Has Aquino’s plan to oust Duterte changed?

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Duterte’s conciliatory statement
President B.S. Aquino 3rd and Vice President Jejomar Binay must have heaved a sigh of relief upon hearing that presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte does not intend to file criminal charges against them after their term ends on June 30. Nobody expected this, after Duterte has expressed his desire to revive the death penalty in order to hang criminals. But it cannot mean very much, unless justice and the rule of law would remain in the President’s tight grip as it has these last six years.

Anyone who was widowed from the siege of Zamboanga or the massacre at Mamasapano, or anybody else, could file the charges, and if the criminal justice system had begun to function, and there was the slightest public support behind them, Duterte would be foolish to stake his political prestige in trying to quash them. This would be particularly true in the case of Aquino, whose purported crimes are still fresh in the people’s minds.

In the case of Binay, all of his supposed wrongdoings were alleged to have been committed and correspondingly dealt with when he was still city mayor of Makati; they were recycled only during the last campaign to prevent him from being elected president. They had already served their purpose; as Vice President, his only real offense was his desire to become president, and he has already paid for it.

Justice as a priority


But while jailing Aquino is not a declared priority, “not jailing” him cannot be a declared priority, either. Duterte’s first duty is to the Filipino people, to make sure that justice and the rule of law follow their normal course. Various parties that have personally borne injustice have a right on justice after Aquino.

What is the reason for Duterte’s statement?

This was probably intended to disarm or defang Aquino, who has already set in motion a plan to impeach and remove Duterte as soon as he assumes office so that he could be replaced by the Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo. The Independent candidate Sen. Bongbong Marcos had been leading Robredo by as much as a million votes, but was mysteriously overtaken by her in the unofficial PPCRV count after a Smartmatic operative changed the script at the transparency server. She ended with some 200,000 votes ahead of Marcos in the now assailed unofficial count.

Duterte’s removal would ensure the LP’s continued control of government, and Aquino’s extended immunity from prosecution and imprisonment for his unpunished offenses.

The just-concluded elections have made sure that even if Aquino and the LP lost the presidency, they remain in control of the two Houses of Congress, whose first ignoble act under Aquino’s presidency was to impeach and remove the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona on a “non-impeachable offense” at Aquino’s behest. Robredo is expected to play her part in this.

The tough-talking Duterte, who has threatened to hang criminals, does not have enough political allies in Congress to blunt this move. The most he can do at this point, it seems, is to preempt his enemies by making good his campaign threat to abolish Congress and establish a revolutionary government. But this is easier said than done.

What about the military?

Where will the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, not to mention the public and the dominant moral forces, go if and when that happens? Will the ousted politicians take it sitting down? Duterte’s reported offer of four Cabinet posts to the communist Left has already provoked loud grumbling inside the AFP and the PNP.

Duterte’s apparent decision to form a coalition government with the Left is not the result of a joint victory earned at the polls—Duterte ran as a candidate of the PDP—it is simply a decision Duterte unilaterally made after the polls.

So while Duterte, in order to blunt the move to rob him of his presidency, could still proclaim, if he so wills or dares, a revolutionary government in active partnership with the Left, the danger is real that that very same partnership could prompt the military and the police to wage their own counter-revolt. Military analysts are particularly wary that a general “ceasefire” between the government and the CPP/NPA/NDF under the new Commander-in-Chief could simply freeze all military activities against their armed enemies, while the latter continue to build up their forces and inflict casualties on the government.

The unseen quagmire

This is the quagmire that appears to be in the making, except that not enough people seem to see it. Some kind of secret horse-trading could be going on, to effect a workable “compromise.” We dare not speculate on its contents right now, but there are abundant signs. The reported telephone call of US President Barack Obama to officially congratulate Duterte in Davao, even before he is officially proclaimed “President-elect,” could be Big Brother’s signal to the Aquino forces to hold their horses.

This is a marked improvement upon what US Ambassador Harry Thomas did to and for Aquino in 2010. Long before the Congress finished the national canvass and proclaimed the President-elect, Thomas officially called on Aquino at his residence on Times Street, Quezon City, and congratulated him as “President-elect.” Thereafter, other members of the diplomatic community followed. Aquino then became most docile to every American initiative.

