Shelve barangay elections or appoint barangay officials

President Rodrigo Duterte

Once more the country faces a dilemma on whether or not the barangay elections are to proceed in October this year after it has been postponed in October 2016.

If the decision were left to ordinary politicians, and more so those belonging to the opposition, definitely the clamor to proceed is deafening as it has been today for the simple reason that the voters have already been deprived of their rights to choose their leaders.

Unfortunately the traditional politicians mentioned above have to contend with somebody who is not only an unconventional politician but the president of the country who knows whereof he speaks because he has the voluminous intelligence reports in his possession that potentially show the danger of his determined war against illegal drugs being derailed and jeopardized.

The stark difference between the arguments of those advocating for the holding of elections in October 2017 and the reservations made by President Rodrigo Duterte against it is that while the typical politicians only think about the rights of the voters, Duterte has the welfare of the country and well-being of the Filipino people foremost in his mind, which is to say a long term commitment of his presidency that he wants to see succeeding.

Duterte could not have been more emphatic in his resolve to win his war against illegal drug as when he gave a speech recently before the first general assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines saying that he did not want the barangay elections held this year due to the purported influence of drug money in the elections.

His statement was simply a reverberation of what he has been telling everybody during his visits all over the country, saying, “Narco-politics has entered the mainstream of Philippine politics.”

It is in this frightening backdrop that President Duterte wishes that a law be created giving him the mandate to appoint the over 42,000 barangay officials nationwide instead of having them elected in October as scheduled.

In as much as Duterte has in his possession the verified information about the deep-rooted involvement in illegal drugs of many barangay officials then it is only right and just that he be given the authority to appoint those unsullied and exemplary individuals to head the barangays if only to insure that, like illegal drug trades, corruption and criminality will also be stopped.

This exceptional mandate could only redound to the benefit of the country and the Filipino people.

MEP’s meddling an utter rudeness

 

The European Parliament

I am actually referring to the arrogance and brazenness of some Members of the European Parliament (MEP) who are meddling in the political affairs of the Philippines, a sovereign country at that, by filing a resolution calling for the release of Sen. Leila de Lima and quashing the drug charges against her.

If this is not a blatant show of superiority complex, I don’t know how else to interpret it.

Let me just qualify what I mean by superiority complex. Surely, it is not about intellectual superiority, nor in terms of integrity and morality, but this pompous and imperious bunch of people think they belong to a superior race because they come from a much developed country and they are white.

That is all there is to it and they think that because they are the high and mighty, that they have the ascendancy, the authority, nay, the ‘sovereign obligation’, to bully and lecture us about justice.

Justice my ass! Justice for de Lima?

But of course justice has been done, and where she finds herself now is the kind of justice that she deserves.

And they don’t have to worry about her safety. She definitely is in good hands. She has to be because the Filipino people would really like to see how the de Lima saga ends, if only to prove that indeed she was deeply entrenched in the drug activities.

This bunch of swaggering and pontificating MEPs think that it was all the time fine and dandy and much better in the Philippines before Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got voted to the presidency.

I am sure de Lima saw what was coming to her after she won a slot in the senatorial race allegedly with the help of drug money, and seeing, too, that Duterte captured the presidency.

De Lima must have felt sorry in hindsight that she was not able to gather enough evidence to prove that Duterte was behind the much ballyhooed killings in Davao while the latter was the mayor and the former as chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and thence Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

What de Lima is getting is payback time from Duterte, after what he went through being falsely accused and humiliated by her.

Now the table is turned against de Lima and for the information of the MEPs, this is a welcome development for the country.

Duterte’s relentless and bloody war against illegal drugs, not to mention criminality and corruption, is giving most Filipinos hope that under his leadership the Philippines will grow and develop faster.

In fact Duterte’s brand of leadership for many is a breath of fresh air, even with the alleged extrajudicial killings brouhaha, but, unfortunately, the meddling of the MEPs is fouling the atmosphere somehow.

 

Robredo’s “palit-ulo” allegations

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

It is unfortunate, if not saddening, that Vice President Leni Robredo, a lawyer, has gone down to the gutter-level of attacking and debasing President Rodrigo Duterte about some serious allegation which has still to be proven by her.

While Duterte has recently absolved Robredo of being a party to a destabilization campaign being waged against him, the fact remains, however, that the vice president is spearheading the opposition group that is very vocal against the president’s bloody war on illegal drugs that has cost thousands of lives already.

