Moronic and stupid

"Mr. President, you have already earned your place in history."


Moronic and stupid, Santa Banana!

That’s what I call the move of some bright boys of the ruling party PDP-Laban to get President Duterte to run for vice president in the 2022 local and national elections.

If President Duterte were to run as vice president, he would have to quit the presidency and have Vice President Leni Robredo succeed him, and have the “Yellows” run next year’s elections. You know what that means.

Let’s say that Duterte becomes vice president and if for the sake of argument his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio becomes president. My gulay, we may have a puppet president with the father pulling the strings. Santa Banana things could be worse since everybody knows that Sara cannot be dictated upon. Thus, we could have a president and vice president quarrelling. That could be a disaster.

Granted, as I said, that President Duterte becomes vice president and somebody else —not Sara—becomes president, who do you think will be running the country? That could even be much worse.

Continuity? That’s the usual outcry of the bright boys of the ruling party. What continuity are they talking about? If Duterte’s successor is bright enough, he or she will continue the good things Duterte is doing and stop the bad things Duterte is doing. 

For one thing, it does seem that the bright boys of the ruling party are making the 2022 elections a big joke at the expense of the President. My gulay, if we end up having a vice president and a president fighting publicly, we’ll be the laughingstock of the world.

The bright boys of PDP-Laban are actually out to embarrass the President not realizing that local and national candidates have to file their certificates & candidacies by October, and that if a public officer like a president wants to run, he must first resign from his current position, whether elected or not.

I can only imagine Robredo praying for Duterte to quit since that’s the only way she can become president.

President Duterte says that he’ll think about the move to run for vice president. I am sure if he realizes the implications of what these bright boys of PDP-Laban are doing to him, Duterte will not fall into the trap. It would complicate things for him and his party, and make a big joke of next year’s elections.

Mister President, if you want continuity, choose your successor well. I am sure that you successors can do well as president for this country, or even better than you. At your age of 76, you need to retire and leave politics so people you believe in will continue to do things you still want to do. You have already earned your place in history.

* * *

In its first virtual Zoom meeting, the Manila Overseas Press Club, the oldest press club organized in 1945 by foreign correspondents assigned to cover the Philippines after World War II, met with Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat as guest of honor and speaker.

I was there as chairman emeritus of MOPC, together with MOPC President Eric Canoy and chairman Tony Lopez, vice chairman Babe Romualdez, Philippine ambassador to Washington, Art Lopez, who hosted the affair as president of the Hotel Owners Association of the Philippines, Mike Toledo, MOPC vice president for external affairs, Angela Cruz of GMA-7 and other members and directors and officers of the club.

In her speech before the MOPC Berna Romulo-Puyat talked about what the DOT is doing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. I must say, Berna has a full grasp of the problems of her department. She told us what she is doing to minimize the impact of the pandemic on tourism and its allied industries, like carriers, hotels and restaurants and tourist destinations, especially on what the DOT is doing to help displaced workers. She detailed how the DOT is also helping tourism allied industries secure bank loans.

I have covered government efforts to promote tourism since the start of the department under then Secretary Jose Aspiras, who was also the Marcos press secretary, and I must say that marketing and promotions form the basic success of Philippine tourism.

I had wanted to ask Berna after her speech what the department is doing to promote and market the Philippines, but time constraints stopped me from doing so. I wanted to ask Berna what her marketing strategy is to promote tourism in the Philippines since I’m fully aware that tourism is mainly selling and promoting tourism.

I have gone all over the world in my younger days and I know that in many countries, the Philippines is hardly known even though it has many exotic and beautiful places and resorts. While Boracay is known, foreign tourists are hardly aware of the fact that there are also resorts as beautiful as Boracay. I believe that Berna should concentrate on and promote and market these assets of the Philippines, like Pagudpud in the North.

There are three things a foreign tourist likes when going abroad - safety, security and a feeling of being at home. This includes beautiful things to see, staying in hotels to make a tourist feel at home. These are the basic ingredients a tourist needs while away from home.

The problem I see in Philippine tourism is accessibility and lack of infrastructure to make a tourist feel at home. I admit that while there are tourist destinations that are more beautiful and inviting for tourism, it’s not enough.

Other countries have taglines like “Fantastic Malaysia,” “Exotic India” and the like.

* * *

I mourn the death of my very good friend and former classmate, retired Court of Appeals Justice Jaime Lantin, who was also Dean of the College of Civil Law of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest Catholic University.

Jimmy invited me to his last birthday and I found him partly suffering from Alzheimer. He was one of my best friends in college at the Ateneo de Manila.

He graduated like me way back in 1950, practiced law and became a member of the judiciary. I recall together with my other classmates, we used to sleep in his house basement after a party. He was also a staff member of the school publication, The Guidon. I was its associate editor.

My condolences to Jimmy’s family. His wife was a good friend of my wife. May the flight of angels sing thee into your rest, Jimmy. 

There were 21 of us who graduated AB in 1950. I wonder who are still alive

Topics: Emil Jurado , PDP-Laban , President Rodrigo Duterte , vice president , 2022 elections , Manila Overseas Press Club , Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat
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