Why the Duterte war chant?

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

Among the many philosophical attributes written by profound thinkers on war, there is one that I have come to prefer to recall. Unfortunately, I do not anymore remember both the exact text and the author for these are irretrievably buried in the sands of my ebbing memory. What I do vaguely recall is that the philosopher said that a country can benefit from war by gaining freedom. This is my mindset after finally witnessing the declaration of war by former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., in a so-called prayer rally in Davao City last Sunday.

In an FB video footage that I received (from innumerable sources) of that Davao rally, I saw Duterte, perhaps weakened by both by age and the pressure of his lamentable presidency, climb up the stage steadied by the strong arms of his security aides. The fire of his spoken language was still there although much slower compared to when he was still in Malacañang. Duterte accused Marcos of being a drug addict. He actually used the word “bangag” a worse Visayan term descriptive of a person incurably mired in drug addiction. The Davaeno also warned the Ilocano of a possible disgraced exit like his father’s. To me though it was Duterte’s Machiavellian exhortation of the military to oust Marcos from office.

What finally prodded Duterte to fire the volleys of engagement? There were money associated events that supposedly signaled the crack of the Uniteam. For one, Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio was like a baby deprived of her lollipop. This took place when a huge largesse was delisted from Sara’s vice presidential budget. The former president grated his teeth then but he knew that assigning the P125 million as confidential fund violated the constitution such that making an issue out of it could trigger instead the filing of an impeachment article against his daughter specially that Sara could not explain how she spent P125 million in an impossible period of just a little more than a week. For another, there was this expose that when Duterte was president and his son was a congressman, a mind-boggling allocation totaling P51 billion was channeled to his district. Look at the equation. In times past, a senator was perceived to get a yearly pork barrel of P200 million. So in 3 years, the total would only be P600 million an amount nowhere near P51 billion.

In addition to the monetary angles I mentioned above, Duterte rode on the scandalous People’s Initiative issue which I described in my column last Thursday as a fool’s idea. He found the PI charter change attempt as a most appropriate vehicle from which to mount his vicious attack against the Marcos/Romualdez camp. In appearing to protect the constitution from being mangled, he would posture himself more as nationalistic than just a sulking political partner.

I believe though that there is a more palpable reason for Duterte to wage his war against Marcos. This came when the president took a complete turnaround on his stand on the coming of the investigators of the International Criminal Court. Earlier, the president asserted that the ICC was a threat to our sovereignty. Later, he said he would study the matter a diplomatic jargon for changing positions. Duterte then felt that the loop called warrant of arrest was forthcoming. To him, it was an act of a Marcos betrayal. And his counter would come in words approximating destabilization. What else?

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