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ROUGH CUTS | Confusing and surprising the enemy 




THE other morning while we were taking our usual coffee break inside a local side street café, we happened to sit by a table adjacent one occupied by three policemen who were also having their snacks. Our proximity with them allowed us to hear quite clearly what they were talking about. Their subject was Brig. General Michael John Dubria, now the Regional Police Director for Region 12. The relatively young policemen were saying that when they entered the service Dubria was the City Director of the PNP in Davao City and somehow they were relating similar experiences when they were able to meet up-front their then superior.

     According to the three policemen they saw in Dubria who was a P/Colonel at that time, as  superior who remained one among them, a big brother and a fatherly image even as he was stern in having the men under him carry out their responsibilities. The one who appears the eldest among the three said that when the current Region XI director B/Gen. Filmore Escobal’s tour of duty in the Southern Mindanao Region ends, he is wishing that P/BGen. Dubria will have his new assignment in this part of Mindanao. The two other companions chorused in unison apparently agreeing with the older among them.

     Their actuation led us to start asking ourselves what qualities as a superior that General Dubria has that some of his subordinates before wanted him back as commanding officer. Hearing the policemen speak out their intention made us wish also to have the General back to the Regional Police Office 11 where we might finally have the opportunity to meet him personally and validate the good qualities in the police general that made the three young policemen speak highly of him.


     In his latest Talk to the People weekly report to the nation President Rodrigo Duterte said he will run for Vice President if Senator Bong Go will be his Presidential tandem. This is, according to him, if it is the wish of his party the PDP-Laban – Cusi faction. But the President would not pursue his plan if Mayor Sara runs. He said it is the Presidential aspirant’s prerogative to choose his or her vice presidential candidate. Not a few from the opposition ranks as well as from the administration’s critics reacted very negatively. The pronouncement by the President literally stirred a hornets’ nest. Even the former dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, Atty. Pacifico Agabin, commented that such action can immediately be questioned in  the Supreme Court as to its constitutionality other than its morality.

     Of course the pro-administration were as quick as the critics or anti-administration to give their defensive positions. There were those who claimed that what is not expressly written in the Constitution in regards to the prohibition of one particular act is therefore not prohibited.  

      Specifically, their bone of contention is that what is prohibited by the Constitution is the President to run for re-election and they interpret re-election as running again for the same position and not in another position lower than that of President.

     Amidst this very large field where opposing interpretations can have so much space to maneuver for explanation and justification, it is our take that once and for all, this early the magistrates of the high court must already be prepared for their respective position by researching in advance so when the time comes that they will be called upon to render their collective ruling, it will not be long enough for the people to wait. Any delay will possibly be subject to speculations that could make the resolution suspect by either the pros or the cons.

     Meanwhile, we still stick to our belief that the President will not do injustice to his campaign commitment to slowly, if not totally do away with the political dynasty in the country. We believed him when he said lately that it would be too awkward for a daughter-and-father team-up in the Presidential and Vice Presidential run. Somehow the President’s statement further strengthens our hunch that what he is doing in coming out with confusing and ambivalent pronouncements about his plan is his way of creating an effective shield to the person that the administration will eventually back as its candidate for President. 

     We may be wrong, but this was exactly our position when he refused to file his certificate of candidacy for President until the lapse of the deadline for the filing of such a requirement in the May 2016 election. So, while almost everybody was losing their hope of Duterte running for President we kept ours burning. What happened when the filing of the substitution deadline came proved us totally correct. And we hold on to that experience in the present Presidential stance. Confusing the enemy and creating surprise moves are keys to victory in war as these are in politics.




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