calling on the church, the integrated bar, and the communists

on facebook, duterte’s pa-thinking trolls have been bashing bashing bashing vp leni for being on vacation in the states during and after typhoon nina that hit her home province hard.  kesyo hindi daw dapat umalis in the first place, kesyo dapat umuwi na, now na, kesyo wala siyang kuwentang vice president, at kung ano ano pang panlalait na tuloytuloy lang, to the point na OA na, as though the vp had committed, were committing, an impeachable offense?  medyo over the top, guys.

i suppose it has everything to do with rumors of an attempt to oust duterte and replace him with leni before january 10 when, it is also rumored, the supreme court is set to replace leni with bongbong, which btw rendered rene saguisag incredulous (what with an indolent SC in the middle of a long break), and so you wonder why these pa-thinking peeps are even dignifying it, one of them even warning that if leni et al. should attempt a people power action, well, sila mismo, with mocha in the lead, playing joan of arc i guess, would respond in kind.  how exciting.

i suppose, too, that it is these same rumors that had the president flipflopping on martial law. just early this december he had said it would be “kalokohan,” he would not allow oppression, it did not do any good the first time around, blah blah blah.  but just before christmas he was suddenly lamenting that he couldn’t impose military rule without the ok of congress and the supreme court, and practically ordering that the charter be amended to allow him to do a marcos!  takot ako, seriously.

i suppose also that leni being in new york of all places is driving them paranoid.  easy to imagine that she’s cozying up to loida and, who knows, ex-ambassador goldberg?  UN human rights commissioners?  the CIA?  the senators markey, coons, and rubio?  the extrajudicial killings has rendered the president infamous, after all, his war on drugs failing to net any big fish but a lot of small fry who have no ex-deals to offer, not to speak of the bystanders, and the “innocent until proven guilty” that’s been honoured more in the breach than the observance in the last six months.

read david balangue’s Justice–Philippine style.  and manolo quezon’s Freedom from fear.  and this, from tony la viña, posted on facebook the day after his bloomberg TV interview on extrajudicial killings.

… we are nearing a point when legally and politically, whether intended or not, what is happening in the country will be considered by objective and independent international mechanisms as genocide. It’s the number and the typology of the victims, certainly not mainly pushers or definitely not drug lords, at most addicts and users with increasing number of innocents and almost universally poor. The evidence being gathered is damming and at some point will be overwhelming. It will not only have aid implications but there will be severe trade consequences once genocide is determined. Can ordinary citizens stop it other than self-restraint by the government? In my view, only the Church acting with such institutions like the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the communists by making human rights compliance a non-negotiable in the peace talks are in a position to make a difference here. The opposition is too weakened or compromised or complicit to even contribute to what has to be done. 

“self-restraint by the government” is a pie in the sky, given the president’s martial law talk.  and indeed, even the opposition (leni loida leila and LP, take note) is “too weakened or compromised or complicit to even contribute to what has to be done.”

but, yes, the church acting with such institutions like the integrated bar, and the communists by making human rights compliance a non-negotiable in the peace talks — they ARE in a position to make a difference.  especially the communists.  would that they rise to the occasion this time around.  not necessarily to oust duterte but, at the very least, to make. him. stop. the. killings.


  1. john c. jacinto

    The Left will not die for Duterte under any circumstances. They have suffered enough in their more than 40-year struggle against the so-called triumvirate of evils: imperialism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism. So why would they shed blood for a bungling, foul-mouthed, incompetent, murderous crook from Davao who means what he doesn’t say and says what he doesn’t mean? When the going gets rough, the Left will drop Duterte like a hot potato.

  2. ALEX MAGNO: Last Thursday, probably the slowest news day of the year, someone truly brilliant at the presidential communications office contrived to sit President Duterte through a sequence of live interviews across several media outlets. That gave the President hegemony over the media space as well as an opportunity to reconnect with his constituency.

    Alas, the bulk of the questions during these interviews dealt with clarifications about things the President has said. There were questions about the imposition of martial rule, about throwing suspects off helicopters, about the final shape of our already mangled bilateral relationship with the US. There were scarcely any questions about the President’s long-term vision for the country, about economic policy, about the pieces of legislation needed to realize those policies.

    Six months after assuming office, the Duterte administration is still addressing its people with vague generalities rather than specific policies.

    There was, for instance, no question asked (at least in those parts of this quick sequence of interviews I caught) about the tax reform package. This should be at the heart of the administration’s concerns. If the ambitious spending plans and the revenue mechanisms do not match in real time, the economy will fall in shambles.

    It is easy to convince the politicians to pass a law cutting the tax rate. It will be tough to ask them to pass new revenue measures to make up for the loss in government intake from the rate cut. How does the President expect to deal with this problem?

    What did the President think of the bicameral committee’s abrupt decision to take out P8.3 billion from the public works budget and plunk the same amount to pay for tuition fees in all state colleges? How does this incident affect the administration’s education policy?

    What plans have been devised to bring relief to the unbearable traffic congestion that brings down the quality of life of millions and chokes economic performance? What long-term plans are being devised to decongest the crowded cities?

    Given that global interest rates are creeping up and the likelihood that some nations, like the US, will likely restrict trade, will we be able to achieve a growth rate above 7% as our economic managers promised? And what about our agricultural exports, given the hostility of the DAR secretary towards agribusiness venture agreements that underpin much of our plantation arrangements?

    There are many more really hard questions that the President may be asked – even as he says he leaves the economic questions to his economic team. From rewriting the Constitution to quickly raising rural incomes, there are so many things on the President’s plate.

    They may not be sexy. But they are vital.