ON December 27, 2016, the Manila Times, in a headline story written by Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Dante A. Ang, datelined Lisbon, Portugal, scooped the entire Philippine media on the blueprint for the ouster of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte recommended to the United States State Department by former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg.
Evidently surprised by the scoop, other leading dailies followed up on the Manila Times story. They slanted their accounts as a reaction by the United States Embassy in Manila, thus, for instance, this account by the Philippine Daily Inquirer:
“The US Embassy in the Philippines on Wednesday denied the existence of a ‘blueprint’ to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from power.
“In a report on Tuesday by the Manila Times, former US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg allegedly left a ‘blueprint’ for Duterte’s ouster or a ‘recommendation to the US State Department for the removal of the Philippine President from office.
“Manila press attaché Molly Koscina in response to the report said the US Embassy ‘categorically denies’ the claims in the said article”
By tradition, as a mark of professional courtesy, practitioners in the journalistic field refrain from naming a fellow in the profession to whom is ascribed wrong information in a news report. The Star and the Manila Bulletin observed this ethical decorum by not mentioning the paper that made the original report. For reasons only known to it, the Inquirer chose to violate the tradition.
The US Embassy, by its denial of the Manila Times story, does make it appear that there is no such “blueprint” for the Duterte ouster. And the Inquirer, by carrying that US Embassy slant, did it not depict itself biting into the US bait “hook, line, and sinker,” so to speak?
Of course, the US Embassy will deny the story. That should be a foregone conclusion. How stupid for people to even incline to believe the US Embassy statement. Operations of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are never meant for confirmation; they’re just done. And it’s truly a gigantic task to unravel them before they get done.
That’s why in assessing US clandestine policies in the Philippines, I do not subscribe to the method of gathering facts first. Tell me who gather facts about CIA operations in the Philippines before they are done and I’ll tell you what kind of grand liars they are.
I have observed this unmistakable aspect about social phenomena: they take place as a result of inviolable laws of development which you only need to correctly perceive to be able to tell, even without the benefit of factual evidence, where those laws are heading to.
On this matter, I wrote in my column of September 24, 2016 titled “Who’s Orchestrating the Obama-Duterte Zarzuela?”:
“… my appraisal of social events is never confined to guesses. It is, rather, an insight that derives its validity from laws of social development that give rise a priori to facts rather than facts giving rise to social development as an aftermath. I did not have facts in 1986 to back my contention that Cory, instead of Marcos, was the US boy in that year’s snap presidential election. With that assessment, I almost implored the top leadership of the Communist Party of the Philippines to withdraw its policy of boycotting the election, a policy anchored on the proposition that Marcos was still the candidate being groomed for continuous US lapdogship. But the US Seventh Fleet was on standby on Manila Bay, as well as international media meant to be around to cover a big happening. It’s not the riddle of what comes first, the chicken or the egg. Certainly, there won’t be any chicken without an egg being hatched. But there won’t be any egg without the chicken laying it? How is that so? That’s social development, giving rise to facts, rather than facts giving rise to social development.
(On this chicken-egg riddle, the latest development in science affirms my contention that the chicken comes first. The chicken is the priority entity for producing the protein of which eggshells are made.)
“Given this methodology of evaluating social events, I correctly perceived that Cory, contrary to the party view, was the US boy grooming and that Marcos was on the way out. I even put forward the proposal of striking up a modus vivendi with Marcos vis-a-vis the US, the most pragmatic option at the time, considering that despite the demonizing that Ninoy had subjected Marcos to over the past 20 years, the dictator continued to enjoy popular mass support, with the military mostly remaining in his control but for a disgruntled section represented by the YOU (Young Officers Union).
“The point in all this is that the development of social event does not immediately manifest from its outward appearances. On the contrary, such development takes place in a wink of an eye, as goes a biblical verse, when a series of quantitative developments results in the final single qualitative change.
“On the Obama-Duterte apparent verbal tussle, such a series of quantitative developments is yet to take place completely. But early on, we can tell from inviolable laws of social development where it is all headed for…”
Where the grand skit was headed for began becoming apparent with the intensification of the US-China conflict over the South China Sea. I made the final elaboration in this respect with the conclusion of the above-cited article the next day, September 25. I wrote:
“In the South China Sea conflict, either Duterte is for the US or he is for China. It’s a good cause for conjecture, therefore, that Duterte appears to be inclining toward China. He issues indicators in this regard, such as proclaiming that his grandfather was really Chinese who adopted his lawyer’s surname when he got naturalized as a Filipino. A tale that sounds not too strange. In Cory’s time, she went deep into China to trace the roots of her Chinese ancestors, but look how she ended, a most ardent advocate of US interest in the Philippines, to the extent of lobbying for the retention of the US military bases in the country, though miserably failing in the effort.
