Robredo leads opposition against Duterte

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

I do not know why the political opposition, headed by the Liberal Party (LP), is making a big deal about Vice President Leni Robredo spearheading it.

It simply follows that because Robredo is the highest ranking government official in the land belonging to the LP who has shown her dislike in the way President Duterte is running the country, not to mention the colorful language he uses, and has been seen to be taking the cudgels for those being the subject of Duterte’s ire, that she has the moral authority to lead.

The question, however, is – can she deliver?

Does she have the ‘oomph’, meaning the intensity, effectiveness and sustainability to deliver the blow of political issues against Duterte that will cause people to rally behind her and upset the president?

Robredo may have the charm, but charm is not what it takes to unsettle a formidable and savvy opponent like Duterte.

Robredo may be a lawyer, but against Duterte she is doomed!

The fact alone that Duterte has described her as not fit to be president of a country like the Philippines because of incompetence speaks volumes.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace welcomes an “active” opposition as part of a healthy democracy.

A ‘strong’ opposition is a more apt description, but with Robredo at the helm there is no doubt that it is going to be a weak opposition and surely will be steamrolled by Duterte and his PDP-Laban supporters.

To start with it is not enough that one has to criticize immediately the country as having a ‘worsening economy’ as Robredo described it, piqued after being called incompetent by Duterte.

If that is how she sees it then, for chrissake, offer a solution!

I don’t think the economic stride Duterte has gained during his just two years in office can be scoffed at.

If Robredo and her rabble rousers have better ideas to improve the economy, then help the government by suggesting it.

Otherwise, let us trust the economists who have forecasted that the Philippine economy is expected to grow at a robust pace this year and next on the back of a buoyant expansion in fixed investment, which is benefiting from the government’s infrastructure investment program.

Advertisements

The continuing Duterte-Sison feud

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and CPP’s Jose Maria Sison.

The off and on relationship between President Rodrigo Duterte and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founding chair Jose Maria Sison is, to many, making a mockery of the peace process.

I say this because there are times when they laud and fatten each other’s ego, having experienced a teacher-student relationship, but most of the time they indulge in name calling and going after each other’s neck.

This time it is even worst because Sison is belittling and discrediting Duterte’s earnest and resolute war against illegal drugs that was engulfing the whole country already by calling the latter a “protector” of the drug trade.

What is even more despicable is that Sison also accused Duterte’s son, Paolo, as also being involved in the drug trade.

While it is true that Paolo and his brother-in-law, lawyer Manases Carpio, the husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, were both accused of being involved in the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of illegal drug (shabu) in the country, a fact-finding panel of the Office of the Ombudsman later cleared them of involvement.

So why say something offensive when it is water under the bridge already?

The question is, how serious really is Sison and his elk in establishing peace with the Duterte government?

Describing Duterte also as ‘the most effective ‘destabilizer of his own administration’ is ill-advised and idiotic thing to say knowing very well that the president not only has the backing of the people, including the police and military forces, but is dead serious in talking and settling peacefully with all the rebel groups in the country, the CPP included.

I understand that the formal resumption of peace talks was scheduled to proceed on June 28 in Norway, but it did not push through as Duterte said he wants more public consultations before returning to the negotiating table.

The postponement did not sit well, however, with Sison.

Perhaps Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was right in saying that Sison is “doomed to irrelevance” whether or not the latter decides to return to the Philippines.

“Whatever you do Mr. Sison you are doomed to irrelevance. You remain in the Netherlands and you will be forgotten because the President has decided with finality that the talks would be held in our country. You come back and you will end up in jail,” he said.

Indeed, what an opportunity lost.

Lorenzana pointed out that Philippines has progressed a lot despite Sison’s destabilization efforts in the past few decades. He also said that the CPP’s army, the New People’s Army (NPA), is surrendering in droves.

Sison seems to be reaping now the ignominious price of being old and petulant for staying too long in a foreign land and not facing the reality in his own land.

Duterte’s ‘perplexing’ popularity

 

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman

I am simply amused at how Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman described Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity – ‘perplexing’.

Why would it be difficult for him to understand Duterte’s popularity?

Perhaps what would be more difficult for him and those like him in the opposition to understand is why over 16 million Filipinos voted for the man from Mindanao to be president?

“It is a puzzle that despite the failure of President Rodrigo Duterte to deliver most of his campaign promises, his irreverence to established institutions, including the Catholic Church, his unpatriotic surrender to China’s expansionism in the West Philippine Sea, his policy equivocation, and his antihuman rights record, he still enjoys a high popularity rating across classes in his second year in office,” Lagman said in a statement.

What an absurdity!

This, after Duterte scored a net satisfaction rating of +56 during the first quarter of 2018, which according to Social Weather Stations survey is considered as “very good”.

Lagman even showed arrogance when he bad-mouth the intellect of the electorate, saying, “they like a leader who is authoritative even in his blunders and blabbering and that they simply want to justify their choice, however errant it may have been. ”

Excuse me?

What Lagman is actually trying to say is that Duterte does not act presidential, does not talk presidential and is, in general, an aberration to the presidency.

Lagman who pretends to be the epitome of decency in words and deeds should recognize and accept by now that the likes of him have failed to move this country forward and majority of Filipinos have lost faith in them and their style of leadership.

That is why Duterte continues to remain popular because the people like what they see in him and admire how much he cares for the country and its citizens no matter his bloody war on drugs, alleged extra-judicial killings, China’s incursion into the West Phil. Sea, and the ‘stupid-God’ comment of the Catholic religion.

