My friends and countrymen, for your convenience, I have
compiled some information in order for you to vote wisely within the last few
hours of the 2022 presidential election. They will show contrasts between
Leonora Robredo and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Robredo does not come from a political dynasty
or privileged nepotism. Marcos Jr. does.
Robredo’s last name plays minimal, if any, role in
her success. Marcos Jr.’s last name
plays a significant role in his success.
Robredo has no relatives in government which
could potentially pose conflicts of interest.
Marcos Jr. has relatives in the Senate, House, province, and city.
Robredo has no tax liabilities. Marcos Jr. has a pending estate tax of P203
billion, which even President Rodrigo Duterte acknowledges.
Robredo’s relevant educational achievements
include Doctor of Laws from the University of the Cordilleras, Juris Doctor
from the University of Nueva Caceres, Doctor in Public Administration from PUP,
and B.A. in Economics from UP Diliman. Since
Marcos Jr. did not complete his preliminary examinations, he was unable to
attain a B.A. in politics, philosophy, and economics. Instead, he obtained a Special Diploma (not
equivalent to a degree) in Social Studies.
Likewise, Marcos Jr. did not acquire a master’s degree from Wharton
School of Business, since he could not finish his studies (due to his election
as vice governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980).
Robredo has the endorsements of 162 economists.
Marcos Jr. does not, and many predict the peso as well as the economy will
decline under his tenure as president.
Robredo will defend the West Philippine Sea at
all costs, including invoking the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, and will
leverage the arbitral award before making any oil exploratory agreement with
China. Marcos Jr. opposes US involvement
in the WPS dispute and will unconditionally enter an oil exploratory agreement
Robredo is poised to govern for all Filipinos,
which is why she has attended all major presidential forums in order to
maximize her exposure. Marcos Jr. is
likely to govern only for his political base, which is why he has foregone all
major presidential forums in spite of the clamor of Filipinos to face them and
other presidentiables—in a word—accountability.
Remember, my friends and countrymen, there is no shame in
changing your vote even at the last hour.
However, it is shameful to vote blindly, so vote wisely.
My friends and countrymen, UP political
science professor Clarita Carlos said voters have different criteria for
choosing a presidentiable, based on what is important to each one (e.g.,
climate change, health, education).
Hence, if your criteria are identical to mine, then it is only logical
that you will not vote for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. for president of the
Republic of the Philippines. Unlike many
of his critics who hold him accountable for the “sins of his father” (e.g.,
ill-gotten wealth, injustice to martial law victims) and evasion of taxes and
tax penalties, my concerns are of a more fundamental nature. That means such concerns, as important as
they may be, are only secondary to the three specific ones I’m about to present.
First and foremost, it is important to me that the commander-in-chief, the head of state, and the head of government (all embodied in the president) know and understand the Constitution and the context upon which it was framed. In that case, Marcos Jr. should have known before choosing President Rodrigo Duterte as his running mate for vice president, that it is unconstitutional. Some may contend that, upon realizing this, he settled for the President’s daughter, Sara Duterte, instead. Hence since Marcos Jr. averted a potential violation of the supreme law of the land, why should Filipinos be so concerned or even critical of him? My answer is that his initial ignorance of such a fundamental issue raises the question of his grasp of the Constitution, which makes a mockery of his tenure as a law maker in both the House and Senate.
Section 4, Article VII of the
Constitution reads: “The President and the
Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six
years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the
day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date six years
thereafter. The President shall not be eligible for any reelection.”
According to Far Eastern University Law Dean Mel Sta Maria,
the word “any” in the last sentence refers to reelection as president as well as vice president,
since both posts were cited in the preceding sentence. Hence, “the President shall not be eligible
to run for reelection for ‘any’ of the positions,” concludes Sta Maria, “either
the Office of the President or the Office of the Vice President.”
If that’s insufficiently comprehensible to Marcos Jr., how about the fact that the 1987 Constitution was the direct byproduct of the dictatorial presidency of his father? Indeed, its framers designed it precisely for the purpose of preventing such a tyrant from remaining in power for a prolonged period of time via a single term presidency and vice presidency. Thus, Duterte’s attempt to run for vice president, states Christian Monsod (one of the constitutional framers), “is an ingenious and insidious move to circumvent the constitutional provision on reelection.” If Marcos Jr. doesn’t understand such a fundamental concept, then he is utterly unfit to be president. Although he ultimately chose Sara Duterte, he should have at least been prudent so as to not publicly disclose his initial intention of selecting the President at the time when its constitutionality was questioned.
Second, if you’re in the market
to hire a professional to complete a specific job for you, and he didn’t appear
in the job interview, what would you make of that? Perhaps something beyond his control
occurred. Would you give him another
chance? What if you offered him a second
chance for another interview, and he failed to appear again? What if you discovered that he intentionally
missed both interviews? Would you
persistently pursue him, or would you seek another professional, who’s eagerly
ready to meet you?
In fact, Marcos Jr. deliberately
missed several forums (the Jessica Soho and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas
interviews, CNN presidential debate, etc.) in which all presidentiables generally
appeared to present their positions and plans to our voting countrymen. He and his camp cited
several reasons for his absences and others yet to come: conflict of schedule,
unfavorable format (interview preferable to debate), media bias, lack of desire
to be combative to other presidentiables due to his unity platform.
As a concerned Filipino citizen,
I present some points and simple suggestions to address those reasons:
of Schedule: Marcos Jr. should prioritize presidential forums. He should make time for the most important
things, and schedule everything else accordingly.
Format: Marcos Jr. should mentally prepare for all potential formats, whether they
be interviews or debates. He should take
notes and memorize them. He should perform
mock interviews and debates for practice.
Bias: Marcos Jr. should participate in allegedly biased forums and point out
the bias whenever it is presented by the interviewer or interpolator. Additionally, he should use social media to
clarify points or rebut the forum’s alleged bias.
of Desire to Be Combative to Other Presidentiables Due to “Unity” Platform: Marcos
Jr. need only present his plans, programs, and track record. He should stress his core competency without resorting
to ad hominem remarks or personal
attacks, while ignoring them from his competitors. The debate format need not be a forum for verbal
combat but for statesmanship, which may foster unity—true unity because his
ideas will stand out if they appeal to Filipinos.
Job Interview not for Debating Future Bosses or Other Fellow Applicants: That presupposes that all job interviews uniformly entail verbally asking and answering questions; they don’t. Some entail demonstrating one’s knowledge or skill set, which may also display subtleties in temperament or character. For example, an aspiring phone salesman may
As a concerned Filipino citizen,
I present some points and simple suggestions to address those reasons:
Conflict of Schedule: Marcos Jr. should prioritize
presidential forums. He should make time
for the most important things, and schedule everything else accordingly.
Unfavorable Format: Marcos Jr. should mentally
prepare for all potential formats, whether they be interviews or debates. He should take notes and memorize them. He should perform mock interviews and debates
Media Bias: Marcos Jr. should participate in
allegedly biased forums and point out the bias whenever it is presented by the
interviewer or interpolator.
Additionally, he should use social media to clarify points or rebut the forum’s
Lack of Desire to Be Combative to Other
Presidentiables Due to “Unity” Platform: Marcos Jr. need only present his plans,
programs, and track record. He should stress
his core competency without resorting to ad
hominem remarks or personal attacks, while ignoring them from his
competitors. The debate format need not
be a forum for verbal combat but for statesmanship, which may foster
unity—true unity because his ideas will stand out if they appeal to
Job Interview not for Debating Future Bosses
or Other Fellow Applicants: That presupposes that all job interviews uniformly
entail verbally asking and answering questions; they don’t. Some entail demonstrating one’s knowledge or
skill set, which may also display subtleties in temperament or character. For example, an aspiring phone salesman may
display his social interaction skills and mastery of the art of persuasion,
which may take patience, grace, and empathy.
The same holds true for a politician, since he or she is basically a
salesman, pitching ideas and promises for votes. One of the presidentiables has stressed the importance of debates as a leveler of the
playing field, since there’s “no tutor, no
script, no phones, so we cannot search on Google.” That means “not only your wisdom but also the
grasp on issues — current issues, past issues — would be tested and unearthed
here. Not only wisdom and knowledge, but also the character is being revealed
in these debates.”
display his social interaction skills and mastery of the art of persuasion, which may take patience, grace, and empathy. The same holds true for a politician, since he or she is basically a salesman, pitching ideas and promises for votes. One of the presidentiables has stressed the importance of debates as a leveler of the playing field, since there’s “no tutor, no script, no phones, so we cannot search on Google.” That means “not only your wisdom but also the grasp on issues — current issues, past issues — would be tested and unearthed here. Not only wisdom and knowledge, but also the character is being revealed in these debates.”
I would add that in a debate
forum, politicians are under pressure from their competitors, as well as their
interpolators, which gives voters a glimpse of their agility and decisiveness
or lack thereof when dealing with government officials, foreign diplomats, or
heads of state—in a word—statecraft.
After all, if Marcos Jr. finds the debate forums with his colleagues and
our voting countrymen overly challenging or burdensome, then how will he be
able to face Chinese President Xi Jinpin or Russian President Vladimir Putin?
Surely a seasoned politician like
Marcos Jr. would already know everything I’ve pointed out and suggested. Anyway, the presence and participation of all
presidentiables make it convenient for us to compare, contrast, and evaluate
their presentations in order to make an informed vote. More than Marcos Jr. not showing the best
face of his campaign, candidacy, and character, stated political analyst Tony
La Vina, “he did a very big disservice to the country.” For me, that would be a display of his
misplaced priorities and lack of concern for the Filipino electorate, not to
mention the farce of his “unity” platform.
After all, shouldn’t Marcos Jr. maximize his exposure in order to court
the voters of the other presidentiables?
Indeed, that would display his initiative to be a team player and a president
for all Filipinos, not just for his political base, hence unifying the country.
Third, just as the man of the
house must defend his family and property from intruders and thieves, so too,
must the president defend the Filipino people and their country from foreign
invaders and land grabbers.
Unfortunately, Marcos Jr. plans to simply resume Duterte’s policy of
appeasement to China with regard to the West Philippine Sea, since China
neither consents to the arbitral award, nor was it a signatory to the
proceedings. In an interview with Boy
Abunda, Marcos Jr. stated, “Ang
problema diyan saChinaay sinabi na nila: ‘Hindi
kami signatory diyan, hindi kami makikinig kung anuman ang maging findings ng
court.‘” (The problem with China, they said: We’re not a signatory, we won’t
listen to whatever the court’s findings are.) Hence, “it’s no longer an arbitration if
there’s only one party. It is no longer available to us.” That is factually incorrect, since China ratified the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the Sea in 1994, hence legally binding it to international law
according to maritime expert Jay Batongbacal.
UP Political Science Head Herman Kraft said Marcos Jr. needs a “deeper understanding” of the proceedings leading
to the 2016 arbitral ruling.
the same straw man of President Duterte that “if we get in a fight [with
China], . . . we will lose” within one week.
For the record, I know of no single government official or foreign
policy expert who thinks that the Philippines should wage war against China,
much less be victorious. Perhaps this
false premise gives justification to Marcos Jr. to pursue “diplomacy” and
“bilateral agreement” with China. “His true
position, I think, is really pro-China,” states Batongbacal. “It’s like Duterte’s old position that he
needs China, and the Philippines can’t do anything about it…. It’s all very
shallow, outdated, and simply uninformed.”
Indeed there are practicable and
non-combative options for defending WPS suggested by Batongbacal, legal
luminary behind the arbitral award and former Supreme Court Justice Antonio
Carpio, and maritime expert and former national security advisor Roilo Golez,
which I’ve listed in How
the Philippines Can Enforce Its Arbitral Award without Going to War with China.
Speaking of being uninformed, Marcos Jr. stated in the SMNI forum, “Marami talaga tayong issue, hindi lamang sa conflicting claims sa gitna ng Pilipinas at saka China kaya’t ngayon lang ang nakita kong national election na naging issue ang West Philippine Sea or ang foreign policy.” (We really have lots of issues, not only the conflicting claims between the Philippines and China, that’s why I see only in this national election that the West Philippine Sea or foreign policy has become an issue.) Such a statement could be misconstrued as sarcasm if one just tuned in and heard it on television. Unfortunately, Marcos Jr. seems oblivious to the 2016 presidential debates in which then presidentiable Rodrigo Duterte promised to jet ski to Panatag Shoal and plant the Philippine flag in defiance to China’s incursion. Indeed, it was one of the most memorable highlights.
How could Marcos Jr. have been
unaware of it? Could he have known and
simply forgotten about it? Could this be
the first sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease taking effect? Perhaps he simply turned a deaf ear or a
blind eye to the WPS issue because it’s just not a priority for him. If the last possibility is the case, then it
would account for his position, or rather uninformed position on different
aspects of the matter, on which I will now expound.
In the SMNI forum, Marcos Jr.
constantly expressed his concern over the disputed “territorial waters.” He said, “It is
about territorial waters, and when we have these 200 Chinese boats coming and
blocking our fishermen, it is to assert their claim that this is part of their
territorial water.” Nothing could be
further from the truth. Anyone who has
studied this matter would know that the vicinity of the territorial waters of
the Philippines is within 12 nautical miles along the coast of Palawan and
Mindoro, in Luzon (which is the area that China does not claim). However, the area within 200 nautical miles
is known as the “exclusive economic zone (EEZ) waters.” Contrary to what Marcos Jr. said, Carpio retorted, “Our dispute with China in the WPS, outside
of the territorial dispute in the Spratly Islands, is a dispute over EEZ
waters, not territorial waters. A dispute over EEZ waters is a dispute over the
resources in that EEZ – the fish, oil, gas and other mineral resources.”
Aside from Marcos Jr.’s apparent lack
of understanding of the Philippines’ territorial waters and EEZ waters, his
grasp of the arbitration court seems equally deficient. On one occasion, he stated, “Ang pagsolusyon sa mga
territorial conflict… naaayos lang ‘yan sa ICC (International Criminal Court).
Pero kailangan sumang-ayon ang parehong bansa, magsasabi, ‘Okay sa akin sa
Pilipinas, susundan ko ‘yong decision ng ICC.” (The resolution of territorial
conflicts, these are only fixed at the ICC. But both countries have to agree,
say for instance, ‘It is okay with me in the Philippines, I will obey the ICC.)
Marcos Jr. further said, “Pero ‘yong China, hindi naman signatory sa
pagtaguyod ng ICC. Pangalawa, sinabi na nila mula umpisa pa sa hindi namin
susundan, hindi namin kinikilala ‘yang mga decision sa ICC. (But China is not a
signatory in the establishment of the ICC. Second, from the start, they said we
will not follow, we do not recognize those decisions of the ICC.) Again, anyone who has studied the Philippine
arbitration case against China would know that the Permanent Court of
Arbitration was the tribunal in which the case was filed and the Philippines awarded. The ICC is the tribunal in which crimes
against humanity are filed.
Hence, Marcos Jr. was factually
incorrect about China being legally bound to comply with international law,
about the Philippine waters of which China claims, and about the tribunal which
awarded the arbitral ruling to the Philippines.
How can such a misinformed presidentiable be trusted to assert the
Philippines’ arbitral award when he displayed his sheer ignorance on three
fundamental maritime issues?
