Following the lead of TIME Magazine, a major Philippine media organization (or two) will very likely hail our own Pinoy ‘Man of the Year” before or soon after the New Year. Who the f..k else!
And so, America’s Time, Inc. has its Person/“Man of the Year,” the individual who has influenced the year’s events with the most impact. Unsurprisingly, it is Donald J. Trump, their President-elect.
And as critics would retort--pretty much like Hitler, Stalin and Putin as they were so similarly hailed, during their respective years of TIME Magazine’s annual selections of prominence.
With “influenced the year’s events” as the litmus test, applied to the Philippines, nobody else but, of course, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. He of the foul mouth and ‘serial killer’ fame! In fact, in this regard, Duterte may forever remain unrivalled! (For starters, who the f..k else has epitomized the use of profanity in public discourse! And caused the gruesome bloody carnage of thousands in such a short pass of time, all without due process. A messy stab at altering history, too. All in less than six months, in fact!) And so will it go for PDuts, as it did for Hitler, Stalin and Putin. Duterte, the Philippines’ “Man of the Year” in waiting.
Soon after the U.S. elections, The Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn described the Donald thus: “Maybe God did choose this bloated narcissist and compulsive liar and con man to be President…..” In the Philippines, on the other hand, epithets and catcalls are also not wanting in caricaturing our “Man of Forever!” We too have, after all, a psycho-sociopathic narcissist individual, elected President by Constitutional quirk. (Mere plurality without benefit of a mandated run-off.)
As the only rationally healthy outlet to ease up on the rage we suffer over what has turned out to be an incomparable Presidential monstrosity, I have participated in righteous frustration and scorn, resorting to a Zorn-like release of anger. No, not pedestrian name-calling but sensitively and vividly descriptive speech. About the only manner by which we can get back at the abuse civil society is enduring. For now, that is! Like calling PDuts a very apt “opinionated ignoramus” and the 7B’s (from an original 3 B’s). Bastos, Barumbado, Bobo, Baliw, Burot, Berdugo and Buwisit! (Ill-mannered, Boneheaded, Sub-par IQ, Looney-Loco, Braggart, Executioner and Bad Luck!)
I found it curious that TIME Magazine’s Cover title tag line is: “ DONALD TRUMP--President of the Divided States of America.” Divided! But that is because ‘da Donald’ is indeed divisive. He has divided the country almost down the middle with a historic and unprecedentedly low and acrimonious campaign. While the vote count in the Electoral College declares him President-elect, in the Majority/Popular count of votes cast, Trump is running behind Hillary R. Clinton by some 2.7 million votes and counting! That is no quirk, however. That is the US Constitution’s Electoral College, in control and in action from the day the U.S.A. was born. The magnitude of such disparity, however, has never ever occurred in America’s history.
With the Duterte situation on the other hand, his electoral victory does not possess an overwhelming majority vote. We must never forget this. It is yet the unharnessed raw strength of the opposition. That his election is by virtue of a mere, otherwise discomforting plurality of 39% facing a fractured slate of other candidates. The inconvenient truth is that 61% of Filipino voters disliked him, ab initio. Therefore, he has absolutely no reason to behave so arrogantly and imperiously over a population that he so often refers to in proprietary peroration as “my country” as though he owned us! But, ssshhhh, do not tell him otherwise. Maybe he has really begun to enjoy the hallucinatory notions that he is King and Emperor.
Or maybe he does know. But is stubbornly and vainly unwilling to accept reality. “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown!” (Hence, the unabating Duterte Cyber Warriors! engaging in endless post-truths.) There is evident endeavor instead to masquerade and to obfuscate, spreading bluff, fear and intimidation (and actual browbeating, as in the instance of Sen. De Lima and Vice President Robredo) to overcome what he failed to secure--an overwhelming mandate the democratic way!
Presiding precariously over contentiously divided polities in their respective turfs does not seem to be the only commonality between PDuts and Trump. Remember that there are financial skeletons that neither would like to disclose. Trump and his Income Tax Returns. Duterte and the admitted existence of multiple Bank of PI accounts but whose history of transactions from the day they were opened Duterte has staunchly and vehemently prevented from being disclosed. Could this be the reason he is stealthily working to control the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC)?
Both issues are not dead, but simply lying in wait. Just you wait, you two, just you wait! Both will be reminded repeatedly that there is nothing to fear if there is nothing to hide. And of course, nothing to hide if there is nothing to fear! Law and jurisprudence in the U.S. might yet protect Trump. A full disclosure, by what ever means, could be the end of Duterte. He knows this.
What Trump Ain’t Got…..PDuts has lots of!
PDuts seems to be ahead and fortunate in a game of comparing advantages one enjoys over the other. More precisely, on what Trump ain’t got which PDuts, with a peacock’s preening pride, has at his beck and call!
Donald J. Trump does not have in his payroll a moral exhibitionist in the person of a Ms. Mocha Uson, the Philippines’ reigning queen of moronic political strip-teasing post-truths!
Trump likewise does not have in his hip pocket a House of Representatives quite like what Duterte has sewed up. Trump does not command a coterie of fawning clowns and nincompoops, a menagerie of underperforming intellectual midgets who luxuriate in slavishly supine submission, like well compensated and contented courtesans, ever ready to obey PDuts’ dogwhistle! Never has the Philippine Legislature ever been so demeaned and diminished with such an assemblage of so-called peoples’ representatives!
Chilling and Depressing!
Over the last few days, our beloved country has been the subject of chilling and depressing investigative journalism. So compelling! Oh, my God, why have your poor children been dealt a cruel Duterte catastrophe!
If you folks have not yet done so and have not come across these articles, please scan the Internet and search for two pieces that I am certain have already reached the rapt and shocked attention of the world.
There is the New York Times’ tri-lingual (English, Spanish and Filipino versions) photojournal by David Berehulak, a Pulitzer prize awardee for feature video photography for an earlier endeavor, the Ebola outbreak in Africa. His current piece is “They are Slaughtering us like Animals.” An indictment of Duterte’s gruesome and unrelenting deadly pursuit of illegal drug users, pushers and innocent defenseless collateral damage.
Another is an 18.50-minute TV News documentary originally aired on Al Jazeera-America by Jason Motlagh, a Pulitzer Center International Reporting Fellow, also on Duterte’s Drug War in its graphic capture for painful posterity.
I have no doubt that both journalistic masterpieces will not escape the notice of the International Criminal Court and may even partake of indisputable evidence of the Duterte-inspired carnage that he has cold-bloodedly imposed upon our country.
Chilling and Depressing. I found it revolting! I am angered. And so will you.
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.