Surely the Duterte rampage is unceasing, and into the eve of the D-Day in the presidential fight, he now appears to be the man to beat for the next presidency. There are talks now that Roxas has proposed to Liamanzares for her to withdraw in his favor if only to avert a Duterte win. Already, Duterte’s legions of fanatics are proclaiming him winner in the May 9 elections. Obviously this is calculated to justify harsh action from their end should, in all probability, Duterte lose the vote count. And the idea of Duterte losing after all is not far-fetched, on the contrary, a sound one.
History teaches us the one single trait of conquerors that leads them to failure is arrogance. On the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was poised to war with the Seventh Coalition of Europe (composed of, among others, Great Britain, the United Kingdom of Netherlands and Prussia) had the conceit to mock his generals for being nervous about the British: “Just because you have all been beaten by Wellington, you think he’s a good general. I tell you Wellington is a bad general, the English are bad troops, and this affair is nothing more than eating breakfast.”
According to one account, “Napoleon’s surprisingly dismissive statements should not be taken at face value, given the Emperor’s maxim that ‘in war, morale is everything’ and that praising the enemy is always wrong, as it reduces one’s morale. Indeed, he had been seen engaging in such pre-battle, morale-boosting harangue on a number of occasions in the past and on the morning of the battle of Waterloo he had to deal with his chief of staff’s pessimism and nervousness and had to respond to several persistent and almost defeatist objections from some of his senior generals.”
Arrogance causes a general to lose sight of the real war situation and prompts him to miscalculate in his moves.
For instance, in the context of the Philippine presidential election, it is estimated that Catholic voters comprise 25 percent of the country’s voting population. Based on a turnout of 38 million voters in the last presidential election in 2010, Catholic voters should number more or less 10 million by now. How can Duterte possibly expect to win when he calumniously proclaims: “I don’t need CATHOLIC VOTERS. PUTANGINA! Ang daming religion dyan.”
And with a dirty finger to boot.
History teaches us that arrogance is a built-in factor for failures in battle. When the Battle of Waterloo broke out after that breakfast statement by Bonaparte, he learned to his cost that he had gravely miscalculated the English.
What was the strategy of the Duke of Wellington, leader of the British Armies? The question was asked of him by his Chief of Staff the night before the battle. He said, “How can I tell you tonight when my moves will be determined by what the enemy will do in the morning?”
To Bonaparte’s flanking attack in the north, Wellington countered with a call for assistance by the Prussian armies in Bonaparte’s undefended rear in the south, an intervention that led to a funneling of the French cavalry and infantry – to their ultimate annihilation.
How can Duterte proclaim victory early on when the moves of his enemies, particularly Vice President Jejomar C. Binoy, will only unfold on May 9 itself? If at all, Duterte’s bragging only serves to telegraph his moves for his foes to counter effectively – as the Duke of Wellington did to Bonaparte’s maneuver leading to the latter’s, indeed, Waterloo.
In much similar respect, after conquering most of Europe in 1941, Adolf Hitler, quite Duterte-like – in mental state, senselessness in killing civilians and petty law offenders, and a general disdain for humanity except the Germanic people – launched Barbarossa, a war plan for the conquest of Russia and the East. It was smooth-sailing in the beginning, with most of Russia almost falling into German hands but for Moscow. Quite against the advice of his field generals, Hitler insisted in stretching his invasion forces to encompass the endless boundaries of Russia beyond their actual capacity. By the time he agreed to focus attack on Moscow, the terrible killer Russian winter had set in, and the snow which caused temperature to drop to a killing 40 degrees below zero finally accounting for the final defeat of Hitler’s invasion.
The electorate must realize that the survey results beginning April – which depict Duterte as having established a formidable lead in the race – reflect the sentiments of voters that had not yet made their minds up in February. 51 percent already did, and of that 51 percent, VP Binay got 29 percent, Liamanzares 24 percent, Duterte 24 percent, and Roxas 19 percent. These expressions of preferences have been rendered constant, unchangeable up to the time of the casting of ballots.
Duterte is only fooling the nation if he insists that his current 33 percent score in surveys reflect the feelings of the entire voting populace. It does not. To repeat, 51 percent of total voters have already expressed and firmed up their choices in February.
Much ado is being done about the development taking place at the time of this writing: Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) has endorsed Duterte.
In he first place, INC vote is less than 2 percent of the voting populace, more or less a million which added to the 5 something Duterte got in February, makes for a total of 6 million, still 2 million short of Jojo Binay’s harvest of 8.12 million in February. In the second place, what we have gathered is that the INC endorsement was reached in some sort of voting among top leaders of the church, in which voting Binay reportedly got 42 ministers’ votes; these ministers are expected to follow their conscience.
You only need to hold the elections to confirm this.
With Duterte making noise all over the country about his anticipation of victory, he just is defying lessons earned from his predecessors in history: Bonaparte in Waterloo and Hitler in the killer Russian winter snow.