Mar will not win vs Duterte

FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2015 - 9:00am

From the start, BayanKo’s (the crowdsourcing movement for constitutional change) aim was how to get people to speak up on how to restructure our politics and government from the presidential system to a parliamentary federal system. Once explained in simple language, people began to understand the issues and more and more have come to associate constitutional change as the way to change their lives and lift them out of poverty.

Our first moves were how to get the numbers in and we found similar minded allies like the late former Senator Ernesto Herrera who was the president of the TUCP. Other supporters were former President Fidel Ramos and former Chief Justice Reynato Puno.  Unfortunately Herrera died while he was putting the final touches to create Katipunan that would ultimately become the political party for labor and other marginalized sectors of Philippine society.

I remember in our many conversations that he kept repeating we have to get a winnable candidate first. Then we will support him or her with the proviso that once president he or she would call for a constitutional convention. At the time of his death, there was no candidate that we could turn to as winnable. He did talk to most of the candidates and one by one these were eliminated – Binay, Poe, Marcos. Santiago and of course, Mar Roxas. None of them would commit to change that was necessary. Just a few days after Herrera died, I read that the TUCP which was the bulk of the Katipuneros were supporting Roxas despite the fact that his ratings were going downhill.

A pity but Herrera did not live to see that a winnable candidate for constitutional change would emerge – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. No one indeed foresaw his potential to be a winnable candidate for President except former President Fidel V. Ramos who went to Davao to do a statesman’s act to find the right candidate. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte told former President Fidel V. Ramos that he will think about it, but he still had to convince his family.

At the meeting joined by both Ramos and Duterte supporters FVR gave pointers and advice as a concerned father to a dutiful son.

But it was not immediately clear whether Duterte would listen to Ramos’ suggestion that “the country needed a President from Mindanao.”

He was the winnable candidate we were looking for all this time. But when Ramos went to Davao to talk to him, all he said was “Better times are still to come.” And he left it at that. Just when everybody had expected Duterte would file his COC on the date required he did not show up at the Comelec.  He talked about personal reasons and declined Ramos’ plodding because “I have no ambition to be President.”

Still, news spread about the possibility that he could be convinced and could be done by substitution which was not until Dec. 10. Groups were formed and these gathered to push him to change his mind including the song “Takbo” that was constantly played in social media.

The social media is not owned by oligarchy so there was a greater chance to be heard. It clicked. His popularity grew and grew each day with concerted action. Today he is the man to beat – not Roxas.

The reason is quite simple – Roxas is a rich man, inevitably connected with the incompetence of the Aquino administration. He is both a political and wealthy oligarch. On the other hand, Duterte is a poor man but had governed Davao well.

While the rich man Roxas tried to project the travails of the poor by carrying sacks of rice (which we all know he does not do) and earning a living as a pedicab driver (but may have been wearing Florsheim shoes). On the other hand the poor man – Duterte – just presented himself as he was. Despite being in government for many years he did not enrich himself.

I love the posting with his picture in Facebook which said, Nagmumura pero hindi nagbubulsa . This came out after he was attacked for cursing in public and living an immoral life because he had several girlfriends. He could not be president, the chattering classes said because he is uncouth forgetting that is how the poor speak. It came as no surprise why they should cheer for him at the PDP Laban launch of his presidential candidacy when he spoke extemporaneously cussing and cursing. He was one among them. The poor and other marginalized sectors saw themselves in him. He had talked from his heart and therefore he cursed. He had no prepared speech that they would not understand. Anong Wharton? Wharton?

*      *      *

In an interview with Reuters he said peace and order was a priority.

“If you are a president and you are afraid of criminals, or you are afraid to kill criminals then you have no business being a president. Why? Because it is the number one problem, criminality, and if you cannot solve that issue, that is very paramount, do not go there. If you are one with a bleeding heart, if you cannot see blood splattered all around, and you are afraid of being assassinated by the drug lords here, one day you might be campaigning and they will just blast your souls out of this world, putting a bomb on the stage, it is not for the faint-hearted, if you are afraid to kill criminals or if you are afraid of being killed by criminals, you have no business there.?

I hold it as an article of faith that no progress or development can happen in any city, or in a community, or a province if there is no peace. It has to be peaceful and orderly.”

Duterte has a built-in strength that he must never forget – his mission to bring in the poor and other marginalized sectors into the mainstream. Duterte is their man and they will protect him whatever it takes. That is the contest Roxas of the rich oligarchy cannot win unless the Aquino administration brings in the PCOS machines to defeat the people’s sovereignty. The poor and marginalized sectors have the numbers.


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