The elections are over, now the work begins


“It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll. I am the master of my faith,
I am the captain of my soul.”
– From Invictus by William Ernest Henley

In an ideal situation in a democracy when elections are over, the various forces, especially the incoming administration, should put aside partisan politics and focus on the task of building the country. But most democracies in the world today are far from being ideal and the Philippines is no exception.

But the coming administration is so different from past administrations. It promises revolutionary changes in its approach to national governance. Considering the overwhelming support it merited from the voters, the incoming President should be pinned down to his campaign promises because it is these promises that catapulted him to power. And the people pin so much hope in their fulfillment.

The promises
The promises with specific and certain terms are the following:
First, to eradicate criminality and graft and corruption in six months from assumption of office. This is not an easy task to do considering certain existing realities like the charges that the elected President has unexplained wealth, which he did not report in his SALN. If true, this constitutes graft and corruption, and if the amount exceeds certain limits it may constitute plunder which is a non-bailable offense. One charge is serious that members of his family have extensive bank deposits and numerous real estate properties whose sources and legitimacy have to be explained. Another serious charge is that one of his sons is the king of rice smugglers in Davao City with involvement in illegal drugs; this has to be explained.

Still another serious charge is that some of his advisers have some anti-graft cases, not to speak of their notoriety. Before, the new President starts his drive to eradicate criminality and graft and corruption in six months, he must clear the air first of these charges as he who claims to reform the country must start with clean hands, otherwise he will have a very difficult time implementing the needed reforms.

Second, the moment he gets elected President, he will establish and organize a revolutionary government. This is the core element of his first promise. Without a revolutionary government, he cannot implement his first promise. Why because under the present system there are many insurmountable elements to realize his goals – like the Constitution, specifically the due process and equal protection clause; the judicial system; the Congress of the Philippines; tri-media; other intervening elements like the oligarchs especially those who contributed and supported his campaign.

With a revolutionary government all these are swept away because the government is the law and the leader is the lawgiver. The only limits are God, country, principles and ideals, humanist values and conscience. With these in mind, the new President must give this second promise first priority because without a revolutionary government, the reforms in the first promise cannot be achieved in six months, in six years or a thousand years.

Third, to establish a federal system. This cannot be done without a revolutionary government. Within the present system, you need a constitutional amendment. This takes months, years. To gamble on constitutional amendments within the present system is almost fatal because a constituent assembly or a Constitutional Convention takes time to formulate the desired amendment and it has to have the approval of the people in a plebiscite or referendum. It is a cumbersome and wearying process.

Fourth, to bury President Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. If he retains the present name of the said burial ground, this would be a divisive move. But if the name of the burial ground would be changed to Libingan ng Mga Presidente at Iba Pa, no dispute will arise. The dispute of burying President Marcos in the heroes burial grounds has been very explosive because of the word bayani as there are those who dispute that Marcos is a hero. One man’s hero is another man’s heel. But is there any dispute that Marcos was elected President of the Philippines? Of course not!

I have long advocated that Marcos should have been buried in the disputed grounds a long time ago. More than any other President in terms of achievements, Marcos deserved to be buried in the burial grounds reserved for Presidents.

A unity government with justice
In a post election media interview, President-elect Duterte extended his hand to all his opponents for unity to achieve noble objectives. This is a very honorable and desirable gesture and his opponents should accept this magnanimous gesture. I fully agree that there should be a government of national unity but it should be unity with justice. Without justice, any form of unity is perpetuating the present system and this is despicable.

By way of historical footnote: When President Cory told me that she would offer a hand of reconciliation to the opponents of the new government. I replied that reconciliation without justice is useless. It amounts to injustice and that is not desirable. Well, my advice was not seriously considered and the rest is history.

