My friends and countrymen, I realize this commentary comes late but is
most appropriate as we observe National Heroes Day. Indeed, I wish to shed some light on the
current issue by providing some historical context, which would otherwise
perpetuate misapprehensions and misperceptions about the intentions of a public
servant, worthy of the same respect, honor, and adoration as Dr. Jose Rizal. Therefore, I’ll be killing two birds with one
stone. Without further ado, I’ll begin
I’m greatly appalled by the spectacle of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s
behavior on August 1, 2019 wherein he went on a tirade against Senator Richard
Gordon. When the former disclosed his
decision to appoint former military officials to top government posts, the
latter simply commented that having such numerous appointees could potentially
be “dangerous because civilian authority must remain supreme over the military. Dapat three years muna bago ka i-appoint…
para mawala muna ‘yung ties mo, the ties that bind.” (There must be three years
after relief from active duty before you get appointed…to let go of your
ties, the ties that bind.)
Gordon explained, “Ang problema lang kay Presidente, mababaw ang bench niya.
He comes from the province, hindi niya nakilala. So, mas nagre-rely siya sa
military.” (The problem with the President is that he has a shallow bench. He
comes from the province and scarcely knows anyone. So, he relies mostly on the
military.) As a result, during his
speech at the 28th founding anniversary of the Bureau of Fire
Protection (BFP) commemoration, Duterte made some repugnant and bizarre
remarks, which I will list below and consequently address:
“Pero kung ako ang presidente at pupunta ako ng Maynila magtrabaho
dito, maghanap ako ng tao. Kung si Gordon lang naman ang makita ko, mag-resign
na lang ako [sa] pagkapresidente.” (If I’m the President and I go to
Manila to work and look for people, if Gordon is all I’d see here, I’d rather
resign as president.)
“Ang tanong niya sa akin, ano daw ang nakita ko sa military. Well,
one, sabihin ko sa ‘yo, I can move faster with honesty. Mahirap maghanap ng tao
na honest ngayon.” (His question for me is, what do I see in the military?
Well, one, I’ll tell you, I can move faster with honesty. It’s hard to find
honest people nowadays.)
“Do not be too presumptuous about your talent. Why do you criticize
me? It’s my prerogative. It is not prohibited by law. And the law says that the
president shall be, kung may tulong siya sa mga taong Cabinet member (if he
gets help from Cabinet members), it doesn’t say except those who are
ex-military men because they are not qualified.”
“I am challenging him, give me one specific instance that the military,
the police or the DILG membership disobeys a single order from me.”
“You won’t ever become vice president. I will make sure of that. You
really won’t become vice president. Now if you want that title badly, what you
should do is you create a private corporation, make your family the
incorporators of that corporation, then appoint a president, a member of your
family as president of the corporation, then find a way that you will be seated
as the vice president of that corporation.”
“Kung ikaw mag-presidente, sigurado ‘yan wala talagang maniwala sa ‘yo.
‘Yang sinabi mo na ‘yan? ‘Wag ka na tumakbo ng presidente, wala kang makuha sa
Armed Forces. Pag manalo ka, kargahin ka diyan galing sa Luneta diretso ka doon
sa Bilibid (If you run for president, for sure, no one will believe you.
Considering what you said about the military? Don’t ever run for presidency,
you won’t get a single vote from the Armed Forces. If you win, you will be
carried straight from Luneta to jail),” he added.
“Mabuti kung may away diyan sa Negros, matawag ko ba si Senator Dick
Gordon magpunta doon? Magturo-turo, mag-English… Siya lang makaintindi,
kinakain niya salita niya, eh (There’s conflict in Negros, it would be good if
I could call on Senator Gordon to go there. But what would he do? Teach
English? It’s only he who understands himself because he eats his words),”
“Hindi ka naman talaga Filipino, tisoy ka lang. Kami dito mga probinsyano.”
(You are not pure Filipino, you are of mixed race. We, from the province, are.)
“You know, I think ‘yung sabi niyang probinsyano ako, sa bagay totoo
‘yan. Pero, at least, probinsiyano ako, my brain stays in my head. ‘Yung utak
mo, Dick, natutunaw, napupunta diyan sa tiyan mo. You are a fart away from
disaster. Intindihin mo muna ‘yung tiyan mo bago ka makialam sa trabaho
ko.” (You know, I think his remark about me being from the province, to be
fair, that’s true. But at least I’m from the province, my brain stays in my
head. Your brain, Dick, dissolves and goes to your belly instead. You are a
fart away from disaster. Mind your belly first before interfering with my job.)
