PNoy unwittingly helped Duterte win. Ex-Ateneo dean Tony La Viña tells how
Former President Benigno Aquino III may have endorsed Mar Roxas for president, but former Ateneo School of Government Dean Tony La Viña believes some of his decisions paved the way for the victory of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In his August 26 column for the Manila Standard, La Viña said Aquino set the country up for Duterte’s strongman rule by consolidating “power in the presidency and in imperial Manila.”
Also contributing to Duterte’s victory was the Liberal Party’s tactic of attacking the candidates who were considered strong at the onset of the campaign period: then-Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe.
“As a Liberal friend of mine once told me, that strategy which included a soft gloves treatment with Duterte on the belief that his strength in Mindanao would weaken the LP candidate’s opponents, backfired and resulted in where we are now,” La Viña said.
While the outcome of the 2016 elections is set in stone, the law professor said he is happy with the changes occurring within LP.
He said the party is in good hands with Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Francis Pangilinan as chairperson and president, respectively.
“I believe that they will be able to rebuild the Liberal Party which, with good strategy, will benefit immensely from the mass defections of traditional politicians who have moved to the ruling party. This defection is the best thing that has happened to the party so it can undergo an authentic purification process,” La Viña said.