Duterte has just completed his two years in office as he continues waging war also against corruption and criminality, as he has promised, and one cannot just deny that the country’s economy is doing better despite his non-presidential traits.

Perhaps what Lagman could do in his solitude is to reflect what could it have been had Poe, Roxas or Binay been the president?

Robredo’s idle talk

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

Between Leni Robredo and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos I had and will always opt for the former. The latter is a disgrace to the nation and should not be given any more the honor to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, much less to be in the seat of power like his despot father.

Robredo herself is a disappointment, no matter how she tries to emulate the leadership style of her much admired husband, the late Jesse Robredo, who served as the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) under the administration of Pres. Benigno Aquino from 2010 until his death in 2012.

It is bad enough that Robredo is not assisting nor contributing much to the development of the country under the Duterte administration, but it is even worst that instead of doing something worthy of her position she has joined the opposition in criticizing President Duterte’s leadership.

I understand she has become inutile because she has not been given a role to play in the running of the government, but if indeed her intention is to help shape the progress of the nation in order to alleviate the plight of the poor then she should put the nation ahead of her political affiliation and interests.

Robredo’s idle talk when she spoke before the Rotary Club of Makati recently, saying, “….. the fate of our country lies not in the hands of a strong leader, but in the collective courage and action of our people” is even making her more irrelevant and useless.

The truth is that Robredo is not only contradicting herself but is likewise denying that what we are today as a nation, where regional and world leaders are showing their respect and recognizing the economic progress the country has been attaining, owes much to the strong leadership of Duterte.

For as long as Robredo and her cohorts are blinded by Duterte’s war on drug issue, human right issue and other controversial issues emanating from the uncouth mouth of the president, they will never learn to appreciate how Duterte is leading the country.

In slamming Duterte, Robredo talks about “leaders who will inspire others not just to follow but to lead as well.”

Why, is Duterte not empowering government officials to lead?

Duterte is known not to micromanage, thus, I have never seen a president giving so much leeway by allowing/enabling government officials to do as they please, but with a caveat – don’t’ be corrupt or else!

If Robredo can only use her own mind and be objective and pragmatic in her approach, she could be an asset to the Duterte’s administration.

But for as long as she allows to be influenced and makes political convenience her priority she will be remembered as the most useless vice president ever elected.

 

Duterte calls God stupid

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

Even in this controversial remark made by President Rodrigo Duterte that God is stupid, I am still siding with him.

I am sure my opinion/support will not sit well with many, but by now we should already know who the man is as the leader of the country and as a person in the way he talks or delivers a message which almost always keeps you hanging and surmising.

Duterte does not mince words about is antipathy towards the pretentiously or hypocritically pure in this world starting with the members and followers of the Catholic Church.

Frankly, these are the same people that have driven me out of the church – with no regrets whatsoever.

But does this mean that I have turned by back at God for good?

Of course not. I sought Him and found Him and I consider Him as the One putting order in my life and that of my family.

So, one may raise the question if my God is the same as the God of the self-righteously pious?

My answer is I don’t know. What I am sure about is that the God of the sanctimonious people is not doing enough to give me peace of mind.

What I am simply saying here is that nobody has the right to impose their religious beliefs on other people.

It is in this context that I go along with Duterte’s view on this controversial issue.

Expressing one’s opinion about religion or religious belief is a constitutional right and just because one does not conform with the majority does not mean that one is evil.

Religion does not singularly define a person’s character. That is too presumptuous.

The truth is that with the barbaric things happening in the world today, like in Trump’s America’s gross violation of human rights where children are mercilessly separated from parents, one should not be talking about the sanity of God, but rather one should be asking: Where is God?

It is the more logical question to ask instead of criticizing the misinterpreted remarks of Duterte that God is stupid.

Trump’s brutal immigration policy – Part II

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So I will not be saying anything anymore to what is suppose to be Part I of Trump’s brutal immigration policy. Suffice to say that this video not only expresses more words as opposed to a photograph, but also shows candidly and brutally what America is today under Trump’s “zero- tolerance” immigration policy. Simply egregious and pathetic!

Trump’s brutal immigration policy

President Donald Trump’s administration seems to have boasted that in a six-week period beginning April 19 it had separated almost 2000 children from their parents or caretakers accused of crossing unlawfully into the United States.

The separations are part of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy for illegal border crossing.

Now, if this is not a brutal immigration policy, I do not know what is.

I am not saying here that the issue of illegal immigrants to the U.S. has started only during Trump’s administration. It has been there all these times, but the solution that has become Trump’s unilateral decision is so heartless that every time images/videos of children being separated, or cries/audios being heard of children calling their father or mother, it becomes automatically a symbol of the American president’s vile and cold blooded treatment of immigrants.

For how else would you describe a person and a leader of the greatest nation on earth if he allows kids to be dehumanized and considered criminals?

America has always been known to be the bulwark of freedom, of democracy, of equality and justice especially to those seeking asylum due to political instability and violence in their country of origin.

But not anymore. Not in Trump’s America.

Does one has still to wonder why Trump covets the prominence of Russia’s Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping?

Mind you, Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy has come under fire from politicians, immigration advocates and human rights groups.

Even wives of former U.S. presidents, like Laura Bush, described the policy as cruel and immoral and that it beaks her heart, explaining that protecting boundaries is one thing but forcefully separating children from their parents is another thing.

To top it all Trump’s wife, Melania, expressed also her concern, saying, she “hates to see children separated from their families”.

Hopefully this inhumane policy of her husband will spur her to put some sensibility into his head.

She should if she has not forgotten where she comes from.