Thursday, August 18, 2016

Gutter presidency and the New McCarthism in the Philippines

Is corruption a personal thing? Is someone's romantic affairs linked to corruption?

Like millions who heard it from television, I am equally at a loss why President Rodrigo Duterte hates Senator Leila de Lima that much. Is it because Duterte is a founding member of Lex Taliones, the rival fraternity of Lambda Rho Beta/Sigma of De Lima? Probably not.

Or, Duterte is being hurt by the comments of De Lima on extrajudicial killings. Let us analyze both sides.

Duterte is a very passionate person. Based on what I heard from very close associates of the former Davao mayor, Duterte considers his job as a very serious one indeed, and his involvement to it is not just on a peripheral level, but entirely indepth and too personal for comfort. He is a person who has a clear sense of what is good and what is wrong, and when he hears something which he thinks is entirely wrong and involves a public official at that, Duterte entirely goes ballistic.

Like any other person, Duterte has his own framework of decency and ethics, something which is not philosophical but I must even describe as plebian, a framework crafted from years of experience with dealings with the masses. Duterte has a very strong mass appeal because he knows the language of the masses, something which takes years to learn.

Duterte's mind works in a simplistic manner---it's a black and white thing---you are either for him or not, it's as simple as that. If you prove to be an honest friend, then, Duterte will fight for you until the end. But, if you fail him, especially in the ethics department, Duterte will spit you out as fast as possible.

The only weak thing about Duterte is his penchant for gossips. How many times did his list failed? Thrice. And that's not good. You are not anymore a petty government official--you are now the Chief Executive. Imagine a president spewing out lists in public, accusing people of impropriety even crimes which, at the end of the day, proved to be "kuryente". Duterte should have fired his staff for that.

Now, let's go back to that so-called "ungentlemanly" statement of the president against DeLima. Duterte, in his statement, fell short of saying that DeLima is a slut of drug lords. Duterte accused Delima of getting her campaign funds from drug syndicates, with the monies of drug lords picked up by no other than her driver, whom Duterte describes as Delima's paramour. By the way, according to reports, the driver is married.

Okey. Several questions need some answers. First, is the information A-1 as in verified or just some gossip which Duterte picked up during one drinking spree with his friends in Malacanan? Second, let's presume that it is, then, why did Duterte not ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to dig deeper and further, or even instruct the NICA or the ISAFP? Is this not an evidence of narco-politics? Is this not a national security concern, since it involves an elected legislator?

The problem of Duterte is that he always shoots himself in the mouth. Credit that to the mishandling of his team. God! Here we have a president who acts like a McCarthy and fingerpoints several people, which he thinks are into illicit activities and then he often finds out that these people are innocent pala but the harm has been done! And no one can do anything about it because Duterte is the president--he is immune from suit! You cannot file a case of libel against this president, even if he spews poison almost every day.

If this administration has some evidence of impropriety committed by either an elected or appointed official, then, why not file charges in court? Why humiliate first, then prove later? Is Duterte not concerned with the consequences of such actions?

I'm beginning to believe that Duterte is just acting like the poster boy, the designated maton of minions of the discredited Arroyo administration. The sad thing about this is that we are being entertained by this maton while several shady deals are happening right before our very noses.

While we are being fed with tainted talk coming from the president, our attention is right now focuseed more on the uncouth, the obscene and the illicit while certain individuals, close associates of his make a killing in the corporate world!!

Just take for an example this appointed poster boy for Federalism, Cong. Benitez. Benitez, who belonged to one of the crony families of the Marcosian dictatorship, is very active in promoting federalism thru the Constituent Assembly, even bragging that he speaks "for and on behalf of the president".

Benitez have extensive interests in the gaming business. The fact is--he maintains an underground casino in his province, according to sources.

When Duterte spake that now famous "anti-Oligarch" speech against Roberto Ongpin, no one, not even from civil society, countered him, because, people think that he is really brave issuing such statements against a billionaire of questionable character. Tama lang.

Then comes this-- Duterte even reiterated his "hatred" against the proliferation of online gambling. People were surprised why Duterte want online gambling out. Many thought that Duterte was concerned with the immorality of it all.

Then, the truth came out---the reason why Duterte wants online gambling eradicated from the face of this archiepelago is not for anything even near what people thought--it was that Duterte wanted his friend, and some say probable crony, to monopolize this industry! This thing is what gives me the chills and utter disappointment.

Mr. President---a word of caution. Our Lord Jesus Christ once advised the Pharisees and the Sadducees of his time not to condemn a person without first "noticing a timber in their eyes"

I remember former president Joseph Estrada telling the media that life is like a wheel, " one time you're on top, the next, you find yourself down." or his famous "weather-weather lang yan."