The two years of Duterte

Sun.Star Pampanga - - TOPSTORIES! -

In a few days, it will be 2019. Five months and the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion will en­ter its third year. These past two years he still en­joys the sup­port of many Filipinos, if we be­lieve re­sults of the pe­ri­odic sur­veys. The ques­tion is: does he still de­serve the po­lit­i­cal grace of our peo­ple?

In the gospel of St. Mathew 20:20-28 is say­ing in part, ‘who­ever wants to be great in your com­mu­nity, let him min­is­ter to the com­mu­nity. And if you want to be the first of all, make your­self the ser­vant of all’.

Let me pon­tif­i­cate fur­ther. When the Good Lord speaks we bet­ter lis­ten, for he speaks with for­ti­tude. When Pres­i­dent Duterte speaks, the peo­ple, let­tered and un­let­tered, rich and poor, men or women lis­ten. They only don’t hear him, they be­lieve him. They even laugh on his curs­ing. The au­di­ence doesn’t even know if he is jok­ing or not. Poor Salvador Panelo. He is hav­ing a hard time ex­plain­ing or in­ter­pret­ing the pres­i­dent’s dis­ser­ta­tions. But the Ka­pam­pan­gans didn’t take it lightly when he ac­cused Bishop Ambo David that he is into drugs and that he steal church do­na­tions. That’s out of bounds.

Our pres­i­dent is ap­pre­ci­ated be­cause he is re­ally sin­cere in his fight vs cor­rup­tion which is per­va­sive de­spite many were booted out their po­si­tions. Maybe again nine out of ten Filipinos will also adopt si­lence and may give their nod if no­to­ri­ously cor­rupt of­fi­cials, past and present will just dis­ap­pear in the face of the earth. Put them in jails? Not good option. They can have the best lawyers that money can buy and there are some in the ju­di­ciary that are ‘hood­lums in robe’. There are still many hold­ing of­fices. And please look also on how the lo­cal gov­ern­ments are run. Many lo­cal of­fi­cials are mul­ti­mil­lion­aires. So rich beyond their dreams. Maybe they can also place a card­board placed as a neck­lace say­ing ‘ huwag pa­marisan, ku­rakot ako ng pera ng gob­y­erno ‘.

The mil­lions of his fol­low­ers are not hes­i­tant in al­ways giv­ing him the ben­e­fit of the doubt de­spite the raw power, lit­tle re­gard for due process, by some mem­bers of the Philip­ine Na­tional Po­lice in com­bat­ing crim­i­nal­ity. Some shrill cry from some sec­tors. But not loud enough for peo­ple to go to the streets. It means the pres­i­dent is still pop­u­lar and en­joy­ing a mass sup­port.

Re­spect for our pres­i­dent’s de­ci­sions is im­por­tant but what is equally im­por­tant that pres­i­den­tial power is checked and care­fully bal­anced what are spelled out by the statutes be­cause the temp­ta­tion of enor­mous power are some­times tempt­ing.

TID­BITS: The con­tro­versy in An­ge­les City over the P1.2-bil­lion loan which mostly meant for a sports com­plex will not eas­ily die down. The real is­sue here if le­gal pro­cesses were fol­lowed. If not, well a court case is not far from com­ing...The po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in the City of San Fer­nando is get­ting in­ter­est­ing ev­ery day. I be­lieve Mayor Ed­win San­ti­ago is re­ally both­ered now that a se­ri­ous op­po­si­tion post by Coun­cilor Vilma Caluag to his re-elec­tion bid is gain­ing much trac­tion. Is it true that he will match the Caluag’s money cen­tavo to cen­tavo even if he has to spend half bil­lion? Ang dami palang pera ni EdSa. Baka na­man fake news lang yan?...In Porac the lat­est sur­vey showed Vice-Mayor Dex­ter David ahead closely fol­lowed by Jing Capil. This will go down the wire.

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