It is to be hoped that Obama’s action would help calm down the various forces that are out to rob Duterte of his presidency. The plan was apparently all in place a week before May 9; on Friday, May 6, three days before the voting, an important businessman with very close connections to the Aquinos told the members of his board at a board meeting that “Duterte was unstoppable, but that Leni won.” Notice, this was three days before the election, but he did not say, “Leni will win,” but rather that, “Leni won.”

Will Aquino and the LP be prepared to undo their well-laid out plans after one important phone call?

Aquino’s character

Regardless of the various forces at play, one decisive factor seems to be Aquino’s character. He is determined and hostile. In his bid for the presidency, he had to rely on the passive, if not active cooperation of then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in order to get his pre-determined plurality of 5 million votes over his closest rival. And he got it. But about a year later, when people started asking him about his program of government, he decided to jail Arroyo on trumped up charges to show people that he had a program. She remains in medical detention until now.

While trying to impeach and remove the late Chief Justice Corona, he made full use of the services of then Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and his opposition colleagues, Senators Ramon Revilla, Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada, who voted with 17 others for Corona’s conviction and removal. But after he got rid of Corona and assumed virtual control of Congress and the Judiciary, he turned around and had Enrile, Revilla and Estrada accused of plunder and jailed without conviction or trial. Only Enrile has been allowed to post bail for reason of health and age.

What I am trying to say here is this: Assuming a compromise has been forged, or could be forged, to allow Duterte to stay as President, without risking a revolutionary government, how long will the Aquino forces honor such arrangement?

fstatad@gmail.com

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20 Comments

  1. Dapat ikulong si Binay sa pandarambong. ano sa palagay mo Kit ? dba bff mo si Binay

    • but the article stated that Binay’s alleged offense and I quote:
      “In the case of Binay, all of his supposed wrongdoings were alleged to have been committed and correspondingly dealt with when he was still city mayor of Makati; they were recycled only during the last campaign to prevent him from being elected president. They had already served their purpose; as Vice President, his only real offense was his desire to become president, and he has already paid for it.”

  2. Ok. PNoy jailed Arroyo. But until now he is right. The case is now wityh the judicial branch and the Supreme Court has not reversed the DoJ action, unlike Enrile who was allowed bail by the SC on a non-bailable crime.

  3. Tatad’s claim that there are “… the various forces that are out to rob Duterte of his presidency” is simply preposterous and without any basis. Nobody can impeach Duterte, LP and other politicians will change to Duterte’s party so he gets both the Senate Presidency and House Speakership.

  4. JustConcern on

    People at the top have discussions that always shook us every time these were revealed into the public. It was just now that I realized why BBM prefers to do some actions to protect his votes on the remaining days of campaign period. Basically, the plot to make Leni will surely win the vice presidency is actually half-truth and half-rumors. This just proved that people of the Philippines are just being controlled by powerful clans such as Aquinos/Cojuangcos to name some. Unfortunately, many of the Filipinos just shrugged it off. Thinking that these powerful families are our saviors.

    I also agree that these clans are dangerous in so many ways. It has been also noticeable how participative they are in national elections. They are much interested in real corruption. The corruption of power.

    Thanks for this kind of articles.

  5. I am sure that the proposed appointment of certain leftist elements in the Cabinet is just a political ploy to signal the rightists and the beneegno allies that should they go to the extreme of trying to impeach him and play dirty, he has the bodies who can literally by themselves do the actual elimination of the competition. Experienced as they are in combat both in the jungle and in the parliamentary struggle, they can easily organize the bodies with their skill in agitprop as a leverage against any rightwing coup. Surely, under the beneegno maladministration, the militant left have coalesced with elements that can easily confront any challenge to the legitimacy of a Duterte Presidency. In fact, the hard-fisted campaign against criminality can even be a blanket cover to extend to the physical elimination of both political and physical threats.

  6. Treachery and tyranny is in the blood of Noynoy Aquino. After using PGMA, and Enrile et al, he had them jailed.

    You can not trust Noynoy and his cabal, Duterte should not and must not trust Noynoy et al. Nor must Duterte enter into agreements with them.

