"Sadly no one is stepping up."
President Duterte has urged “tambays”—loiterers—to rob bishops, who are wealthy because they steal from the people, and priests because they commit sexual abuses. Now here comes Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo saying that Mr. Duterte was just using a figure of speech.
It’s always the same. When the President hurts the people’s sensibilities by ranting against anything or anybody he does not like, his minions scramble to explain what he supposedly really meant.
If it’s not a joke, it’s an exaggeration or hyperbole. It was taken out of context. That’s just his style, they say. He likes amusing people, making them laugh.
All these make me ask: Are we really amused?
Santa Banana, why does our President want to be a comedian?
There is some contradiction here. If we believe in poll surveys, the President continues to be very popular. But he says many things that people find objectionable!
Soon enough he will realize that making such jokes will not make the problems of our nation go away.
Perhaps the President thinks he is still just a mayor. He certainly acts and thinks that way. He forgets that he has the future of 106 Filipinos on his hands.
To be sure, he is not the first one who what challenged dogma and the clergy. To a lot of the faithful, he is a Johnny-come-lately Protestant. Mr. Duterte should be reminded of Filipinos’ religious fervor during the recent Traslacion during the feast of the Black Nazarene.
In other words, Duterte is just wasting his time ranting against the Church. Notice how the Church has been keeping silent. And how can one argue when one is silent?
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One of the great tragedies of the nation is that there is no single leader of the opposition who can stand up against President Duterte.
Yes we have Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima. They have made a lot of noise against the President. But they have not generated enough following for the simple reason that people doubt their credibility and authenticity. In other words, they do not have the capacity to lead the opposition, much less the people.
This is tragic because a strong opposition leader is exactly what we need. Unfortunately, almost everybody in the Senate and House has become a part of the supermajority that kowtows to the administration.
My gulay, I have covered 10 presidents and seen history in the making. I have walked the corridors of power. And yet we don’t have anybody leading the opposition and providing checks and balance on the Executive.
Under the dictatorship of Marcos, the opposition was alive and kicking with Aquino, Diokno, Tañada and many others. There was Jaime Cardinal Sin. Now there is no one challenging the President—not even the Philippine press!
With only Mar Roxas in the winning circle, there will just be a handful of oppositionists in the Senate. I am deeply troubled at this.
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There are some factors that can make and unmake candidates in the Philippines: Public awareness or popularity, and of course money.
Popularity is the name of the game. Still, that is no guarantee. Look at what happened to the very popular action star Fernando Poe Jr. in 2004. He lost anyway.
To me it’s rather funny that Lapid would run for senator again. Did he not say that he felt out of place in the Senate since he could not participate in interpellations nor sponsor a bill?
Money makes a real difference especially in the province. With it, candidates can have the necessary nationwide exposure. You also need money to transport voters to polling stations. You need money to buy votes. In other words, you need money to cheat.
This is why people vote for members of political dynasties. They have money to spread around. It’s a symbiotic thing.