“Take care of your stomach. It’s ugly. You’re just a fart, a heartbeat
away from… ‘Yang laki mong ‘yan? ‘Yan ang katawan na mahirap, hindi pwede
ambulansya. Karga ninyo sa truck ninyo.” (With your size? You won’t fit in an
ambulance. They will carry you at the back of a truck.)
“Sabi ko nga, ikaw, para kang penguin maglakad. Totoo man sabihin mo sa
kanya. Makita kami. Sabihin niya sa akin uli ‘yan. Sabihin niya in front of
me.” (Like I said, he walks like a penguin. It’s true, you can tell him that.
When we see each other, he should tell me what he said to my face.)
To all these insults, Gordon graciously responded, “I take no offense at the President’s comments. As I have said, everyone is entitled to an opinion, and we cannot be onion-skinned about such things. . . I am happy that the President is concerned about my waistline, but he need not worry about that. My wife has seen to it that I have reduced it significantly of late. But I appreciate that he is concerned about my health as I am about his.”
Now that I have presented the relevant parts of the dialogue between Duterte and Gordon, I will henceforth address each of Duterte’s points. First, Duterte detests Gordon so much that he would resign as President if he was the only prospective appointee. However, in a speech at a Philippine Red Cross event in 2017, Duterte praisefully referred to him as “President Gordon,” which would be “only about a few more years.” Whence came such clear inconsistency in Duterte’s view of Gordon?
Now that I have presented the relevant parts of the dialogue between
Duterte and Gordon, I will henceforth address each of Duterte’s points. First, Duterte detests Gordon so much that he
would resign as President if he was the only prospective appointee. However, in a speech at a Philippine Red
Cross event in 2017, Duterte praisefully referred to him as “President Gordon,”
which would be “only about a few more years.”
Whence came such clear inconsistency in Duterte’s view of Gordon?
Second, Duterte says he prefers military officials because they are
trustworthy, and honest non-military prospects are difficult to find. Generally speaking, in this seemingly cruel,
dog-eat-dog world, it is difficult to find trustworthy friends and spouses,
much less good, upstanding public servants impervious to corruption. However, that is precisely why anyone running
for the office of president should have an entrenched political machinery. That is simply the nature of politics.
Surely Duterte’s close friendships with potential appointees are not
limited to current military and retired military officials. Even if so, can he not find prospects among
the network of his own children in public office? Mayor Sara Duterte or Congressman Paolo
Duterte? What about his college mates or
colleagues when he was a prosecutor? By
the way, if military officials are trustworthy, what of the retired generals
who are accused of plunder at the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO)?
Third, Duterte questions Gordon’s criticism, defensively stating that his
intended appointments are at his discretion and lawful. Article XVI, Section 5(4) of the 1987
Constitution reads: “No member of the armed forces in the active service shall,
at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position
in the Government including government-owned or controlled corporations or any
of their subsidiaries.” Therefore,
Duterte is correct with regard to legality and constitutionality.
However, this is not an issue of legality or constitutionality, but of
national security and following the spirit of the law, rather than just the
letter of the law. Apparently, Gordon
understood the principle of civilian control of the military, since the latter
is not an institution “wired for democratic policymaking, governing, or
statecraft.” Rather, its nature is
authoritarian and generally functions for defense, deterrence, and killing.
In order to understand Gordon’s concern germane to Duterte’s potential
militarization of the government, historical context is instructive. This concept of civilian supremacy is the
trademark of American government, which distinguishes the U.S. as well as other
republics (including the Philippines) from authoritarian nations, whose
attempts to overturn their governments via military coups, are banal. In order to institute such a state of
affairs, America’s founders delegated some military functions to civilians.
According to Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, Congress
shall have the power “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and
Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and
support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer
Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy.” Article II, Section 2 reads, “The
President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United
States . . .” Such a dispersal of power
with a civilian check on the military was similarly adopted and assimilated
into the Philippine Constitution.
During a time when the world was less interconnected in terms of trade
and national defense, a standing army or permanent military force was obsolete,
even abhorred by America’s founders.