    Jail them, that Duterte must do.

  7. Amnata Pundit on

    I suspect yung mga secret proxies ng mga iput na nakapaligid kay Duterte ang umudyok sa kanya para yakapin ang mga “komunista.” Posible na itong pagyakap niyang ito ang gagamiting dahilan ng mga Kano para itulak ang military na i-kudeyta siya, kung hindi makuha sa impeachment. Baka nga i-JFK na lang siya at ibintang ito ng mga iput sa NPA o sa MILF, na mga asset din naman nila. Mga grandmasters sa chess yang mga iput, dapat mag-ingat si Duterte sa kanila at sa mga not-so-secret assets nila, na ang isa na dun ay si Joma.

  8. Your statement ” mysteriously changed “. Are you implying that there was cheating? If there was, what proof do you have that there was cheating ? You have a problem of reading beyond the lines. Grow up !

  9. there are too many problem that DU30 has to face, let him solved these problems anyway marami namang magagaling at nagmamagalling na pinoy that will file charges against PENOY et..al…I’m certain on that..sa dami ng nagmamagaling dito sa bansa natin…world leader kaya tayo sa ganung daming tao…

  10. Floresco Halogi on

    Opinion, opinion and just opinion. But he is right. Oh the forces behind the scene. It happened to Erap, it might happen to Digong. The only difference is, there are lessons learned and only a fool would fall for it when it happens again. 4% & 6% or so of the 80 and 100 million (1986 &2001) respectively would not be enough to bring a battle hardened man down. Only a death would perpetuate such plan.

  11. Do remember reading an article where BBM office in Taguig or somewhere in Manila was bombed. fortunately he was not there and recently, day before the election he was threatened of bomb explosion but he cancelled the campaign. Just like his father, he will not surrender the sovereignty of our country to anyone, God save the Philippines from power mongers like Malaysia and China and many traitors supported by (special interest) who lives in the Philippines.

  12. fidel S. Pescador on

    It’s good that somebody like you Sir disclosed such planned of the devil…..God never sleeps nor slumber…God bless Philippines….

  13. It is then conclusive as you report on your article that as early as May 6 , truly there was an Aquino plot in connivance with an important businessmen ( who more likely finance the cheating of the election process) paid the Smartmatic IT to do the job, that Leni Robredo must win if Roxas is losing and a Duterte win being unstoppable, Robredo must win, which clearly shows that Marcos( right before the eyes of PPCRV IT expert( Marcos being cheated) noticed the Smartmatic IT went into the computer in the middle of counting ofvotes , when Marcos was leading by 1 million votes that evening of May 9 . Then this is called ” the Sinister Plot” a legitimate complain of Marcos.which warrant an investigation.

  14. Aquino and his minions could not be trusted to keep their word. Why should the new government give them some leeway? In their six-year rule, they did nothing but to rob the people of a better future. They should be prosecuted for their crimes. Aquino and Abad should be made to account for the DAP and their involvement in the crimes of Napoles.

  15. Noynoy Aquino will become more irrelevant once he is out of Malacanang and out of power. Do not give him too much credit. His soon-to-be former cabinet secretaries and politician allies will just ignore Noynoy since he is no more of use to them and they had had enough of Noynoy’s temperament.

  16. Your conspiracy theories are sadly misguided…the incoming president has not yet been sworn and yet you now mentioning impeachment…you should wait awhile before you start yapping about LP control…the VP count is still under protest, Duterte has not been sworn in, and here you are already writing about a possible LP takeover. Don’t you think Mr. Duterte knows this…he has advisers and the man himself is smart. Why would he have won against all odds? Duh!

  17. You said, on the charges against Binay, “they were recycled only during the last campaign to prevent him from being elected president. They had already served their purpose; as Vice President, his only real offense was his desire to become president, and he has already paid for it.”
    I beg to disagree with you that Binay already paid for the stolen wealth that he and his family took from the government and citizens. Binay and family can only pay for their offenses if:
    1. His corrupt family will be convicted and put to jail and
    2. all their questionable wealth as well as their hidden deposits in foreign banks be returned to the government.