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Blowing in the wind

I think that this point continuing the impeachment campaign against Vice President Leni Robredo is already quite ridiculous. It’s more like a playground fight between rivals rather than a legitimate concern for the country. I remember a few months ago when Party list Rep. Jericho Nograles’ name came out as the chief endorser of the impeachment campaign. I thought that he may have been slightly out of his mind endorsing a campaign against the Vice President. It was quite the comedy of errors actually as the lawmaker claimed he did not want to be named as the endorser and that it was just a misunderstanding.

But like I said I feel like we are a point that it feels like we are beating a dead horse. In the Philippines there is hardly ever such a thing as a gracious defeat. Everyone is always cheated. Why even bother having elections if we have no intention of listening to what the voters want anyway. If every election is going to boil down to politicians spending hard earned money funding electoral campaigns only to be followed by more money on electoral fraud campaigns it just seems like a complete waste of time.

Personally, while I believe that the ship on VP Robredo has sailed there are obviously still those who want to pursue a case. Bongbong Marcos being the biggest of course. He continues to cry foul and continues to pour money into the case as if it were nothing. Does he think this endears him to the Filipinos? Instead of focusing on how he can improve their lives with those multi-millions he is instead spending it on filing an electoral fraud protest. It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. You want to fight for a position to “serve the people” so you continue to blow through money like it were nothing fighting for that position instead of, I don’t know, actually “serving the people”?

That’s another point of contention that really gets me about politicians fighting for power like Game of Thrones. In this mad scramble for the “Iron Throne,” it’s the people who are forgotten and tossed by the wayside. In the end shouldn’t it be about them? I believe that a person who really wants to help and serve his country won’t be stopped just because he or she didn’t get the title that comes along with it. If that’s what they want so badly then maybe their motivations are less than pure.

But again, such is the case in the Philippines. If you didn’t win an election that you must have been cheated. And such is the case of the current Vice Presidency. I think it’s terrible that VP Robredo must now also shell out millions in a counter protest against Senator Marcos. I think it’s only fair that she has been granted to defer her payment pending “substantial recovery” of proof from Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. After all the burden of proof should be on the one pushing the case and not the defense side.

Personally, I would be happy if the government could stop using manpower and resources on looking back at the elections and focus instead on moving forward and trying to run the country. But I know that’s a pipe dream. The sad part is that issues like these can last for year and years. I remember when Miriam Defensor Santiago filed a complaint against former President Fidel Ramos in the election of 1992. So much effort and the Supreme Court eventually dismissed the protest.

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In this case, I think it’s time we accept who the people voted for and move on. Leave any further decisions to the Supreme Court where those types of decisions belong and focus instead on improving the country.

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I wrote in previous columns that I felt the peace talks were a waste of time. The idea of peace is certainly appealing but in the real world it all just seems like a dream that will never come true. After all the rebels continue to make demands and offer nothing in return. We can’t come to the table to talk about peace if there is no give on the other side.

At this point though I believe that peace talks are effectively terminated. President Duterte has had enough and I guess no longer wants to be yanked around for nothing. He has issued a threat for the rebels to either surrender or be killed as well as to re-order and recall the bail of more than 20 peace consultants of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). According to the Communist Party, this has officially ended the negotiations.

Unfortunately despite them being useless, I think we can expect backlash from the collapse of the peace talks farce. The Communist Party is already saying that the rebels will need to hit back more aggressively now and we will probably see more attacks. This is unfortunate and I feel for everyone who gets caught in the crossfire, but again, continuing to pretend the negotiations for peace were going to work was really just a waste of time. Until both sides can be open and honest and willing to give, peace won’t ever be achieved.

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I believe that President Duterte is doing a great job as commander-in-chief. Considering all the drama leading up to the elections and all the drama since. I think that he is doing the best that he can with what he has. Granted there are still some questions as to his methods, I think that overall he is aiming for a Philippines that is better for everyone.

I know that in general the iron first approach seems a bit harsh and of course there are the human rights questions but I see how the president believes we are on the cusp of change and that is why he is pushing so hard. At the same time though the pressures and the weight of the job do seem to be taking their toll on him. Hopefully he remains healthy enough to finish his six-year term.

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