“Calvinism, Jacobinism and Marxism, are all rigidly deterministic. All believe that what happened here below is foreordained, predestined to follow a course which no mere human being can alter, least of all those who oppose respectively Calvinism, Jacobinism or Marxism.”
From Anatomy of Revolution by Crane Brinton
LAST Thursday, May 15, I told Rita Gaddi, the main host of the radio program “Sentido Comon,” on Radio Uno, I have almost reached the summit of my discontent. I am at the edge of the summit to make a strategic decision—migrate to a foreign country of my choice, write my books documenting the events of my time, enjoying the sunsets and the stars, and immersing myself in the other wonders of our universe, not just our planet. But that decision is easier imagined than done. The reason is my difficulty in trying to get the country out of me. As the cliché goes—it is easy to get out of the country but it is so hard to get the country out of you.
So here am I writing this column and fiddling with my fingers as though plucking the leaves of a four-leaf clover—shall I or shall I not; shall I not or shall I ad infinitum since the clover appears not to have run out of leaves, giving me so many opportunities before the final plunge.
Before he even decided to run for president he categorically said he will declare a revolutionary government the moment he is elected President. He said so when he declared he would make a run for the presidency. He so declared that he would do it the moment he is elected President in the course of the campaign. Now that he is elected President, the question arises: Will he do it?
It is too early to answer the question. The fact remains now is that in his many pronouncements after he got elected, the promise of a revolutionary government is vanishing like an evanescent dream. Why? The mayor no longer mentions that he will declare a revolutionary government the moment he is installed in office on June 30.
But this silence is presented with a number of contradictions. While there is a mysterious omission of declaring a revolutionary government yet he has shown some strategic moves that tend toward the suspicion that he is still keeping his revolutionary cards close to his breast, among which are the following—declaring a curfew for the young in Metro Manila and a liquor ban in specific hours without legislative intervention, local or national; appointing a PNP chief in disregard of the Rules in the promotion of officials, thereby surpassing other high-ranking officers.
I approve of the Mayor Duterte moves in this regard, not that it makes any difference to him. But will those affected by the curfew and the liquor ban accept it lying down? Good if do but bad if they resist it because the court battles will be messy and they will even go up to the Supreme Court with prayers for a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction. Then hell will break loose and the Mayor’s face will be red. He said that he will not tolerate opposition to his decision but there is going to be opposition. Then, what will he do? To short circuit the long process is to declare a revolutionary government.
Will he or will he not? If he wants results within his self-defined timeline, he has to do it; otherwise, he will appear like PNoy in the offing. If he does not, disappointments will begin to emerge and inevitably bloom like overnight mushrooms sooner than Mayor Duterte thinks. And before he and his advisers know, the new administration will be overwhelmed by a tsunami of opposition. Even that early, it would be difficult to contain. He and his advisers should learn they are not governing Davao City but a country with multifarious interests with forces that could match the presidency.
The police and the Davao City DDS
In his recent statements, he said he will install General Ronald dela Rosa as his PNP Chief. De la Rosa is Class 1986 in the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). His ascent to his new office is fraught with dangers because he will surpass many of his upperclassmen in the academy. While in-depth promotion is allowable, it is normally not done because it will produce vigorous though silent opposition from the other generals, who are surpassed and who think that they are more qualified than the chosen one. Besides, this generates unrest among the ranks since it creates a bad precedent
His only remedy to quell possible unrest is to declare a revolutionary government because the surpassed generals know that they have to keep their peace in such an event. Why? Because in a revolutionary government, the government is the law and the leader is the lawgiver. Anyone who displays opposition in the ranks will face serious trouble of demotion, removal or dismissal. Knowing the character of majority of PMAers, I have no doubt that because of their career orientation they will find ways and means to kiss the ass of the new President.
So again, his solution is a revolutionary government.
Mayor Duterte said he will bring the whole Davao City police force to Metro Manila with him. What is the meaning of this? It simply means that the Davao City Death Squads (DDS) will be here too. He said before he got elected President that he did not believe in due process to justify his DDS solution. But as soon as he got elected he would be a man of the law. If he becomes a man of the law, then his new PNP chief and his DDS will become toothless—meaning useless.
So what would be his solution if he has to transpose to the national scene the DDS solution and the iron-fisted pronouncements of PNP Chief De la Rosa, who appears to be the Siamese twin of Mayor Duterte? Again, a revolutionary government! Will he do it? Can he do it? Only time and Mayor Duterte can tell.
The avalanche of turncoats
Hardly was the ink dry on the media reports that Mayor Duterte got elected President, the country was entertained by the avalanche of turncoats coming from virtually all political parties, joining the PDP, the winning party of the mayor. PDP signed a coalition with the Nacionalista Party, of Manny Villar and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. PDP inked a coalition with the LAKAS-CMD, of President Fidel V. Ramos. Several parties in the party-list signed an agreement with the PDP. Fifty members of the Liberal Party, of PNoy and Mar, as reported by media, rushed to join the Duterte bandwagon.
This is nothing revolutionary. This is trapo and more trapo through and through. Marcos did it with the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, which was an aggrupation of the LP, NP at iba pa. The KBL was a motley crowd; so is the present Duterte aggrupation. There is a world of difference between the revolutionary world and the world of traditional politicians. In the revolutionary world, traditional institutions and traditional personalities of the current system are demolished and terminated. In a traditional political world, the traditional politicos and their traditional institutions continue to exist and allowed to proliferate.
This seems to be the signal of the new Duterte order. Are they not contrary to the promises of Mayor Duterte? I am suspending judgment when he really sits as President on June 30. Politics is a game of infinite patience. As a revolutionary and a true believer in a body of ideas, ideals and principles uniting themselves into a vision of what the country should be, I have all the time to wait. In the words of William Faulkner in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, “We will not only overcome; we will prevail.”