Furthermore, my friends and countrymen,
I have only three questions to ask with regard to whether or not you should
vote for Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
First, do you want a president who fully grasps the fundamental
principles of the Constitution, on which he or she will solemnly swear an oath
to protect and defend? Second, do you
want a president who will be a president for all Filipinos and not just for his
own voters and supporters? Third, do you
want a president who fully knows and understands the maritime fundamentals in
order to defend the whole Philippines, including its EEZ waters in which fish,
minerals, and oil are present in the West Philippine Sea?
If you answered “yes” to all of
the above questions, then perhaps we share the same criteria or standard for
our president after all. That would
logically mean that, like me, you will not cast your vote for Ferdinand
“Bongbong” Marcos Jr. However, if you
answered “no” to the above questions, then our criteria or standard
differs. Perhaps such mass neglect for
fundamentals is why the Philippines has remained stagnant for so long. Therefore, my friends and countrymen, let’s focus
on fundamentals first, raise our standards, and choose our leaders accordingly. Only then can we be competitive in the
marketplace of governance, and always remember this: There’s no shame in
changing your vote. There’s only shame
in voting blindly, so vote wisely.
My friends and countrymen, as we commemorate the 125th anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom today, it is incumbent upon us to create a better future for our youth and improve our country. That includes electing good public servants to the Senate. The purpose of this article is not to persuade you all to vote for Senator Richard Gordon against or over another senatoriable, although perhaps, that debate can be made. On the contrary, I wish to persuade you all to simply add an indispensable man of great learning and historical achievements to your current list of senatoriables. Please allow me to present my case.
1. He is a crusader against corruption.
As chairman of the Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), Gordon has been the nemesis of malfeasance, misfeasance, and nonfeasance. Presiding over the ongoing Pharmally probe, he has exposed corruption in the collusion of Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. directors and officers, former DBM (Department of Budget and Management) officials, a former advisor to President Duterte, and potentially even President Duterte himself. Some of the recommended charges by the Blue Ribbon Committee include violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, fraud against the public treasury, perjury, falsification of public documents, and disobedience to summons issued by Congress.
Other high-profile probes over which Gordon presided as chairman
include the Dengvaxia scandal, the P728 million fertilizer fund scam, and the $329
million ZTE National Broadband scandal.
Furthermore, a man, such as Gordon, who will impartially uphold justice
and follow the rule of law as senator is invaluable for our country which was
ranked 115th place according to the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International.
2. He has political
Gordon has been perceived to be allies with Duterte since the
beginning of his presidency, which would be politically expedient, since
Duterte remains popular to this day.
However on several fronts (as I have elucidated in “Digongis
no Dick . . . Dick Gordon, that is”), he has
courageously opposed Duterte’s questionable or unconstitutional proposals and
policies, such as acquiescing to China on Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea,
running for the vice-presidency, and appointing former military officials to
civilian posts in his Cabinet (which I addressed in “Is
Dick Hindering Digong or Is Digong Suffering from Dick Envy?”). When Duterte
responded with sophomoric ad hominem comments, Gordon never responded in like
fashion with personal insults. On the
contrary, he has challenged Duterte’s proposals and policies exclusively on
their merits, even providing historical and constitutional context to support
his positions. However, in spite of his
civility, Gordon has not been bashful in condemning Duterte as a “bully” and a
“cheap politician,” whose acts could be construed as a “betrayal of public
trust” and a “culpable violation of the Constitution.”
When President Gloria Arroyo declared martial law in Maguindanao, Gordon opposed it challenging its constitutional validity. In the fertilizer scam, Gordon recommended charges be filed against Arroyo appointee Jocelyn Bolante (Undersecretary of Agriculture for Finance and Administration), in spite of Gordon’s own appointment by Arroyo (as Secretary of Tourism); such a maverick tendency indicates he is not a trapo (traditional politician).
3. He is a pious public servant.
In 2016, Gordon could easily have filed a lawsuit against Sen.
Grace Poe to disqualify her from running for the presidency on the grounds of
her citizenship and residence. That was precisely what his UP college mates
(also members of UNA and LP) urged him to do. However, rather than pursue the
matter to advance his political ambitions, he exercised restraint. He stated:
I believe that the
matter of Sen. Poe’s qualifications for national office has already been
referred to the proper legal venues, and I deem it counter-productive to say
anything more about this issue, aside from the statements I have already made.
In spite of Gordon’s preoccupation with public office duties, he has been a Red Cross volunteer since he was 17 years old. With time and dedication, he became chairman and CEO of the Red Cross, serving even to this day. The fact that Gordon holds a responsibility-laden post without receiving a salary, is a display of his altruistic and charitable nature.
4. He strongly opposes China’s illegal incursions in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Gordon has been
tenaciously vocal in condemning China’s violation of UNCLOS (United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea) and the ruling of the PCA (Permanent Court of
Arbitration) in favor of the Philippines.
His foresight into China’s intrusive potential (while presiding as
Olongapo mayor) led him to defend the renewal of the U.S. Bases Treaty in 1991. He advocates for the implementation of the
Visiting Forces Agreement and Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which
make Philippine military bases accessible to American troops, while providing
for training and intelligence to Philippine troops. They also regulate joint military exercises
and patrolling of the WPS and give “teeth” to the U.S.-Philippine Mutual
Defense Treaty, which Gordon reiterated could be triggered in “an
armed attack against the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft
in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea.”
In addition to collaborating with our oldest and most loyal ally, Gordon also encourages forging alliances with other countries, which are wary of China’s encroaching inclination, while the Philippines build its own military strength. In order to protect our fishermen in the WPS, he proposes the stationing of coast guard assets therein. Incidentally, he and 10 other senators recently filed a resolution to “condemn in the strongest possible terms the illegal activities” of China.
5. He has a practicable vision for a prosperous Philippines.
Gordon supports measures which would create domestic jobs and
render the Philippine economy less dependent on remittances of OFWs (overseas
Filipino workers). He favors competition to lower energy costs; this would
lower production costs and prices for consumer goods. In turn, living standards
of all our countrymen would be raised and the destitute would be lifted out of
poverty, rendering the culture of government handout dependency obsolete.
Gordon’s transformational vision of a prosperous Philippines is not
one of mere wishful thinking or political rhetoric. On the contrary, it is a
goal, which has already been partially implemented in Subic Bay with
outstanding success. As its first Subic
Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman, Gordon directed a successful effort
to convert a desolate, abandoned American naval base (Subic Bay) into a
prosperous economic trade zone. Before the conversion, Subic Bay was reduced to
a heap of ash caused by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. After Gordon inspired
thousands of volunteers to clean and renovate the area, hundreds of companies
(including Acer and FedEx) created approximately 40,000 jobs with their US
$1billion of foreign investments. The success was such that several world
leaders (including Pres. Clinton) lauded it as a model for economic
Aside from stimulating the economy on a local level in Subic
Bay, Gordon has done no less on a national level as secretary of the Department
of Tourism. At a time of declining tourism, he managed to increase the number
of tourists from one million to two million within a single year, thereby
creating numerous jobs. Against overwhelming odds, all this occurred in the
midst of terrorist threats, civil war in Mindanao, coup attempts, and SARS. Indeed, with successful experience in
reviving the economy on a local and national level, Gordon envisions a Third World
Philippines ascending into First World status.
6. He is a learned law maker.
As senator, he authored several important laws (e.g., New
Automated Elections System Law, Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, Filipino World
War II Veterans Pensions and Benefits Act of 2008) and was a member of more
than twenty committees (most notably the Blue Ribbon, Economic Affairs, Trade
and Commerce, Education, Energy, Foreign Relations, National Defense and
Security, and Ways and Means). He also served as a member of the JBC (Judicial
and Bar Council), chairman of the Constitutional Amendments and Revision of
Laws Committee, and was the youngest delegate to the 1971 Constitutional
Convention. That makes him an exceptional lawyer and senator, since he took
part in framing the supreme law of the land, namely the Constitution.
7. He has diverse executive experience.
In my article entitled “Of Scooters, Jeepneys, Buses, and Airplanes,” I make the case that Gordon’s executive experience of private and public policy implementation would serve him well as president of the Republic of the Philippines in 2010. However, I contend here that such experience gives him the hindsight of working with other policy makers as chief executive himself, which subjected him to conflicts of interest, compromise, resolutions, and collaboration with them. For example, as mayor (an executive position) of Olongapo City, he worked with the sangguniang panglungsod (local legislature) in ratifying or vetoing bills as a local public executive. This gave Gordon the perspective and savvy to craft good laws and pass them effectively through the often long drawn out legislative process and conflicts of interest between the national executive (the president) and the national legislature (Congress). Being mayor has also given him a stricter sense of public accountability, since the small bureaucratic structure of local officials tends to be more transparent (as opposed to the national level), thus making it more difficult for them to conceal their potential violation of the law.
8. He is a crisis manager.
As chairman and CEO (an executive position) of the Philippine
Red Cross, Gordon traveled all over the Philippines, undertaking numerous
drastic measures. As a crisis manager, he directed many disaster/rescue
operations involving aid in man-made and natural catastrophe victims. In the Covid-19 pandemic, the Red Cross has
been the leading agency for testing. According
to Gordon, 5 million Filipinos have
been tested as of early December,
In Gordon’s nearly 60 years of charitable service, his intervention
has saved millions of lives and restored over 133,000 homes of Typhoon Yolanda victims
and other calamities. (View this
video for firsthand accounts, including
a successful hostage rescue operation from Abu Sayyaf without ransom.) He has also directed
operations that involve prevention and safety in order to better prepare our countrymen
for any disaster. Only a crisis manager or executive (not just a legislator)
would know precisely what resources and in what quantity need to be allocated
to each disaster area, knowledge which is indispensable for a country prone to
9. He was a radio show host.
As a radio show host on Radyo5 92.3 News FM on a program called “Aksyon Solusyon”, Gordon was exposed to people of diverse economic, provincial backgrounds. Such a constant daily inflow of various feedback directly from the people kept Gordon informed on the state of the nation and provided him with fresh ideas on what can and must be done. As senator, he will be in a better position to accommodate such ideas via legislation.
10. He is an ordinary Filipino.
Apart from Gordon’s apparent devotion and service to our country, on the lighter side, he is an ordinary Filipino, which makes him a likable politician with a human face. For example, here is a clip in which he performs a song and dance routine with the renowned entertainers Moymoy Palaboy.
In another video, he dances the Harlem Shake with his grandchildren. Apparently, Gordon is not the typical “out of touch” career politician without a good sense of humor.
In summary, my friends and countrymen, you should all vote for
Gordon because he is an accomplished public servant with political will, who
has opposed corruption, created thousands of jobs, and saved lives. Aside from
serving our country for nearly 60 years, he also knows how to do the Harlem
Shake. Who would not want all those qualities in a senator? That is precisely why Filipinos need a taste
of more Dick . . . Dick Gordon, that is.
Long live Sen. Dick Gordon!
Long live the Philippines!
10 Dahilan Kung Bakit Mas Kailangan ng Pinoy ang Isang Dick . . . sa Senado
Mga kaibigan at kababayan ko, sa paggunita natin sa ika-125 anibersaryo ng pagiging martir ni Dr. Jose Rizal ngayon, tungkulin nating lumikha ng magandang kinabukasan para sa ating mga kabataan at mapabuti ang ating bansa. Kabilang doon ay ang mahusay na pagpili ng mabubuting lingkod-bayan sa Senado. Ang layunin ng artikulong ito ay hindi para hikayatin kayong lahat na iboto si Senador Richard Gordon laban o kapalit ng iba pang senatoriable, bagaman marahil, ang debateng iyon maaaring gawin. Sa kabilang banda, nais kong hikayatin kayong lahat na magdagdag lamang ng isa pang kandidato. Iminumungkahi kong isama ninyo sa inyong talaan ng mga senador ang isang taong kailangan ng ating bayan dahil sa kanyang angking kaalaman at makasaysayang tagumpay. Hayaan ninyong ilahad ko kung bakit:
1. Siya ay matapang na lumalaban sa katiwalian.
Bilang isang tagapangulo ng Senate Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon), si Gordon ay isang mabagsik na kaaway ng kabuktutan sa pamamahala, ng pangaaabuso sa apangyarihan, at sadyang di pagganap sa tungkulin. Sa pamumuno sa kasalukuyang imbestigasyon sa kaso ng Pharmally, ibinunyag niya ang lantaran at malawakang katiwalian sa sabwatan ng director at ilang opisyales ng Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp., ng dating pamunuan ng DBM (Department of Budget and Management), ng dating tagapagpayo ng Pangulong Duterte, at malamang, kahit ang Pangulong Duterte mismo. Ilan sa mga inihaing kaso ng Blue Ribbon Committee ay ang paglabag sa Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, panloloko laban sa kaban ng bayan, pagsisinungaling, palsipikasyon ng mga pampublikong dokumento, at pagsuway sa patawag na inisyu ng Kongreso.
Ang ilan pang bantog at malawakang pagsisiyasat na pinangunahan ni Gordon bilang chairman ay ang Dengvaxia scandal, ang P728 million fertilizer fund scam, at ang $329 million ZTE National Broadband scandal. Higit pa rito, ang isang taong katulad ni Gordon, na patas manindigan sa katarungan at sumusunod at nagpapasakop sa kapangyarihan ng batas, ay napaka halaga para sa ating bayan lalo pa’t tayo ay nasa pang 115 pwesto sa Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International 2020.
2. Siya ay may political will.
Marami ang naniwalang si Gordon ay masugid na kaalyado ni Duterte mula pa noong umpisa ng kanyang pagkapangulo, na siya namang kapakipakinabang dahil si Duterte ay nanatiling bantog hanggang ngayon. Subalit sa ilang pagkakataon, (gaya ng sinabi ko sa “Digongis no Dick . . . Dick Gordon, that is”), may lakas ng loob syang salungatin si Duterte at ang mga kahinahinala at labag sa Saligang Batas nitong panukala at pamamalakad, halimbawa ay ang lantaran nitong pagpapahintulot sa China sa Panatag Shoal ng West Philippine Sea, ang pagtakbo sa pagka pangalawang pangulo, at ang pagtatalaga sa mga dating opisyales ng militar sa mga puwestong pang sibilyan sa kanyang gabiniete, (na siya ko namang tinukoy sa “Is Dick Hindering Digong or Is Digong Suffering from Dick Envy?”). Nang nagbigay ng pahayag si Duterte puno ng pangungutya at atakeng personal, hindi sumagot si Gordon sa ganoong pamamaraan, bagkus ay hinamon nya kabutihang dulot, kung mayroon man, ang mga panukala at pamamalakad ni Duterte. Naglatag pa nga siya ng mga halimbawang hango sa kasaysayan at nilalaman ng konstitusyon para itaguyod ang kanyang posisyon. Subalit,sa kabila ng kanyang pagiging magalang ay hindi nahiyang ikondena ni Gordon si Duterte bilang isang “bully” at isang “cheap politician,” na isang asal na pwedeng ipakahulugang pagtataksil sa tiwala ng taong bayan at lantarang paglabag sa Saligang Batas.
Noong mag deklara ng batas militar si Pangulong Gloria Arroyo sa Maguindanao, tinutulan ito ni Gordon at hinamon kung alinsunod ito sa Saligang Batas. Sa fertilizer scam, iminungkahi ni Gordon na magsampa ng kaso laban sa itinalaga ni Arroyo na si Jocelyn Bolante (Undersecretary of Agriculture for Finance and Administration), sa kabila ng pag hirang ni Arroyo kay Gordon (bilang Kalihim ng Turismo); patunay na siya ay isang maverick, at lalong hindi trapo (traditional politician).