The best and the brightest
No government in the world can succeed without advisers. These men and women are the driving elements to implement the program of a new administration. In the United States of America some of the best Presidents like John F. Kennedy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt had the help of the best and the brightest of their race. It may not be amiss for Rody Duterte to conscript the best and the brightest. As I have mentioned in these pages when he was just intending to run for President, I said that the man he should consult to produce such a group is former Congressman Jess Dureza. I know him. I think it would be one of his best steps to insure that his administration will not flounder from one error to another like the current administration is to tap Jess Dureza for the job. The country can sleep well with Jess around the new administration.

Lo cortes no quita lo valiente
I get a lot of ribbing on my fearless prediction in my last column. Well, I said in that column, I could be wrong because I am not God. I was partially wrong because I also predicted that LENI ROBREDO would be the next Vice-President and she is. I don’t apologize for my mistakes because at one moment in time, my own assessment is right. But it is never a mistake to say that my prediction was wrong because certain elements did not materialize. As another brilliant Mindanaoan, Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez, used to tell me, Lo cortes no quita lo valiente—courtesy or civility does not make you any less valiant.

I congratulate President-elect Duterte for getting the nod of our people. The people get the government they deserve, as the saying goes. With an added significance for me because by his election, he realized the slogan when I was Opposition Governor of Misamis Oriental during martial law stating: Today Mindanao, Tomorrow the Philippines. Why? Because the method of my gubernatorial campaign which articulated that my political machinery was the people since I had no single public official or political contributor helping me except the people which he brought to the national level I thought then was not possible in the same manner that he brought the type of Davao City governance to the national level. Both of them were nurtured in the heartland of Mindanao.

Despite my reservations, my prayers go with him and his administration with the hope that he will bring better days to our people.


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  1. crabs will be crabs forever, better to shut up now for you have become irrelevant and out-dated. you simply cant accept that a fellow mindanaowan is the next president. watch out your language, it could do you no good this time.

  2. Thanks for your skepticism Mayor Digong became President, the first Mindanawan
    to do so and you should be proud Mr. Adaza. Next time you should polish your crystal ball some more. Kidding aside, the hard work starts in June when he assumes power
    and the people of Davao ( and the rest of the country) expect Pres Rody to fulfill his promises.

  3. I am the master of my fate (not faith Mr. Adaza)
    I am the captain of my soul.

    Duterte has conquered the unconquerable elite in politics because the majority of the people are behind him. Duterte has no money but he has vast resources and many contributors and supporters. Duterte has no enough political machinery but the people rallied behind him. It doesn’t matter now how hard you criticized him here in your columns before but yet Duterte has the first move to all his critics in offering a healing process. He is asking everybody to work hand in hand to fix the government regardless of race, beliefs and status in life. Mabuhay ang bagong halal na presidente!

  4. A good example is the foi bill which as d30 stated that if congress will not pass it he would just issue an executive order. The thing is that it will be challenge in the supreme court.

  5. paolo merced on

    Bono is so right about that revolutionary government. That is why the first foreign trip of Duterte, as announced by his spokesperson, is a trip to Utrecht, Holland to pay homage to communist boss Jose Ma. Sison and to discuss how the two of them, together, would lord it over the whole country for the next coming years. Duterte fanatics never saw this coming; that their president – using an anti crime and anti corruption battle cry as decoy – is actually a communist mole, just waiting for the right time like this to catapult himself and the Communist Party of the Philippines (with their armed wing the New People’s Army) to power. Duterte’s delivery of the government to the CPP-NPA will run against the grain of patriots – especially the armed forces – who have sacrificed thousands of men and women to protect the motherland from power-hungry communist warlords like Sison. Instead of promoting peace, the Duterte administration will plunge this country into chaos, hopefully not in the scale of a civil war.

    • Maybe you are right but maybe Dutertes plan is to end the NPA Government Military conflict. This guy is not stupid. He acts like a pampered politician but he has a mind of a genius. Example, he outsmarted the Liberal party by filing his candidacy at the very last day so there is little time for the Liberals to destroy him. It is his plan and not a coincidence. He knows there are more qualified candidates but the Liberal party destroyed their credentials. Some voters thought that Poe was disqualified and not included in the Comelec list.

