"Duterte is trying to be a comedian, but the people are not laughing."
Santa Banana, I have been a journalist for more than seven decades and I thought I had seen everything, but what I see happening now, nine months before the elections, boggles my mind!
I have never seen so much posturing among politicians, starting with President Duterte. I cannot seem to see through his burning desire to become vice president. He says he wants immunity from the International Criminal Court which has tagged him for extrajudicial killings amounting to crimes against humanity. But his Secretary of Justice, Menardo Guevarra, has already said that a vice president isn’t immune from suit.
What made me laugh—although it’s not funny at all—was his statement that if elected vice president, he’ll be a one-man Commission on Audit. Truly? If Duterte wants to be transparent, he should start releasing his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.
With that statement that he will audit everybody, including himself, Duterte just amended the 1987 Constitution. It seems Duterte wants to be a comedian—but people are not laughing because he simply does not make sense.
The break-up of the ruling party, PDP-Laban, becomes final. Can you imagine ousting Duterte, the President, as chairman? Now, Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel are the sworn enemy of the two, and as Duterte swore, he will campaign against Pacquiao if he runs for president.
In the case of Pacquiao, he says he will run as an independent. Obviously as an independent oppositionist -- since he wants to ally himself with Vice President Leni Robredo. That is, my gulay, if the Liberal Party would have him.
With Pacquiao as an oppositionist, that makes four of these political groups now in the opposition - the Liberal Party, the combine of Ping Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto, The 1Sambayan group of former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio and his group of convenors still unable to form its presidential and vice presidential slate and Senate slate, and Pacquiao himself. With a disunited opposition, the administration candidates would have a walk in the park in 2022.
For Pacquiao, I recall a tale of the ancient Greeks, the story of Icarus. Icarus was warned by his father not to fly too low or else the sea would dampen his wings, or to fly very high or else the sun would melt the wax in his wings. Icarus flew too high and the sun melted the wax in his wings, and he plummeted into the sea and drowned.
A good lesson, Manny, that man must know his limits.
A month before the filing of candidacies on October 10, there is a lot of speculation on who is running and for what position.The most logical combination would be a Bongbong-Sara. It’s a “marriage made in heaven,” according to Senator Imee Marcos - geographically and demographically speaking. They have the North and the South. Now, who will be President or Vice President? I am betting on this team.
But, as I said, everything is still on the stage of speculation. Things will jell come the middle of September.
There are times when I suspect that Duterte says things he doesn’t mean, because he says things that’s different from what he wants. For example, he said that Senate investigations are just for posturing, meaning that they amount to nothing. For the President to say that, he makes the entire Senate his enemy, including his own allies, Senators Bong Go, Bato dela Rosa, and Francis Tolentino since they are all involved in Senate investigations.
Duterte knows full well that Senate investigations are part and parcel of the system of checks and balances, which is needed in a democracy.
Still, it would do well for Senate President Tito Sotto and Senator Dick Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, to show Duterte the outcome of all the probes and identify what pieces of legislation have been made.
By the way, for Duterte to attack Gordon for being fat and Ping on how he combs his hair is foul.
Santa Banana, Senator Bong Go, Duterte’s aide for over 20 years, seems to be making more sense when he declined the nomination and endorsement of PDP-Laban for him to run for president. Still, Go must explain his alleged involvement in the Yang case.
If you can’t make sense of what is happening in our politics, I can’t blame you.
The following incumbent mayors of Metro Manila will surely be reelected:
Isko Moreno of the city of Manila, unless he seeks higher office;
Joy Belmonte of Quezon City;
Abby Binay of Makati City;
Francis Zamora of San Juan;
Lani Cayetano of Taguig;
Vico Sotto of Pasig;
Marcelino Toedoro of Marikina;
Toby Tiangco of Navotas;
Edwin Olivarez of Parañaque;
Imelda Aguilar of Las Piñas;
Carmelita Abalos of Mandaluyong;
Oscar Malapitan of Caloocan;
Antolin Oreta of Malabon;
Imelda Calixto Rubiano of Pasay; and
Rex Gatchalian of Valenzuela