President Rodrigo Duterte is said to have received intelligence reports that a group of well-financed Yellows, led by Loida Nicolas, a BS Aquino ally, is doing the rounds of United States cities—New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles—to join a movement to destabilize the Duterte administration.
These people are also said to be soliciting the help of the Central Intelligence Agency for their destabilization efforts. This report then prompted Mr. Duterte to float the ideas of the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, which is perceived as just a step too close to the declaration of Martial Law.
I think destabilization is impossible at this point considering the still-high trust and satisfaction ratings that Duterte enjoys.
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The National Democratic Front, the political arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, and the New People’s Army are playing the same game they have always played with previous administrations. They lay down conditions as they sit at the negotiation table, supposedly to talk peace with the government.
Before the NDF sits down again, this time in Rome, it insists on the release of some 434 political prisoners.
To the credit of President Duterte, he has been adamant, sticking to the fact that if there is no bilateral ceasefire agreement, there will be no release of prisoners.
Santa Banana, the President has already bent over backwards in appointing to the Cabinet Judy Taguiwalo as secretary of Social Welfare and Development, Rafael Mariano as secretary of Agrarian Reform and Liza Maza as chairperson of the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
My gulay, the President even released 16 NDF consultants despite their being in detention for numerous criminal offenses.
The sincerity of our government in achieving peace with the communist insurgents cannot be doubted. We have been willing and ready to release the sick and elderly among the communists detained. Four were given presidential pardons last week.
There is the problem, however, of those already sentenced and convicted by law. That would need judicial approval—and the judiciary is another branch of government altogether.
The communists’ sincerity, on the other hand, leaves room for doubt. They have failed on so many occasions. And now they are playing the same game.
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The provincial sorties of Vice President Leni Robredo, in the guise of helping the poor, are truly pathetic. She is trying too hard to show to the people that despite her ouster from the Cabinet, she can continue to reach out to the marginalized.
The Yellows want her to lead the opposition. But what leadership can she bring, being an opportunist?
She was a member of the Cabinet, an alter ego of the president. Thus she must conform with the President’s wishes. She did not. What a bigot and a hypocrite!
If the opposition must be led by someone, that should be somebody respected and admired. Robredo has failed her test.
Robredo claims she was eased out of the Cabinet to keep the Liberal Party out of the plans of the Duterte administration. But she knows all too well that she became vice president because of cheating and now her conscience is bothering her.
Another of the Yellows clinging to her post is Commission on Higher Education chairperson Patricia Licuanan. She was already told not to attend Cabinet meetings but she cannot seem to get the message that she no longer enjoys the President’s confidence. Licuanan knows her replacement is just waiting for her to step down. Is she waiting to be bodily carried out of the Ched building?
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I am not favoring anybody as chairman of the board or as administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. But I believe Malacañang must decide, once and for all, on who should be chairman AND administrator. The confusion is not doing the freeport any good.
Martin Dino, for whom President Duterte substituted as PDP-Laban candidate for President, claims that SBMA chairman, he should also be the administrator. So when the Office of the Executive Secretary named former deputy administrator Randy Escolango as administrator, Dino claimed that just one person should occupy the two positions. This was provided for in the law, Republic Act 7227, which cannot be amended by a mere executive order.
What is important is that whomever gets appointed to the post, there should be peace and harmony for the good of all stakeholders. It is not good to have two appointees quarreling over turf. The President should have the final say.