June 1, 2023

We are still a good two years adrift from the next presidential derby, but even before the starting gun has been fired, the two leading wannabes are off and running, both and a handful of others trying to get to the inside track, given the long and arduous race for the highest post in the land.

Although our leader Rodrigo Duterte says – surprisingly with a straight face – that he will step down once his term ends, the group that met at Clark Airbase pleading for a revolutionary government somehow belies his promise – you know, testing the waters to gauge public reaction.
He probably hopes that the clamor of the people urging him to run in the 2016 presidential elections will again manifest itself, while he plays it coy.

Unhappily for the once upon a time legendary hero of Davao, the country is divided – half want him out, while half of the remaining half want him to stay put – for life.
What does this mean? Well, if he does a Marcos, he will likely suffer the same fate.

In the meantime, there are a barrage of praise – press releases coming from the Robredo camp, if only to make her look presidentiable.
Notice the new look – horn rimmed glasses, hair pulled back in a bun.
We understand tight fitting pants and jeans are no longer part of her wardrobe, and she never fails to come out with an opinion on every issue, seemingly a worthy successor when the time comes.

But like the late congressman Victor Dominguez loves to say, you can prepare yourself all the way to the vice presidency, but it is destiny that will bring you to Malacañang.
Indeed, never in their wildest dreams did mother and son Cory and Noynoy ever considered being elected president, a life-time dream of Ninoy – until a certain Galman came along.

But what exactly is a revolutionary government?
You will recall that when Cory was instilled president following the ouster of Marcos, she was advised that she should rule as a revolutionary president.
You see, under a revolutionary government, the constitution is set aside, and all three branches of government are molded into one.
All power is vested in the presidency, with the end in view of making life better for the Filipino people, assuming that to be the agenda, not otherwise, like Marcoses’` “new society” that transmuted into a nightmare of sorts.

But the naïve and saintly Cory refused to play along, somehow sensing that it just wasn’t right.
Removing a Marcos only to be a Marcos yourself?
If Marcos had his Imelda and Kokoy, what say you of Peping and Tingting, not to mention the other Kamag-anak Inc.?
And so, guided by a light from heaven, Cory ended her reign after four years in office, outrightly refusing to seek reelection, which she could legally do.

No one, whether friend or foe, will believe that Duterte will follow Cory’s example, and that given the opportunity to stay in power, he will not seize the day.
After all, Leni Robredo isn’t exactly the Joan of Arc that she presents herself to be, and there is still the issue if she is the truly elected vice president.
Ping Lacson? Having seen it all, from Marcos to the present regime, he will not rave and rant if Duterte decides to extend his rule beyond six years.
One thing about Ping, he knows how to play his cards close to the chest. Once upon an election year a man in a hurry, he will now bid his time, and is keeping his fingers crossed that Duterte will be true to his word.
Maybe like Jose Laurel, Sr. who in 1957 said, I am withdrawing from the presidential race, but only if whoever will be chosen by the party to be its standard bearer (Carlos Polistico Garcia was the anointed one) my son, Speaker Pepito Laurel will be his running mate, so too will Duterte say the same, provided my daughter, Sara, will be your running mate.
Even better, why not be Sara’s running mate.

But that’s how it is in politics – trades and deals.
Marcos and Fernando Lopez provided Paeng Salas, a Lopez boy, will be made executive secretary. Was Marcos ever happy with the deal? All the time, he actually had Sales in mind for the job.
Ah, Marcos was foxy, but it was greed, not necessarily his, that did him in.
So, who will be your next leader, my countrymen?
A woman (again?) a military general (again?), a mayor of Davao (again?)
Maybe it’s time to try a retired associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
A desperate, but wonderful move.

Obits and felicitations
Belated birthday greetings to my niece, Sylvia Carantes-Cruz, who celebrated her golden year this month. Happy birthday to my nephew Eziquel, who turned 11 last Monday.

Our condolences to the family of Irene Gunn, widow of Donald Gunn, fellow Courier columnist in his lifetime, who passed away recently. Condolences likewise to my cousin Delia, whose husband Clemente Campos, died of aneurysm.
Meanwhile, all my bad grass friends and relatives, including this bad grass, are still walking, rather limping along, the face of the earth.
Happy National Heroes Day, Happy Baguio Day, and a little over a hundred days before Christmas!