3. Siya ay tapat na public servant.
Noong 2016, napakadali kay Gordon na magsampa ng kaso laban kay Sen. Grace Poe para ma diskuwalipika sya pagtakbo sa pagka pangulo sa usapin ng kanyang pagkamamamayan at paninirahan. Na siya ring iminumungkahi ng mga UP college mates (also members of UNA and LP) ni Gordon na gawin niya. Subalit, sa halip na isipin niya nag pagsulong ng kanyang political ambitions, minabuti niyang huwag makinig sa udyok ng iba. Sinabi niya:
“I believe that the matter of Sen. Poe’s qualifications for national office has already been referred to the proper legal venues, and I deem it counter-productive to say anything more about this issue, aside from the statements I have already made.”
Sa kabila ng pagiging abala ni Gordon sa kanyang pampublikong tungkulin, nanatili siyang Red Cross volunteer mula pa noong siya ay 17 taong gulang pa lamang. At sa tamang panahon at dedikasyon, hinirang siyang chairman at CEO ng Red Cross, at nagsisilbi hanggang sa ngayon. Sa totoo lang, si Gordon ay hindi tumatanggap ng sweldo sa mga posisyong ginagampanan niya, ito ay patunay ng kanyang katapatan at pagiging bukas palad.
4. Mariin niyang tinutulan ang ilegal na pagkamkam at pananatili ng China sa West Philippine Sea (WPS).
Mariing nagpapahayag si Gordon ng kanyang pagkondena sa China’s violation of UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) at ang ruling ng PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration) na pumabor sa Pilipinas. Noon pa man ay nakita na ni Gordon ang panghihimasok ng China (habang siya ay namumuno bilang Olongapo mayor) na siyang nag udyok sa kanyang ipagtanggol ang renewal ng U.S. Bases Treaty noong 1991. Pinangunahan nya ang pagpapatupad ng Visiting Forces Agreement at Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, na magbibigay daan sa mga American troops na ma access ang Philippine military bases, habang nagbibigay ng kasnayan at kaalaman sa Philippine troops. Ang mga kasunduang ito rin ang mag reregulate ng joint military exercises and pagpapatrol ng WPS and siyang magbibigay “ngipin” sa U.S.-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty, ni reiterate ni Gordon kung sakaling may mag umpisa ng “an armed attack against the Philippines’ armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the Pacific, including in the South China Sea.”
Bukod sa pakikipagtulungan sa ating pinakamatagal at pinaka mabuting kakampi, hinihimok din ni Gordon ang pakikipagkasundo sa ibang bansa, upang magsilbing babala sa China’s encroaching inclination, habang pinagtitibay ng Pilipinas ang sarili nitong pwersang militar. Para protektahan ang ating mga mangingisda sa WPS, iminungkahi ni Gordon na mag istasyon ng coast guard dito. Kaugnay dito, siya ta nag 10 pang senador ay kamakailan lamang nag filed ng resolusyon para “ikondena ang malawakang illegal activities” ng China.
5. Siya ay may makatotohanang pananaw sa isang maunlad na Pilipinas.
Sinusuportahan ni Gordon ang lahat ng gawaing makakalikha ng domestic jobs na siyang makapagbibigay sa Pilipinas ng isang ekonomiyang hindi umaasa sa remittances ng mga OFWs (overseas Filipino workers). Hinihikayat niya nag kompetisyon na makapgapapababa ng energy costs; na siyang magdudulot ng mas mababang production costs at presyo ng consumer goods. Sa kabilang banda, tataas ang kalidad ng pamumuhay ng ating mga kababayan at ang mga mahihirap ay maiaangat mula sa kahirapan, na siyang nagtatapos sa kulturang ayuda o lubusang umaasa sa tulong ng pamahalaan.
Ang makapagpapabagong pananaw ni Gordon ng isang maunlad na Pilipinas ay hindi isang pangarap lamang o isang gasgas na political rhetoric. Ito ay isang adhikain na matagumpay na naipatupad sa Subic Bay Bilang kauna-unahang Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman, pinamunuan ni Gordon matagumpay at mahusay na na-convert ang dating abandonadong base military ng America (Subic Bay) para maging isang maunlad na economic trade zone. Bago ang conversion, ang Subic Bay nag mistulang tambak ng abo mula sa pagputok ng Mt. Pinatubo. Matapos hikayatin at pasiglahin ni Gordon ang libo-libong volunteers na maglinis at ayusin ang lugar, daan-daang kumpanya (katulad ng Acer and FedEx) ang lumikha ng humigit kumulang na 40,000 hanapbuhay na may katumbas na US $1 bilyong foreign investments. Hindi maikakaila ang tagumpay na ito kung kaya nga at may ilang world leaders (kasama na ditto si Pres. Clinton) ang humanga sa modelong ito ng economic development.
Maliban sa muling pagpapasigla ng lokal na ekonomiya ng Subic Bay, Hindi biro ang nagawa ni Gordon sa pambansang antas bilang kalihim ng Department of Tourism. Sa panahon nang panghihina ng turismo, nagawa niyang pataasin ang bilang ng mga turista mula sa isang milyon hanggang dalawang milyon sa loob lamang ng isang taon. Nang sa gayon ay makalikha ng maraming trabaho. Laban sa napakaraming pagsubok, ang lahat ng ito ay nangyari sa gitna ng mga banta ng terorista, digmaang sibil sa Mindanao, mga pagtatangka ng kudeta, at SARS. Sa katunayan, sa matagumpay na karanasan sa pagpapasigla ng ekonomiya sa lokal at pambansang antas, naiisip ni Gordon ang isang Third World Philippines na umakyat sa First World status.
6. Siya ay maalam na mambabatas.
Bilang senador, gumawa siya ng ilang mahahalagang batas (halimbawa, New Automated Elections System Law, Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act, Filipino World War II Veterans Pensions and Benefits Act of 2008) at naging miyembro ng mahigit dalawampung komite (lalo na ang Blue Ribbon, Economic Affairs, Trade and Commerce, Education, Energy, Foreign Relations, National Defense and Security, at Ways and Means). Nagsilbi rin siyang miyembro ng JBC (Judicial and Bar Council), chairman ng Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws Committee, at siya ang pinakabatang delegado sa 1971 Constitutional Convention. Iyon ang dahilan kung bakit siya ay isang natatanging abogado at senador, dahil sa Karanasan niyang makibahagi sa pagbalangkas ng pinakamataas na batas ng lupain, ang Saligang Batas.
7. Siya ay may iba’t-ibang karanasan sa ehekutibo.
Sa aking artikulong pinamagatang “Of Scooter, Jeepneys, Buses, and Airplanes,” ginawa kong kaso ang karanasang pang ehekutibo ni Gordon sa pribado at pampublikong pagpapatupad ng patakaran upang patunayan na siya ay magiging mahusay na presidente ng Republika ng Pilipinas noong 2010. Gayunpaman, ipinaglaban ko dito na ang karanasan iyon ay nagbibigay sa kanya ng hindsight sa pakikipagtulungan sa iba pang mambabatas bilang punong ehekutibo mismo, at naranasan niyang magkaroon nga magkatungggaling interes, kompromiso, mga resolusyon, at pakikipagtulungan sa kanila. Halimbawa, bilang alkalde (isang ehekutibong posisyon) ng Lungsod ng Olongapo, nakipagtulungan siya sa sangguniang panglungsod (lokal na lehislatura) sa pagratipika o pag-veto ng mga panukalang batas bilang isang lokal na pampublikong ehekutibo. Nagbigay ito kay Gordon ng pananaw at kasanayan sa paggawa ng mabubuting batas at epektibong maipasa ang mga ito sa kabila nang madalas ay mahabang proseso ng pambatasan at mga salungatan ng interes sa pagitan ng pambansang tagapagpaganap (ang pangulo) at ng pambansang lehislatura (Kongreso). Ang pagiging alkalde ay nagbigay din sa kanya ng mas mahigpit na angking pampublikong pananagutan, dahil ang small bureaucratic structure ng mga lokal na opisyal ay may posibilidad na maging mas transparent (kumpara sa pambansang antas), kaya nagiging mas mahirap para sa kanila na itago ang kanilang potensyal na paglabag sa batas.
8. Siya ay isang crisis manager.
Bilang chairman at CEO (isang executive position) ng Philippine Red Cross, naglakbay si Gordon sa buong Pilipinas, na nagsagawa ng maraming mabilisang hakbang tugon sa krisis. Bilang isang tagapamahala ng krisis, pinamunuan niya ang maraming operasyon ng sakuna/pagsagip sa mga biktima ng sakunang gawa ng tao at natural na kalamidad. Sa pandemyang Covid-19, ang Red Cross ang nangungunang ahensya para sa testing. Ayon kay Gordon, 5 milyong Pilipino na ang nasuri noong unang bahagi pa lamang ng Disyembre, 2021.
Sa loob halos ng 60 taong serbisyong pangkawanggawa ni Gordon, ang kanyang interbensyon ay nagligtas ng milyun-milyong buhay at naibalik ang mahigit 133,000 tahanan ng mga biktima ng Bagyong Yolanda at iba pang kalamidad. (Panoorin ang video na ito para sa mga personal na account, kabilang ang isang matagumpay na hostage rescue operation mula sa Abu Sayyaf nang walang ransom.) Siya rin ay nagdirekta ng mga operasyon na may kinalaman sa pag-iwas at kaligtasan upang mas maihanda ang ating mga kababayan sa anumang sakuna. Tanging ang isang tagapamahala ng krisis o ehekutibo (hindi lamang isang mambabatas) ang tiyak na makakaalam kung anong mga mapagkukunan at kung anong dami ang kailangang ilaan sa bawat lugar ng sakuna, kaalaman na kailangang-kailangan para sa isang bansang laging dumaranas ng mga sakuna.
9. Siya ay isang radio show host.
Bilang isang host ng radio show na Radyo5 92.3 News FM sa isang programang tinatawag na “Aksyon Solusyon”, na-expose si Gordon sa mga taong may iba’t ibang economic at provincial background. Ang araw araw na pagpasok nang iba’t ibang feedback na nagmumula mismo sa mga tao ang nagpapanatili kay Gordon na mulat sa totoong estado ng bansa at nagbibigay sa kanya ng mga sariwang ideya kung ano ang dapat gawin. Bilang senador, siya ay nasa isang mas mahusay na posisyon upang ma-accommodate ang mga naturang ideya sa pamamagitan ng batas.
10. Siya ay isang ordinaryong Pilipino.
Bukod sa maliwanag na debosyon at paglilingkod ni Gordon sa ating bansa, on the lighter side, siya ay isang ordinaryong Pilipino, at isang kagiliw-giliw na pulitiko at tao. Halimbawa, narito ang isang clip kung saan nagpe-perform siya ng song and dance routine kasama ang mga kilalang entertainers na si Moymoy Palaboy.
Sa isa pang video, sinasayaw niya ang Harlem Shake kasama ang kanyang mga apo. Si Gordon ay hindi isang tipikal na “out of touch” politician na walang magandang sense of humor.
Sa pagwawakas, mga kaibigan at kababayan ko, iboto ninyong lahat si Gordon dahil isa siyang accomplished public servant na may political will, na lumaban sa katiwalian, lumikha ng libu-libong trabaho, at nagligtas ng maraming buhay. Bukod sa halos 60 taon niyang paglilingkod sa ating bansa, alam din niya kung paano gawin ang Harlem Shake. Sino ba naman ang hindi maghahangad ng lahat ng katangiang iyon sa isang senador? Iyon ang dahilan kung bakit kailangan ng mga Pilipino ang mas maraming Dick. . . Dick Gordon.
Mabuhay si Sen. Dick Gordon! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
Note: The economic accomplishments are pre-COVID-19, and would be potentially more laudable otherwise. However, given only four years of public service compared to Joe Biden’s nearly fifty years of public service, Donald Trump has proven to be more effective. Consider the following:
Almost 4 million jobs were created
since Trump’s election.
Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in history.
New unemployment claims recently hit
a 49-year low. Black, Hispanic, and Asian
unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded. Women’s unemployment recently reached the
lowest rate in 65 years. Youth
unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century. Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for
Americans without a high school diploma.
Almost 3.9 million Americans have been
lifted off food stamps since the election.
Median household income has hit
highest level ever recorded.
United States is a net natural gas
exporter for the first time since 1957.
Trump supported legislation to open ANWR
(Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) and approve Keystone XL and Dakota Access
Pipelines in order to keep energy prices low while creating more jobs.
Trump signed Right-To-Try legislation,
which permits terminally ill patients to consume newly developed drugs, hence
bypassing the lengthy process of FDA approval.
Trump signed the VA Choice Act and VA
Accountability Act, which expanded tele-health services, walk-in-clinics, and
same-day urgent primary and mental health care for veterans.
Trump signed the First Step Act, which
reforms the criminal/prison system shortening the sentences of qualified,
non-violent drug offenders.
Trump signed legislation imposing
tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer,
intellectual property theft, and chronically abusive trade practices.
Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani
(the second most powerful person in Iran) and ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
were assassinated and the caliphate defeated under the Trump administration.
Trump has established a new branch of
the military called the Space Force, which is engineered to weaponize space and
to preclude China and Russia’s acquisition.
NATO allies are spending $69 billion
more on defense since 2016.
Trump has nominated three justices to
the Supreme Court, who will interpret laws in conformity to the U.S. Constitution
and not legislate from the bench.
My friends and countrymen, ever since Rodrigo Duterte entered the presidential race in 2016, some of his most fervent supporters, including some of my esteemed colleagues, have held him with such high regard tantamount even to their high regard for Sen. Richard Gordon. In fact, many voted for both public servants believing they would be an ideal tandem, one for president and the other for senator. Many of our citizens who voted for Duterte in the 2016 presidential election are the same ones who voted for Gordon in his 2010 presidential race.
Perhaps such electoral behavior is due to the perception that they both are “no-nonsense,” maverick leaders, who “think outside the box.” Hence, it is indubitable that they would govern similarly, if not identically. However, such a conclusion has little basis in fact, considering their views, policies, and overall knowledge differ drastically. Please allow me to illustrate.
On the issue of the drug epidemic, Duterte seems content in executing his plans by literally executing people—drug lords and addicts—just as he did as mayor of Davao City. He has even encouraged civilians to follow his lead, whereby he would give them a medal or cash in return. “If you know of any addict,” stated Duterte, “go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.” Duterte has reiterated to the PNP (Philippine National Police) that he would take the fall for any policeman prosecuted for “doing his duty,” even to the point of incarceration.
Gordon, on the other hand, has a comprehensive approach to the drug problem. For instance, since China has failed to effectively enforce its anti-drug smuggling laws, he suggests they be condemned. “We should shame China,” advises Gordon, “They’re not only taking our land. They’re also bringing in drugs to our country.” He urges the Foreign Affairs Department to “launch a strong protest” against the imperial power.
Additionally, Gordon proposes that schools provide highly trained guidance counselors and facilitate active Parents-Teachers Associations in order to detect and prevent potential drug addicts. He supports the establishment of village watch groups that would coordinate with the police and has been proven to be effective in Olongapo City under his mayorship. Gordon also proposes establishing police courts for handling drug-related crime and extrajudicial killing cases and body cameras for the police to promote transparency.
