It’s mind-boggling that during the holidays season just past, the public was swamped with “conspiracy” tales that purportedly plan to topple President Rodrigo Duterte from power.
Now, unseating an incumbent president is par for the course. Any chief executive should come to terms with it. But it is amazing that the Palace itself is fanning the flames of an alleged plot to unseat President Duterte within the next six months. Unsubstantiated claims are awash that the cabal of plotters are going to do it through a military coup or civilian “People Power,” reminiscent of the ones that ousted Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada. For sure there are certain elements in society who want to see Duterte go before his six-year term is over. Certainly, the opposition Liberal Party would like this to happen. But the LP, even if only by wishful thinking, is a spent force, its own credibility washed out by Noynoy Aquino’s six years of misrule.
But it does not help that Malacañang and its minions are abetting all these loose talk of a plot to oust Digong. The Palace has even conscripted some members of the mainstream press to end credence to the conspiracy theory. Read how some columnists are doing the work of Communications Secretary Martin “Pa-andar” Andanar for him. Christ, the man already has his own column in a major newspaper which he uses as mouthpiece for his master. What is appalling is how some members of mainstream media have allowed themselves to be used by Malacañang.
Read these columnists’ opinion pieces and somewhere between the lines you can detect the hidden agenda the Palace itself wants them to toe. This is not going to endear me with these columnists, some of whom are my friends. Some could of course be merely expressing their take on the matter. This is consistent in a democracy which we still delude ourselves to be living in.
Loida Nicolas Lewis, a Fil-American philanthropist based in New York, has been dragged into the conspiracy tale as one of the ringleaders behind the oust-Duterte move. Ms. Lewis has denied any role in the alleged conspiracy.
“Dissent is an essential element in a democracy; it need not be seen as a conspiracy,” said Ms. Lewis as she denied any role in the intrigue and tale of conspiracy.
Now, why would anyone of Loida Nicolas Lewis’ stature get involved in such a sloppy story of conspiracy? Loida has better things to do like running the food conglomerate business empire her late husband Reginald Lewis left her. Why waste her time, money and effort to save a benighted land like the Philippines? This may sound like a I do not care about happens to our country. I do—which is why I still write this column, perhaps in that false hope I could make a difference.
Aside from being cursed by having so-called leaders like the accidental President Cory Aquino, her hairless apparent Noynoy Aquino, the philanderer and plunderer Erap Estrada, the country is also cursed by millions of illiterate voters who choose presidents based on popularity instead of competence.
Except for being a Bicolana like Vice President Leni Robredo whom she campaigned for during the May elections, there is no proven link to a Leni-Loida-led conspiracy to oust Digong. Leni is from Camarines Sur while Loida is from Sorsogon. The fact that Robredo under the Constitution is just a breath away from the presidency, should not point to her as being involved in this sinister, if not laughable, plot. Why is it laughable? It is if only because everyone (except those mindless minions in Malacañang) knows that Digong is entrenched, in charge and in full control of the situation.
Take, for instance, his relentless and take-no-prisoners war on illegal drugs. Never mind what the United Nations, US, EU and other human rights groups say. The hell with their concerns about extra judicial killings. Digong does what he does best—which is to run the entire country like his fiefdom of Davao when he was city mayor.
Going back to Robredo as the beneficiary if and when Duterte is dislodged. What duly elected Vice President is not the successor under the Philippine Constitution? Yet, for being the constitutional successor, poor Leni has been the subject of many not too subtle columns suggesting she’s salivating to replace Duterte before his time. Leni does not have do that or anything. If the report is true that Duterte is making a swift and secret trip to China for cancer treatment during his private time, then all Leni has to do is sit and wait. There is a saying that things will come to those who wait.
Duterte’s close-in aide—the perennially present Bong Go—has denied the cancer treatment story that first came out in the column of former Senator Francisco Tatad. Kit has reminded Digong not to follow former President Marcos, who even when he was operated on for a kidney transplant, still repeatedly denied he was in poor health. Kit should know what goes on inside Malacañang. He was, after all, the press secretary and later information minister of Marcos.