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ROUGH CUTS | The rise of the sons

As of the writing of this piece early yesterday morning the news we heard about the leadership of the Philippine National Police (PNP) was the least we expect — the appointment of an Officer-in-Charge with the no further extension of the term of the current PNP head.

It can be recalled that the term of P/General Benjamin Acorda. Jr., the PNP chief appointed by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., was extended after his supposed compulsory retirement came last December 2023. The extension ended last Sunday and the change of command was earlier scheduled middle of last week but did not push through as the President did not appoint Acorda’s replacement.

The new schedule of the command turn-over was yesterday. But as we said here earlier, as of the writing of this column only an OIC in P/Lt. General Emmanuel Peralta was installed. However, the turn-over ceremony was as grandiose as it was for a true replacement taking over. The President graced the occasion and personally handed to the outgoing PNP chief all the symbols of honor that are believed worth due him.

According to news reports the installation of an OIC is done while the President is still looking for one who he thinks is worthy of the position and of course his trust. For now nobody has any idea how long will Lt. Gen. Peralta will serve in OIC capacity. But we are of the opinion that he may eventually be appointed the regular chief of the PNP.

Personally, we are sad with this development. Why, because we are hoping that another Davaoeno will likely have the chance of getting to the top of the PNP hierarchy. Yes, we were fervently hoping for the appointment of Lt. Gen. Michael John Dubria as PNP chief. But with the installation of another police general as OIC it is our take that General Dubria’s chances are getting dimmer and dimmer. The Davaoeno PNP official will reach his retirement age in December of this year. Meaning General Mike barely have a few months left depending on whether or not the OIC will be replaced or permanently appointed to the top PNP post.

In the words of General Dubria himself, “far-fetched, but not impossible.., after all, everything happens according to His will… and in His time”
How gracious and humble are the Davaoeno General’s words.

If our readers will recall, some four columns back we wrote about the two sons rising. But we sort of withheld the meat of that item until after four or five days. Now we will complete it.

Yes, the two sons who are rising (one of them now on the zenith) are former President Rodrigo Duterte’s Sebastian “Baste” Duterte, and the late former President Marcos, Sr.’s son now President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. The former is now the City Mayor of Davao, the leading metropolis in Mindanao. The latter, the late President’s youngest son, rose from Governor of his province to congressman, and later as senator of the Republic.

Both have their rise in politics boosted by the family names they are carrying and the things their elders did while in office – beneficial to the Filipino people or otherwise – that made their names into the consciousness of their constituents, and their ascends much easier.
We are however, apprehensive that they have not learned lessons from their fathers that made them controversial and their reigns “ignominious” even up to these days.

In the case of Mayor Baste he is using the very same critics-maligned strategy of his father in fighting illegal drugs proliferation and other criminalities in Davao City. It is this scheme of his father that ignited – rightly or wrongly – his critics within the country, and outside, the international human rights advocates led by some United Nations (UN) agencies, into haunting him without let-up.

In the case of the son of another late former President, PBBM, he too, is following the footsteps of his father – appointing to the country’s armed services top positions people of his ethnic lineage. And now he is inclined to keep them there by extending their terms.

And certainly it is no secret that one of the primary causes of discontent during PBBM’s father’s reign was his perpetuation in office of himself and of the men who were behind his back at the country’s armed services.

The only huge contrast between the two sons is that the father of the former, despite the criticisms on his alleged human rights violations in his deadly illegal drugs campaign, he remained popular to the greater mass of the people as shown is his very high trust and performance ratings. And this could only mean that his campaign bodes well with the people.

Meanwhile, the performance of the father of the other son and that of the government he was leading, was considered in the rock bottom. In fact it led to the slogan “Never Again.”

But somehow, Filipinos have shown their forgiving characteristic. The Marcos, Sr.’s son is now President.

Unfortunately he is slowly showing his failure to learn the lessons from his father’s experiences. Where then will it lead him and his leadership in government?


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