It is in this context that Robredo newly and publicly revealed a new heinous scheme called “palit-ulo”, literally translated as “exchange heads/swap heads”, being employed by the government operatives in the slums or poverty-stricken areas when searching for persons of interest involved in illegal drugs.

Robredo elaborated this by completing the story, saying, “They (communities) told us of the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme which means ‘exchange heads’ where the wife, husband or relative in a so-called drug list will be taken if the person himself could not be found.”

This unconfirmed and unsubstantiated story, while prejudicial and damaging to President Duterte, has actually been recorded and scheduled to be played at the 60th annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

Robredo’s message obviously did not sit well with Malacañang as Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella immediately issued the following statements:

“Eight months into our campaign against illegal drugs, Vice President Robredo, suddenly refers to an alleged ‘palit-ulo’ scheme – which she mistakenly describes as substituting a relative for a missing drug personality.”

“While she has the right to speak freely on matters of public concern, she also has the responsibility to be careful with her statements especially avoiding unfounded allegations from questionable sources.”

While Abella admits the existence of a “palit-ulo scheme”, he explained, however, that this game plan involves “a commitment of a drug suspect to provide assistance in the arrest of a ‘bigger fish’ in the illegal drug syndicate”, which could earn the former a plea for lighter charges.

That is all there is to it, but having said that, Robredo has still to justify or prove that indeed an actual swapping of heads occurred.

Now I am wondering if Bongbong Marcos would have been a better vice president.

Dutertes must prove Trillanes wrong in corruption allegation claims

 

Senator Antonio Trillanes

Senator Antonio Trillanes

I am talking of course about President Rodrigo Duterte and his immediate family who have been dragged into the muck of corruption charges by Sen. Antonio Trillanes saying that, collectively, they have amassed P2.4 billion in unexplained wealth stashed in secret deposit accounts from 2006 to 2015.

Initially this was brought up by Trillanes during the height of the 2016 campaign period when he claimed that millions of pesos had been deposited in the accounts of Duterte’s children with his first wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman: Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and Sebastian Duterte.

This time, however, Trillanes provided to media the supposed transaction records of bank accounts owned by Duterte that included also his common-law wife, Honeylet Avanceña, from 2006 to 2015.

Trillanes said the money that went into Duterte’s accounts – a mix of inter-account bank transfers, purchases of insurance policies, credit memos, and deposits – were not just from campaign contributions, and allegedly “showed a pattern of behavior” of corruption.

I do not know if Trillanes has enough evidence to really pin down and shame Duterte on these damning allegations because the burden of proving it is on him, but just the same the Dutertes, including Sara and Paolo, who are both public officials also, should come out contesting strongly against the accusations of Trillanes by substantiating that all are just in the fertile imagination of the arrogant and swaggering senator who can show nothing but fake documents.

What is even important is that the Dutertes, headed by the patriarch and president must do it sooner than later because Trillanes has promised to resign from the Senate if he would be proven wrong.

And what is more significant than having one less pompous and grandstanding senator of the realm step out for good from the Senate floor!

‘It’s time to unmask this guy,’ says Trillanes of President Duterte.

How wrong can Trillanes be!

There is nothing to unmask because what you see is what you get in Duterte – sincere, unpretentious and honest.

Could the same be said of Trillanes and his past as a renegade soldier?

Or is Trillanes just looking at Duterte with jaundiced eye?

Duterte must resolve plunder cases of politicians and cohorts immediately

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

It is very encouraging to know that the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan has recently denied the motion of lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes, a cohort of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, to dismiss the plunder case against her.

Reyes, a former chief of staff of Enrile, is facing plunder   charges over her involvement in the pork barrel fund scam. She allegedly earned some P173 million in commissions on projects funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of Enrile.

Although old and sickly, and granted bail for humanitarian reason, I hope Enrile is not off the hook from the plunder case that he, too, is facing.

But what I am just saying here is that since President Rodrigo Duterte has also declared war against corruption in government, the people should be making a lot of noise for him to expedite the resolution of plunder cases against politicians and their cohorts involved in the infamous P10-billion pesos Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam if he is really serious in eliminating this evil, as he has been against illegal drugs.

Before the Ombudsman starts filing corruption cases against new Duterte targets, it would add to the people’s encouragement, especially those supporting and contributing to Duterte’s high approval and trust ratings, if those lingering in detention and awaiting verdict, the likes of former Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla and their cohorts, will have their cases against them decided already before more are added to the list.

