A baker’s dozen of eggs on my face, I could very well end up with! But, heck. No guts, no glory ! As uncle Kung, (Fu Cius that is, ) so aptly drilled upon our highly impressionable minds, on matters like bluffing in a game of Texas Hold’em, among others. And so here goes.
Irresistibly confused I am, about Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte’s off again-on again Presidential candidacy. Somehow, I have this gutsy funny feeling that he is not really ‘dead!’ serious about ‘gunning’ for the Presidency of the land, at least not quite settled in his mind, to my mind! Not only because time and again he has boldly indicated his lack of interest, a non-sanguine attitude for the position. Even going as far as saying, as he formally filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC), that he will accept the decision of the Commission on Elections if and when its decision is a “DQ.” Disqualification. Methinks, Duterte has not totally leveled with his new found flock. Does he have premonitions? What gives, then?
Mayor Duterte is not only attractively brash, foul-mouthed, ill-mannered and now an apparent darling of the undiscerning masses. He is also a lawyer, a San Beda College graduate, evidently intelligent. A first semester subject in Civil Law, “Persons and Family Relations,” tattoos indelibly in a Frosh’ psyche: “Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.” Duterte is fully aware of the facts and consequences of the process by which he is pursuing his candidacy which is as an unintended substitute, late-coming and wishy-washy as he has comported himself. There is the matter of the irreversible facts of the recorded scenario, as it has already played out.
It is a fact that the individual (a certain Martin Dino) Mayor Duterte is to be a substitute for, first filed and then withdrew his candidacy as “Mayor of Pasay City.” That is a matter of record. It was reported that Dino withdrew because of the fear that he would be declared a nuisance candidate. As such, he would not have been legally certified as a qualified candidate for the Presidency. Has he then become a non-candidate? If indeed filing for candidacy for the Pasay City mayorship was an innocent error (a slip of the pen!), Martin Dino did not even attempt to correct the alleged “error” despite having been publicly informed of it. (My skeptical mind tells me that Dino was toying with the law, intentionally, knowingly and in an irresponsible jest, put in “Mayor of Pasay City” simply for the comedy he could create.)
Is Duterte just stringing along his supporters until the very last moment when he will say, ”I yield to the wisdom of the Comelec’s decision declaring me not legally qualified to be a substitute candidate for the mayorship of Pasay City.” This is not a joking matter, despite the surreptitious, suspiciously naughty attempt of non-candidate Dino. Philippine election law’s illustrious guru, Romy Macalintal, says this lapse in Dino’s COC is a serious matter that ought not be taken lightly. A legal confrontasi is inevitable.
All combatants must accept the decision of the relevant authority whichever way it goes. It also goes without saying that it must be attended by a highly unalterable process, replete with an edifying push for irreversible civic maturity of the electorate that the grandstand’s roar ought not to figure in a Comelec/Supreme Court decision that is fixed in the letter and in the spirit of the law. Dura lex sed lex. The law may be harsh but such is the law.
In the event of a “DQ,” for as long as that decision of the Comelec and/or of the Supreme Court is clearly an ineluctable destiny indelibly etched in the law, such decision must be accepted with humility and dignity. Rodrigo Duterte must own the sublime responsibility to quelling his political parish from riotous reaction. It is to be noted that some quarters have already been airing threats abetted by irresponsible pundits.
And should it be a “go” for the mayor, hey, let then the fun begin!
AN UNFORTUNATE INCIDENT
Now, about an unfortunate relevant incident. As a concerned and caring Filipino and Benedictine brat (San Beda boy), I must seize this opportunity to comment on the reported presence of, and to chastise, the two incumbent associate justices of the Supreme Court, Messrs Jose C. Mendoza and Bienvenido L. Reyes, in a coffee shop caucus promoting and plotting the political fortunes of Duterte. The Davao City mayor happens to be a Lex Talionis Fraternity ‘brod’ and a fellow San Beda College alumnus of the two sitting justices. That meeting is just another sad confirmation of a common but undesirable Filipino form of camaraderie and compadrazgo. Because of the dramatis personae in attendance, it becomes a disgrace and an affront to the dignity of the Supreme Court, recuperating as she still does from an unsavory past repute. Occupying as they do such extraordinarily and exclusively rarefied heights in Philippine society, Justices Mendoza’s and Reyes’s display of school spirit is misplaced and bereft of a sense of propriety.
(Editor's note: Two people who were in the meeting on Wednesday belied the report that Justices Jose Mendoza and Bienvenido Reyes plotted the political fortune of Duterte. READ: '2 SC justices didn't join Duterte bandwagon')
BTW, a ‘baker’s dozen’ is 13, not 12. Here is a bit of trivia worth sharing. It is a rule of the realm in Olde England that to keep purveyors of bread from shorting customers, an added egg is an assurance of culinary fidelity!
My personal ‘baker’s dozen’ is an honest but disturbing hunch that refuses to go away. Wishful thinking? Why not! It is a democracy, right?
Eggs on my face is not an end-of- the-world reckoning for me. Neither would a President Duterte be the demise of this resilient and unsinkable Republic! Relax.
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(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog/opinion piece are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN.)
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.