They knew from their experience under King George III, that on just a
whim of a tyrannical government, their rights could easily be violated. However, this situation changed after World
War II and the specter of Communism, whereby a more dangerous world
necessitated the banality of a permanent American military force and
interventionist foreign policy, even more so today with the rapid spread of
Islamic terrorism and the emergence of rogue states, developing nuclear
Consequently, the U.S. Congress passed the National Security Act of 1947
which mandated a 10-year minimum (currently amended to a 7-year minimum) of
inactive military service prior to appointment as Defense Secretary. Such a law, according to Kathleen Hicks of
the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “is a prudent contribution
to maintaining the constitutionally-grounded principle of civilian control,
both symbolically and in practice, in the presence of a sizable and highly
capable 21st century military.” Gordon
is fully aware of this American law and proposes it be applied to retired
military appointees in the Philippines as well.
However, he suggests a mandatory 3-year (instead of 7-year) hiatus and
proposes it for all top civilian posts, aside from that of Defense Secretary. Such an interval would weaken the “ties that
bind” and hence thwart coup attempts by rebels.
From our own history, Gordon has pointed out two coup d’etat attempts by
the Magdalo group, which is composed of three Philippine Military Academy
graduates, who served in the Bureau of Customs, namely, former Commissioner
Nicanor Faeldon, Customs Deputy Commissioner Gerardo Gambala, and former Import
Assessment Services (IAS) director Milo Maestrecampo. “First of all,” Gordon asks, “is there any
danger, for example, that they could be raising money for a political party
like Magdalo? Is there any danger, for example, that they could be raising
money to buy arms for another coup?”
V: Gordon’s interpolation
Cognizant of our countrymen’s tendency to be complacent, even in so far
as to be acquiescent, Gordon is simply cautioning us, including Duterte, about
the risks of appointing newly retired military officials to top civilian posts
of government. The purpose, according to
Gordon, is “meant not only to protect the country but his administration.” That is his mandate as a representative of
the people, and if Duterte feels hindered or threatened, perhaps he does not
possess an equivalent historical acumen or erudition. Otherwise, his despotic tendencies may be
preventing him from tolerating peaceful dissent or differing public policies,
qualities that comprise a thriving republic.
Aside from the ostensible domestic concerns of militarized government,
negative global optics can adversely affect international relations in security
and business dealings. Among Duterte’s
former military appointees thus far are: Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, Defense
Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.,
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr., Social Welfare
Secretary Rolando Bautista, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council
of the Philippines (HUDCC) Chair Eduardo del Rosario, Environment Secretary Roy
Cimatu, and MMDA Chair Danilo Lim. Couple
such appointments with his numerous visits to military camps throughout the
Philippines, his rhetoric on the prospect of establishing a revolutionary government,
his demand for authorization to use emergency powers and imposition of martial
law, and his censuring of journalists.
Would such optics bode well with the international community? Would foreign investors feel confident about
infusing funds to boost our economy?
Would our allies trust us and continue to provide foreign aid in the
form of humanitarian goods and services and military goods and training? How would potential tourists feel about
vacationing in the Philippines?
Fourth, on Duterte’s challenge to Gordon to cite one specific instance
wherein a military official disobeyed an order from him, August 20th the day of
such an instance. It was the day Bureau
of Corrections Chief Nicanor Faeldon ordered the release of rapist/murderer
Antonio Sanchez against Duterte’s order.
According to Duterte, “he violated my instructions.” That is why on September 4, 2019, the
President terminated his public service.
“Faeldon has to go,” he said, “because Faeldon disobeyed my order.” Hence, Gordon won the challenge without ever
uttering a word, since Duterte essentially outchallenged himself.
Fifth, it seems that Duterte has given advice to Gordon on how to become
Vice-President. I must say that I am a
bit perplexed. I was not aware that
Gordon has sought or currently seeks such a post. Therefore, I cannot comment on that, but I
will ask: How is that pertinent to the BFP commemoration?