“You cannot be anti-US for having Chinese lineage. On the contrary, your pretension to Chinese descent can in fact advance your actual pro-US agenda in the brilliant tradition of the Trojan Horse. By your badmouthing the US president, are you not in fact being packaged for eventual acceptance into the Chinese’s quite discriminating palate when the time comes for bilateral talks between the Philippines and China on the South China Sea conflict? This must be true, or else Obama could be doing a Johnson this very moment.”
That reference was to former US Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, and that was made in connection with a death-bed confession by a prominent CIA figure, E. Howard Hunt, that he was privy to a conspiracy by Johnson and cohorts to assassinate President John F. Kennedy; Johnson was reportedly hurting immensely from a slight by President Kennedy. The point driven at by my article was that if a slight by Kennedy of his vicepresident could lead to his assassination, all the more could badmouthing of US President Barack Obama by a small-time head of a former colony.
And so, the article’s stated scenario of Duterte being dealt a “Johnson” for his increasing inclination toward China in this nation’s conflict with US over the South China Sea.
This US element which has become inherent in the Philippine presidency just would not get off my mind. For this reason, President Duterte has occupied much space in this column over these several months of his administration. For the country’s good, for the readers’ good, for whatever good it would do by way of getting the Philippine presidency set straight, I write about the Digong.
In his SONA (which I termed SUCA for Stand-Up Comedy Act), he joked about the composition of the three most powerful officials sitting at the rostrum of the Congress session hall. I wrote in my column August 6, 2016: “He began, ‘Allow me a little bit of informality at the outset. You would realize the three guys in the elevated portion of the congressional rostrum are from Maguin… Mindanao.’ That got the audience reacting with laughter. Duterte uttered something like, ‘So wala talaga akong masabi.’ And the gallery laughed louder.
“Why laugh, however, was not quite clear, as Duterte did not care to elaborate on the statement as to its significance. What was entertaining about what he said must be endemic in a setup where regionalism has for long set Filipinos apart from one another, one region pitting itself against the other endlessly in such a way as to make one the object of praise or ridicule depending on whether it is in power or not at the moment.
“For Mindanao which before Duterte’s win hadn’t ever produced a president, his victory is certainly a milestone in Philippine politics. But here was this phenomenon in which not only the sitting President of the Republic of the Philippines is a Mindanaoan but also the sitting Senate President and the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives. How lucky, indeed, can one region get—especially one that has long suffered the ignominy of being the most neglected region. So, praise be now to Mindanao for having captured the three dominant crests of Philippine political power. Being, therefore, themselves regionalistic, each and everyone in the gallery understood and was amused. Of course, not without the aggrieved swearing, ‘Just you wait, Mr. President. One from Bicol, which, too, has not yet produced a president, is just a step away.’ Remember, it took a woman to unseat a similarly much adulated President.”
For whatever use it may do us all, reckon with what is transpiring at this very hour: ominously stationed in the United States are three ardent antagonists of Duterte– Senator Leila de Lima, Filipino billionaire Loida Nicolas Lewis and Vice President Leni Robredo, heir apparent, make that feminine if you may, makes no difference, still power grab—to the Malacañang Crown. The confluence of the trio in America at this moment seems just a merging of social events, without yet being clarified as a component fact of anything significant other than just that, a social phenomenon. But I believe we can be allowed to state a question or two in this regard. What the hell are they doing there just when the Goldberg blueprint on the ouster of Duterte is being forwarded to the US State Department for consideration?
And they’re all Bicolanas!
Indeed, somebody’s just a step away from the Philippine presidency.
I can’t help rejoicing at such an eventuality. Not that I am a Bicolano myself and would throw in euphoria over the political success of a compatriot. Rather, the eventuality of a Duterte ouster would afford me the one single reward I cherish for my writing: to be proven true in what I write.
Dr. Ang’s article affirms everything I have written about the US attitude toward Duterte. In the first place, Duterte’s winning the presidency I dared attribute to US acquiescence. I have always stood that in the Philippines. no president ever got elected without US consent, if not actual machination; or if elected by virtue of personal popularity, a Philippine president must be an Amboy to stay in power. One who dared defy, Erap, got booted out of power half-way into his tenure.
As Dr. Ang’s article shows, Duterte may not even stand a chance of getting to half his constitutional tenure.
In my latest column, Bloopers! For celebrating the season of glad tidings, I pointed out the following about Duterte:
“Right now, in his present dealings with China, he sidelines the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling upholding the Philippine claim to those portions of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) within the country’s exclusive economic zone. That ruling, being evidently a US handiwork made purposely to advance its position in its conflict with China over the South China Sea, cannot be set aside without in effect hurting the United States.
That hurt could be the ultimate blooper. Beyond that, the limit of US forbearance in bearing with Duterte’s ruffian demeanor and comportment shall have been reached in the manner of the proverbial last straw.”
That’s what the Goldberg “blueprint” actually betrays: the US camel’s back is already threatening to break. Duterte has to go.