  6. Humanda ka abnoy on

    Ferdinad Marcos did fought for thercountry in WW2 Mr homo….have you forgotten that fact ??..therefore he is entitled to be buried to the libingan ng bayani…like every other soldier who served his country

  7. Duterte won because of the political blunders of the Liberal party machinery. The party was so focus in destroying Binay and Poe that miscalculated the power of Duterte. As you mentioned , Duterte has many many character flaws. The Liberal party was too late in destroying Duterte. Trillanes video of an Interviwed children was the key to destroying Duterte but it was too late , like 3 days before the voting and the timely intervention of Senator Cayetano via court order. That stop the advertisement. Nobody is immune to character assassination. Even a faultless Grace Poe was destroyed by the Liberal Party machinery.

  8. Could it be that the major factor that catapulted President Rodrigo D DU30 to the presidency is President Benigno S Aquino III, who campaigned extra hard and impressed upon the people his illusory and fluke “Daang Matuwid”? The rest now is political nightmare for the Aquino government!

  9. There are some who feels that DUTERTE may self destruct along the way and he will not be able to finish his term. Winning the election is one thing. Being the PRESIDENT is another thing.

    • di lang matanggap ng mga elite na matalo sa isang probinsyano mayor. other than Binay, Duterte is the most seasoned politician among them all, they better start learning how to follow or else . .

  10. Marc Orcullo on

    I hope and pray that president Duterte will not appoint you in his cabinet or any government position. It will be disaster.

    • Dont ever imagine dat Bono adaza will accept a position in the cabinet of Duterte or from anyone for that matter.Besides it is crazy for Duterte to appoint Adaza because D would not like to be outsmarted. Adaza is his own man. He has rejected offers to cabinet positions from previous Presidents. He rejected the offer to be justice of the Supreme Court. In your case you will be a disaster even as a janitor. Hehehehe

  11. Mariano Patalinjug on

    Yonkers, New York
    11 May 2016

    Top-flight lawyer, veteran politician and now Manila Times columnist HOMOBONOI ADAZA here weighs in on several of the “baggages” that President-elect RODRIGO DUTERTE carries around with him, and which obviously he has to deal with adequately if he expects to make good on the governmental and societal programs he elucidated on the campaign trail and which convinced the Filipino people that he deserves the chance to lead this country finally to its long-denied “land of milk and honey”–if you will.

    Right on top of his “Grand Design” is the institution of a REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT. My understanding of a “Revolutionary Government” for the Philippines is that the Constitution and the Laws will be set aside, and that the President, RODRIGO DUTERTE, will then rule by Decree as a DICTATOR–pretty much the same way President Marcos thirty years ago set aside the Constitution and ruled by Decree after declaring Martial Law.

    I hope I am wrong because although it is true that on the campaign trail, candidate Rodrigo Duterte made it quite clear that if elected President he would set up a “REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT,” he probably deliberately withheld from the people the SPECIFICS of such a Government.

    The problem for him would be that if indeed he sets aside the Constitution and the Laws of the land and arrogates to himself the role of a Dictator or Despot, the Filipino people who catapulted him to the Presidency may be caught completely by surprise–and realizing finally what RORIGO DUTERTE actually had in mind, may as a consequence balk if not rebel–the same way the Filipino people rebelled against the Marcos dictatorship!


    • 71-year old dictator? Come on! Don’t be so paranoid.

      Give me a dictator from human history that came into power at more than 70 years old.

      If you can’t, just keep quiet.

    • only when the people rebel against Duterte’s admin, that you can call it a revolution. Look, there’s no revolution in Davao City, even if it gets lesser support from the Aquino govt than metromanila.

    • I hope and pray that you are wrong but that is what Duterte was campaigning. This is going to be a long 6 years if that is what is going to happen.