The recent tirades of former President Rodrigo Duterte against the House of Representatives and its leader, Speaker Martin Romualdez, suggest all is not well with the ex-President and Romualdez.
It also suggests a rift between the Speaker and Vice President and concurrent Education Secretary Sara Duterte. After all, ex-President Duterte’s criticism of Romualdez and the House was triggered by the decision of the chamber to disallow the P650-million budget for confidential and intelligence funds sought by Sara for the Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education.
The P650-million was given by the House instead to the military establishment to put it in a better position to attend to China’s illegal expansionist activities in the West Philippine Sea.
That decision of the House should not be considered anti-Sara Duterte per se.
Limited public money sought for intelligence work is better off alloted to the government agencies precisely created and specifically equipped to do work relating to the country’s maritime dispute which, if left unattended, may become a bigger problem.
What should be a cause for concern for ex-President Duterte and Vice President Sara Duterte is the avalanche of anti-Duterte propaganda they are sure to get from staunchly anti-Duterte groups, now that the elder Duterte is no longer president.
These groups are composed of the remnants of the politically unpopular Liberal Party, ostensibly led by the hopelessly misinformed and biased Albay Representative Edcel Lagman.
The LP got clobbered by pro-Duterte candidates in the 2019 senatorial elections.
All eight LP bets lost, including former Senator Mar Roxas, and Bam Aquino, then an incumbent senator whose only claim to serious public service is his consuming desire to be a look-alike of his famous uncle.
In the national elections last year, the tandem of political opportunists who will not hesitate to promise heaven and earth just to get votes — Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan — lost miserably.
Robredo and Pangilinan, candidates for president and vice president, respectively, were so ashamed of their LP affiliation that they ran under a pink (and yellow) banner many derisively called the pinklawan party.
Sara defeated Pangilinan so badly in the vice presidential race that it was almost as if only a fraction of a percentage of the nation’s voting population voted for Pangilinan.
Ultimately, the defeat of the two de facto LP candidates led to the eradication of the LP from the political consciousness of the electorate.
For that, LP stragglers will want to get even with ex-President Duterte by discrediting him and his daughter.
Included in the anti-Duterte group are the drug lords whose illegal trade had been stopped, albeit temporarily, by the tokhang anti-narcotics operations of the administration of the ex-President. These drug lords lost a lot of money during the Duterte administration.
Padre Damaso and his confederates in the Catholic Church are likewise included in the anti-Duterte gang.
These politicized friars and nuns, who lost the immense political influence they enjoyed in the administrations before Duterte became president, will think it’s payback time, now that ex-President Duterte is no longer in power.
For the friars, Duterte violated the secret Church commandment which states, “Thou shall not deprive Padre Damaso of his power and influence in government.”
Don’t forget to include the communists. They hate the Dutertes so much, they’re drooling to discredit them.
The recent release on bail granted by a trial court to ex-Senator Leila de Lima will surely start the anti-Duterte propaganda.
Duterte enemies are bound to lecture that de Lima was only incarcerated because of the whim of then President Duterte.
The ensuing anti-Duterte propaganda will label the ex-President as a lawless, vindictive and oppressive bully who has no respect for human rights.
Naturally, they will conveniently ignore the fact that de LIma’s past detention had been upheld by the Supreme Court.
In contrast, Romualdez announced any perceived rift between him and the Dutertes is momentary, and he can mend fences with them soon enough.
Besides, the close political ties between the Dutertes and the Marcos-Romualdez clan will weather the temporary political tempest.
To repeat, Romualdez is not the enemy of the Dutertes. The anti-Duterte group is their enemy.