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Tale of Two Seasons

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TWO DISTINCT, familiar seasons are upon us, the rainy season, which has been officially declared by PAGASA, and the political, which has been unofficially ushered in by wannabes and their handlers.

The remaining question now for the nation is, which of the two will be do more damage or good to the nation? The effects, adverse or otherwise of the first one, are largely beyond our control.  As to the other, there’s something we can do. 

There’s an applicable saying that, at once, can be used for both.  You can’t prevent a bird from flying over your head,  they say, but you can stop it from building a nest on it.  We can’t prevent typhoons  from blowing over us but we can stop politicians from building their fortunes on top of our head.

There should be enough data to confirm which one has wrought more havoc to the Philippines. Politics may not be far behind, if not way much ahead.

And the opening salvo this year  prior to the  2022 polls is what has always been the introduction all these years: choose wisely who should be leaders of the country. Unfortunately, that has not quite been the road well taken.  

That’s the essence of former Congressman Rodolfo Andaya’s initial plug on former Defense Secretary  Gilbert Teodoro when he announced that his guy would definitely be the vice presidential bet of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in next year elections. 

Qualification, qualification is apparently foremost in Andaya’s mind. There’s no one, not even a lawyer president, can match Teodoro’s qualification he said.  That’s his whole  point, even if it betrays self-serving bias for whatever reasons.  For one, he could potentially be a Cabinet member if the political tandem of Sara and Gilbert materializes and succeeds.

Andaya will have to explain, sooner or later, what his unique specimen has been doing as the nation struggled with the pandemic and China’s incursion into Philippine territories in the South China Sea.  That should be as important, if not more than ,being a top notch lawyer or something. Andaya needs to assess his basic standard for a public servant in this context.

Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes is one who favors Sara Duterte’s outing as presidential bet.  He’s confident that Filipinos, or the majority of them, should have learned from experience what a Duterte brand of presidency has been . From there, one can draw a simple conclusion of what another one can possibly do. Simple math or philosophy: the fruit cannot fall far from a tree.

Trillanes’ position is very optimistic: there will be a time of awakening and a time of reckoning. He wants the Dutertes to know what that is.  Vice Leni Robredo has a cautionary tale, however. She wonders why Filipinos seem to be attracted with the Duterte kind of leadership. This explains probably why she’s still undecided to run for the presidency.  Contrary to Trillanes’ hope, Robredo is still weighing her options, or chances.

Come to think of it, former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, President Duterte’s vice presidential timber in 2016, speaks highly of Duterte’s legacy in discouraging him from running as vice president next. He’d better as an elder, he said, and not risk his legacy being damaged. What that legacy is, he didn’t  say.  Perhaps the closure of the ABS-CBN and the removal of Lourdes Sereno as chief justice of the Supreme Court are part of that. 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who straddles the line between the Administration and the Opposition, continues to straddle. He has declined the invitation of 1Sambayan as among possible presidential nominees to challenge any Duterte bet. Being the author of the Anti-Terror Law, which is being challenged by the opposition, particularly former Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio, is not consistent with track record as legislator.

Besides, Carpio has previously declared that no one who are enablers, one way or the other,of the Duterte regime are ruled out as bets. The invitation to Lacson may just be confirmatory, after all.

As for Sen. Manny Pacquio, who felt the President should have made a more satisfactory position in light of China’s aggression in the South China Sea, Duterte has advised him to study more before he makes a leap, for the presidency or foreign affairs.  In any case, it’s obvious that he won’t be Duterte’s choice.

With that said, Pacquiao can now focus on his scheduled fight with Errol Spence sometime in August.  Not a few think he will have his hands full.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has emphasized an important point in making a choice.  A political office is not an inheritance that the holder can pass on to his next of kin . Like Trillanes, Moreno is a brave man who sees something  many Filipinos may not.

In this sense, Trillanes and Moreno may qualify to be called statesmen than politicians.  The distinction, as one James Clarke said, is that the latter think of the next election while the former think of the next generation.  In the meantime, the Marcoses are playing it by ear.  

The heavy rains are yet to come, so are the heavy bets. Still a long way to go. 

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