President Rodrigo Duterte said he won’t step down before his term ends because he does not want to hand over power to Vice President Leni Robredo. He says she is incompetent. The President, in his usual confrontational style, used the word incompetent without specifying the basis for his allegation.
This of course drew a retort from Ibarra Gutierrez III, legal adviser of the Office of the Vice President.
“Vehicular traffic is getting worse. There is no efficient public transport system. Prices of basic commodities continue to rise. China continues its encroachment in the West Philippine Sea depriving our fisherfolk of their livelihood. Crime, particularly killings of priests and local officials, remains unabated. Look who’s talking.” These are Barry’s words, not mine.
The questions raised are valid since it has been two and a half years that Duterte has been running the government. He can no longer blame these problems on the previous Aquino administration.
Mr. Duterte, however, insists he does not give a damn about surveys.
The recent poll survey Social Weather Stations blamed rising prices of fuel and prime commodities, and the recent killings of priests and local officials like Tanauan, Batangas Mayor Antonio Halili, General Tinio, Nueva Ecija Mayor Ferdinand Bote, and Trece Martires, Cavite Vice Mayor Alexander Lubigan. The killings, some say, could be part of the violence in the run-up to the 2019 mid-term elections.
On the same page as Gutierrez was independent Senator Panfilo Lacson who gave an au contraire view to President Duterte’s “incompetent” tag on Vice President Robredo.
“I think she is a potentially good leader of our country,” said Lacson, who added that her performance cannot be measured because she was removed from her Cabinet post as secretary of housing and development. Lacson also cited as good foundation Robredo’s apparent genuine concern for the less fortunate in our society.
Although from a different political party, Robredo was elected vice president by the people together with President Duterte. They should be working together for the country’s welfare, according to Lacson.
Representatives Tom Villarin of Akbayan Party-List and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said the drop in President Duterte’s satisfaction ratings can be attributed to misgovernance and lack of fundamentals in handling the economy. But more than this, it was Duterte’s “God is stupid” remark that proved his downfall from a previously high rating.
President Duterte, according to Brother Eddie Villanueva, leader of the Jesus Is Lord movement, apologized to God during their meeting at Malacañang. Duterte had offended many Catholic and Christian groups because of his blasphemous statement against God. His belated apology seemed more like a gesture to recoup political capital and not a sincere expression of remorse and regret.
Uncertainties about the sweeping effects of the proposed federal form of government under the new Constitution are adding to the people’s concern. The draft of the new Constitution has been submitted to the President by the consultative committee.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez was quick to point out that the proposed constitutional changes are not binding and that they will have to be submitted to the people for approval in a plebiscite.
Opposition Senators Paulo “Bam” Aquino and Antonio Trillanes IV said the myth of Digong is gone and his crass language no longer a novelty. They claimed that many of those who supported Duterte before are beginning to see the man for what he really is. But the last straw, many agree, was his “God is stupid” remark that turned off many Catholics and Christians.
There are questions why Mr. Duterte took on the Catholic church but not the vote-rich Iglesia ni Cristo, and the El Shaddai flock of Brother Mike Velarde. Some say this is selective religious persecution that must be seen for what it really is.
Does it have anything to do with what Digong claimed that he was fondled by a priest when he was a young man?