Just when the smart ones are starting to wonder if the killings are a diversion from a revival of corruption (keep your eye on Customs), along comes Duterte over the weekend declaring, and I quote, “On Monday I would declare all positions in the government…”
He paused and then he went on, “If you are there because of a presidential appointment, I will declare all your positions all throughout the country vacant.”
“I would declare”… in the subjunctive. How old time lawyers speak. But the message…unmistakable: echepwera kayong lahat.
As far afield as the boondocks he visited: You are fired.
“Until now in my provincial visits I still hear of corruption being committed, especially in the regulatory agencies.”
If you are in Manila, all the more you are fired.
“Consider all your positions vacant as of this hour.”
Although he was referring to PNoy appointees, he told his LTFRB chief, “Come to me…”
Akala mo Pantom op deh Opera, “Coooome to me… cree-ay-chures op deh night…
“See me in Malacanang.”
It is not something he said off-the-cuff or on the spur of the moment, something he will take back or modify.
He means and I quote, “All of them.” In Tagalog, “lahat.”
He is perfectly aware of the scale of displacement and the necessity of immediate replacement. Regular government is not moving.
“It will number in the thousands,” he said.
And then the classic Duterte lawyerly speech—not jejemon but the flowery phrases of our fathers’ generation.
“Consider yourself in the crucible of the truth about corruption in this country.”
Crucible is what you put over a roaring fire,
hot as hell,
to melt the metal,
separate the dross,
and out of purified iron
hammer out the steel
of good government.
I wanted to say another word pero Tina is watching. Then, in the words that won him the election, he said about corruption what he said about drugs then, “I hate it. I do not want the slightest hint of it to reach my fellow human beings.”
That means he does not consider the corrupt as human, anymore than drug pushers and drug takers are human.
So why is a certain hero in rehab and not 6 feet under? Just asking.
When asked, the President said his Cabinet officials are not included.
But only for now.
Because he added—cynically—“it is too early for them to be corrupted.”
Again he should look at Customs.
Then he turned teacher. He explained the fist-raising gesture for which he is known, as “defiance… because I was mad at government”—citing the laglag-bala epidemic of planting bullets on passengers whom the past government insisted on prosecuting to the full extent of the law even before its own appointed perpetrators were caught. I suppose because there is no crime if there is no victim. It takes two to tanga—I mean tango.
However, since he already fired PNoy’s appointees, he was surely referring o his own appointees when he added,
“If you are there to commit corruption,
Day in and day out,
Please stay out.”
Hope, yes, hope—from the only source of hope. Thank you Jeeh-soos. Imagine if any other candidate had won.