meld. I agree with Karl, NH’s code-word redemption fits well. Sen Gordon’s Ph Red Cross, Subic Bay restructuring and most of all, his confrontation with the president’s veiled threats (the senator has the goodies on him) bode well for the long-term.

    • sonny says:

      Isang patalinghaga: ANG PALASONG PILIPINO:

      Upang mapanday ang isang palaso, kailangan ang “arrowhead”, ang “shaft”, mga “feathers”, at mga “bindings”.

      Ang arrowhead – ito ang payload, nagdadala ng tusok;
      Ang shaft – ang siyang nagdadala ng bigat to penetrate a prey;
      Mga feathers – ito ang nagbibigay ng guidance system;
      Mga bindings – ito ang nagbubuklod upang may pagkakaisa ang buong palaso;

      Ang bow – ito ang ginagamit upang magbigay ng delivery energy

      Ang ARCHER – sa kanya nanggagaling ang kinakailangan direksyon at lakas sa buong palaso.

      Sino ang gaganap sa mga tungkuling nauukol sa ikabubuti ng sambayanang Pilipino?

      • NHerrera says:

        I like the analogy, sonny.

        • sonny says:

          Thanks, NH.

          I suggest VP Leni & the Filipino people as the archers. The individual citizen can always chose where one qualifies at any given time or undertaking: at the arrowhead (e.g. implementation), or the shaft (e.g. functioning bureaucracy), or the bindings (e.g. public opinion), or at the feathers (e.g. the intelligentsia or legislation).

          Note: there is a QM counterpart to this analogy. 🙂

    • sonny says:

      Irineo, your two points on the provenance of Filipino politics have a solid and erudite quality to them. The comments that follow give currency & meat likewise. The heads of a major university have given testimonials to Gordon.

      “The key to proper politics is keeping things in the middle. Meaning keeping the idealists grounded in what is realistic, and keeping the political animals from succumbing to their worst instincts …” As the Scholastic aphorism says ‘in medio stat virtus’ (virtue is in the middle of extremes).

  5. LCPL_X is still have tech issues but says:

    Joe, is VP Leni reaching out to Cebu City folks there? seems to me that’s Inday Sara’s power base, I hope VP Leni takes notes on how to keep the internet going and faster, and hopefully she’ll have her staff really study CBDC and UBI– youtube South Korea/UBI.

    • JoeAm says:

      I don’t know what the VP is doing but her supporters organized a huge car caravan in Cebu and in other cities here and there over the weekend. These rallies got good news coverage so it was, overall, a very pink weekend in the Philippines.

      • NHerrera says:

        I saw a chart on Twitter and copied it. [I hope the link to the chart, which I pasted below, can be opened in this blog].

        The chart shows the connectivity of the different Presidential Candidates in the May 2022 election — a connection via the “guest” senatorial candidates. More in the cases of Leni, Lacson, and Pacquiao (5 senatorial candidates); less so in the cases of Dela Rosa; and none in the case of Isko which moreover has only 3 relatively light senatorial candidates — a case of a bridge-too-far.

        Of course, the one I label as The Phantom of the Opera, Marcos Jr. is not displayed. [My apologies to the maker of the story and the musicale of The Phantom of the Opera — who is the lead character. BTW, I loved the musical and watched it over and over in the past, to my good wife’s annoyance.]

      • NHerrera says:

        If the past much-discussed Butterfly Effect has any substance to it, then the Pink Effect has more than just the effect of the butterfly fluttering its wings and influencing things. Beware of the Pink Effect!

        [Haha. This item on the butterfly effect seems right down the alley of friend sonny and his QM. 🙂 ]

        • NHerrera says:

          Here is our Editor on a recent tweet about the Pink Effect:

          It is clear that VP Robredo is the candidate who most threatens others. We see “Da Queen” wrapped in pink and a bunch of crabby men complaining about her. That’s not gender bias. That’s what I see. The only gracious opponent to Robredo is Pacquiao.

          It shows too the variation in the pink effect — Pacquiao being the gracious one.

