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Opinion

Why did President Duterte say that Bongbong is weak?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

The president must have his reasons. In the campaign of 2016, and even in the first year of President Duterte's presidency, I always believed in what he said, although he had unique and somehow rough ways of saying them. Thereafter, I started to doubt and then finally, after what he said about God, about the pope, about women, I decided not to believe him anymore. But when he dropped a bombshell in Mindoro, releasing quite a mouthful against Bongbong, I believed him again. But only that one rare moment.

What did the president allegedly  say about Bongbong Marcos? Well, while Duterte did not mention the name of BBM, he said that he is a spoiled son of a very famous father, and allegedly used cocaine in his younger days. Since the favorite daughter of the president is running as the vice presidential teammate of Marcos, President Duterte's testimony carries a lot of weight. He questioned the contribution of Marcos to the nation, and could not understand why many people are favoring him. Now, coming from the president, we should really give that a very high level of importance and even of credibility. Cocaine cannot be taken lightly, especially if one is seeking the peoples' blessings for him to lead the whole nation of 112 million lives. In his past speeches, the president described how this prohibited substance could damage a user.

This column has no personal knowledge about the cocaine thing but even the Marcos camp allegedly admitted that one of the youthful aberrations of the young is to try out all such things, and that everyone passes that kind of stage in our growth. On the more disturbing issue, I have made a study and research about the alleged tax conviction, and I do agree with deputy speaker Pablo John Garcia, the gentleman from the third district of Cebu, that such a matter was enough for him, a brilliant lawyer, bar topnotcher and deputy speaker, to decide not to support the BBM candidacy. Between cocaine and tax conviction, I consider the latter one involving moral turpitude. As such, it is sufficient to justify a disqualification from the presidency. That is also the opinion of a great legal luminary, Congressman Edcel Lagman of Albay.

Besides, who is Bongbong after all? He is miles below the caliber of his father. What course did he finish, and where did he graduate from? What extraordinary achievements has he made at the age of 64? He is not even at the level of Hidilyn Diaz, who garnered the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal. He cannot even hold a candle to Maria Ressa, who won the country's first and only Nobel Peace Prize award. Pacman is much, much better than him by giving honor to our country when he won eight world boxing championships, the only one in the whole planet. What law did Marcos author as a congressman, and as a senator? Nothing that I know of. What honor has he brought to our country? None.

He did not erect the windmills in Ilocos. He did not alleviate the lives of the tobacco and garlic farmers in his province. He was not seen in the rescue, relief and rehabilitation of the Yolanda super typhoon victims, in Tacloban where her mom grew up. Where was he when the people were suffering? Where was Marcos when the Divine Word University was closed due to a major labor strike and a union-related labor dispute? What has he done to address the poverty problem in Region 8, the home region of his mother? In the many disasters that hit Ilocos, where was Bongbong Marcos? Nowhere, not here nor there. Now, he promises that we shall rise again together? Tell that to the marines.

The Pinoys may be crazy or silly at times. But in choosing a president, they are not stupid. We are not that naive to swallow hook, line and sinker that cheap propaganda and the endless disinformation by thousands of trolls. Come May 9, they will realize that they cannot fool all the people all the time. President Duterte is correct, at least for once: we should not elect a weak leader.

RODRIGO DUTERTE
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