Upon the event of extrajudicial killings, he proposes the immediate suspension or dismissal of all policemen involved, just as he initiated as mayor. I might add that as an infrastructure project and extra border security, the Philippines can emulate American Pres. Donald Trump’s proposal of erecting a “wall” for which China will pay, but I digress. 🙂
American Foreign Policy
Although Duterte has given mixed signals about his position on America and so-called “independent foreign policy” with other countries, his numerous rants and actions indicate he is, indeed, anti-American. For example, Duterte prompted the Supreme Court to deliberate on the constitutionality of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), in spite of its benefit to RP. He said that 2016 would be the last year the Philippines would participate in joint military patrols and exercises with the U.S., although he recently requested China’s assistance in sea patrolling as a pre-emptive measure against piracy. Duterte has constantly condemned the U.S. for the atrocities of the Bud Dajo Massacre in 1906, prompting former Pres. Fidel Ramos to characterize such anti-colonial thinking as “20th-century thinking” from which we must detach ourselves.
Furthermore, Duterte has shifted RP’s arms supply source from the U.S. to Russia and China, in spite of what political scientist Richard Heydarian addresses as “problems with configuration” in which it could take “years for the Philippines’ army to reorient itself with new technology.”
He did all this in spite of the 70-year alliance in which the Americans fought alongside our countrymen against the Japanese imperialists during World War II, invested billions of dollars in private capital (much of it accounting for a booming BPO industry), defended RP’s right to use arbitration for maritime disputes in the West Philippine Sea, and has provided foreign aid in the form of disaster relief goods and services and military equipment and training against Islamic terrorists.
I have yet to mention the billions of dollars of remittances from American OFWs (which comprise approximately 43% of total remittances). Does this sound like Duterte merely seeks an independent foreign policy, or does this manifest his entrenched animosity towards the U.S.?
Gordon, on the other hand, has consistently supported the U.S. as early as his Olongapo mayorship. He vehemently defended the U.S. Bases Treaty in 1991 as well as EDCA. In an interview during his 2013 senatorial run, when asked if he supported EDCA, he responded, “EDCA, yeah. Our air force is all air and no force.” More recently, Gordon pointed out that “Japan and South Korea have used the US military bases there as their defense umbrella, while they funneled resources to rebuild their ravaged economy to build up their society to first world status” and that RP “must do the same.”
On the issue of Panatag Shoal, a Pulse Asia survey (taken Dec. 6-11, 2016) shows that 84% of its participants want the government to uphold the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), favoring RP’s claim and invalidating China’s nine-dash line as contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Perhaps that is why many cheered at Duterte’s proclamation that he would jet ski all the way to the disputed territory on which he would plant the Philippine flag. However, since he has forged an alliance with imperial China, he has refrained from discussing the matter with them. Instead they discussed trade deals, financial aid, and arms supplies.
Though Philippine fishermen are now able to return due to China’s permission—not its acknowledgement of the PCA ruling, which Rep. Tomasito Villarin says will “subject us to international ridicule”—RP appears to be China’s lapdog. How ironic considering Duterte, in condemnation of America, clearly stated, “I am not a tuta (lapdog) of any country!” Even more perplexing is that about 55% of our countrymen have “little trust” in China, according to an SWS poll. Indeed, Duterte has not only contradicted himself and thwarted the will of the people, he has defied all conventional logic by shifting loyalty from an old, reliable ally—sharing similar ideals and aspects of civil liberties, human rights, democracy, and military culture— to a hegemonic, dubious foe—sharing no such ideals or cultural facets.
The U.S. has already hinted that it will make preparations to block China, if it continues militarizing Panatag Shoal. However, Duterte still refuses to collaborate in defending RP’s legal claim. Gordon called such neglect of the PCA’s ruling “dangerous because anytime you have a claim, you must assert it,” and “if China steps on Scarborough Shoals, that is a red line and we’ll have to fight.” He also agrees with Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that, “if Duterte concedes sovereignty, it is a culpable violation of the Constitution, a ground for impeachment.”
With such a serious charge pending, what could be the rationale for such illogical behavior? Is Duterte simply focused on the economic bounty RP will derive from China in exchange for Panatag Shoal? Perhaps I can appropriately adapt Mark 8:36 as “For what shall it profit a nation to gain the whole spectrum of prosperity (in banana exportation, increased tourism, financial aid for infrastructure, and foreign direct investments) but lose its own sovereignty?”
On the death penalty, Duterte seeks to reimpose it. Gordon opposes it on the grounds that it violates international conventions to which RP has agreed and the risk of mistaken identity. In fact, the Free Legal Assistance Group conducted a research study in 2004, which revealed that “71 percent of death sentences handed down by trial courts were wrongfully imposed.” The same study also showed that “70 percent of the 1,021 inmates on death row earned less than P10,000,” essentially indicating the death penalty to be anti-poor.
On the economy, Duterte styles himself a “socialist” and the “first left president of the Philippines.” As I pointed out in my commentary titled “My Concerns about a Duterte Presidency,” Duterte has been sympathetic to the communists and has offered them Cabinet positions in his administration. While it is uncertain whether or not he himself is a communist—especially since he recently rebranded the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) as a “terrorist group” and declared an “all out war” against them after breaking a ceasefire—he has not replaced his appointees, three of whom are from the National Democratic Front (NDF) and one (Leonicio Evasco Jr) of whom is from the New People’s Army (NPA) and currently supervises 18 Cabinet agencies.
There are various theories from renowned commentators on the matter, and I am open to any and all of them without a firm conviction as of yet. For example, many people think that Duterte has appointed communists to his Cabinet in an effort to make peace after 50 years of enmity. Perhaps, but following that logic, should he not also include members of the Abu Sayyaf, ISIS, and Maute terrorist groups, since they are equal adversaries of the state?
Some think that since the founding chairman of the CPP, Jose Sison, was Duterte’s close friend and political science professor at the Lyceum of the Philippines, they are simpatico in their vision of a communist RP. Others, like political columnist Francisco Tatad, speculate a grand scheme is at play in which Evasco is behind the peace talks of the CPP, NPA, and NDF for the “eventual communization of the Philippine government.”
However, some even believe that the current war on the NPA establishes a predicate for Duterte to declare martial law, since the communist movement can be construed as a rebellion, especially since they recently broke the ceasefire by killing some AFP members. That may explain why he has visited various military camps throughout RP in order to garner support for such a drastic measure.
In spite of Duterte’s dubious intentions and association with communists, Gordon’s economic platform is pro-growth and pro-free trade. His legislation proposals include lowering taxes, increasing savings and investments, and enabling entrepreneurs to be more competitive with big corporations for government contracts. Gordon has frequently condemned government handouts as merely a Band-Aid solution to a deeper problem, which he says will only perpetuate “the attitude of mendicancy among our people” as has been the case “over the last four centuries or so.”
In speech, Duterte is impulsively forthright, vulgar, and excessively foul-mouthed. Indeed, such ostensibly undiplomatic verbiage has had national and international repercussions that have been adverse and the subject of universal media scrutiny. Although a few of his spokesmen have publicly dismissed Duterte’s crude remarks as mere hyperbole or public misperception, “perception can be more damaging than reality” as Gordon pointed out.
On Duterte’s offensive remarks, Gordon insists “we have to protect the country from bad statements, and the President has the duty to be a statesman.” As for his most frequently used expletive, Gordon suggests Duterte “not be heard saying all bad words” lest RP’s new tourism slogan be “Welcome to the PI” or “Wow PI.” Even Donald Trump has displayed more oratorical discipline, since his election as president to the astonishment of many, including myself.
In contrast to Duterte’s unrefined oratory, Gordon’s is forthright but professional, eloquent, and with scholarship—in a word, most presidential. View the following speech in which he presents his perspective on reopening the senatorial probe into the alleged Davao Death Squad with new testimony from Senior Police Officer 3 Arthur Lascañas. Observe his diplomacy in articulating his disagreement with some of his senatorial colleagues. Was he effective in conveying his points without using expletives?
Although Duterte’s public service and patriotic achievements (as prosecutor and 22-year mayor) cannot be denied due credit, they were largely confined to Davao City and its residents. However, as president, I must at least credit him for persuading more than 700,000 drug-related criminals to surrender themselves to the proper authorities. However, it can be disputed that the drug epidemic is simply the symptom or consequence of the more profound problems of psychological instability, poverty, and corruption, and should thus not be considered such an impactful achievement for the country as a whole.
After all, a liberal measure of the number of drug users is calculated to be a mere 4.74%, which is below the global average of 5.2%. Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank rates the poverty level at a whopping 25%. Should not the “war on poverty” be prioritized over the “war on drugs”? Would it not be more laudable, if Duterte contributed more to job creation, expanding the tax base, and creating prosperity—which could decrease drug abuse—not to mention would have preserved the lives of the 7,000 killed suspects in the drug war?
Gordon’s public service is far more diverse and has profoundly impacted the entire country. For example, he was a delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Convention, authored the Automated Elections Law as a senator, and has helped save the countless lives of natural disaster victims as a Red Cross volunteer for nearly 50 years. Hence, while Duterte may have contributed to the safety and prosperity of Davao City, Gordon was instrumental in framing the supreme law of our country, modernizing and automating the electoral process in order to curb voter fraud, and helping create prosperity for the whole Philippines in the tourism industry.
By now, it should be ostensible that Duterte and Gordon would govern very differently because they are very different public servants with different views on different issues, some of which are in direct contradiction. If the name, “Digong,” were partially covered in such a way that only the first two letters, “Di,” could be seen, it may be innocently misconstrued as “Dick.” However, such an error could easily be prevented by simply viewing all the alphabetical letters as a whole, just as we should examine all our public servants in their totality before electing them into office.
In conclusion, friends and countrymen, I submit that Rodrigo Duterte may be the first Mindanaon president of the Philippines, a former prosecutor and 22-year Davao City mayor, whose voice mesmerizes his admirers and strikes fear into the hearts of drug lords. He may even be a maverick with drastic policy proposals and changes, which contradict conventional norms and even tradition. Perhaps Duterte has a genuinely pure heart, good intentions, and is very passionate about our country as well as our countrymen. Indeed, Digong may be a hero to many people, but he is certainly no Dick . . . Dick Gordon, that is.
Marcial Bonifacio The comparison shows the difference between Gordon and Duterte in general and in their approach to China in particular. While the former would stand up to them, the latter has sacrificed our sovereignty to them, Josephus, which is an impeachable offense. Like· Reply · March 8 at 8:58pm
Marcial Bonifacio Talaga, Alwyn? Name one policy in which they agree. I have pointed out several in which they are in direct opposition. Tungkol sa gobyerno ng ating bayan, alam mo ng mga accomplishments ni Gordon. Gayunman, Duterte’s only national impact has been in the drug war. Even then, as I pointed out sa paliwanag ko, that has little effect on poverty, unemployment, or development.
Also, the future of our country seems bleak when the President cannot even protect our sovereignty sa Panatag Shoal. Sa kabilang banda, he has sold it for China’s money. That was one of the key issues I pointed out, wherein Gordon and Duterte disagree. Like· Reply · March 8 at 7:50pm · Edited
Alwyn Balingit I cannot list and paste everything here, but you can scour the Richard Gordon FB Page, all posts that are supportive of Duterte. And yeah, while they have things that they agree on, there are also things they disagree about, for example, yung pag-away noon ni Duterte kay Obama. Like· Reply · March 8 at 8:44pm
Marcial Bonifacio Please post the link sa Gordon’s FB page here, para I can check it. Tungkol kay Obama, that is probably the one thing wherein I disagree with Gordon sa kasamaang-palad. Are you referring to Chicago, Alwyn? Like· Reply · March 8 at 9:52pm
To those who wish to bring the President down, a word of caution, just because you say it, it doesnt mean it’s the truth.
You need evidence. It must be proven. Proof is not spoken, it is shown.
To the President, I say once again, loose lips sink ships. Make your actions speak louder than your words.
Like· Reply · March 8 at 10:15pm Marcial Bonifacio Salamat, kaibigan ko, para sa mga links. While Gordon may appear supportive of Duterte, meron mga ambiguities. Halimbawa, when Gordon says, “If we want our country to succeed, we need our president to succeed,” he is making a general statement that the president and the other branches of government need to work coherently. It is Gordon’s way of trying to unify the people behind Duterte in so far as everything he does is lawful and constitutional. Like· Reply · March 11 at 2:51pm
Marcial Bonifacio Gayunman, sa specific, major policies, I have listed several quotes from Gordon indicating clear opposition to Duterte. Halimbawa, sa China, Duterte coddles them, nguni’t sabi ni Gordon RP should fight them.
Sa Amerika, Duterte constantly reiterates the Bud Dajo Massacre, which happened more than a century ago, before Obama was born. That means anti-Amerika siya. Gordon has only blamed Obama specifically, but he has openly embraced America’s alliance, even since he was Olongapo mayor.Sa Panatag Shoal, Duterte appears disinterested. Gordon wants RP to assert its legal claim ayon sa ruling ng international tribunal. He even goes as far as stating that not asserting RP’s claim could be an impeachable offense.Anong palagay mo, kaibigang Alwyn? Like· Reply · March 11 at 4:07pm · Edited
Emma Morgan I rather to see Gordon as a president, he is true to his job, never get involved with any corruption, killing etc. This is the person should lead the country not someone who’s been involved with massacre. Like· Reply · March 7 at 11:57pm Gilbert Menchu Its much better if Gordon is President.He knows better what our peoples need.They need descent job and money if we want our people lives a better life they need a better job.Other things changed automatically. Like· Reply · March 8 at 6:45pm · Edited
Like· Reply · March 7 at 6:49pm Jeffry Dy Very long analysis and well yeah different styles,different leaderships and oh boy at times pres.is pro China which is something Both us and phl leaders need to talk bout since they support one another although i disagree w the vulgar rant there. Sometimes it has to and he understands the frustrations of everyone around us thristy for a real Change something no ordinary leader has done.So yeah great points and excellent view Like· Reply · March 7 at 7:24pm · Edited
Jeffry Dy Also on the ejk part on digong its all pure exagerration and all bs when did the media ever find any figures on 7,000 plus when in our normal lives everybody does the crime everyday and that’s a fact.
My estimates on the so called ejk is massively lower than that and this whole sherade on him a dictator and all that is plain wooey.If hes ever like that would u think for once social media or all the modern things u need are still exist??Think bout that even hypocrites are ranting it out on digong too I call it smarks for all i care.
I can smell the party of digong resign right bout now hypocrites want him that.
Marcial Bonifacio Salamat, Jeffry. Actually, I did not plan for my commentary to be this long. However, as new developments occurred, I had to update it. Anyway, I do appreciate Duterte’s aggressiveness and political will, but I think he should direct them against China and the NPA. Those are the real threats to RP, since they undermine our sovereignty and ability to govern pursuant to democratic ideals.
Of course 7,000 killings is only an approximation of the total number of victims of the drug war. The conventional estimate of police killings is about half, while the other half is likely due to vigilantes and other drug-related criminals. However, don’t you think that if Gordon were president, that number would be drastically reduced?
