Watching President Duterte, Sen. Bong Go, and Malacañang mouthpiece Sal Panelo, sitting down together, trying to parry questions from a somewhat cynical media during a recent press conference, brings to mind an old fable, “Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil.”
But hey, get a load of this. The first president of the United States was said to never having told a lie, but as per latest canvass, the incumbent Donald Trump has lied no less than 17,000 times, a record even for a Filipino shyster practicing law for 50 years, appearing in court nearly every day.
Maybe par for the course for attorneys, but not so for a so-called leader of the free world.
A lawyer by profession, our President is at least unabashedly honest about his affections for China.
With soldiers manning checkpoints at every turn, and policemen patrolling the streets 24/7, people are scared shitless, not really from the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19), but from the seeming uncertainty in their lives.
Being made to stay home and not leave town, with shops and restaurants either closed or closing early, even as work and school are out, isn’t the current situation the same as martial law but with a different spin? If the emergency worsens, what will be Duterte’s next move?
Boy, is he ever lucky.
While the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos innovated and contrived scenarios to justify his eventual declaration of martial law, with the supposed assassination of Defense Minister J.P. Enrile failing to get the desired result, Marcos pulled out another ace from his sleeve and came up with his communist bogey – that the Reds were all set to take over the country, and drastic measures needed to be taken to halt the communist march.
But for Pres. Rodrigo, everything was thrown into his lap, and the Covid-19 would well be a “blessing in disguise” that suits his political agenda.
Even if he was not able to scare us into submission with the extra-judicial killings, he, however, managed to neutralize the church, heaping sins on the clergy that the faithful found credible, with men of the cloak enjoying too much of the good life.
And like “Terminator” Arnold Z says each time he comes to the rescue, “Come with me if you want to live,” so too is Duterte sending the same message to ABS-CBN.
A meek and chastened ABS-CBN was only too happy to say “yes, sir,” yet holding back a bit – No Lopez, no Concio, made the apology, only a “who’s he” company president.
Lucky for them, Duterte didn’t say “bring me your leader.”
But Pres. Rodrigo isn’t about to rein in his SolGen, who has filed a quo warranto suit against the network.
Alas too for freedom lovers, the fight in the national broadsheets seems to have gone out, flesh and spirit melting like ice.
But we are still in the thick of the fight, they fire back, pointing to scathing editorials and nasty columns. Well, I have news for them – the only way to slay a dragon is to cut off its hand.
Winnie Monsod may be tough, but she doesn’t really have a following. Maria Ressa? Fame is all she strives for. Leila de Lima? A voice in the wilderness. Leni Robredo? Every time she opens her mouth, you want to throw up.
Maybe it is time for Juan de la Cruz himself to stand up and fight the tyrants within his own family circle.
Briefs: Presidential spokesman Sal Panelo was quoted to have said – Nobody dies from hunger, not until after 30 days. I guess Sal has never gone hungry. Mr. Secretary, people die from hunger every day, without the luxury of living a full month before breathing their last.
I recall the late Atty. Art Galace telling an audience of listeners during the extended term of the dictator Marcos – “We are a nation of one son of a bitch and 50 million cowards. Well, the SOB has gone back to his maker, and we are now 106 million strong. In 30 years that figure will quadruple – 200 million browns and 200 million yellows.
According to reports, Vladimir Putin expects to lead Russia until 2030-2035, and Premier Xi of China hopes to die in office of old age. With one ear cocked towards Russia and the other towards China, guess what’s going through Duterte’s mind.
Manila has gone dark. The city of a million lights and two million insomniacs, is no more. A bustling metropolis full of excitement, fun and music, particularly on Friday and Saturday evenings, the singing and dancing has come to a halt, but only for a month or so. For thrill seeking Manilans, that’s a lifetime. Bucket ba!
Ah, but all things come to an end.
They whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make unhealthy.
With fingers crossed, we pray that the virus will be gone when summer comes around.
Can you imagine a summer without walking barefoot in skimpy swimsuits?
Or girls in mini-skirts or shorts wearing flip-flops, exposing their dainty little feet and neatly manicured toenails.
Indulge this old man his fantasies. Tatanda rin kayo!
Postscript: We implore the heavens that violence will not erupt on a large-scale as our people are becoming more and more desperate. We ask the President to issue warnings to lawbreakers and to effect immediate arrests.