Miriam and Duterte: What's the real deal?

Buddy Gomez

Posted at Feb 18 2016 01:50 AM


The May elections remain too close to call, for the present. No credible trends are exhibited. Reasonably, it is still anybody’s ball game. One thing is certain, however. A good
two-thirds of the actively participating electorate will not have voted for the winning Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates. The incoming administration will face more ‘antis’ than ‘pros!’ In other words, we shall again have a political leadership by mere plurality, overseeing a contentious, fractured and fractious society. Unhealthy civics, what else! Just another facet of a myriad of our maladies. Obviously, cures are desireable. Even little by little and as often as reasonably possible. Start we must. Reform has been derailed and put off often enough.

Speaking of cure(s), the incoming political dispensation, regardless of who wins, will still be facing these continuing infirmities, perhaps even attended by more hardening of society’s arteries, if mayhap the wrong leadership ascends. Be that as it may, in all likelihood, desirably, a general consensus will have finally been reached. A series of incremental tweaks to the Constitution must begin. Amendments. By installment, every election. Democracy cannot be forcedly fed. After a generation of hits and misses, it is time. I personally do not believe that Constitutional Change (Cha-Cha), much less a change in the form of government, will bring about the cure for graft and corruption and general government incompetence. It is leadership by personal example that will jumpstart a lasting reformation.


There is palpable dishonesty being foisted upon the electorate by both Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. It is common knowledge that these two are suffering from medical infirmities. The unspoken message of their having registered as candidates, nonetheless, indicates that their respective ailments are neither serious nor insurmountable. Or, so they wish for the voters to believe. However, only the candidates are truly aware of the extent of the sickness each one bears. Their physicians will not divulge anything. Doctors are beholden to patient confidentiality.

Miriam has bragged that she has beaten the ‘stage four’ cancer yet refuses to share her medical records. Is her physical reality beginning to unravel, though? During the national launch last week of her candidacy in Ilocos Norte, she seemed frail. In fact, unable to finish the celebratory brouhaha, she begged off from continuing, claiming other engagements elsewhere. That is either bad manners or she is truly unable to meet the rigors of requisite barnstorming and stumping.

Duterte, on the other hand, has Buerger’s Disease (inflammation of the arteries constricting blood flow to his extremities for which there is yet no known cure, amputation and consequent death are not uncommon) and Barrett’s Esophagus (it is gastroesophageal, meaning the stomach and the lower throat, for which less than 3% is reportedly curable.) Excessive smoking and alcohol, respectively, are the principal causes. Evidently, Duterte has engaged in very unhealthy and unsanitary habits (and may still be doing so, who really knows?) A few days ago, he supposedly suffered a “migraine attack,” (as pronounced by a campaign spokesperson and not by a physician! And he had to rest overnight in a hospital.) unable to proceed to a campaign forum. Since that episode, Duterte has missed what otherwise would have been critical public appearances.

Both Miriam Santiago and Rodrigo Duterte have refused to share with the public the real score. For some reason or other, even couched in angry terms. But here is the common sense deal. If in fact they are not hiding the truth and neither is suffering from any form of physical debilitation that is not compatible with the otherwise seamless national service expected, in the event of being elected, why not announce it and even brag about it. Not wanting to share the doctors’ diagnoses seems to be a dead give away that something is amiss inside their bodies. Candidates for the nation’s Presidency and they are not comfortable sharing the reality of their being with the folks they obsess to serve and to love. Ridiculous!

Both Miriam and Digong owe their boosters and true believers the truth, nothing short of the unadulterated, real deal. And for the voting public and the citizenry? If this early they are justifying (or even think that they can) their intentionally managed dishonesty by not leveling with the people they threaten to serve, what other forms of dishonesty are they capable of committing should either of them secure fortune’s blessings !


There is proof that populism sucks! It is highly unlikely that Neri Colmenares, (incumbent ‘party-list’ Congressman representing Bayan Muna, a political group that is unable to shake off its communist entanglements and roots), will win his bid for the Senate. Not quite a cellar-keeper in the current pre-campaign period polling but painfully far off from the probable winning magic twelve.

What is highly likely however is that he will blame President Aquino for the end of his political career. What else has he not blamed the President for, anyway? Colmenares is the author of the bill that would have given all Social Security pensioners a PhP2,000 monthly increase across the board. The arithmetic, upon executive scrutiny, failed its financial feasibility. At annual cost of about PhP 56 Billion, the Colmenares grandstand ploy would have bankrupted the SSS, which is why the President vetoed the measure.

Colmenares obviously hitched his ambitious political wagon to a populist star! Unfortunately, it is a falling star! On the other hand, at the risk of alienating a sector of the electorate, President Aquino displayed straight-laced fiscal responsibility by exercising his veto authority, for the greatest good of the greater many.


Political campaigns in the US are not immune to monumental boo-boos. Here is one that is livening up even more the already raucous Republican primaries.

Not paying your internet domain fees has consequences. The Bush camp was stupidly negligent, not maintaining Jeb Bush’s website (younger bro of George W, for those who woke up late). Apparently, some smart alecky campaign cadre knew of the delinquency and purchased the domain. Evidently, for all intents and purposes, the website was deemed abandoned (Jeb Bush not paying the maintenance fees) and therefore up for grabs. And the grabbing was not only good but simply hilarious! Log on to www.jebbush.com and automatically, instantaneously you are directed to www.donaldjtrump.com .


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