Marcial Bonifacio Perhaps, Hill, but there is a political remedy to deal with LP. The violent nature of the NPA and imperialism of China can only be remedied by force, not appeasement as is Duterte’s way. Indeed, If he used the same fervor as he does with the drug lords, China would think twice before infringing on our sovereignty. Recall that even you started an FB group promoting the boycott of Chinese products kanina, hindi ba? Like· Reply · March 8 at 2:27pm · Edited
Marcial Bonifacio I definitely agree that both are forthright, abrasive, and perhaps, no-nonsense in their approach. However, their differences are not confined exclusively to their oratory, but extends to their policies as well. For example, they are in direct opposition on American foreign policy, death penalty, and Panatag Shoal, Melchor. Like· Reply · March 8 at 9:22pm
Sari Aya Malaya Certainly, Digong is no Dick and will never be. Sen. Dick Gordon is Pro-Life, Pro-Peace and Pro-Constitution. Digong is the exact opposite. Kudos to the PR and marketing geniuses who made and repackaged him during the time when Davao was an experimental area of the left. They made him look and sound “cool” especially to the business sector and from then on he made history. But they should had known any better. They may had put Davao on the business map but on one end, created a Frankenstein called Duterte. Frankenstein in contemporary debates on bioethics provided lessons which are seemingly clear: don’t play God, don’t over-reach, don’t unleash uncontrollable forces, don’t treat humans as material, don’t act alone. Such a fitting metaphor for an empowered, unfeeling man who decides on the life and death of his so called “masters”, the ordinary citizenry over allegations of illegal drug use. He put too much attention to the war on drugs and criminality, but where are the big fishes? What about our war on poverty? Our security from external threats? We need real and tangible government policies that will help us in our day to day struggle for survival. Like· Reply · March 15 at 3:02am · Edited
Marcial Bonifacio Frankenstein, indeed? Hahaha! That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone refer to Duterte as such, Sari. However, using your analogy, I don’t think his supporters see him as a monster. On the contrary, they see him as ridding RP of monsters (drug lords and drug addicts), although there are mass casualties as well, which Duterte’s undiplomatic rhetoric masks.
I don’t think he expended much effort or money in his presidential campaign. Instead, I think he acted naturally, which is what caused much of what Gordon called “noise” and gained him so much media coverage. He basically capitalized on the people’s frustration with traditional politicians, spoke his mind unencumbered, and many of our kababayans took solace in him as a “different” type of public servant, much like Donald Trump in America.
I infer that Duterte’s assertiveness on the drug-related criminals, his unrefined oratory, and his perception as a non-traditional politician are what mesmerize his supporters, even to the point that they are so distracted from other issues of significance as you pointed out. Unfortunately, many of the people who voted for Gordon in the 2010 presidential election paradoxically voted for Duterte last year. I view that as our country transitioning from progress to regression.
Sari Aya MalayaHis supporters are bunch of hypocrites. They see the truth, know the truth but still choose to believe the lies his strategies have deeply embedded in their systems. Duterte is a masterful tactician and strategist. His Opening Strategy. Remember how everyone was in suspense until he delivered his coup de grace? His middlegame Strategy. How he uses his weakness as his strength, his cursing and the deliberate showcase of his rough edges. And his Endgame Strategy, the very popular “you can oust me if I abuse power”.
Two things though, first, our nation is teeming with patsies, he capitalizes on their vulnerabilities, thirst for change and ignorance. Second, our nation losts its moral ascendancy. He is destroying the moral fabric of this nation and making us rise against each other. He broadened the gap of division and misunderstanding among Filipinos than bridging it. Worse is, most Filipinos consented on it, in fact, applauded it.
They have not realized that this is all about “brand-is-crisis’ strategy, the political landscape are made to keep shifting, ever changing. The powers of the State apparatus are made to be trained at moving, unstable targets, for the President to be the first to call it a crisis, then he becomes a hero, instantly seen to be part of the solution itself. This strategy is traditionally effective in keeping leaders in power. Crisis branding is supply-driven rhetoric. Now, for instance, it’s focused on illegal drugs then illegal gambling – then his political imagination would be limitless.
They keep on saying they are the majority but the truth is that they are just loud. Noise is essential and is used for the purpose of deflecting attention to an imagined hot button issue while the proponent quietly works upon another.
Crisis branding can be an effective political campaign strategy because it draws power from frightening people, but it has no place in day-to-day governance. What we need today is to maintain respect, implement policies that ooze with common sense, and take a long-term orientation in regional stability and cooperation.
Marcial BonifacioExcellent points, Sari! Another name for what you described is the “politics of fear.” I just watched Duterte speak at the First General Assembly of League of Municipalities. He had a 2-minute speech already prepared, but discarded it and decided to speak for more than an hour about killing drug lords again. He even displayed another list of drug-related criminals.
I noticed a few people in his audience were dozing off. Perhaps they were bored or intoxicated themselves in preparation for Duterte’s usual speech.
When he said he does not think of himself as a president, but as a mayor, I thought that is precisely his problem. He is using his limited, parochial perspective for a post that requires a broader, national perspective. For a city and a mayor, perhaps the drug epidemic was a necessary focal point, but the country as a whole has other, more urgent concerns as poverty, unemployment, and the specter of China’s intrusion on our sovereignty.
Doray Ramon Inayinay Simple lang yan. Ang mga Hindi adik nakakatulog Na ng mahimbjng sa Gabi. Sorry Na lang sa mga kapitalistang di nakakapang gago ng ordinaryong pinoy. Like· Reply · March 14 at 6:33pm Evangeline Mejia sa lahat ng analysis nyo kay duterte at sa problema ng kung ano anong salot na nangyayari sa bansang Pilipinas, mayroon bang pangulo o kung sino man sa taga panguna natin na nagbigay ng kalutasan ? WALA PA, at ngayon na merong pangulo na kahit papaano may ginagawa pra kahit papaano ay malutas o papunta sa kalutasan ay kung ano anong analogy o katawagan ang ibinabansag sa kanya, pati mga supporters nya ay kung ano anong masasamang tawag ang inila-label nyo sa kanila, magaling lang kayong mag-analysis at magsalita ng English pero wala din naman kayong ginagawa pra sa bansa, for all you know itong Sari na ito ay hindi naman Pilipino pero parang alam na alam ang kalagayan ng Pilipinas pero hindi naman, baka naman in your perspective lang Sari ang tingin mo sa lahat…baka ikaw ang hypocrite kasi ang galing mong magbigay ng pagsusuri sa iisang side, hay naku, panay na lang kayo analysis …ano kaya ang maitutulong nyo sa PILIPINAS? Like· Reply · March 14 at 7:40pm · Edited Sari Aya Malaya Mawalang galang na po, Ginang Mejia, pinoy na pinoy po ako. Wala po akong ni isang patak na dugong banyaga. Tubong Batangas at Bulacan po ako. Nakapangibambansa man po ako ng ilang beses, di ko iwinaglit ni minsan ang pagka Pilipino ko. Magaling lang po talaga siguro akong magmasid at kumilatis ng kabalintunaan at kasinungalingan. Gising po ang diwa at mulat ang mga mata ko sa bawat hinaing, paglibak at pagkabigo ng ating mga kababayan. Araw araw po akong nakikipagsiksikan sa MRT, lumalanghap ng maitim na usok ng EDSA at nagpapakasaya sa isang tuhog ng kwek kwek sa paanan ng tulay ng Boni. Isa po akong buhay na saksi sa bawat pagbabagong nagaganap sa bayan natin. Isa po akong payak na manggagawa, na halos kalahati ng kita ko ay kinaltas para sa buwis. Aba, malaking halaga na rin po yun dahil labingwalong taong gulang pa lang ako nang maging kapakipakinabang na akong mamamayan. Lumalaban po ako nang parehas at hindi po ako nanlalamang ng kapwa. Hindi man po ako nabigyan ng pagkakataong maglingkod sa bayan gaya ni Duterte, ang maliliit na ambag kong tulong sa sambayanan ay malayo-layo na rin ang narating. Hangad ko lang pong gisingin ang diwa ng mga kababayan kong tila himbing pa sa uyayi ng mga mapagbalatkayong ugoy ng pagsasamantala. Turuan silang maging mapanuri. Kilalanin ang totoong naglilingkod sa bayan, gawing huwaran si Sen. Gordon at magsilbing pamantayan ng isang magaling na namumuno. Like· Reply · March 14 at 9:55pm
Marcial Bonifacio I appreciate and understand your perspective, Evangeline, kaibigan ko, and I have been observing Duterte for eight months now. If, as you say, Gordon is not perfect, then Duterte falls far below mediocrity.
Please understand that I am only being objective in comparing the two public servants based on their policy positions and even according to Gordon’s own criticism of Duterte. Therefore, my premise that they would both govern very differently and even in opposition to each other, is factually based.
For example, I have pointed out numerously that Duterte’s neglect of defending Panatag Shoal violates the sovereignty clause of the Constitution, and is an impeachable offense. Even Gordon acknowledges that as should my esteemed colleagues of law, Atty Taipan Millan, Jose Camano, Gretchen Mae Ortega, Alexander Yalung, and Lester Nazarene Ople. This is the most important issue for me, since one of the primary functions of government is to protect the sovereignty of its territory.
If the President fails to perform such a fundamental function, then anything else he does is in vain. It is analogous to having all the prosperity in the world, except you are someone’s servant. It appears that is precisely the position that Duterte has put the Philippines in with China.
Gordon, on the other hand, would never let that happen as president. He has even said that RP would have to engage in war over Panatag Shoal in order to assert its rights. Why would any of our kababayans support Duterte’s position over Gordon’s? This is a sincere question, kaibigan ko.
Like· Reply · March 18 at 5:36pm · Edited Marcial Bonifacio Also, I did give Duterte credit for “persuading” more than 700,000 drug-related criminals to surrender. However, I also mentioned that drug abuse is about 4.74%, which is below the global average of 5%, while the poverty rate is about 25%. As a simple man, I can’t help but wonder why Duterte has prioritized drug addiction over job creation. Does that seem logical to you? Do you really think Gordon would do the same as president? This is another sincere question, kaibigang Evangeline. Like·Reply · March 16 at 5:56pm Philip BasilioMarcial Bonifacio Senator Gordon is much deferent I work with him when he is the mayor of olongapo Like· Reply · March 16 at 6:06pm Evangeline Mejia kaibigang marcial,I agree and I must say that Gordon would indeed govern differently if not better, pero kasi hindi siya ang presidente ngayon kya sana tumakbo siya sa susunod at alam ko na ang mga pinoy, including me ,ay susuportahan siya… Like· Reply · March 16 at 7:22pm Evangeline MejiaSari Aya Malaya , ganun din naman ako SAri , pero nga kasi, walang maitutulong sa bansa natin ang mga negatibong batikos, lalo na pag ang mga supporters nya ang pinagsabihan mo ng masakit na salita, it would only create division,katulad mo din sila na umaasa ng pagbabago, sabihin mo man na nagbubulagbulagan which I think not (,hindi ako supporter nya, I didn’t vote for him), pero I think with all the crime and corruption in the country, we become an evil nation, so to speak kaya we deserve such president, we can only give him the chance to do whatever it takes to propel the country in a better state … Like· Reply · March 16 at 7:31pm Sari Aya Malaya I admire your patriotism, Evangeline. We may not see eye to eye with Duterte but we, undeniably, agree to support Sen. Gordon as he endeavors to take the country back to every Filipino, from the system or economy that has been rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful. We need his strong leadership to unify the country, to take the country to where it’s supposed to be.
Filipino people, per se, are not divided. Diversity in religion, political beliefs and other practices are the freedoms we enjoy under a vibrant democracy. It is our leaders and policy makers who are divided and can’t put their acts together for selfish reasons at the expense of the people they had promised to serve. And Sen. Gordon will change such political landscape and behavior. Like· Reply ·March 16 at 10:25pm Rabulan Corpuz Well said and factual kaibigan. Saludo ako sayo. Dios Mabalos and Mabuhay! Like· Reply · March 14 at 3:50pm
Marcial Bonifacio Salamat po, kaibigang Jocelle! I spent a great deal of time with research and fact-finding for this commentary. I even wrote it in English for my Bisayan friends and colleagues. My goal is to unify the Gordon supporters, some of which oppose Duterte and the others which ironically support Duterte. After all, if we can’t unite just the Gordon supporters, how can we unite the entire country? Like· Reply · March 14 at 6:46pm · Edited
Evangeline Mejia kaibigang marcial, hindi ka nakatira sa Pilipinas at laong hindi sa Olongapo, ibang iba angnlarawan ng Pilipinas pagdating sa ibang bansa kaya mahirap mag analysis …ang tanong, ano ba ang nagagawa ng mga katulad nyo para malutas ang problema sa bansa…
.both Gordon and Duterte are good leaders in their own right, taga gapo ako at alam ko ang pamamalakad ng mga Gordon doon,, maganda rin pero hiondi rin perfecto…si Duterte ngsisiskap lutasin ang mga problema sa bansa…I know, Gordon will be a good president and if he will run, uuwi ako pra bomoto at iboboto ko siya, but for now, l just want to give Duterte the benefit of the doubt…wala naman maitutulong ang mga batikos sa kanya at sa mga supporters nya…di makikinabang ang bansa kung tawagin siyang monster at tawagin din hypocrite ang mga supporters nya…. Like· Reply · March 14 at 7:49pm Marcial Bonifacio I wonder if Alejano and Trillanes got their idea of impeaching Duterte from my commentary. 😀
Marcial Bonifacio Marahil tama ka, kaibigang Evangeline, nguni’t hindi ko alam what is in his heart. I only know that his impeachment complaint has merit. Even Justice Carpio has warned that Duterte may be in violation of the sovereignty clause of the Constitution. Like· Reply · April 16 at 4:39pm
Marcial Bonifacio I’ve decided to insert the following quote into my commentary, Alwyn, directly after Duterte’s single remedy of killing drug-related criminals and Gordon’s numerous remedies.
Marcial Bonifacio My friends, here is another contrast between Duterte and Gordon—the issue of giving away the housing units to the squatters. Gordon has expressed his disapproval thus:
“My God. Kinukuha yung bahay na ginawa ng NHA [National Housing Authority]. Ibibigay mo dun sa mga nanggugulo. Bad signal, Mr. President. Again you are falling on your own sword. Nadadapa ka sa sarili mong espada because pagka-ganyan, that’s a ticket to what you call anarchy.”
Alwyn Balingit Already posted my comment about this on my wall days ago… Granted dapat talagang paalisin ang mga squatters, moving forward, wala na kasing red tape sa pagbigay ng mga bahay para di sila maunahan ng mga squatters; dapat preventive, may bantay.
Expect Digong to always err on the side of letting squatters live there; or at least, transfer them first to another place before removing them there. Yan ang stance nya kasi even sa mga Pre-Election interviews. Like· Reply · April 9 at 4:58pm Jeffry Dy Nice argument Marcial,if what u say is the alternative to what kadamay been bitchin and monin about then it’s all fare and equal no matter what the bias media says if Duterte or his cabinet have any brains on this matter then all is fare what not? Like · Reply · April 9 at 10:52pm Evangeline Mejia kasi naman laging ang mahihirap ang nahuhuli sa kahit ano mang social benefit mula sa gobyerno. maging dyan sa NHA kaya they resort to this, madala kasi yang mga nasa gobyerno ginagamit ang “legal” para apihin ang mahihirap…hay naku, you really have to be living in the Philippines to really know….. Like· Reply · April 10 at 7:12pm Marcial Bonifacio I have no problem with the process being swift, kaibigang Alwyn, nguni’t the rule of law should not be compromised. Once that line is crossed, that slippery slope can and will be used as a justification for any lawless behavior by any president.