          • NHerrera says:

            I believe there is an innate graciousness in our Pambansan Kamao. He is gracious in defeat at the ring. Too bad the praise for Pacquiao (a boxer non-pareil, to use the word that sonny just used in his post) with his graciousness has not rubbed off on Marco Jr. In this attribute, Pacquiao is the professional; Marcos Jr, the amateur.

            • JoeAm says:

              Yes. Nice characterization.

              • NHerrera says:


                Speaking of graciousness and related attributes, here is Trillanes on Magdalo, writing on Twitter.



              • NHerrera says:

                Here is the third page of Trillanes’ notes on Magdalo.


              • NHerrera says:

                What a breath of fresh air we have been having despite the Pandemic and the storm. I am of course talking of the political weather the last 10 days.

                I saw the threaded tweets of Florin Hilbay, our former Solicitor General, and felt the urge to post it here, for the readers of TSH not following Twitter, the Editor permitting.

                First, Inquirer dot com introduces the development: Former senatorial candidate Florin Hilbay quits Aksyon Demokratiko to support VP Leni Robredo.

                Florin Hilbay:

                I respect the decision of my party to choose Mayor Isko Moreno as candidate for president, but also believe VP Leni is a much better candidate in this most crucial of elections.

                Because I intend, as an ordinary citizen, to publicly support her (Robredo’s) campaign, I must resign from the only political party [Aksyon Demokratiko] I have ever joined.

                We need a president who will confront problems not with publicity stunts to manipulate Filipinos but with honest-to-goodness attempts at solutions. Leni Robredo is that leader.

                We do not need more of the same, or even less of the same. We can’t afford another narcissistic, gaslighting troll for a president. A candidate who wakes up only during campaigns is no leader, and we can’t have another absentee president.

                We need a president who will show up, level with the people, and treat them not as objects to be subjugated but as fellow citizens and stakeholders in nation-building. We need a leader who will empower Filipinos, not kill them.

                I choose Leni Robredo because she has been more presidential than the current one—working with limited budget, helping citizens along with fellow citizens, informing the public on important issues.

                She is a president who understands why the Marcoses are a current threat; she will hold Duterte and his cronies accountable for their crimes; she will stand up to China and not see the West Philippine Sea as merely for sale.

              • NHerrera says:

                The better version of Florin Hilbay statement:


              • Karl Garcia says:

                Nauna naman si Pilo kay isko sa asyon demokratiko.

              • NHerrera says:

                Isko, a Johny-come-lately into Aksyon Demokratiko?

              • Karl Garcia says:

                Yes, his most recent party was owned(lack of a term) by Enrique Razon(NUP)

        • NH, coincidentally…

          re Butterfly Effect, i just commented to Joe on the other thread:

          On Delta V budget, which is exactly the same as Butterfly effect.

        • sonny says:

          NH, “situations” such as atomic & molecular spectra, butterfly-effect (how super-small physical motion like butterfly wings & super-monstrous motion like typhoons affect each other), temperature (hot bodies becoming hotter or cold bodies becoming colder, positioning satellites in any given 3-body system, are realities that cannot be described quantitatively unless one invents the Math language that fits the observations gathered from such systems.(QM/Hamiltonian Math, Maxwell’s demon & laws of electricity/magnetism, LaGrangian Mechanics, respectively).

          • related to NH‘s Butterfly effect, these Lagrange points are also useful as metaphors from which the 2022 Presidential candidates can enter or exit different orbital planes, on politics and policies.

            For example, lets say BBM is the most shady point L3. And VP Leni is L1 (clear and not opaque, nothing hidden);

            Inday Sara would be L2 or L4/L5. How to manuever , adjusting angles and budget constraints is what my comment to Joe the other day was about (on the other thread linked above). Good book, “Seveneves“, sonny.

  6. NHerrera says:

    Manila Bulletin made a survey of social media preferences of Presidential candidates. However the process followed to arrive at the numbers, here are the results:

    Twitter — Robredo 45.8, Marcos Jr 41.2
    Websites — Robredo 41.8, Marcos Jr 41.3
    Facebook — Robredo 24.0, Marcos Jr 73.0

    * The numbers are percentage shares. The excess from 100 went to Moreno, Lacson, Pacquiao and Dela Rosa.

