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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Watching A Gameplan Unfold Within The Philippine Political Arena

“Everyone has a plan. Until they get punched in the face.” ~ Mike Tyson
After the May elections I wrote about the gameplan of the Opposition, the LP, to discredit and oust President Duterte. Its objective, I said, was to have Leni Robredo replace him since it viewed Duterte’s program of change as a threat to the established order. The Opposition means to retain the status quo and Leni is malleable enough to be manipulated by them.
We now see the gameplan unfolding. The pattern is clear. It began with attempts to discredit Duterte by Leila de Lima’s Senate committee exaggerating EJKs and violation of human rights to attract the attention of the foreign media, the Obama administration, the UN and human rights organizations abroad in order to bring down a swell of protest aimed at depicting Duterte as a mass murderer. The idea was not only to discredit Duterte but also to reduce his popularity.
Their efforts failed. Duterte continued to produce achievements. I had written much earlier that achievements would be the only way to maintain and raise his popularity. I was right. Latest survey polls show his trust rating at 80 and 90 percent. The House hearings also helped to blunt the Opposition’s plan. They backfired on De Lima who was shown to be a protector of druglords. In the social media she lost her credibility.
Loida Lewis, the Fil-American multimillionaire, showed her hand. She openly called for Duterte’s resignation and his replacement by Leni, her protege. She had been behind the De Lima caper, even arranging for the latter to receive an award to prop up her international image. She had been behind efforts to stir up the Obama State Department and UN human rights advocates. She had been behind the Fil-American invitations for Leni to visit the US. She was known to be their financier.
Loida’s plan was blunted by the Trump victory. She had backed Hillary Clinton knowing that another Democrat in the White House would safeguard her influence as the Philippine king maker. Trump respects Duterte and is not likely to favor regime change. He has a low opinion of the UN which can well break up due to non-funding by the US Congress and an Israeli pullout. As I had written earlier when the UN rapporteur on human rights wanted to visit Manila to just ignore her. If Trump does not think much of the UN, why should Duterte give it more attention than Trump?
The Goldberg plot fits the pattern of regime change by the Opposition. It was blunted by a new US ambassador being appointed to Manila. Sung Kim is more likely to follow Trump’s policy of non-interference.
The Opposition game plan is moving to its final stage. Destabilization through terrorism and bombings as we have seen lately in North Cotabato, Leyte and Palawan. Again, I had anticipated this in previous postings. I do not even discount an assassination attempt against the president. As I had written, desperate people do desperate things. Their idea is to force Duterte to declare martial law to accuse him of being another Marcos. It is a ploy and I would not advise the president to fall into their trap. As I keep repeating, there is a better way to beat the Opposition at its game. It is for the people to grant the president revolutionary powers without him asking for them.
By: Jose Alejandrino

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