April 18, 2024

Two weeks ago, former President Rodrigo R. Duterte went on record to accuse President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. of being a drug addict.
Though the accusation was indeed serious to ignore, I thought what the former president said was just one of his many jokes that should not be taken seriously. I thought that he was merely talking in semantics and was trying to entertain the crowd in front of him, which is what he does every time he takes to the stage. But I was proven wrong. This time, he was not joking.
That he meant what he said is felt by the anger in his voice and is proven by the sudden yet unexpected accusations he hurled against the current administration. He went on to express his disappointment about the possible amendment to the Constitution and even threatened to have Mindanao secede from the country, an act of defiance against the established authority.
Though Duterte is unfazed by the possible consequences of his speeches and actions, it is not beneficial and is doing the country no good. He is fostering an atmosphere that borders destabilization.
Just what got into the goat of the former president that he is on a mission to discredit his successor? Why is it that after two years of living a quiet life and enjoying his existence after the Presidency, he will come out of retirement to lead a band of has-been politicians and vloggers to attack the government? Is he doing it for the good of the country or is he doing it for his own? Do we take him seriously or do we let it pass?
Critics of Duterte are one in saying that the reason why he is on a constitutional trail is because of the ongoing investigation by the International Criminal Court of Justice against him and his minions for crimes against humanity. The ICC investigation is due to the alleged rampant extrajudicial killings as a result of the drug war during his term in office as President. In fact, those who have inside information claim there is already a warrant for his arrest.
The former president, therefore, feels betrayed by Marcos.
After Marcos was elected into office, he made a commitment that the country will not cooperate in any investigation that will be undertaken by the ICC regarding the extrajudicial killings. Yet, the opposite is happening.
Now, Duterte has to take a defensive stance. He is pushed into a corner and is exploiting all radical issues to turn the tables against Marcos.
Duterte said the current administration is going the same path as the first Marcos administration. Of course, we all know what happened during the first Marcos administration. It was toppled by a people power revolt due to alleged unabated graft and corruption. Will the prophecy of Duterte come true? Is he correct in his assumptions?
I do not think so. Duterte as a past President may still have some political clout but he is already spent. The Filipinos loved him and appreciated his service. However, as a private citizen, he is over-stepping the bounds of decency and good moral conduct by casting unfounded aspersions against the administration. Besides, his accusations are as inconsistent as it can be.
When Duterte campaigned for the presidency in 2016, one of his platforms is to amend the constitution to install a federal form of government. Presently, he is against any amendment to the Constitution. Why the change of heart? When Marcos was elected as the President, he vowed to support him by all means. He encouraged all Filipinos to rally behind Marcos in order to make him a successful leader. This is the reason why there is a so-called Uni-team. Now, he is dividing the team by questioning the policies of the other half of the team. Why the change in attitude? See what I mean?
The actions of the ex-president raise more questions than answers. He professed his love for the country yet he is seemingly putting everyone in despair. He was a President and his presence is supposed to be a unifying factor yet, his pronouncements are more divisive. He is projecting a future of uncertainty. As to where he stands, it is quite confusing. Is he for us or against us?