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Something wrong?

For calling a spade a spade, Dangerous Drugs Board Chairman Dionisio Santiago was dismissed by Duterte.  Actually, Santiago was just airing his observation that the Mega Drug Rehabilitation Center in Nueva Ecija was “impractical” and a “mistake,” that it is a “waste of money” and is not “the right approach.” Duterte felt offended by the action of Santiago because he claimed that it is a wrong move; that he should have asked “for an audience with me and then told me about it.”

Duterte’s drastic reaction on Santiago’s move causes a lot of people to conclude that Santiago must really be telling the truth, that the rehabilitation center in Fort Magsaysay, Palayan, Nueva Ecija is impractical and a mistake. Indeed this 10,000 bed drug rehab center has not really served its purpose. It would have been more effective if the huge amount of money donated by a Chinese magnate was used for smaller community based drug rehab center. Duterte should not have resented Santiago’s observation just because he aired it in media.

So many people are also getting convinced that Duterte is really so self-righteous and do not want to admit mistakes. This is another facet of Duterte’s character that once more stood out in the sacking of Santiago. If this is the kind of President we now have then our country is doomed because mistakes and errors, which all humans are bound to commit, will never be corrected.

Another alarming aspect in Duterte’s reaction is the lack of transparency. He dismissed Santiago just because Santiago did not confide to him his observation by seeking a private audience in Malacanang. He must remember that public service is a public trust. Running the affairs of the State must be done publicly and openly.  It should not be done secretly. So there is no reason at all for him to feel offended if Santiago aired his observations about the drug rehab center before media. What he should have done is to find out if there is basis in Santiago’s observation and remedy the situation if still possible. His lack of transparency here, somehow give rise to a conclusion in the minds of a lot of people that some officials must have made a lot of money in this project.

More unfortunate in this connection is that his die-hard supporters seem to have acquired this undesirable facet of Duterte’s character. They have also become so self righteous and would never admit their mistakes. People who do not agree with them are subjected to personal vilifications and called a lot of shameful and embarrassing names. So for the rest of Duterte’s term, it seems that there will be no peace and unity in this country.

Another controversial move of Duterte is his plan to put up a revolutionary government. This plan is really something weird and unusual. There is no provision in our existing Constitution regarding this form of government. The President can only proclaim martial law in case of invasion or rebellion not exceeding sixty days although upon his initiative, it may be extended by Congress, for such period that it may determine(Please see Section 18, Article VII).

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Historically, we have a revolutionary government only when the Marcos Martial Law regime was toppled during the 1986 EDSA people power revolution. It was established and existed while a new constitution was being drafted to serve as a temporary government until people elected and chose its new leader upon restoration of democracy in the country ”under a rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and peace.”

So a revolutionary government can be established only when a leader of an existing regime under a Constitution has been deposed. In other words, Duterte can put up a revolutionary government only if he topples his own regime and succeeds himself. This is weird and quite absurd indeed. While he has been talking a lot about an alleged destabilization plot against him, such plot may indeed lead to the establishment of a revolutionary government if it materializes and succeeds. But such revolutionary government will not be under Duterte but under the successful plotters. So Duterte’s plan to put up a revolutionary government to succeed his own government will never happen. Such kind of absurd idea coming from the President of this country is really a cause of concern for all Filipinos as it proves that something is wrong with our President.

Indeed this is the first time in our country’s history that we have a President who uses foul and insulting language and who readily and even boastfully admits that he is lying. Openly admitting that he lies particularly as to the existence of Trillanes’ huge deposits in a Singapore bank has really given rise to a belief in the minds of a lot of our countrymen that he is also lying when he denied the existence of his huge deposit amounting to P2.2 billion in Bank of P.I. Recently, Trillanes has even come out with a detailed and itemized statement of said account. So the only way to show our people that he is not lying as to the existence of such huge deposit is to sign the much awaited bank waiver.

If Duterte could convincingly disprove all these allegations about his hidden wealth then he will be able to recover the peoples’ trust and confidence and give credibility to his “war” against corruption in government.

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Email: attyjosesison@gmail.com


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