Sixth, Duterte states that should Gordon run for the presidency, nobody
would believe him, and the military would not vote for him, due to insulting
them. Why wouldn’t anyone believe
Gordon? He has been consistent in his
principles and is even known as “Aksyon Gordon” because he “walks the walk” and
doesn’t just “talk the talk.” What precisely was Gordon’s insult to the
military? That the government may become
Perhaps he shares the same sentiment as one of America’s founders, Samuel Adams, who warned that, “Even when there is a necessity of military power, within the land… a wise and prudent people will always have a watchful & jealous eye over it.” Why wouldn’t the military vote for Gordon? I’ll let him defend himself in his own words:
During my first term as Senator, we authored and passed RA 6948 or the Act Standardizing and Upgrading the Benefits for Military Veterans and their Dependents. We even pushed for a higher budget for the military and defense. In fact, during the deliberations of the TRAIN Law, we proposed that 15% of the collections from it be earmarked for military modernization and it passed the Senate. When it was later removed, I threatened to filibuster until the President called and assured me that the executive would ensure that it would be implemented.
Seventh, Duterte expressed his desire for Gordon to accompany him in Negros
with regard to the recent killings allegedly committed by the New People’s Army,
the military arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines. However, he questioned what he would do
there. Teach English? What an excellent idea, since English is a most
essential language! According to the
English is the main language of books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, international business and academic conferences, science, technology, diplomacy, sport, international competitions, pop music and advertising. Over two-thirds of the world’s scientists read in English. Three quarters of the world’s mail is written in English. Eighty percent of the world’s electronically stored information is in English. Of the estimated forty million users of the Internet, some eighty percent communicate in English. . .
Gordon speaks both fluent English and Tagalog. He is even adept in utilizing English
colloquialisms, clichés, and idioms.
Therefore, Gordon would be the ideal English instructor for the people
of Negros, unlike Duterte who is fluent in neither.
Of course, a well learned and accomplished man as Gordon can contribute
in other ways as well. As a crisis
manager for the Red Cross, he could provide emotional and inspirational
support, as well as disaster logistics and rescue aid to the victims. As a legal luminary, Gordon could advise
Duterte on any proposals with regard to military and counter-terrorist action
and the legality or constitutionality thereof.
After all, he was a lawyer and delegate to the 1971 Constitutional
Convention, and is currently an effective lawmaker in the Senate.
Eighth, on the issue of Gordon not being a real Filipino, If Duterte is
referring exclusively to ethnicity, then he is incontrovertibly correct. He is only 50% Filipino due to his Caucasian
father, who chose to renounce his American citizenship, become a Filipino
citizen, betroth and live with a Filipina in the Philippines, serve Filipinos
as their mayor, and eventually die and be buried in the Philippines. Gordon followed suit, notwithstanding his
birth and rearing in the Philippines and is yet to be deceased.
If, on the other hand, the definition of a Filipino is expanded to
include a Philippine citizen who religiously performs his civic duty, then
Gordon is 100% Filipino. If the
definition includes a citizen who contemplates and honors Filipino heroes and
martyrs, then Gordon is 100% Filipino.
If the definition includes a public servant who defends and upholds
Filipino institutions and the Philippine Constitution, then Gordon is 100%
Filipino. In a word, if the definition
of being a Filipino is simply one who embraces Filipino culture and supporting
causes and policies which will advance or uplift the Filipino people, then
Gordon is 100% Filipino. Is that not all
that should matter? Duterte will not
even fulfill his constitutional mandate of protecting the Philippines’
territorial sovereignty in Panatag Shoal.
Perhaps we should rightfully say that he is 50% Filipino and 50% Chinese
for acquiescing this fundamental right to China.
Ninth, from where did all Duterte’s derogatory and puerile comments about
Gordon’s intelligence (or lack thereof) and excess weight emanate? One can only speculate. Perhaps this was a display of the former’s
own intelligence (or lack thereof).
Perhaps it was another typical demonstration of his character (or lack
thereof). Perhaps such histrionics was
simply an indicator of his own inadequacies or insecurities projected deeply
from his own subconscious. Perhaps it is
due to his upbringing in the province. de0a
Whatever it may be, one thing is certain: Digong’s obsession with Dick
finally overwhelmed him. Indeed, ranting
about Dick for approximately twenty minutes in a speech, which was supposed to
commemorate the BFP, made this clearly transparent.
In conclusion, I wish to inculcate our countrymen with some important
points. First, we must always remember
that a popular president does not equate to a good president. That is why Gordon’s grasp of history, his
foresight, and his persistent vigilance are qualities we should come to
appreciate and cultivate within ourselves.
Second, we must understand that Gordon’s civility and humility in handling
Duterte’s excoriation exalts him and makes him the better man, as well as the
better public servant. Indeed, his
restraint in personal attacks against Duterte is a display of good character,
diplomacy, and cognizance of domestic, as well as global optics, which could
impact international relations.
