WE have this friend of ours in Facebook. We seem to agree on almost every issue that affects governance, be it local or national.
This friend of ours actually we have yet to meet in person. We just exchange communication on matters that are happening in our city and country. At the national level we sport the same belief that President Rodrigo Duterte’ administration could have been the best.
That it would have been the best in economic performance…
That it could have been the most accomplished in terms of infrastructures that make life for the Filipinos literally comfortable and easy;
That it had shown it can stand up against any other country in terms of pursuing its international relations and charting its own path along with the other members of the world community of nations;
That it is not looking up at any world leader as the God that can dictate what course of action our has to take; That it can dismantle oligarchy without resorting to declaring martial rule;
That it has what it takes to fight criminality including the proliferation of destructive illegal drugs in the community.
All these we agree that the Duterte administration has been relatively successful, but…
Nonetheless, we and our Facebook pal, whom we have a common friend in the government service, also are one in our observation that the incumbent administration may have succeeded completely in some of its avowed commitments and has reached the peripheries of the others. But we also believe that the Duterte administration has its share of failures, big and small, in relation to the expectations of the Filipino people based on what the President himself had promised to do. We are also one with the thought that the President fell short of his obsession to replicate his Davao experience at the national level. Clearly, this is because his desire to have his mantra carried out by his people that he believes, have like him the interest of the public in mind, did not materialize. What with most of them are the underworld themselves, or working for the organized syndicates, or have their own interest dictated by personal greed. All these the Duterte administration have little or no way of knowing.
So, amidst the administration’s successes where did it fail and what could have been the immediate cause or causes?
The biggest single reason of course is that when the administration was well on its smooth-sailing ways, the Corona Virus Disease (CoViD) 19 pandemic came and is still raging even in these dying days of the Duterte regime. We all know that the impact of the pandemic has made the global as well as the Philippine economy to fall on its knees. Our friend and we are one with our thought that while we are not as unfortunate as India or Indonesia, the country’s free-wheeling politics and the politicization of whatever issue that is related to the pandemic response, all the more made it difficult for the Duterte administration to fight the pandemic.
There are other reasons or apparent causes of the administration’s failure to attain what in the beginning was its leading commitment to the Filipino people.
One is his apparent failure to make good his campaign promise to have the constitution amended so as to have the backbone for him to wipe out the so-called reign of political dynasty which has been prevailing for the longest time. While our friend and us are believe the local government including the first Congressional district of Davao are well-run by the Duterte sibling and there is no sign whatsoever, of irregularities, their dominance, without doubt, is what makes the Filipino people think that the Duterte administration is not and has not been sincere in its advocacy to do away with political dynasty. And what people see in the President’s backyard says it all.
On the other hand, while the administration can claim hundreds, or even thousands of operation in its war against drugs the number of arrests, raids, deaths, cases filed, or whatever, should not be mistaken for success in the over-all campaign. Yes, it is admitted that there are certain well-known high value drug personalities that have either gone missing or arrested, a number of so-called drug laboratories dismantled. But these are only vignettes of the total war. We have yet to see known drug lords convicted and made to pay for his crime other than being imprisoned where the drug personalities are still known to continue plying their trade outside the walls directing the business inside.
Yes, while the administration appears serious in dismantling oligarchy, by omission it has also failed or perhaps knowledgably allowed the growth of new oligarchs. Then there is this continuing frustration of senior citizens, specifically SSS pensioners who are now dependent of their measly monthly pension for their maintenance medicine, waiting for the release of the second tranche of P1,000 monthly. The administration of the President who gave them hope after the earlier law was vetoed by the late President Aquino, appears to have forgotten all about the other half of his promised increased in pension.
The President too, seems to have failed the expectation of the generally conservative Filipinos for him to tame down his acidic tongue if only to give semblance of refinement to the Presidency. We and our Facebook friend agree that it is this reckless usually unguarded use of expletives in public pronouncements by the President that allows his critics, rightly or wrongly, to convert him and his administration into a punching bag.
And with the ever watchful eyes of opposition trolls and critics, aided by their adeptness in manipulating applications of social media, even the lies directed at Duterte and his administration seem to have evolved into truths.
Time is now running out for the President with his administration barely having less than a year left. But our friend and us agree that miracles can happen any time, and that it can be created. We will wait and see.
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