“Do not control my mouth! This is my mouth! God given ‘to!”
— President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, quoted in the back cover of The Duterte Manifesto, published by the ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc.
“I am the only card left for the Filipinos to deal with the situation. I hold it, it’s my ace. There is no cure for stupidity or incompetence. You cannot go to the doctor and ask for medications that will improve your judgmental ability.”
— President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, page 15 in The Duterte Manifesto
I am still going over 122 pages of the blue-colored libretto labeled by its publisher, ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc., as The Duterte Manifesto containing what it described in its cover as “Mga aral mula sa mga banat at mga talumpati ni PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE” (Lessons from the punch lines and speeches of PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE.) I have only read a few pages yet but up to the point of my reading my initial view is – the people who produced this tiny volume is not doing the President a favor. My conclusion is that this libretto unmasks Duterte as he continues to unmask himself in his speeches, especially when he extemporizes. Lumalabas talaga ang natural – his natural self really surfaces.
By doing this, the man does not do himself a favor. He gives his enemies the weapons to demolish him in the process. Duterte’s most destructive enemy, similar to that of US presidential candidate Donald Trump of the Republican Party, is his undisciplined mouth. With Duterte’s mouth, he does not need any enemies. He carries his best enemy in his person.
My deep concern
I am concerned with the drift of events because I want him to succeed in implementing some of the good ideas that I mentioned in my previous columns.
War against illegal drugs: Everyone should join him in this crusade against the proliferation of illegal drugs – but not through despicable means, which cannot be sustained even by his oath of office in the Constitution when he swore that “he will faithfully and conscientiously fulfill my duties as President of the Philippines, preserve and defend the Constitution, execute its laws, do justice to every man.”
Is inducing the killing of illegal drug users and pushers consistent with his oath? Of course not! Most of the killings are supposedly done in a drug bust operations. Some are killed while asleep; some while on the run; some even inside the police van; some by mistake of identity; most are obviously in an effort of the police to terminate those who would testify against the involvement of the police in the drug trade
In the police operation that killed about a thousand illegal drug users and pushers, the big guns in the illegal drug trade get special treatment. Concrete examples are Mayor Rolando Espinosa of Albuera, Leyte and Daanbantayan, Cebu Mayor Vicente Loot. There appears to be strong evidence against them but they are still serving as mayors. Why are they not in prison? Why are they given special treatment? Under the Duterte formula, the way it is implemented – if you are poor you will die, if you are rich and powerful you get special treatment. This violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution. It would appear to Duterte that constitutional oath means nothing; human rights, due process, which are sanctified in the Constitution, mean nothing. The Duterte, from the way he acts, prevails over and above everything.
So the lawyer that he is, by his action, he violates the Constitution left and right. What does that make him? Does this not make him a violator of the Constitution and our current laws?
If he does not want to be a violator of our Constitution and our laws, he has only one avenue – declare a revolutionary government. Then he can reduce the population of this country by demolishing all his enemies – the drug lords, the oligarchs, the gambling lords, the smugglers, criminals of all kinds, those involved in graft and corruption like judges, justices, members of the Cabinet, former Presidents and their officials, governors, mayors, barangay chairmen, police and military men and loads of government officials and employees The Filipino people will be grateful if he does these. He will leave a legacy better than Rizal, Bonifacio, Lapu-Lapu and Marcos combined.
War against graft and corruption: The crooks are everywhere – in the executive branch, in the legislative branch, and in the judiciary. When will this war begin? Can it ever start considering that the crooks in Congress have joined his political party? I don’t hear the President ordering the Justice Department to start filing cases, arrest the culprits, make them rot in jail in the meanwhile since most of the cases involve non-bailable crimes, convict them and send to the gallows in preparation for their resting place 12 feet under the ground. Why 12? They maybe able to escape if you bury them six feet under the ground!
The Duterte and de Lima punches and counterpunches
This denunciation by President Duterte of Senator d Lima is like the kettle calling the pot black. It does not help achieve worthwhile objectives for the country and the people. This is stuff for gossip. These public officials should not waste the people’s money and time by washing their dirty linen in public. Who cares if they are both immoral – one parades his immorality and the other hides it from the public eyes.
Don’t these two people know that they live in an immoral country? The government is immoral – most of the public officials are immoral. From the libidinous or sexual point of view, all our Presidents from Marcos to the present with the possible exception of Cory Aquino are immoral. From the dictionary’s definition, immoral means “not in conformity to accepted moral standards,” with the following synonyms: unethical, bad, morally wrong, wicked, evil, unprincipled, unscrupulous, dishonorable, disreputable, vile, nefarious, basis.
Based on these standards, all our Presidents from Marcos to the present fit the definition of immoral. So why quibble about immoral, most, if not all, our public officials are immoral, anyway. The punches and counterpunches do not deserve our attention.
Public servants, not masters
President Duterte and Senator de Lima should be reminded that they are not our masters. They are public servants. Stop these exchanges about who is more immoral. They are both immoral. The people are interested in the way they do their job. President Duterte loves to kill, let him kill within the bounds of the law, otherwise he will be in trouble. He is not afraid to be in trouble – that is his problem. Senator De Lima loves to investigate, let her investigate. Let us see who produces better results for the people and the country. The people will render judgment sooner than they think. Duterte and de Lima are old. They should do their work. President and Senator, show what you are capable of doing. Time is of the essence. You are both running out of time. Bluster, boast and crowd attracting verbalisms are only good for election campaigns. Your self-adulation is not funny. That is only good for psychologists and psychiatrists. We need it like a hole in the head.