It would also encourage more people with illegitimate grievances to emulate the Kadamay in their pantawid mentality. At least, Duterte could have imposed mandatory community service for those squatters in order that their housing will actually be earned instead of stolen from those who risk their lives to keep us safe.Sa totoo lang, such measures have been implemented in the US before Obama and even in some European countries, which have experienced lower unemployment as a result. Like· Reply · April 16 at 5:18pm · Edited Marcial Bonifacio Marahil totoo ito, kaibigang Evangeline, nguni’t abusing the legal system in one way should not justify abusing it in another way. Robbing Peter to pay Paul is still robbery, regardless of the good intentions. Even Gordon was critical of Duterte for this. Surely he knows better than Duterte. Like · Reply · April 16 at 5:56pm Axel Dholly mas matalino si Dick kay digong. ,,,,naging Pres. nga lang si Pdut. Like· Reply · April 9 at 2:00pm
My friends and fellow conservatives, this commentary on the election results has apparently been long overdue, since Nov. 9th—the day after the general election. However, various developments have prompted me to postpone it for fear of publishing it prematurely. After all, what if Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was correct about voter fraud, or the Russians influenced the presidential election, or that some of the electoral college members will change their vote on Dec. 19th? Regardless of such prospects, I have finally decided to publish my commentary.
Therefore without further ado, I am pleased to announce Donald Trump’s win. On the whole, Trump won 306 electoral votes, the largest Republican win since George H.W. Bush’s election in 1988. Clinton tallied at 232 electoral votes. However, Clinton’s total popular vote count is approximately 65,762,564 (48.1%), while Trump tallied at 62,914,474 votes (46.0%).
To the astonishment of leading pollsters and political commentators as Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Trump even won electoral votes in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan—states which voted for Pres. Obama in 2008 and 2012. Incidentally, it is the first time a Republican has won Wisconsin since 1984 and Pennsylvania and Michigan since 1988. The Michigan contest was the closest race in the state’s history with Trump’s count at 2,279,543 votes and Clinton’s tally at 2,268,839 votes. Such unlikely wins occurred, in spite of overwhelming odds and opposition from the Republican establishment, Democrat establishment, mainstream media establishment, and the short-sighted #NeverTrump conservatives. Indeed, this has been, as Fox News anchor Bret Baier accurately described “the most unreal, surreal election we have ever seen.”
To my astonishment, not only did Trump win the presidential election, but Republicans have retained power in both chambers of Congress which essentially establishes a national Republican trifecta. In the Senate, Republicans have 52 seats, while Democrats have 48. The House of Representatives is comprised of 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. That essentially means the GOP will control all three branches of government, including the Supreme Court, whenever Trump fills the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat and replaces retiring justices with conservatives.
GOP victories extended to the state legislatures and governorships as well, just as during the 2014 midterm elections, which I wrote about in “Another Big Blow to Obama’s Tyranny.” As a result of nearly 6,000 legislative races, Republicans dominate 66 out of 98 chambers. They control both chambers in 33 states and hold 33 governorships. Finally, at least 25 states have Republican trifectas, while Democrats have only retained 5 trifectas (namely, California, Deleware, Oregon, Hawaii, and Rhode Island).
In Kentucky, the GOP increased their state house membership to 64 (from 47, out of 100) which has been controlled by Democrats since 1921. That puts 30 legislative chambers in the South in Republican hands for the first time in American history. Iowa’s state senate was won by Republicans, putting them in control of both chambers. Wisconsin’s Republican state legislative majority is the largest since the 1970s.
Phil Scott won the Republican governorship in Bernie Sanders’s home state of Vermont, which puts a check on its Democrat-controlled legislature. In Indiana, Eric Holcomb defeated Democrat John Gregg, which will preserve the state’s 12 year lineage of Republican governors. Before the race, the former was nominated to replace Mike Pence during his vice presidential run with Trump. Republican and former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens beat Democrat Chris Koster in Missouri’s gubernatorial race, making him the state’s second Republican governor in the past 24 years.
In order to continue this momentum of GOP dominance on every level of government, I have a few suggestions to offer Trump and his team. Notwithstanding his primary issues of border security and Obamacare, Trump must prioritize aiding the blacks (many of which are disgruntled Democrats) who voted for him. Since he garnered more black votes than John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012, he has an excellent opportunity to start flipping the blacks, just as Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson began goading them into swelling the ranks of the Democrat Party in the 1960s. The only difference is that instead of appeasing them with a pittance, “just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference” in order “to have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years” (as Johnson so blatantly put it), Trump will provide them with opportunities for a bright future via diverse educational options (public, private, charter, magnet, home schooling, etc.) and job and career options, especially for those who reside in the inner cities.
Since many black church leaders advocate family values aligned with the GOP (e.g., the right to life as opposed to abortion and traditional marriage), Trump must launch a massive outreach campaign to establish a dialogue with them as well as others in the black community. His meeting with black role models as former football stars Jim Brown and Ray Lewis and musician Kanye West to discuss gang violence, education, and jobs was a good start. Such a move can eventually undermine the agenda of the race hustlers like Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jessie Jackson, and Rev. Jeremiah Wright., who have profited from the racially-based entitlement and grievance industry they help perpetuate.
Trump must also expand the Republican base by welcoming his blue collar voters (over 1 million of which are Democrats) to the “big tent”, just as Pres. Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s. However, he must refrain from his populist, protectionist rhetoric, and simply emphasize regulatory and tax reform as an incentive to dissuade businesses from outsourcing, at least on such a grand scale. It is a fact of economics that some outsourcing or automation (the primary cause of worker displacement) is essential to streamline the production process, which, in turn, will keep the price of goods low for American consumers, thereby increasing demand and output, which will create new jobs. It is the principle of what free market economists call “creative destruction” at work. For that reason, Trump should encourage displaced blue collar workers to either learn new skills or acquire knowledge calibrated to the predominant service and knowledge sectors of the economy.
Alternatively, many blue collar workers have become successful entrepreneurs either by starting their own businesses or by inventing products or services, which have allowed them to resign from their jobs or professions. You can easily view them on TV shows as Shark Tank or Blue Collar Millionaires. Indeed, such entrepreneurs and small business owners are the backbone of the American economy, which is why Trump should acknowledge them as successful examples of the free market system, rather than focusing so much on retrieving outsourced manufacturing jobs for big companies.
That is more practical and realistic than threatening companies with punitive taxes (namely, a 35% tariff) for outsourcing or subsidizing them in exchange for retaining their plants in the U.S., an arrangement which Gov. Sarah Palin says reeks of “special interest crony capitalism” as was possibly the case with Carrier. Incidentally, Mark Levin (constitutional scholar and former advisor to Cabinet members under Reagan) questions the constitutionality of “specifically targeting (or favoring) one business and possibly threatening that business, should they leave the country.” Meanwhile the Wall Street Journal editorial board criticizes it as “a mercantilist Trump trade policy” in which the Carrier CEO Gregory Hayes was “made an offer he couldn’t refuse.”
Anyway, after scaling back on regulations and reducing taxes for businesses and the working class, many jobs will be preserved. Others will be created as a result of outsourcing and automation, and many jobs will yet be created from the ingenuity of blue collar inventors, who will use their entrepreneurial skills or knowledge to form their own companies and employ others. Afterwards, Trump can rightfully take credit for a booming economy while winning over much of the blue collar Democrats. Although he has 4 years (or 8 if re-elected in 2020), Trump should set the deadline at 2 years after his inauguration in order to steer the 2018 midterm elections in the GOP’s favor.
Aside from what Trump and his administration must do, conservative voters must hold him, as well as other elected officials, accountable. That includes all the national and local legislators and governors. While it may be argued that many of these newly elected Republicans simply rode Trump’s populist movement into victory, we must see to it that this powerful force eventually converts into the conservative movement whose end aligns with the vision of America’s founding fathers and the restoration of constitutionally limited government.
For that reason, I advocate a mass, nationwide campaign to educate citizens on America’s constitutional history and its relevance today. In an age wherein the uninformed youth are easily mesmerized by the socialist rhetoric of Sen. Bernie Sanders or the populist rhetoric of Trump, constitutional literacy is the appropriate and perennial remedy. Indeed, Sen. Ted Cruz emphasizes this:
It’s easy to talk about making America great again. You can even print that on a baseball cap. But the critical question is, do you understand the principles and values that made America great in the first place?
Hillsdale College offers a free online course on constitutional studies, which is certain to impart such principles and values to anyone taking it.
Another effective thing conservatives can do to preserve and expand the GOP majority is become active in local politics. Whether by attending townhall meetings with the Tea Party, signing petitions, registering citizens to vote, running to be a precinct captain, or simply sharing conservative content on the social networks (like Facebook or Twitter), one can have a positive impact on a collective scale. American Majority is a conservative organization which trains activists in all these things.
My friends and fellow conservatives, in closing, I would like to express my appreciation to everyone who contributed to this turning point in the election of Donald Trump. That includes all pragmatic Cruz conservatives, blue collar Democrats, and former political rivals. I wish I could extend my gratitude and praise to the #NeverTrump conservatives with whom I endeavored to persuade in my previous commentary. Perhaps they will all eventually have a change of heart as it will soon be “morning again in America”—not because of Trump’s short-lived wave of populism, but because of the time-tested constitutional principles, which conservatives will revitalize within the party of Reagan and throughout the country.
Long live Liberty! Long live the U.S.A.!
Update: As of December 19—the day in which the electoral college members cast their votes for the final time—seven altered their vote. In Texas, one elector voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, while another from Texas voted for former Texas House Rep. Ron Paul. In Washington state, three Democrat electors cast their votes for former state secretary Colin Powell and one voted for Sioux tribe leader Faith Spotted Eagle. A Democrat elector in Hawaii voted for Bernie Sanders. Three other “faithless” electors from Maine, Minnesota, and Colorado had their votes barred. That puts the final electoral tally for Clinton at 228 and 304 for Trump.
My friends and American countrymen, both of the presidential candidates this election year are close to being equally weak. That is why I have surpassed the more trivial issues, which the media and others, have sensationalized. In order to simplify things, I have restricted the most relevant areas of concern to only two—accomplishments and criminal background.
Hillary Clinton has grossly mishandled classified information in that she has conveyed it to unauthorized persons, removed it from a secure storage area, failed to report its removal or communication, and retaining it at an unauthorized location. All of those are acts of felony, which have compromised America’s national security. Also, lying under oath before a legal inquiry is perjury.
Donald Trump has created a minimum of 34,000 jobs. Some factor in the businesses not owned by Trump but thrive due to related business activities, which could raise the number of jobs to 67,000.
Which one do you trust more, and which one will have a more positive impact on the country?
My friends and American countrymen, I am a constitutional conservative and am no advocate for Donald Trump. In fact, I have been very critical of him in my two commentaries titled “Are Trump Conservatives Irrational?” and “Why Conservatives Should Cruz with the Best and Trump the Rest . . . including the Donald.” Anyway, I am also a pragmatist. As such, I view the leftist progressivism of Hillary Clinton (more so than Trump’s populist-nationalism) as an imminent threat to conservatism, namely in her Supreme Court justice appointees. Clinton herself clearly vocalized in the last presidential debate that she favors justices who would uphold same-sex marriage and the pro-abortion Roe vs. Wade ruling.
By contrast, Trump has vowed to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia,” including the constitutional conservative Sen. Mike Lee, whom Sen. Ted Cruz said “would make an extraordinary justice.” This issue of the Supreme Court justices alone is sufficient reason to keep Clinton away from the White House because as political commentator Dennis Prager points out, “Left-wing judges pass so many left-wing laws that they render those who control Congress, and even the White House, almost irrelevant.”
Political reality is such that only Trump, not Gary Johnson or Evan McMullen, can beat Clinton. Some of Cruz’s staunchest supporters (who are #NeverTrump conservatives) have vowed to write-in Cruz’s name on the ballot. However, Cruz himself has said, “I am not encouraging anybody to write my name in. That is not something I am suggesting that anybody do. . . We lost the race. I recognize that. I respect the democratic process. I respect the will of the people.”
That is precisely the only reason why I, along with Sen. Ted Cruz, Mark Levin, and Dennis Prager, urge conservatives to vote for Donald Trump—not because he is the icon of conservatism and the champion of America’s founding fathers, but because as Cruz says, “Donald Trump is the only thing standing in her [Clinton’s] way.” For the #NeverTrump conservative whose conscience prevents you from voting for Trump, I must ask you: How can your conscience be clear, if Clinton wins the presidency due to your refrain from voting for Trump? Consequently, would her election make you feel better knowing the adverse repercussions it will have on your children and grandchildren (in terms of life, liberty, the national debt, the economy, etc.) ?
“The choice this November is tragic,” states Prager. “As it often happens in life, this choice is between bad and worse, not bad and good. . . When forced to choose between bad and worse, we supported Joseph Stalin against Adolf Hitler, and we supported right-wing authoritarians against Communist totalitarians.” Therefore Trump would be the less unfavorable choice in order to defeat Clinton.
Furthermore, if you are concerned that Trump’s newly adopted conservative positions are all a charade in order to get elected to the presidency, and he reneges on his promises as president, there is another course of action conservatives can undertake. The founders have established a process by which delegates can hold a Convention of States in order to propose amendments to the Constitution. It is designed to curb or restrain the power of the federal government in the event that it becomes unresponsive to the states or the people and serves as an alternative to another constitutional convention. The process is outlined in Article V of the Constitution and is advocated by Mark Levin, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Tom Coburn, Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sean Hannity, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and other prominent conservatives.
Lastly, I suggest conservatives meet their delegates in the Rules Committee of the Republican Party to add a few clauses, which would make the GOP more effective in the next presidential election and others to come. For example, a “Closed or Republican Exclusivity Clause” would only permit registered Republicans to vote in the Republican primaries. Political commentator at RedState.com Michael Harrington has estimated that Trump’s voters in the primary were composed of only 3.3 million Republicans, while the rest were composed of 12 million Democrats. Many political analysts contend that if such a clause took effect in the primaries, Cruz would have won the nomination, instead of Trump, since the former tallied well in most of the closed primaries.
The additional amendment to the rules would include a “Conscience Clause,” which would serve as a safeguard against politically weak candidates as Trump. The proposal would allow the current 1,237 delegates to freely vote their conscience on the first ballot, rather than automatically binding them to their state’s primary or caucus. It would also help prevent discouraged conservatives from joining the #NeverTrump voters, and thus maximize votes for the Republican Party. Sen. Mike Lee has been at the forefront of this effort as well as being a prominent member of the Rules Committee.
In conclusion, my friends and fellow conservatives, if you want to defeat Hillary Clinton and restore constitutional principles to the American Republic, do not write in Ted Cruz’s name on the ballot, and do not stay home and refrain from your civic duty. Go to the polls on November 8th, and vote for Donald Trump. Join the Convention of States movement, and pressure your delegates to add a “Republican Exclusivity Clause” and a “Conscience Clause” to the election rules.
Long live Liberty! Long live the U.S.A.!
Jeffry DySo they r joining forces now trump will be humiliated and this goes for clinton to defend allies like iran and saudis once again oh beother its the season where women of both countries are once again having free will to discriminate women thats ur ally clinton well done
Joseph HindsYour points are well stated Marcial. Obama won a second term because so many Conservatives and Evangelicals disliked Romney and decided that their “principles” were more important than the good of the country and failed to turn out on election day. Hopefully, enough of them will have realized the folly of their actions and go to the polls this time. This is an election where pragmatism is the order of the day. Many of us didn’t support Trump in the primaries, but now he is the only realistic game in town. The next 25-30 years of the Supreme Court hangs in the balance and if we fail to keep Hillery out of the Presidency, the country will be forever changed by the courts.
Marcial BonifacioI appreciate the positive feedback, Joseph. Indeed, I wrote this commentary to prevent the same error many conservatives and evangelicals made in 2012. Hopefully, they will learn from it and decide to go to the polls this time and vote for “the lesser of two evils.”
