Mr. President, never give up
FROM A DISTANCE - Carmen N. Pedrosa (The Philippine Star) - August 19, 2018 - 12:00am

One of the most famous quotations in the English language is Winston Churchill’s “Never give up” at the darkest hour of the last world war. I want to use it with the seeming flagging courage of President Duterte to continue with his mission to change the Philippines.

That quotation had a context. “I expect you are beginning to feel impatient that there has been this long lull with nothing particular turning up!

But we must learn to be equally good at what is short and sharp and what is long and tough. It is generally said that the British are often better at the last. They do not expect to move from crisis to crisis; they do not always expect that each day will bring up some noble chance of war; but when they very slowly make up their minds that the thing has to be done and the job put through and finished, then, even if it takes months – if it takes years – they do it.

Appearances are often very deceptive, and as Kipling well says, we must “ with Triumph and Disaster. And treat those two impostors just the same.”

You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination.”

We can apply that, too, in the Philippines today.

We know what it was when Benigno Aquino III was in charge – the corruption and the utter neglect of his duties and his complacence with the obvious promptings of former colonial masters.

Duterte was a god-send to tidy up the mess we are in but as he said often enough we must help him.

Heaven forbid that we should be taken in by propaganda designed to return us to the Aquino leadership. That is what will happen if Liberal VP candidate Leni Robredo wins the case of the 2016 contested election. The alternative is equally unacceptable. It would be just as bad if Bongbong Marcos wins and Duterte resigns as president. We will be back to square 1.

Duterte’s vice-presidential candidate was Alan Cayetano and I was told by insiders that the president had a hard time picking the right partner. That is one of the reasons why his decision to run took time.

At a recent conference with the STAR Cayetano made the joke that if Leni Robredo says Marcos cheated her and Marcos says Leni cheated him then, it is he who has won.

The speculation on what would happen if President Duterte would step down if defeated vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. wins his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte has been worried about his successor as he wants a “better qualified” person to replace him.

It is neither Leni or Bongbong and the only way to avoid such a dismal choice is to change to a parliamentary federal system before holding elections in 2019.

Duterte said he was tired with his fight against corruption and, once again, mentioned his intention to step down.  “While I am not against or angry against anybody. My chase against graft and corruption seems to be endless and it has contaminated almost all government departments and offices,” Duterte said.

Does he mean it? Roque, on the other hand, clarified that Duterte would not be resigning any time soon.

“For now, he remains president,” Roque said.

In April, the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, started the recount of votes for the election protest of Marcos against Robredo.

Marcos, son of ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos, claimed there was “massive cheating” in the vice presidential race, which caused him to lose against Robredo by some 260,000 votes.

It does not help that Duterte said he prefers Marcos or Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero as his successors if ever he steps down as president.

Both Marcos and Escudero, in my opinion do not have the qualifications, the experience and character needed to continue the Duterte change happen. We need Duterte to continue the government reform he has begun. Neither will he be able to do it within the term limits of the presidential system we have adopted.  In my opinion any of the two will mean a return to the corrupt elitist government that we wanted to change when we elected Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

The story is being floated around among Marcos enemies that the way to stop this from happening is to make Leni Robredo win. The rumor is gaining ground because there are many Filipinos who do not favor a Marcos return.

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with