Some of us have always thought that Filipinos in general are both gullible and pushovers. This notion lends itself to the fact that Filipinos have been sidelined by their neighbours in South East Asia – people who started out with countries as backward as the Philippines. But the belief all Filipinos are slow is not fair to other Filipinos who are now fighting against tyranny from within. We have to be more specific. Most of the stupidity in Philippine society is evident in the behaviour of members of the Philippine Liberal Party, its allies and supporters. More than three decades after the Liberal Party supported a coup d’état to oust former President Ferdinand Marcos, not much has changed. But now that a new leader is at the helm — someone whose approach is different from previous administrators — the Liberal Party, their allies, and their supporters cannot accept their defeat and still stand by their brand of mediocre leadership even though the Philippines already suffered under their rule.
What do the people behind the Liberal Party stand for, really? They do not stand for liberalism or liberty and equality in the real sense. It seems they only stand for patronage politics and advancing their own personal interests. Take the case of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a long-time ally of the Liberal Party. With his cohort and former fellow soldier friend Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano, the two recently filed what they claim is a supplemental complaint against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands in connection with his war on drugs.
This was after their impeachment bid against Duterte failed miserably. Their own colleagues in Congress ruled against it on insufficient grounds since the complainants only based their impeachment complaints on unverified media reports or hearsay that Duterte authorised extra-judicial killings in his drug war. Alejano even admitted during the deliberation in Congress that he had no personal knowledge even though he swore under oath that he did have personal knowledge of his allegations. In other words, Alejano lied and was just trying his luck in his bid to pull Duterte down.
Others saw the impeachment complaints as a prelude to a more sinister move on the part of those who want to oust Duterte. It is now apparent that Alejano and Trillanes and whoever else supports them are using the junking of the impeachment complaints to justify asking for international intervention. They have now moved on to Plan B, which is to prove to the ICC that Congress is no longer acting independently of the Executive branch. Their persistence in destroying Duterte is notable. They are like a dog with a bone.
Trillanes and Alejano – both members of Congress – are inadvertently telling the international community that they and their colleagues are useless in going against Duterte. How can they when Duterte hasn’t violated any laws to begin with? The two so-called lawmakers are acting naïve. As if they, Trillanes in particular, don’t or did not play the game of patronage politics. Some even call Trillanes the Liberal Party’s attack dog since he acts like the Liberal Party’s public defender and attacks those who oppose the LP agenda. He was one of those so-called senator-judges who voted in favour of impeaching the late former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona using the lame charge of inaccurate filing of Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) just to please former President BS Aquino who wanted Corona out. That was just one of those instances when Trillanes seemingly paid back a favour he owed to BS Aquino for a pardon he granter him while he was in jail for being a convicted mutineer. Trillanes also played the attack dog well when he relentlessly bullied former Vice President Jejomar Binay when the Liberal Party thought he was a threat to Mar Roxas’s bid for the Presidency in 2016. Trillanes was in the media for almost a year crucifying Binay. It’s a good thing his overexposure did not win him a lot of votes in the last election. A lot of people saw through his cunning moves.
Trillanes and Alejano’s motives are quite suspect. Filipinos do not stand to gain anything from their actions. They are just embarrassing the country and risking destabilisation. What do they want to happen? They want Duterte out of the way so the current Vice President Leni Robredo – another loyal Liberal Party member – could take over the Presidency. We all know what a disaster that would be. Robredo has become a laughingstock and would only be a lame duck if she becomes the President or worse, a puppet for the yellow oligarchs. It can only be bad news for the Philippines if the complaint filed before the ICC progresses. The international court does not know the real situation in the Philippines. Trillanes and Alejano are the wrong people to brief the outside world. These two are not objective. They want chaos so they can grab power. It’s a recipe cooked up in the 1980s.
Trillanes is also against Duterte’s Martial Law in Mindanao. He came up with six proposals to defeat the terrorist group Maute without the need for Martial Law:
1. Sustained military operationsTime and again, the AFP has consistently crushed the enemy forces it has faced.2. Increased intelligence funds of the AFP/PNPRealign Malacanang’s P18B Intelligence/Confidential Funds (this includes the P1.4B of Sec. Andanar’s PCOO) to augment AFP’s P1.6B Intelligence Fund.3. Intensify intelligence operationsOnce the Intelligence Funds of the AFP/PNP had been augmented, the intensified intelligence operations will effectively pinpoint the exact location of the terrorist cells throughout the country without affecting the way of life and freedom of the Filipinos.4. Pass the National ID System BillThis will make it difficult for terrorists and lawless elements to go through checkpoints and airports, and to conduct other activities.5. Provisional Enlisted Personnel BillThis will allow the AFP to recruit 20,000 troops to augment its present force and therefore be more effective in dealing with different national security threats.6. Vigilance of the civilian populaceEveryone should be empowered to participate and contribute to our national security.
With the exception of item number one, which the military is already doing, most of his proposals will not even address the immediate damage to property and lives terrorists are causing right now. He is proposing bills that need to pass legislators and seek executive approval. This could take months or years. Meanwhile, the rest of Mindanao is at risk of falling in the hands of terrorists. Trillanes is simply being lame. For a guy who couldn’t pull off a successful mutiny (he failed twice and went to jail for it) and who came out last in the Vice Presidential Election, Trillanes doesn’t have the credibility to win any battle.
Another member of the Liberal Party Senator Risa Hontiveros has earned the ire of the public for seemingly defending the terrorist group Maute who are currently wreaking havoc in the Marawi City in Mindanao. In an interview with Get it Straight host Daniel Razon, Hontiveros thinks that Duterte’s Martial Law is not justified since she doesn’t consider what the Maute group is doing as “rebellion” nor an “invasion”. She said that since the government forces initiated the military operation, it does not fall within the “parameters of Martial Law”. Never mind that all the Senators including her were shown a video of the terrorist group plotting their attack, which the military only pre-empted. She has angered a lot of Netizens for showing more concern for terrorists who do not think twice about beheading or killing who they consider “infidels”. It is baffling why people like Hontiveros do not see the urgency to nip the situation in the bud. As usual, they want to be reactive and not proactive.
These are the kinds of mediocre thinking that the Liberal Party, their allies and their supporters are promoting. They cause loss of lives, damage to infrastructure and impede the country’s growth. They have perpetuated this kind of loser mentality since 1986. One can be forgiven for thinking it is harder to defeat the mentality they espouse – a mixture of arrogance and irrational thinking – than the terrorists themselves. It’s too bad there are still gullible Filipinos who fall for them.
[Photo courtesy ABS-CBN News.]