Devlin BakerI read it, not sure what you were hoping from someone that is by definition a christian and constitutionalist to read someone that claims to be a constitutional conservative, then confesses he is really just a pragmatist.
Great appeal to the pragmatists with no convictions though
Marcial BonifacioI appreciate your perspective, Devlin, but is it not possible to be both? If your family is being threatened by an assailant, and the only practical way to save them at the moment is to shoot him, what would you do? Would you adhere to the Christian principle of refraining from killing, or would you take a more practical approach to save your family?
Life is full of such unfavorable choices. However, reasonable compromises are necessary in times when our choices are limited due to reality, are they not?
Kayleen KnisleyTrump is so unstable. So many issues are made of the Supreme Court, but big like decisions Roe v. Wade were made with a majority Republican Supreme Court. Too much “fear” is being played upon and not enough logic, in my opinion. The way I see it, is if Trump goes in, we lose the Senate, and will not gain the House. Also, if he wins the GOP will never recover. Look how he’s divided us. If Trump wins, the GOP will be too busy trying to contain him to be aware of what the other side is doing. Add to it, Trump only ran as a Republican because he knew he could not beat Hillary for the Democratic nomination.
Kayleen KnisleyI hear so many people trying to justify voting for evil because Supreme Court Justices are at stake. Do these people not realize that a majority of Republican nominated judges voted to pass Roe vs. Wade and many other abortion cases? Not to mention a Republican nominated judge voted in favor of Obamacare? The Senate can stop Hillary Clinton’s nominations if they so choose to do so. But I hear no one mentioning that fact.
We need to stop voting for parties but for candidates who will support Godly values and the Constitution. Secondly, we need Congress to do their job and impeach when necessary. Thirdly, we need states to step up and nullify unconstitutional federal laws and Supreme Court opinions.
Marcial BonifacioYou have made some valid points, Kayleen. However, conservatives are more informed and mindful of history, thus the prevalence of the Tea Party.
Anyway, in order to restore constitutional principles to the American government, it would be much easier to do so without a Clinton presidency. Even as much of a RINO as Trump is, the conservatives in Congress can put him in check, so that if he betrays them, they can simply vote against his progressive policies or impeach him. If that doesn’t work, then the American people can meet with their state delegates and propose a Convention of States, as I mentioned in my commentary.
In the meantime, we can at least prevent a Clinton presidency by electing Trump because with a Clinton presidency, conservatives will lose. With a Trump presidency, conservatives may win, even if only a little bit.
Marvin RemmersKayleen Knisley , if Hillary wins and Democrats take over Congress, then it will be like Obama’s first couple years where he was able to nominate radically liberal justices and was able to pass Obamacare. We need to vote for Trump and we need to vote for Republicans for Congress.
Dean Edward NicelyOh so now you want to urge us to vote for Trump?
First have Trump apologize then all you pieces of shit can apologize to me personally for your backwards ass inbred bullshit youall put us through with your vile crap.
Marcial BonifacioI agree completely with you, Dean, that Trump owes Cruz an apology, which I don’t expect him to ever give. However, we must now look beyond his flawed character and save the country from a Clinton presidency. Cruz himself said Trump is the only thing standing in her way, and Cruz will also vote for Trump.
My friends and countrymen, with Congress’ proclamation of Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th president of the Philippines (clenching 16,601,997 votes), I wish to convey some of my concerns. I have posed them based on his proposals, actions, and what he has said publicly. Such issues should be sufficiently addressed before any of our kababayans give him our full support.
First and foremost, the president must protect and defend the Constitution and respect the rule of law. According to Article III, Sect. 1 of the Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” Duterte’s Davao Death Squad has executed over 1,000 alleged drug lords and murderers, all of whom were denied the fundamental right to due process. Duterte expresses no remorse and is even boastful he will continue that policy under his presidency.
He was even unapologetic for his daughter (Sara Duterte), who attacked and physically assaulted Davao City Sheriff Abe Andres a few years ago. Ironically, both Dutertes were attorneys, reinforcing the idiom that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Such uncivil acts are slippery slopes to more lawless behavior, are they not? How can we feel safe and certain that Duterte will not infringe on our own rights and liberty due to his thirst for criminal blood or impulsive temperament?
Second, several factors, including self-reliance and free enterprise, are essential to transforn the Philippines into a prosperous nation. Unfortunately, Duterte does not seem to promote any of those principles. On the contrary, he is a self-avowed socialist, who proposes to expand the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. That would only perpetuate what Sen. Dick Gordon said is “the attitude of mendicancy among our people, which we have had more than enough over the last four centuries or so.” I would add that such handouts (derived from hardworking taxpayers) would also prolong unemployment and encourage the systematic development of a welfare state.
Could Duterte himself be a communist? If not, then why is he negotiating with them and inviting them to join the national government? For someone known for his stringent form of justice (earning him the international reputation Time Magazine branded as “The Punisher”) even to the point of proposing the return of the death penalty by hanging, is it not inconsistent for him to be so lenient with terrorists who seek to overthrow our government?
My friends, I appreciate Duterte’s forthright oratory and maverick predisposition in opposing the oligarchy. Such can also be said of the American presidentiable Donald Trump, but I digress. Anyway, appealing rhetoric and opposition to the ruling class alone are insufficient in determining a suitable president. If they were sufficient, then it can be argued that Vladimir Lenin (Bolshevik leader of Russia), Fidel Castro (president of Cuba), and Robert Mugabe (president of Zimbabwe) should be heralded as great public servants. However, history indicates otherwise, and until my concerns are sufficiently addressed, I must deduce that Duterte will be no different.
Jocelle Rabulan CorpuzLet’s just watch and wait for the outcome of his leadership as The President. Give him the benefit of the doubts and consider his achievements in Davao City. May God save our Country and people for whatever consequence we may face for his actions and laws he will implement. I know he is capable to lead but my fear is his inconsistency and the people he has chosen for the cabinet position. Remember the past history my friend … the failures of great leaders lies on his men and the people whom they trusted. God have mercy.
Marcial BonifacioJocelle, are you referring to the alliance between Rodrigo Duterte’s father and Pres. Marcos or the financial contributions BB Marcos made to the Duterte campaign for his presidential run?
Jocelle Rabulan CorpuzKaibigan my apology … I choose to just be silent but be vigilant in observing and watchful for the outcome of the leadership of our new elect President. Praying he will acknowldege God above all and put my people’s welfare as well our Country first. God bless him and The Philippines.
Marcial BonifacioPaul, I really don’t know which is worse. On the one hand, we have a president surrounded by politicians, who seem either corrupt or inept in dealing with our country’s age-old problems. On the other hand, we have another perfectly capable president-elect who may be able to finally resolve those issues. However, he would maintain peace and order by suppressing our people’s most fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. At least, Pres. Marcos did so under martial law.
Marcial BonifacioDodong, I can only judge someone according to his track record. Perhaps Duterte seeks to revive the death penalty in order to deter current criminals and potential criminals, making the extra judicial killings obsolete. That would be a compromise I am willing to concede.
Joseph HindsMarcial, I share some of your concerns, but it is far too soon to tell what President-elect Duterte is going to do. He seems to be something of a chess player and a gambler when it comes to politics, so his methodology may be a bit unorthodox. At least in his case, we can see the results he achieved in Davao City. He may very well have broken some eggs, but the omelet turned out well. The extra judicial killing presents something of a conundrum because the judicial system has become so corrupt that the syndicates, oligarchs and drug lords can buy their way out of trouble even in the face of damning proof of guilt. If the system of laws no longer works for justice, then is it really an injustice when other means are used? Likewise the acceptance of the communists at the cabinet level is a novel approach. The Philippines have had a running war with the CPP for almost 50 years and have still not succeeded in getting rid of them. Perhaps by including them in the political process at the cabinet level, their position as revolutionaries can be undermined and cause them to loose some of their appeal to their followers. They may also be more willing to disavow violence in order to retain their new found political relevance. Also, I not so sure that a little socialism in the Philippines would be a bad thing. I think it would be to the benefit of the average citizens to have the power company’s monopolies either opened to foreign competition or simply nationalized. It is ridiculous that electric rates in the Philippines are three times what they are in the USA and they still get hit with regular brown-outs. Let’s let DU30 have his chance. It’s not as if his predecessors have set the benchmark very high.
Marcial BonifacioJoseph, your points are well taken. However, on the issue of dealing with the communists, I think that it would be better if Duterte implement his proposals to liberalize the economy and establish a Philippine federalist system. That would serve as the basis for a long-term plan to create jobs and promote competition, which would lower prices and provide better services.
Such a successful economy would crowd out the communists without appeasement or bloodshed. Offering them cabinet posts reminds me of Pres. Obama appointing Van Jones (member of the Communist Party) as “Green Czar.”
In terms of a little socialism in RP, I think that at least on a subsistence level as food and medical services, it is reasonable for the destitute. I also appreciate Duterte’s proposal to improve internet services:
Joseph HindsYou might be right about the communists, but Van Jones and his friends weren’t killing people on a regular basis so there is a considerable distinction between the two examples. An improving economy will help without a doubt, but it will take a while for that to reach fruition, so perhaps we can look at this as a stop-gap measure to quell the violence in the short term.
Dexter Neil RamosBecause you didnt make yourself to understand what the presidenr meant. media are always dont ynderstand the point what duterte mean. We davaoneos understand him what he said. not all media is generalize. Some media to those practicing unethical.
Jose Camanoits duterte who is very unethical — unfortunately he was elected President by people who want a change in the govt. without having to change themselves. vote buying was rampant from all sides..
Jose CamanoPaul Farol What’s wrong with you Farol? Who says that a journalist was silenced because he was a crook, or because he was crusading? Everytime Duterte silences small time “violator” of the law, he would claim the victim was a drug pusher or snatcher. Obviously u just have to believe Duterte’s word for it. Without a process, nobody knows that the victim was a real criminal or just someone whose face Duterte doesn’t like.
Paul FarolAnd yes, I am interested to know of the cases where Digong had a reporter killed based on false accusations of being a druggie or drug dealer. If there is any evidence, I would gladly confront him with it.
I never liked Duterte, btw. In fact I gave him a good bashing all through out the campaign period and even before that.
Marcial BonifacioPerci, to be fair to Duterte, he clarified that he was referring to the corrupt journalists who accepted bribes, only to later oppose the ones who gave them money. He does not advocate the murders, but he says they are to be expected from basically double crossing the ones paying the bribes.
Marcial BonifacioHowever, his catcalling to the journalist Mariz Umali was certainly inappropriate and perhaps illegal. According to Davao City Ordinance No. 5004 (which he signed), whistling can be construed as sexual harassment.
Jeffry DyIs catcalling again an issue jeez get real this bs had been there the whole time and in the Us i believe its legal whether this is legal or not this nonsense reporting has to move on and get on the real objectives at hand like whats in store for digong since many are still doubting him for being pro china and such and Can we be venezuela(again)on his federal form of gov as what bashers still installing in our minds???Well find out and also i may suggest to have all of transpo and public hubs free wifi to have convience of passengers and also for communication and I may say he had the guts to do so and i believe this has to end on this alleged pro commie since i voted for him and has the same accomplishments of what dick did in Subic.
Marcial BonifacioJeffry, I agree that the issues you raised are important, but if Duterte will not follow his own ordinance (which is fairly simple), how can we trust that he will respect and follow more serious laws? There is even talk of a potential Duterte dictatorship:
Jeffry DyI don’t think so plus he’s Pro left therefore as such he may not be a patientlike dick does but he’s definitely a pro poor and he addresses his laws at hand since many are still criticized him again on this bs bias on media freedom and a former prosecutor(not a radical left)
Jeffry Dyalso he joined edsa 1 right?if he’s pro makoy then he wouln’t rallied this dictatorship had it for so long it had to be arrested for having allies w npa which aquinos are also sided on and I’m just balanced on this matter so far only some unknown politicians and a card leaning leftist are in the gov so we can no longer see them rallying in the streets anymore since every presidents have a sona every year
Marcial BonifacioJeffry, I’m willing to give Duterte a chance. However, his leftist background and apparent coddling of communists makes me very suspicious. Also, I don’t consider policies which keep our kababayans dependent on government handouts “pro-poor”, unless you mean keeping them permanently poor. On the other hand, Sen. Gordon stresses job opportunities, which will raise people out of poverty. What can be more “pro-poor” than that?
Marcial BonifacioOn the issue of Duterte joining EDSA 1, perhaps he opposed the Marcos dictatorship because it did not conform to his own political ideology. After all, Pres. Marcos vehemently opposed the communists. Some even argue that he was the reason for the swelling of the NPA.
Also, many argue that the Marcos oligarchy was simply replaced with the Cory Aquino oligarchy. Therefore, Duterte’s participation in the first People Power Revolution doesn’t necessarily mean he opposes dictatorship; it only proves he opposed the Marcos dictatorship.
Dale GozarMarcial Bonifacio
Duterte admitted he’s leftist but never been part of the Communist Party or rebel, and certainly don’t belong to NPA, NDF, etc. even if he has befriended them (Singson)Duterte also think solution to our insurgency problems (Communist or Moro) is largely political and not military or use of arms – 47 years of conflict with gunbattles proved that.
Communist/Moro arms struggles occurs when there’s a Very Big gap between RICH and POOR due to corruption and exploitation by the oligarch of the common Filipino – with only the rich getting richer while the poor gets poorer.
North Korea is the only remaining communist country.
Yes he values the lessons learned from former communist and socialist countries. But it doesn’t mean he will adopt a communist government.
Marcial BonifacioOn the issue of India’s growing population, the country is becoming increasingly prosperous. According to Forbes:
India is the world’s 4th largest IT start-up hub with more than 3,100 tech startups in the past year alone. It ranks second in worldwide food production. Its auto industry churns outs 22 million cars a year, making it one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers. It boasts a $600 billion retail market and is one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets.
RP is abundant in natural resources and an educated, English-speaking workforce. What it lacks are job opportunities and sufficient foreign direct investment. If Gordon were in Duterte’s presidential position, he would do precisely what he did in Subic Bay, which was all lawful and constitutional. He would also lift trade restrictions similar to India.
Jeffry Dyso by contrast du30 hasn’t have any clue on how to regulate trade restrictions and I had an Indian friend on fb who is critical of moodi because most of India’s tech he said was defective and also his Us trips as well http://www.dailyo.in/…/bjp-modi…/story/1/7763.html What i said was pro-poor because the poor themselves getting opportunities to see how he can handle things when he accomplished in Davao and many voted on him because of that even the tulfo bros the respectable tough talking journalist in media believes on his accomplishments too.Well I respect your opinion on not giving him a chance on this and thanks for having exchange of ideas in regards to du30 leadership you have yours i have my side and as such you make things balanced and constructive.
Marcial BonifacioThat is an interesting article related to Gordon and Estrada, Cha. However, I disagree with the writer’s last point. I hope Duterte does implement some of his proposals, just not all of them. 🙂
Hill de RobertsQuite frankly, I have NO concerns. What the corrupt Media say is either malicious news, innuendos and scare-mongering. I will wait and observe and give my ownobservation from July 1st, in the next 100 days of his term.
Mga kaibigan at mga kababayan ko, ang muling pagkahalal ni Richard Gordon sa Senado noong Mayo 9, 2016 proves the impact a proactive citizenry can have sa halalan. Sa katotohanan, panglima siya sa pagkapanalo at nagkaroon ng 16,719,322 boto (as of COMELEC’s proclamation on May 19, 2016). Sa kanyang unang pagtakbo sa Senado noong 2004, panglima rin siya sa puwesto at nagkaroon ng 12,707,151 boto.