The Binays, Jejomar and Jejomar Jr., may not be among those involved in the PDAF scam, but both are also facing plunder charges during their fiefdom-like rule in Makati City that are just as appalling and despicable if found to be true.

One could just imagine if any of these big-named politicians made it to be leaders of this country again and Duterte failed to be elected president.

Holy shit! What tremendous disaster it would have been for the country!

I think Duterte owes it to the country and the Filipino people that the plunder cases against the above-mentioned politicians and their cohorts be resolved first before naming and shaming new ones.

As we all had high expectations for Duterte’s success in his war against illegal drugs, we have also high anticipation that he will accomplish the act of putting the plunderers in jail for good if only for the unscrupulous public servants to pay the price for making poor Filipinos suffer more because of power, arrogance and greed.

 

Duterte continues to dominate news

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

Being an unorthodox or an unconventional president when compared to past leaders, Rodrigo Duterte has been and will always be an extraordinary fodder for news.

And to think that Duterte is just in his seventh month of his four year presidential term!

Whether Duterte’s words or deeds project a good or bad image for the country really depends on who you are or where you find yourself in today.

For one who has made the war on illegal drugs, corruption and criminality as cornerstone of his presidency, Duterte has not only showed his unique style of leadership but has also served notice to the world that under his leadership the sovereign state, that is the Philippines, has to be respected.

This is what makes Duterte stand up head and shoulder over the past presidents – his humanity, his determination and his political will to apply unconventional ways if only to eliminate the scourges responsible for hindering the growth and development of the country, establish lasting peace all throughout the archipelago and once and for all improve the quality of lives of poor Filipinos.

Obviously, some sectors like the members of the Catholic Church and human rights advocates and some political adversaries are making so much noise and blaming Duterte for the killings and this is what is making news abroad, too, but fortunately or unfortunately this is apparently how it goes as Duterte has proven it in making Davao City a peaceful and progressive place.

But what really has the country and the whole world talking about Duterte are his overtures towards China and Russia while in the process of letting go the coattails of the U.S., which the Philippines has always been pictured to be hanging to.

Duterte’s promotion and upholding of his independent foreign policy stand is how he was able to earn the respect of the other leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) and with the Philippine strongman now fully committed to the organization, ASEAN could be a force to reckon with in years to come.

No wonder, therefore, that China’s magazine, the equivalent of America’s Time magazine, has named Duterte as the “Person of the Year”.

What seems to be a certainty in the future, too, is that the Philippines will no longer be conducting joint military exercises with the U.S., but rather with Russia and China, and in such a controversial place like the South China Sea, which no doubt is part of China’s domain now.

Indeed, it is interesting to see how this will be viewed by the incoming U.S. President Donald Trump.

Talking about unceasing news on Duterte’s presidency.

Much ado about Duterte’s criminal past

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

Why are we making a big fuss now about President Rodrigo Duterte’s criminal past?

Just because Duterte confessed his crime-busting days, while still the mayor in Davao City, at the gathering of business executives at the Wallace Business Forum in Manila, saying, he just wanted to show to his policemen that if he can kill criminals that they, too, could do it, would it be reason enough for us to change our opinion of him?

Why, what is the difference between the Duterte today and the Duterte before, who as Davao City mayor had already been investigated for human rights violation by the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Justice, both coincidentally led by now Sen. Leila de Lima?

And what has de Lima proven? Nothing!

Yet Duterte never denied having killed criminals.

Even the illiterate self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato alleged before senators during the hearing on extra-judicial killings that Duterte had ordered and participated in summary killings.

So why raise a furor about it now?

Just because de Lima has been harping abroad before international audience that Duterte’s action “is betrayal of public trust and that constitutes high crimes because mass murders certainly fall into the category of high crimes. And high crimes is a ground for impeachment under the constitution”, must we allow this hysteria to bother us?

Impeachment? De Lima must be dreaming!

What we know certainly is that de Lima has her own agenda against her most ardent nemesis, Duterte, and is simply inciting human rights organizations, like the Amnesty International, to create uproar in the country.

“By boasting about the blood on his own hands, President Duterte will further embolden police and vigilantes to blatantly violate laws and carry out more extrajudicial executions without fear of being held to account,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty’s director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

Only a misinformed and an ignorant person could come out with such a statement on Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.