    Currently, one relatively firm conclusion that may be derived from the survey is that Facebook is Marcos Jr’s social media territory. Another is that Robredo and Marcos Jr are the main players in those social media.

    • Micha says:

      Who is Marcos Junior’s vp?

    • NHerrera says:

      About the Manila Bulleting Facebook survey result, one should not over-read or under-read the significance of that finding. For one those are not static numbers. Concerning, however, is if the Facebook users are homogenous in the voting population — that is if one takes any slice of a voter population the proportion of FB users is effectively invariant. I hope that Leni Robredo has a top-notch set of statisticians with political polling experience to be able to quickly assess development so as to apprise-guide the client.

      • kasambahay says:

        bong marcos topped most polls and street surveys these later days as announced online. with such trends, bong marcos should not have problems getting a running mate, or filling his senatorial lineup. methink, the surveys dont reflect reality, baka ghosts ang karamihan ng respondents niya. coz if they’re humans, they ought be brave enough to put their hands up, be seen to be personally supportive, come forward and fill up his line up of candidates.

        bong marcos has so many admirers, some very influential and powerful, very cognisant kuno of his father’s achievements and the golden years, and with billions to spare this 2022 election, kasing tahimik sa cementeryo ang kasalukuyang party ni bong, same party founded by his father!

        medyo tama si trillanes, na-kiss of death si bong marcos ng sins of the father. legacy of the father haunting bong from beyond the grave. bong kasi hindi marunong how to put to rest the dead and the very dead. denying the past dastardly deed of the dead, at na-quicksand tuloy si bong and deep in muck.

        what bong needs is exorcism, to excoriate himself from the father, lol!

  7. rfborjal says:

    When I woke up this morning on my side of the bed while my wife was still snoring, I was feeling sort of philosophical. Of course, some would say feeling “pilosopo”. At any rate, after breakfast I put to paper, or rather to my desktop screen, the thoughts percolating in my mind after spending some days sparring with some fellow VP Leni supporters.

    As everyone knows, except the six stray cats in my yard and my bassinette hound, the release of VP Leni’s senatorial slate has thrown many of her supporters into moral paroxysms, or into a moral wringer. While a feeling of mental fatigue is already creeping into my brain over the issue, as I imagine in others too, I decided to put it into a perspective that I hope will sweep away some remaining mental cobwebs somewhere.

    It appears to some or many that VP Leni is asking her supporters to do something intrinsically evil, or at least morally reprehensible – to vote for known corruptors, thieves, liars and Duterte enablers. How could a morally straight person, a do-gooder, that VP Leni is could ever do that?

    My mind travelled several decades into the past to my Jesuit mentors. In my Theology of God class, under a top-class Jesuit theologian, I learned that man could morally do something apparently evil to do good. Telling the doctors to pull the plug on a terminally ill, vegetable patient is morally justified if it means stopping further physical pain in the patient and sparing the family of unbearable financial burden, instead of letting grandpa exist for another two or three months.

    In the more recent past, I met another topnotch Jesuit theologian, whom the Vatican consults from time to time, who answered, when I asked him, that yes, under certain circumstances, it is not evil to wish another person dead. Well, I’m sure millions of Filipinos would know who the first person I wished it on.

    So, what could be the moral justification for voting for known corruptors, thieves, liars and Duterte enablers? That VP Leni would have a dominant majority in the Senate when she assumes the presidency to work for the good, not only of her supporters, but of the entire Filipino people, including the moral non-negotiators and purists among her supporters.

    Oh, how I love the Jesuits!

    By the way, on a flight to Rome from Brazil in July 2013, Pope Francis said, when asked by Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Many conservative Catholics were scandalized by this. But they must have forgotten that Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

    • JoeAm says:

      Well, priests aside, politics is a numbers business. How many votes can I get and can I get a majority on the senate? Can I work with them? Will they work with me? For sure, going ‘clean’ did not get the numbers in 2016 or 2019. Maybe Filipinos are used to old clothes with stains and tears, and VP Robredo understands.

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