Third, we must appreciate the founders and their concept of civilian supremacy over the military in order to preserve our government’s peaceful transfer of power.
Finally, my friends and countrymen, we must never, under any circumstances, underestimate or take for granted, the value and impact of Dick . . . Dick Gordon, that is.
In this proposal, I have frequently cited America’s founders, since federalism (as a systematic study of governance wherein power is shared between a central government and state governments) is often attributable to them, and their intent is made manifest in a collection of their 1787 constitutional convention debates published in The Federalist. “On every question of construction,” states the American founder Thomas Jefferson, “carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”
Vertical Balance of Power
First and foremost, a federalist system would divide power between the national government and state or regional governments wherein such a dispersal of power would create a vertical, as well as horizontal balance of power. The American founding father Alexander Hamilton elaborates:
This balance between the National and State governments ought to be dwelt on with peculiar attention, as it is of the utmost importance. It forms a double security to the people. If one encroaches on their rights they will find a powerful protection in the other. Indeed, they will both be prevented from overpassing their constitutional limits by a certain rivalship, which will ever subsist between them.
Close Proximity of States to the People
Second, state autonomy enables each state to govern more effectively due to their close proximity to the people residing in those states. Jefferson wrote about the U.S., “Were not this great country already divided into states, that division must be made, that each might do for itself what concerns itself directly, and what it can so much better do than a distant authority.” After all, do not our local public servants have a more accurate perspective of affairs within their own jurisdiction than those governing from Malacanang Palace?
Even President Rodrigo Duterte miscalculated the duration of his war on drugs, originally insisting on a 6-month purging operation, which he now says will require one more full year. Such a reassessment is apparently due to his newly acquired national perspective and experience, as opposed to his provincial perspective and experience from being Davao City mayor for 22 years. Although federalism will benefit the people in general, according to Consultative Committee (ConCom) member Eddie Alih, it will be especially expedient to “the lost and the least because shifting to a federal setup will bring government social services closer to the poor.”
The Fifty United States of America
Accommodation for a Vastly Diverse Populace
Third, state autonomy more easily accommodates governance of a nation comprised of more than 7,000 islands, several religious groups, and more than a hundred ethno-linguistic groups. The conquests of Spain and Japan and the American occupation have also had a cultural influence on the indigenous people, as well as trade with the Chinese, Arabs, and Malays. Naturally such diversity entails differing interests, modes of production, and social-ethnic concerns, all of which may require differing regulations or laws designed for the unique circumstances of each state or region.
Now consider some actual examples of federalism taking effect in America, which betoken unique variations in law, taxation, economics, religion, individual liberty, and culture. The state of Utah is heavily populated by Mormons, while the mountainous state of Tennessee and Alabama are pervaded by evangelical Christians. Recreational marijuana is legal in California wherein same-sex marriage and a large Filipino populace co-exist.
Massachusetts has mandatory health insurance and permits open carry of a firearm. New York has the highest taxes, the most stringent gun control laws, business regulations, and the highest rate of fetal abortions. (Perhaps those are the “New York values” to which Senator Ted Cruz was referring in his 2016 presidential primary run against Donald Trump.)
Florida and Texas have the lowest income tax rates, no mandatory state income tax, and they happen to be the most favorable states for bass fishermen due to their numerous lakes, rivers, and streams. Philadelphia, the birthplace of America’s constitution, levies a sugary drink or “soda tax.” For advocates of capital punishment, the options are varied—electrocution in Kentucky, gas inhalation in Arizona, firing squad in Utah, and hanging or lethal injection in Washington.
Cannot our countrymen relate to such varying factors? Consider similar issues of which some are controversial as well as divisive but could easily be addressed by the states or regions—the drug war, the Mindanao conflict, RH Law, the death penalty, marriage dissolution, same-sex marriage recognition and benefits, jeepney fare hikes, VAT, etc. In terms of core competencies or comparative advantages, Cebu is the exclusive producer of dolomite and graywacke, while Capiz and Ilocos Norte exclusively produce cotton. Palawan and Boracay are the top tourist destinations of the Philippines, due to their beaches and the latter’s party ambience.
