DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s vow to go strong against graft and corruption if elected President remains just an empty election promise with his refusal to sign a waiver on the secrecy of his reported bank accounts containing P211 million.
His reason for refusing to sign the waiver is very laughable. He wants Sen. Antonio Trillanes to, among other things, reveal the source of his documents and how he was able to secure them. Of course, Trillanes will never give Duterte this info. His source might not live a day longer once his identity is revealed.
Some months back, he appeared like a knight in shining armor fighting corruption in signing an unenforceable pledge to waive the secrecy of his bank accounts. Then, when dared to sign a waiver that the depository bank could acknowledge, he refused. Or, is this Alpha-male candidate for President afraid of what a waiver might reveal about him?
He and his rabid followers are now hiding behind the law instead of opening his account for scrutiny to end the issue once and for all. Duterte is saying that under the law, it’s up to the accuser, in this case Trillanes, to prove his charges. This is very strange for a man who’s espousing the extra-judicial killing of suspected criminals.
Duterte and his ilk don’t need to prove that a suspect of a petty or major crime is really guilty. The filing of a court case isn’t even necessary. Mere suspicion that one is a criminal is enough reason to execute him. But if he’s the one accused, he’ll be shouting for his legal rights that he casually denies to others.
His credibility on this issue is all shot with his initial denial of their existence, only to confirm them later while claiming that they contained much less than the P211 million asserted by Trillanes. It’s noteworthy that his change of tune came only after a supporter of rival Mar Roxas had successfully deposited P500 in the bank account that Duterte had claimed to be nonexistent.
Duterte can never wage a credible and sustained drive against corruption as long as the albatross of the bank deposits hangs around his neck. He may win on May 9 but he may expect to face impeachment charges early on.
His threat to close down Congress if impeached is an empty one unless he’s most willing to start a civil war. He may get about 30 percent of the votes cast and counted but he should remember that this means 70 percent are against him.
His promised drive against corruption will go nowhere unless he starts with himself and members of his family. This will be as incredible as his boast to eradicate crime within six months.
He has been mayor of Davao City for 23 years and yet up to last year, murders and rapes were committed in his city. Davao City’s population isn’t even one-tenth of the Philippines’s and yet, crime wasn’t eradicated there during the 23-year tenure of Duterte at the City Hall. So, how could we still believe his boast of ending criminality in the country within six months?
Oh yes, Duterte has at least two declarations where his sincerity is never doubted – his avowed friendship with and support for the New People’s Army and his willingness to yield to China the Philippine claim over the South China Sea/West Philipine Sea in exchange for trains.