Panelo, Roque, Mocha
WHETHER the presidential spokesperson is a veteran lawyer like Salvador Panelo or a young upstart like Harry Roque, the job is the same. Or should I say the task of interpreting President Duterte’s controversial statements is the same. But does look like Panelo, with only a few weeks as presidential spokesperson in his belt, is different from his predecessor Roque. Or is doing the interpreting differently.
For me, the difference is in the age and character of the interpreter—panelo and Roque, after all, are two different personalities. There is always something amusing in Panelo’s press conferences. Bitchiness can describe those of Roque. Panelo is like a grandfather putting old-fashioned spins to the President’s controversial statements; Roque is combative or, okay, seemingly always bitchy.
When I heard Panelo interpret the President’s recent controversial statements as mere jokes, I felt more amused than angry. Perhaps this is because I really do not dislike Panelo, unlike Roque. But this could also be because there is nonchalance, or should I say, “lawyerly,” in the manner he said it. He also rarely dabbles in the personal, like hitting the political opposition. So unlike Roque.
Which raises the question of where Roque is now. The man has so receded from the limelight he is already forgotten. We aren’t even hearing reports on how he is conducting his party-list campaign for the May elections. Or isn’t he a participant in the party-list elections? I tried googling his name, and I could only come up with stories up to October last year.
By the way, what has also happened to the other diehard Duterte supporter (DDS), former assistant secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson? She seems to have also receded from the limelight after she left her high-paying government job. She was supposed to run for senator, but her name has not surfaced in the administration’s senatorial slate. She is not even included in the recent senatorial surveys.
I think Roque and Uson made the Duterte administration colorful in much of the first half of President Duterte’s term. Now the administration is monotonous and drab, except for the President’s usual controversial statements and because of Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno. What is adding color to the administration currently is the conflict between Diokno and the boys of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-arroyo.
By the way, can we take Uson’s seeming silence as the waning of the fanaticism of the old DDS? Or are Uson and the others, like RJ Nieto (Thinking Pinoy) and Sass Sassot, online fads that have outlived their usefulness? They were the stars during the 2016 presidential campaign and in the first half of the President’s term. Has their luster fully faded?
I actually expected them to resurface now that the May elections are near to support the administration senatorial bets, especially the always politicking Christopher “Bong” Go, and to demonize the opposition candidates. I haven’t seen that yet. Or are they already disillusioned with the administration they used to be fanatically supporting? What gives?/ Sunstar Cebu it
I DO not know why Jose Ma. Sison still makes it to the front pages even if his statements proceed from plain hallucination.
His recent declaration is that for the year
2019 the main agenda of the Communist Party of the Philippines–new People’s Army’s (CPP-NPA) is to oust President Duterte. Funny and pathetic because since day one of his trip to the fantasy land, where he wished to establish his communistinspired and controlled government, he had always conspired with the disciples of political romanticism and took advantage of others who cannot accept the choice of the majority and in the process connive with the likes of Joma.
Joma is out of touch with reality and it does not help that he had long been out of the country. He professes to fight for but is too scared to come back to lead a weary army who still believe in his utopian dream. Either that or he cannot abandon the good life in the Netherlands.
He blames the Duterte government for abandoning the peace talks when for nearly half a century all the past administrations, including
Cory Aquino who let him free from prison, wooed him to come back and participate in a free political process. The government even bent back and decriminalized communism giving rise to leftleaning politicians, many of whom find home in the party-list system.
Joma never had the better opportunity to talk peace than with the Duterte government. Recall that at the height of the presidential campaign in 2016, the then Davao City mayor was even accused by his rabid political adversaries as a commie protector.
For the record though, the mayor was in and out of NPA lairs to rescue prisoners of war and sometimes bring foodstuffs to the guerillas. If there is any political leader who meant well and true to his desire for a normal life for the rebels, it is this man Duterte.
But peace and normalcy does not hinge on the frivolous mind of Jose Ma. Sison. There’s a street lingo for that: “Kung ayaw mo, huwag mo” (If you don’t want it so be it).
And so the man whom Sison wants to oust from Malacañang started with a new initiative— localized peace talks.
Already this has gained headway as hundreds of NPA rebels have come back to the folds of the law, were given lands to till and housing units, including a huge some of money to start them off in exchange for their firearms.
Joma wants to oust Duterte, some Catholic bishops pray that he get sick and die while Loida Lewis has not given up on her hopes that he will step down or be ousted to have Vice President Leni Robredo take over.
But how can this phantasmagoria come to a fruition when a huge majority of the Filipinos either describe Duterte as “very good” or “excellent” while hundreds of rebels are coming down from the jungles to be reunited with their families as opportunities that await them?/sunstar Davao