Furthermore, possessing regional or state sovereignty under federalism, allows each state or region to address such issues pursuant to their unique geographical or demographical situation. “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system,” contends American Chief Justice Louis Brandeis, “that a single courageous State may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” Indeed, impoverished regions can learn from and mimic affluent regions by scrutinizing their economy, tax system, business regulations, and commerce practices, while education administrators in one region can do likewise with successful schools in other regions. In turn, such competitive regions could eventually decongest Manila.
Such a diversity would naturally appeal to the marginalized or disaffected members of society (e.g., the New People’s Army, Abu Sayyaf, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap, the Lumads, and Cordillera). While there is much controversy over the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the establishment of a Bangsamoro state or region (to replace the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao) via federalism would render the BBL and Bangsamoro Organic Law obsolete, since all states or regions would be equally autonomous simultaneously, at least eventually.
I am writing you with the utmost respect and as a concerned citizen of the Philippines. Like you, Mr. President, I only seek to serve the interests of our countrymen as well as protect the sovereignty of our country pursuant to the Constitution. Therefore, I appeal that you keep an open mind and take no offense to my grievances and unsolicited recommendations.
Mr. President, many Marawi City residents have had their lives drastically disrupted and have been displaced as they have evacuated their homes, due to your declaration of martial law in Mindanao. Meanwhile, some foreign investors are losing confidence in the economy and the stability of the Philippine government as a result. This may deter other potential investors and cost our country many current and potential jobs. In fact, Philippine Airlines has already offered refunds to travelers fearful of flying to Mindanao.
For that reason, it is in the best interest of the Philippines to swiftly quell the terrorist threat, restore the rule of law, and draw an end to this period of martial law as soon as possible. That is precisely why I suggest you request Pres. Donald Trump increase American troop presence in Mindanao. Such a move would allow the police and military to continue fighting Islamic terrorists without compromising their focus on other priorities, such as the NPA (who have already announced they would utilize the current crisis to their advantage). Since both the Philippines and the U.S. share a similar problem of having porous borders, thus enabling foreign Islamic terrorists to enter both countries (some of the killed Maute terrorists were from Indonesia and Malaysia), perhaps you can collaborate to find solutions.
Indeed, the U.S. would relentlessly curtail the escalation of Islamic terrorism. In conformity with your desire to be “harsh,” Pres. Trump is willing to use practical, effective methods to counter the insurgents, such as enhanced interrogation techniques. He is also willing to adopt Gen. Pershing’s method of using bullets dipped in pig’s blood, which quickly ended the war between the Americans and Moros during the early 20th century.
In light of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s threat on your desire for the Philippines to extract natural resources from the disputed West Philippine Sea, that “if you force the issue, we will go to war,” I must invoke the authority of Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio. He states that “the threat of China to go to war against the Philippines if the Philippines extracts oil and gas in the Reed Bank, or in any area within Philippine EEZ in the West Philippine Sea, is a gross violation of the United Nations Charter, UNCLOS, and the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia to which China and the Philippines are parties.”
That is why, Mr. President, I implore you to discuss this issue with Pres. Trump. After all, the U.S. also has a strategic interest in maritime security and maintaining freedom of navigation along the West Philippine Sea, which is one of the reasons Pres. Trump seeks to scale up the American navy.
Mr. President, it is indisputable that America’s military is the most powerful in the world, and wherein the U.S. refrained from full scale war, it has maintained a fairly stabilizing counter balance against hegemons like Russia and China. In fact, just a few days ago, a U.S. warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of Mischief Reef unimpeded by China—a deliberate attempt to demonstrate that “Mischief Reef is not entitled to its own territorial sea regardless of whether an artificial island has been built on top of it.” Indeed, according to Justice Carpio, “the Philippines must strengthen its alliance with the United States, the only country with whom the Philippines has a mutual defense treaty.” Even the astute patriot whom you called “President Gordon” concurs on utilizing the presence of American troops in order to develop a “strong and credible defense capability.”
However, as we await the fortification of that alliance, Justice Carpio advises that the Philippines “bring China’s threat of war to another UNCLOS arbitral tribunal, to secure an order directing China to comply with the ruling of the UNCLOS arbitral tribunal that declared the Reed Bank part of Philippine EEZ.” He added that the “Philippines can also ask for damages for every day of delay that the Philippines is prevented by China from exploiting Philippine EEZ.”
