To plot an impeachment against Mr. Duterte, the oppositionists in the House of Representatives have to have the numbers. They don’t. Mr. Duterte’s allies dominate the House with a “ super majority.”
There has yet to be crack in the “super majority” and no House member has risen up to question the core policies of Mr. Duterte. The coopted Left is yet to raise a pipsqueak.
To plot an impeachment against a sitting President, that President must be very unpopular and in a polling sinkhole, which is not the case for the popular Mr. Duterte. At this point in his presidency, Mr. Duterte polled better than Mr. Aquino, who also started as a popular president.
The Senate testimony of Edgar Matobato before the Senate may dent the popularity of Mr. Duterte a bit. But the President’s base of solid admirers would not flip that easily. The fan base of Mr. Duterte, mostly young people who dominate cyber space, thinks he is close to infallible.
For an impeachment to even gain first base, there should be a clear, cogent and acceptable reason. There is none in the present case of Mr. Duterte. On what grounds would they anchor the impeachment case? That he killed people? Mr. Duterte had admitted to ordering the killing of criminals and he has not been coy about his trigger-happy predisposition. During the campaign, he promised to make “ kill” the new national verb and favorite governing buzzword to replace “ GDP, GDP” of Mr. Aquino. He has been upfront about that.
Last and the most important
Even if the President does acts that threaten the Republic — and his popularity sinks to rock-bottom numbers — the “ yellows” referred to by Mr. Duterte cannot rise to the occasion and lead an impeachment effort. They don’t have the courage and they don’t have the kind of leaders that opposed Mr. Marcos during the martial law years.
The political opposition does not have leaders with gravitas and real courage. No Ninoy Aquino, no Lorenzo Tanada, no Pepe Diokno. Men of my age who were able to listen to Ninoy, Tanada and Diokno talk about the resilience of the anti-Marcos struggle were left in total awe. The “ yellow “ leaders of today cite dumb statistics.
Who will listen to leaders who have staked their leadership on statistics? And not on indomitable courage? The fire of the anti-Marcos struggle was sustained by a few men who refused to break and cower even at the height of Mr. Marcos’ grip on power. Who wrote letters from prison and who refused to get coopted?
We don’t see anyone from the LP or the entire political opposition now who has the courage of Ninoy, Tanny or Pepe Diokno.
This is the whole truth. There is no comparison, really. Mr. President, the opposition leaders you referred to as possible drivers of an impeachment move at the House, or behind the efforts to smear you and your administration with the grand agenda of removing you from office, can’t even tie their shoelaces.
If you were a regular observer of Philippine politics, or if you observed the 2016 presidential elections up close, you would have noticed the lack of smarts in the LP campaign. Team Davao City ran a more sophisticated campaign than Team No-Ro. An LP leader told me that the No-Ro campaign did not even have a single, cogent narrative to sell Mr. Roxas to the electorate. There was even no recognition by the campaign hierarchy that “daang matuwid” (straight path) was a tired, discredited line with no popular support and ought to be junked for a clearer, more acceptable message.
If you have no guts and no smarts, how can you plot the ouster of a popular President ?
Ok, there is Mr. Trillanes. The senator’s party affiliation is NP, the same party of BB Marcos and Senator Cayetano.
Please, please, don’t vest the LP with imagined courage.
What forces then should Duterte and his allies be wary of? Easy.
What mysterious forces placed Mr. Matobato at the center of a Senate hearing ? He, for sure, did not come out of the woodwork to render his testimony just like that. What emboldened him? Who gave him the moral and other types of support? While the regular politicians (except for Mr. Trillanes and Miss De Lima) were cowering in fear, Mr. Matobato just popped in and narrated a chilling testimony.
Mr. Matobato testified not Pro Deo et Patria but for a personal reason and with a patron to boot. His testimony generated international headlines at a time his administration is facing questions from the governments of the Western powers and their multilateral institutions.
It is ordinary folks with a chilling story to tell and an ax to grind and with nothing to lose that Mr. Duterte should fear most. Plus the patrons of these ordinary folks.
Not the LP leaders who are probably hiding under some skirts right now.