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Friday, May 13, 2016

‘Unity’ is a double-edged sword President Rodrigo Duterte needs to wield carefully in his first 100 days

May 12, 2016
by benign0
rodrigo_duterte_77
Here’s a thought. Let’s make use of the thinking of all these Martial Law Crybabies for a moment and start speculating as to what the first 100 days of President Rodrigo’s administration will be like. Specifically, let us consider this question:
Will President Duterte push through the just resolution of all the crimes committed over the term of President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III?
Duterte owes it to his people. He is, after all, the outcome of the “protest vote”. He owes his presidency to the anger Filipino voters expressed as they trooped to the polls over the astounding display of bald patronage, pork barrel thievery, and softly-softly treatment of incompetence that was the administration of President BS Aquino.
Martial Law Crybabies, for their part are, at the moment, directing their tantrums towards easy targets — the late Ferdinand Marcos’s son Senator Bongbong Marcos and, even more bizarre, the Sentator’s son Sandro Marcos. Yet right under their noses walking around with haughty impunity are two now-revered elder statesmen: former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Fidel Ramos.
These two men owe their freedom to be elder statesmen today to Aquino’s mother, the late former President Cory Aquino. The term bandied around in 1986 during the heady first months following the EDSA “revolution” wasreconciliation. In the “spirit of reconciliation”, as the tagline went, all is forgotten. Filipinos were encouraged to look to the future and work together to build a new and stronger nation. And so, Enrile and Ramos who were Minister of Defense and Chief of the now-defunct Philippine Constabulary (PC) respectively went on to become powerful politicians themselves, benefitting from the “democracy” Cory built. Ramos’s PC was the dreaded military executor of most operations to do with keeping Martial Law operational. As defense minister, Enrile oversaw all things military. They were both key leaders of Martial Law.
Today, Martial Law Crybabies are left with nothing but frustration over a “lack of justice” delivered to the “victims” of Martial Law. History can be quite confronting, however, when regarded from outside of Malacanang-prescribed history books. The fact is, no such “justice” was delivered because Cory Aquino chose, instead, to “reconcile” with the architects and executioners of Martial Law rather than throw them in jail the way BS Aquino did to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo 24 years later.
This then is the hard lesson of 1986 that is at the fore as President-Elect Rodrigo Duterte steps into his new role as the Philippines’ chief executive. Already he and his former rivals in the campaign are talking about “unity”. The question is, unity at what cost and to whose benefit?
There are 44 dead Special Action Force officers, tens of thousands of dead victims of 2013’s supertyphoon Haiyan, and millions of Filipino citizens denied a decent quality of life thanks to billions of misappropriated funds that could have gone to critical infrastructure development and upgrade projects. Will all of the crimes that left this vast legacy of victimhood be similarly swept under the rug “in the spirit of unity” just as Cory’s doctrine of “reconciliation” in the 1980s left an entire generation of the supposed “victims” of Martial Law deprived of the justice they are, we are told, entitled to?
As Duterte’s fans in the foreign media keep reminding us, the man who will lead the Philippines from 2016 through to 2022 was given a strong mandate to rule in a manner so, shall we say, unconventional as to send chills down the spines of the Philippines’ Jesuit-educated latte-sipping classes and the priestesses of political-correctness that they regard as their “thought leaders”.
Duterte needs to carefully consider the notion of “unity”. His paths to greatness over the next 100 days of his presidency have been all but defined by the millions of Filipinos who voted for him. But to become another Cory Aquino is a tempting option now that heads have cooled and campaign rhetoric has subsided. Suffice to say, that latter option is unlikely to be a scenario his supporters had in mind when they ticked his name on the ballot last Monday.
[Photo courtesy Yahoo! News.]

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