In following Justice Carpio’s lead, I also recommend that you persuade the U.S. to declare Panatag Shoal (universally known as Scarborough Shoal) as part of Philippine territory, which would protect it under the Philippine-U.S. Mutual Defense Treaty. Such action would add clarity for legal ramifications, since the shoal was known to be under Philippine jurisdiction as early as the American colonial period. The Japanese did precisely that with their Senkaku islands , which the U.S. declared as part of Japan’s territory for purposes of the U.S.-Japan Mutual Defense Treaty.
Meanwhile, Mr. President, you can send the Philippine Navy to patrol Panatag Shoal. Should China stage an attack on any of our vessels, you can invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty, since it covers armed attacks on such vessels. Of course, that would prompt the U.S. Navy to intervene.
I also recommend, Mr. President, that you express to Pres. Trump your gratitude for America’s contributions to our country’s welfare, including being an old, reliable ally whose troops fought alongside our troops against the Japanese invaders during World War II, providing foreign aid (in the form of funding, disaster relief supplies and manpower, and military assets and training), and U.S. legislation that currently supplements the income of our World War II veterans (in addition to their compensation by our own government).
The Oldest Philippine Alliance
Mr. President, Gen. Douglas MacArthur is one of Pres. Trump’s favorite commanders. That is why I also urge you to give him a tour of the Leyte Landing Memorial Park, which is adorned by the American icon’s statue next to Pres. Sergio Osmena’s. Perhaps such a setting would be appropriate to even hold a press conference wherein you can announce the fortification of Philippine-U.S. relations.
MacArthur Landing Memorial Park
I recommend the announcement be made on June 12, which is shortly upcoming and a historical date. Indeed, it is the day Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo declared our country’s independence from Spain in 1898, for which a war by both Americans and Filipinos was fought. Such a chosen time for the announcement would certainly send a chilling message to imperial China on their limits vis-á-vis a powerful, ironclad ally.
In conclusion, Mr. President, I welcome you forging new alliances with other countries. However, new and dubious allies are no substitute for a single, loyal ally, especially since that ally according to Justice Carpio, is the “only one power on earth that can stop the Chinese and that’s the U.S.” With that said, America is our greatest ally and an invaluable asset in combating Islamic terrorism and keeping China restrained. Moreover, the world will respect us, and our enemies will fear us. Thus, it would serve our country’s best interest to take full advantage of this opportunity.
Mr. President, I appreciate your service to our country and to our countrymen and look forward to the day when peace and order will be restored, federalism will take effect, our economy will grow at record levels, and our country will reach first world status. May you have a successful presidency.
Marcial Bonifacio Nagagalak akong malaman iyan, kaibigan ko. I must admit I was pretty restrained dahil sa directly addressing Duterte. 🙂 Marahil his surrogates may read it and bring it to his attention. LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 1 · May 30 at 1:28am
Marlene Damolo Howe I agree with Pres. Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao in order to bring back law and order for the safety of the residents. The president has been fighting enemies from all fronts, both foreign and domestic. So Martial Law is sometimes necessary. Your suggestions are sensible and doable. But I can also understand where Pres. Duterte is coming from as far as working diplomatically with China and Russia, the two other superpowers adversarial to the United Sates. It doesn’t mean that he abandons the country’s alliance with the U.S., but only to explore diplomatic relationships with the other two since the Philippines is in a precarious situation and having very little resources for defense. The U.S. has a vested interests in the Philippines geographical location to keep navigation passage free in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea, and China’s interest in the Philippines is for its agressive “expansionism” agenda. China claims that ALL of South China Seas is hers, regardless of the UNCLOS provision of 200 nautical miles EEZ.
So what does a Philippine president has to do? Pres. Duterte is a smart strategist. He has a history of outsmarting his detractors being street smart and pragmatic. After previous American president (Barack Obama) tried to undermine his presidency, Pres. Duterte moved to seek “diplomatic” alliance elsewhere. Hence, the two other superpowers, Russia and China. It puts America on notice! But Pres. Trump is NOT Barack Obama. He is not an ideologue but a PRAGMATIST that only wants to do what’s best for America. And that means, WORKING WITH ALLIES and gain their trust. Under Barack Obama, OUR ALLIES NO LONGER TRUSTED US AND OUR ENEMIES DIDN’T FEAR US. Presidents Trump and Duterte have the same goal for their respective countries, to make it a better place where people are free to live their lives as they see fit and in peace. They had a good rapport when they talked while the opposite is true with Barack Obama.
