Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is a frustrated man.
For five long years, he has obediently performed his role as an attack dog for the opposition, hurling mud at President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, his family and his closest advisers, including Senator Bong Go.
And like an attack dog, he expected his fierce loyalty to be rewarded. He wanted to be given the opportunity to lead the opposition as its presidential candidate in the likely event that Vice President Leni Robredo backs out from the race because of her poor survey numbers.
Among the Liberal Party and other opposition figures considered to be presidential timber, plus the fact that she holds the highest position among them, Mrs. Robredo is naturally seen as the logical choice to be their standard bearer. She consistently obtained the highest survey ratings among opposition politicians. But being “highest” in the opposition ranks hardly translates to being winnable. In fact, her numbers are discouraging.
Nobody else in the opposition is interested in running for President for obvious reasons. Defeat is much more certain for the likes of Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senator Francis Pangilinan, Senator Risa Hontiveros and Senator Leila de Lima.
Only Trillanes continues to salivate for that place as opposition standard bearer.
Hence, it is understandable that Trillanes would feel bad about being kept out of the loop in the deliberations on who would be picked as candidate. And when he read in the news that Mrs. Robredo had met with Senators Lacson and Gordon, he freaked out. As he explained, he has been trying to set a meeting with Mrs. Robredo for several months now to talk about the elections. The staff of Mrs. Robredo never ran out of excuses for declining this request.
Lacson and Gordon didn’t even ask for a meeting with her. And both were given plenty of time to sit down with Mrs. Robredo. That was a slap in the face of Trillanes, and it really hurt him deep.
By now, it should be clear to Trillanes that the snub on him is deliberate. Mrs. Robredo doesn’t want him to have any role in the opposition’s desperate efforts to defeat the administration candidate. His behavior — he throws a tantrum each time he feels ignored — only reinforces her perception that Trillanes is bad news for the opposition. The Liberal Party, too, is cold to him. The same could be said about 1Sambayan.
This is the tragedy that has befallen on Trillanes. Fiercely loyal when the LP needed his expertise, he is now being left out in the cold. Unwanted. That’s what he is.