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ROUGH CUTS | Ambivalence in the administration




Vic N. Sumalinog

IT’S NICE to hear that already there are hundreds of policemen in Region XI who are now vaccinated against the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (CoViD). This is an assurance that those who are in the forefront in the implementation of the various health protocols during this pandemic can effectively do their job instead of being just among the legions that would later form part of the CoViD victims statistics. In fact as of the other day there were some 708 confirmed total number of policemen in the region infected with the virus. 

     No less than Police Regional Office (PRO XI) director P/Brig. Gen. Filmore Escobal led the roll-out of the vaccination for policemen. And there is no doubt that with the number of PRO XI uniformed personnel queuing in the designated vaccination hubs, the roll-out was accepted with so much enthusiasm.

     We are hoping that with the vaccination of most policemen there will be no more addition to the figure of CoViD victims from among their ranks especially those who died from the virus. It’s somewhat ironical to think that the men and women honed up for fighting criminals not only with their prowess in using physical attack and defense skills but in the aspect of their being physically fit, would just end up surrendering their bodies and spirits in surrender to an unseen enemy — CoViD.


     If there is anything that might result to the self-destruction of the Duterte administration in its gargantuan effort to keep itself afloat until the end of the next election season it is the ambivalence in statements of some of its big wigs.

     In several instances we have heard no less than the President himself saying that he had warned his daughter Davao City Mayor Inday Sara from running for the presidency. He cited that based on his experience he felt the Presidency is not a woman’s job. That is why, according to the President in many of his statements answering questions related to the possibility of a Sara run, he will advise his daughter to stop harboring any such ambition. He said he wants to save her from falling inside a snake pit.

     Early this week however, we heard him again apparently having a relatively well-crafted statement saying to the effect that he is allowing Sara to run. The President’s statement was re-echoed by Presidential spokesman Sec. Harry Roque during  a succeeding press briefing. On the same day, the national media wanted to have the reaction of Mayor Inday, All news reports from the national capital were one in saying that the Presidential daughter and Davao City mayor had no comment except to say that she still sticks to what her parents have warned her about running for President.

        Then the other day Sara said her father never said he was already amenable to Sara’s Presidential run as disclosed by Roque.

     Well, unless the administration  is adopting this muddling of statements as a matter of strategy and that it is done for some specific political purpose, then we will say that this charade can be dangerous and may boomerang on the administration’s prospect.

     In the same manner though, the vicious attacks made by opposition trolls on the administration, specifically the person of the President, would also most likely expose the weakness in the structure of the opposition’s political strategy. 

     For now we are certain that the opposition is  using a scheme closely similar to the strategy used during the Duterte campaign in the 2016 election — making the most of what trolls can do to help destroy the political enemy. But we have this notion that since the administration had originally used the methodology, it sure knows where its weaknesses are and how this can be further weakened so this could crumble to smithereens.

     For now the administration seems intriguingly silent with some calculated shots fired against the overly aggressive opposition. But we suspect that the administration could just be reassessing its position and strategy in the light of the opposition efforts to capitalize on the death of former President Noynoy Aquino.


     On the local political scene we have yet to find out who among the known personalities in Davao City still harbor the ambition to run against the incumbents from the mayor down to the last councilor. So far we believe that those occupying the top positions in the local political scene remain well-entrenched in their pedestal. The mayor and the vice mayor positions are actually already a given thing. These two will remain in the Duterte hold. For the councilors though, those interested will be elbowing for the endorsement of the gods of the local administration party — the Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

     Meanwhile, the congressional seats may be attractive to some. But it is a fact that to topple down the incumbents in the three districts could be a very tall order. So, we can be certain the incumbents congressmen can still soundly sleep during the night.

     Of course, their relatively safe position would be dependent on how strong their relationship with the gods of their party. If unknowingly they have slighted the ego of the “influentials” then they might wake up suddenly out of the graces of the gods and find out they have already one formidable opponent.

     As they say in politics the game is addition, or possibly multiplication. But never would it be acceptable that subtraction or division would come in the picture. So, it is a waiting game for the incumbents and those aspiring to replace them.


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