So I hope that President Duterte will get your message and take your suggestions in consideration. We all want peace and better Philippines. So I hope that the self-serving obstructionists and disruptors will cease in their undermining the Duterte presidency and instead, help the president succeed in his efforts to combat the BAD ELEMENTS befalling our country; corruption, war on drugs and terrorism.
Marcial Bonifacio Magandang punto, kaibigang Marlene! Notwithstanding your points that Duterte is a smart strategist, I concur with everything else. Naisip ko impulsive at short-sighted si Duterte dahil he forged ties with Russia and China before consulting with Trump or Clinton tungkol sa paksang Panatag Shoal and their economic policy. Even before the U.S. presidential election was over in November of 2016, he could have ascertained both candidate’s proposals. If Obama were serving longer, then I might have some sympathy for Duterte’s decision. Gayunman, even then, it seems that Duterte may have been bent on forging new alliances just to spite the U.S. I have pointed out his anti- American inclination sa huling paliwanag ko titled “Digong is no Dick”:
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. ”https://www.marcialslaw.com/digong-is-no-dick-dick-gordon…/
Gayunpaman, sana Duterte will heed Carpio’s advice. Gayunman in so doing, he will have to strain ties with China to some extent, but he will regain some credibility for finally defending Panatag Shoal.
Jocel Mendoza I am one with the President. If the people who actually live in Mindanao support the declaration of Martial Law, why complain when we are not the one caught in war? Peace talks didn’t work and the enemies here are terrorists, we cannot talk sense to these people. Those who are against ML fear of power getting abused, but that is why the 1987 Constitution imposes limits to prevent it from happening. Martial Law then is different from Martial Law now.
Turning to Russia and China I think is the President’s way of bringing balance to Asia and neutralizing the tension in the region. We are not in the best position to declare war. Why would we fight China when even the US won’t. The most viable solution in the sea conflict – joint exploration. LikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2 · May 31 at 2:00amRemove
Marcial Bonifacio Kaibigang Jocel, sang-ayon ako sa punto mo ng martial law—that the 1987 Constitution has safeguards which differentiate it from the previous one. Gayunman, Duterte did not make such a distinction. Sa kabilang banda, sabi niya, “Martial law is martial law. So to my countrymen, you have experienced martial law. Ito, it would not be any different from what the President Marcos did. I’d be harsh.” Fortunately, Duterte’s surrogates have attempted to walk such statements back and make the distinctions which you made. Aside from using martial law for quelling Islamic terrorism, he should do so to neutralize the NPA as well, since peace talks with them have also failed.
Tungkol sa paksang bagong alliances, Duterte is not helpless in defending Panatag Shoal. The Mutual Defense Treaty obligates the U.S. to engage in war should RP’s navy vessels get attacked by China. SC Justice Antonio Carpio has even stressed that sa sulat ko. Gayunpaman, Duterte would set a good example for the other ASEAN members with similar disputes dahil RP’s sovereignty is legal sa pamamagitan ng ruling ng Permanent Arbitration Court.
Marcial BonifacioI have tweeted this letter to Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana, Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Cayetano, the DOJ,the Philippine Coast Guard, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Sen. Richard Gordon, and even Mocha Uson. Hopefully, Ines, they all will understand the significance of America’s alliance and will try to persuade the President.
USA is our true ally – from World War II to present. There are thousands of Fil-Ams in the US Armed forces- from the lower ranks to the highest ranks. Thousands of Fil-Am families in US. How many Filipinos in PLA? Probably none. Free speech in USA allows Fil-Ams to lobby and represent the Philippines in economic, political and social issues. If only Filipinos think like the Japanese, Japan was nuked twice, was an enemy of both US and CHINA, but the WISE Japanese chose USA. USA will help protect RP than Red CHINA. Red China is making RP their FRONTLINE BATTLEGROUND. We will be like Tibet and N. Korea. Red CHina is bringing the war to the Philippines WHETHER FILIPINOS will fight or not fight. Filipinos might as well fight with a strong ally and closer ally – USA. Filipinos have NO VOICE in RED CHINA!
Marcial BonifacioExcellent points, Thor! What’s ironic is that, as I pointed out in my last commentary, Duterte “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.”
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 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.