Kahit isa siyang mabisang lingkod bayan, Gordon ran for the presidency and lost in 2010; pang-anim siya sa bilangan noon at nagkaroon ng 989,250 boto. In 2013, he ran for the Senate again and lost. Panglabingtatlo siya sa puwesto at nagkaroon ng 10,159,561 boto, just a few hundred thousand votes short of reaching the “Magic 12.”
Given Gordon’s long-awaited victory, let us examine some lessons which can be learned mula sa napakahalagang tagumpay na ito. Unang-una, utilizing all the resources of a proactive and perseverant citizenry and netizenry can win an election, sa kabila nang mahabang pagkaliban o pagkawala ng kandidato sa paglilingkod bayan at ang sunud-sunod na pagkatalo sa mga naunang dalawang laban nito . All of Gordon’s individual campaigners, bloggers, and Bagumbayan volunteers have done precisely that.
Pangalawa, maging ang pagliban ng mga boto galing sa apathetic pessimists (discouraged from voting and affecting social change) did not prevent Gordon from reaching the “Magic 12.” Nor did the numerous votes of the “Wowowee Crowd” (a term I use when referring to the intellectually and morally lazy, gullible, celebrity-worshipping electorate) hinder Gordon’s ascent to 5th place. Sa katotohanan, kung mayroong informed intellectuals (as few as they may be) who will participate in the electoral process, hindi dapat akalain na ang Wowowee Crowd will automatically win.
Pangatlo, hindi pa lubhang nababahiran ng mali at hindi pa lubusang pumapanig sa piling iilan ang sistema ng halalan . If that were the case, then such an anti-trapo maverick as Gordon would not have been re-elected to the Senate, much less with eight higher ranks than in 2013.
Pang-apat, napakabuti nang sapat na traditional media coverage, nguni’t hindi ito mahalaga para sa ikapagtatagumpay sa halalan. Rep. Manny Pacquiao received far more mainstream media coverage than Gordon, nguni’t ang bantog na kampiyong boksingero ay pampito lamang na may 16,050,546 boto (as of COMELEC’s proclamation on May 19, 2016) at pumapailalim sa kanya.
Sa wakas, mga kaibigan ko, let us use Gordon’s campaign and victory bilang isang huwaran para sa magiging kasunod na pagkilos ng ibang mga kandidato. That means continuing to utilize the social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, blogging, forming a research team in order to answer the questions of potential voters or to debate political opponents and their surrogates, organizing and participating in rallies and fundraising events, and encouraging people to register and to vote. For those who live abroad, they can launch an online campaign and vote as overseas absentee voters as a friend whom I wrote about in “Ang People Power at ang Ating Tungkulin.” The key is to keep our kababayans informed and engaged. Ngayon, let’s celebrate a well-deserved victory para kay Sen. Gordon at sa ating bayan.
My friends, “if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” Not only has Donald Trump absolved himself from attending two important events, he said he would not participate in the next FNC debate as well. All three events are significant, since they allow his potential voters and supporters to scrutinize his record, policies, and vision for America more closely. Therefore, Trump’s pattern of absence from these events looks precisely like a “duck”—a hypocritical position since he has criticized Sen. Marco Rubio for his excessive absences in the Senate.
In my commentary titled “Why Evangelicals and Conservatives Should Cruz with the Best and Trump the Rest…including the Donald,” I criticized Trump for evading the Iowa debate just before its caucuses. He claimed that debate moderator Megyn Kelly was unfair to him in the previous FNC debate, and that he committed to a veteran fundraising event instead (which he said was more important). As a result, presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz challenged Trump to a 90-minute, one on one debate for which the former’s team would donate $1.5 million to veterans. As an alternative to Kelly, Cruz stated, “We can arrange for Mark Levin to moderate, or Sean Hannity to moderate or Rush Limbaugh to moderate or Glen Beck to moderate.” That would seem to be a win-win situation for Cruz, Trump, Iowa voters, and the veterans. However, Trump declined Cruz’s challenge. (I hear a duck quacking.)
In my commentary titled “Are Trump Conservatives Irrational?,” I mentioned that Trump did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in spite of being one of the first to accept the invitation. According to its organizer, Matt Schlapp, Trump disliked the new question and answer format of the event, which was formerly a speech format. As a result of CPAC’s refusal to capitulate to Trump’s terms, he campaigned in Kansas and Florida instead. (I heard a duck quacking again.)
Again Trump has decided to forgo the FNC debate scheduled March 21 in order to speak at the pro-Jewish American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). “I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate, that was going to be it. Nobody told me there were going to be more debates,” stated Trump, “I think we’ve had enough debates.” Apparently Trump does not want to debate Cruz due to his poor performance in the last two debates. Ironically, Trump did declare on March 6, “I would love to take on Ted one-on-one.” (That is the third quack I heard. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that a “quack” has “ducked” three times.)
On March 22, 2016 Cruz appeared on the O’ Reilly Factor, challenging Trump again to a one on one debate. However, he has chosen the feisty but fair Bill O’ Reilly to moderate this time. Trump may have a big penis, as he boasted in a GOP debate, but does he have big proverbial testicles to meet Cruz’s challenge? Perhaps it was his scheme all along to attack Cruz’s wife on Twitter in order to distract his potential voters from the debate challenge. After all, they both occurred on the same day.
Donald Trump’s tweet to Ted Cruz, threatening to humiliate his wife.
Aside from another potential debate, why would Trump skip all three of the aforementioned important events? Is it purely coincidental? Could that have been his strategic plan in order to evade the informed conservatives—the ones who are well read and actually view and scrutinize the debates down to their minutia? Cruz spokesman Ron Nehring concludes:
Perhaps Mr. Trump is unable to speak for more than one minute about any given topic because of his shallow understanding of basic policies, or perhaps he is scared of voters learning the truth—that he has spent his entire adult life promoting liberal positions completely opposite of the conservative platform that he has campaigned on.
If Nehring is correct, that puts into question Trump’s capacity to lead the country and confront America’s enemies. Trump himself has admitted that he has never encountered so much pressure as he has in campaigning. How much worse will it be once he starts governing as president? Would this not be a grave risk for the American people as well as the world just as the election of Pres. Barack Obama was?
Fortunately, there is an alternative candidate who is a constitutional conservative and already has a proven record of defending life, religious liberty, gun rights, state sovereignty, and the free market system. His iron political will has made him impervious to the pressures of standing up to his own party in defense of fulfilling his campaign promises before the Senate and defending the Constitution before the Supreme Court. In conclusion, my friends, Trump the Donald and Cruz with Ted.
My friends and American countrymen, today I write in disappointment and dismay at so-called conservatives and evangelicals who supported Donald Trump in the states which logically and rightfully should have supported Ted Cruz. First and foremost, the term “Trump conservative” is an oxymoron, comparable to a Catholic Protestant, a Marxist businessman, a vegetarian carnivore, or a leftist Republican, although the latter seems increasingly accurate, considering the prevalence of those whom conservatives are unapologetic to call a “RINO” (Republican In Name Only). Such is Trump. Aside from that as the primary reason that conservatives should not support him, I have listed a few others below.
1. Trump is not a conservative.
He has recently been styling himself as a “common sense conservative.” Could that be his flexible version of a constitutional conservative? Semantics aside, conservatives support the principles of religious liberty, limited government, and a free market system. Based on that conventional definition, here are some of Trump’s unconservative positions:
Such government intervention in the private sector is scarcely conservative. By the way, Trump skipped out on a very important conference of conservatives (CPAC) in which all Republican presidential candidates speak. He did so on a short notice in spite of accepting CPAC’s invitation several months ago. Instead, he took it for granted that he did not have to answer questions by the attendees, and according to CPAC organizer Matt Schlapp, that was “disrespectful.”
2. Trump lacks basic understanding of the Constitution and the rule of law.
When asked by CNN host Anderson Cooper what the top three functions of the U.S. government are, he responded that “the greatest function of all by far is security for our nation. I would also say health care, I would also say education.” Every conservative knows that the last two are unenumerated powers reserved to the states.
Trump’s disregard for the rule of law can be illustrated in his support for restricting free speech by loosening libel laws, whereby suing newspapers would be easier. He also indicated that as commander-in-chief, he would coerce soldiers into waterboarding terrorists, even though the Obama administration has banned it.
3. Trump lacks good character.
On several occasions, he made a public display of his arrogance. For example, on the issue of Sen. John McCain’s POW status, Trump objected to his heroism, since his plane was shot down in North Vietnam. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” One could easily envision such arrogance displayed in other scenarios. The picture below (displayed on a billboard sign by a church) illustrates a similar point.
Credit: Conservative Tribune
When Trump refused to participate in one of the FNC debates, essentially because he could not dictate the terms, his arrogance became apparent again. He mistakenly took it for granted that he did not have to present himself, his policy positions, or his American vision before Iowans in order to get their vote. On another occasion, he was boastful of how loyal his supporters are, stating, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Do any of you sense Trump’s fear of the Lord or humility?
Aside from Trump’s arrogance, he has also made some inappropriate remarks, as well as exhibited ill-mannered behavior. In response to one of the questions (apparently unfavorable to Trump) of Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly, Trump disparagingly said that she had “blood coming out of her eyes and blood coming out of her…wherever.” Where could wherever possibly be?
In one of his rallies, Trump mockedNew York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski (a unique creature of God with a congenital disability), emulating his body’s irregular posture and movements—behavior that even properly reared children are taught never to mimick. On another occasion, Trump publicly called Pres. George W. Bush a liar and called for his impeachment for allegedly misleading Americans to believe WMD were present in Iraq; Trump later stated he was uncertain whether or not Bush lied (putting his judgment into question as with other foreign policy positions). Clearly, a man of his temperament, making such an outrageous and unfounded accusation and acting inappropriately, is not fit to be America’s chief diplomat or statesman.
4. Trump is not an anti-Establishment candidate.
Contrary to popular (or rather populist) belief, he is the ultimate Establishment politician. He may never have held the official title of politician, but by virtue of contributing large sums of money to Establishment politicians (Democrats and Republicans) in order to affect public policies, he displays the term in action. That gives him the advantage for his business operations while trumping (pardon the pun) over conservative principles, perpetuating a large part of the Washington Establishment—namely, crony capitalism. His loyalty or, rather, disloyalty to both parties indicates he has no entrenched principles or political platform on which he can stand or predictably govern. Gov. Bobby Jindal summed up Trump’s position well when he said, “He is not a conservative. He is not a liberal. He is not a Democrat. He is not a Republican. He is not an Independent. He believes in Donald Trump.”
Even on the campaign trail, Trump emulates the cunning methods of typical politicians. For example, in order to galvanize evangelicals, he claimed that his favorite book (next to his Art of the Deal) is the Bible. If that were the case, it seems logical that he would know how to pronounce II Corinthians 3:17 or be able to state his favorite biblical verse when requested to do so, which was not the case. Another example of political expedience was raising the issue of presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president prior to the Iowa caucuses. For several months, Trump was silent on the issue, as if he were finally satisfied that Cruz was eligible. However, when GOP debate moderator Neil Cavuto asked why Trump continued to pursue it, he frankly admitted, “Because now he’s doing a little bit better [in the polls].” Such is the myth of Trump not being a politician.
My friends, when there is a clear alternative candidate, who is a consistent conservative and has a successful record of defending Christian liberty (all of which I have documented), why don’t many conservatives and evangelicals in the southern states support him instead of Trump? Could they be confusing his sophomoric, vulgar, and arrogant demeanor (scarcely Christian, much less presidential) for being forthright or politically incorrect? Could it be that they are ill informed, gullible, or even irrational? Could it be that they are confusing a populist candidate for a conservative one?
Could the Trump evangelicals be of the same mindset as the evangelicals who temporarily subdued their intellectual judgement and Christian principles in order to satisfy a more superficial impulse via membership in Ashley Madison (the controversial, extra-marital affair dating site)? The renowned pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas First Baptist Church sympathizes with the Trump evangelicals and reasons thus:
Christians overwhelmingly chose Ronald Reagan not because he was the most religious candidate but because he had the quality people thought was most necessary at the time, and that is leadership…I think many evangelicals have come to the conclusion we can no longer depend upon government to uphold traditional biblical values…We need a strong leader and a problem solver, hence many Christians are open to a secular candidate like Donald Trump.
Indeed, Reagan served in the Army Air Forces as Personnel Officer, Post Adjutant, and Executive Officer, assisting in the production of training films for the military. He assisted the FBI in purging Hollywood of suspected Communists, and he served two terms as California governor (1967-1975) before he became president. Therefore, Jeffress was correct to point to Reagan’s leadership, and I would add patriotism.
What of Trump’s leadership? Could Jeffress be referring to being a leader in insulting American heroes, in mocking disabled people, or in his sexual performance of which he boasted at one of the presidential debates? Perhaps he is referring to Trump’s leadership in raising the issue of border security and immigration and making it the focal point of public discussion. In that case, I must mention that Ted Cruz has led the opposition against amnesty, which is precisely why the Gang of Eight amnesty bill was quashed in the House. Cruz also proposed several border security measures, including a wall in 2011—several years before Trump made his well-known pitch.
Hence, the leadership premise Jeffress raises is fallacious. Perhaps these so-called conservatives have consumed the Holy Communion wine, which is spiked with a bit of the Shirley Temple beverage the blogger Conservative Cyborg has written about.
Just think rationally for a moment and consider your two viable choices for the Republican nominee. One is a New York crony capitalist, who has changed his party affiliation at least six times (since 1987), and has done virtually nothing for Christian liberty, promoting constitutional principles or conservatism in general. On the contrary, Trump has supported liberal and unconstitutional policies, which largely benefitted himself (hardly patriotic), and boasts that he will compromise conservative principles in order to “get along” and “get things done” with the Washington Establishment.
However, the alternative candidate (Ted Cruz) is a proven conservative, whose record of defending the Constitution (namely religious liberty, rights of the unborn, gun rights, and state sovereignty) remains unmatched by any of the current presidential candidates, and is tenaciously unwilling to compromise on core conservative principles merely for the sake of getting along and getting things done, even in the midst of political gridlock (a situation for which the founders devised an electoral process as a remedy, not a hindrance to be bypassed by executive orders). By the way, should President Trump’s deals or compromises fail in Congress, would he resort to executive orders as Obama currently does?
My friends, conservatives are completely justified in channeling their infuriation and distrust of the Republican Party (whose members have constantly reneged on their promises in capitulation to Democrats) into a candidate who shares the same sentiments. However, shared sentiment alone does not qualify one to be president of the U.S. As conservatives, we must not be blinded by our anger and vote strictly out of emotion, a trait which is generally attributable to liberals, especially those who voted for Pres. Barack Obama. Instead, let us use our full reasoning capacity to see past Trump’s flimsy, populist rhetoric and elect a seasoned constitutional maverick, who seeks not to make deals with the devils in the Washington Establishment, but to defy them in defense of the conservative principles of religious liberty, limited government, and free enterprise.
It’s easy to talk about making America great again. You can even print that on a baseball cap. But the critical question is, do you understand the principles and values that made America great in the first place?
If you all do not understand, then please refrain from referring to yourselves as “conservatives.”
Victory to Sen. Ted Cruz for God and Country!
Marcial BonifacioExcellent! I assume you are also conservative because my challenge is addressed only to Trump supporters who claim to be conservative.