OPINION: Duterte sidesteps health query, focuses on Trillanes

Ellen Tordesillas

Posted at Sep 12 2018 01:25 PM | Updated as of Oct 09 2018 04:58 PM

There were two things that stood out in President Duterte’s one-hour-and-a-half hour tête-à-tête with Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo: he didn’t want to talk about his health and he is obsessed with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

After about ten minutes of monologue defending his attempt to nullify the amnesty granted to Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by then President Benigno Aquino III, Panelo wanted to talk about his health: “Puntahan naman natin ang mga agam-agam ng taumbayan kasama na ang critics nyo na si Joma Sison. Sinasabi na kayo ay may sakit. Ano po ang masasabi nyo tungkol sa inyong kalusugan para marnig ng taumbayan?”

Duterte’s answer was about the alleged conspiracy of the Community Party of the Philippines and the Magdalo to topple him: “Alam nyo itong si Sison, pati itong Magdalo, pati itong ayaw sa akin, yung talagang hindi tumanggap sa akin ever since noong election, they have combined and we have the evidence and we have the conversation provided by a foreign country sympathetic to us. We don’t have the sophistication but the connections will be shown maybe any day now. I asked that it be declassified at ipakita nila sa lahat. Nahihigop lahat . They were in constant communication."

Panelo tried to steer back the conversation to the President’s health: “Sa punto po ng kalusugan, talagang malusog na malusog kayo, nakikita ng mga tao.”

Duterte didn’t comment.

Here’s the observation of some viewers:

Journalist Fe Zamora said, “He looks sick, out of focus ang mata parang na stroke. Very dark ang skin, which reminds of a friend who underwent radiation, umitim ang mukha.”

Manny Bautista seconded: “The contrast is very apparent in the color of the arm to the face.”

This was the same observation of a friend who sent me a private message: “Pansin po ba ninyo that PRRD is parang biglang nawawala sa issue? Walang focus or me sakit na yata talaga.”

He also noted that “He was talking about rice and cabinet meeting tapos biglang nagshift ke Trillanes. Walang konek.”

His obsession with Trillanes was obvious. Panelo tried to make him discuss other issues but he kept on going back to Trillanes. This shows that he was really rattled by Trillanes’ defiance which gained widespread support and sympathy.

His comments also betrayed his resentment that the military did not execute his order stated in Proclamation 572 to arrest Trillanes while he was in Israel and Jordan without a warrant of arrest. He blamed the “mistah” culture among graduates of the Philippine Military Academy.

What did Duterte achieve with that tête-à-tête?

Here are more comments in Facebook:

Ricardo De Leon Dalisay: “In-Love ba si Digong kay Trillanes, maski anong issue, bumabalik doon.”

Ismael Paredes Penado said at one point, “It's getting so boring already. The obsession with Trillanes is so palpable. Pitiful.”

Andrei Manuel said, “He also sounds like he is threatening the military who are supporting Sen. Trillanes.”

Inday Espina-Varona: “Ayun lumabas ang hugot sa AFP generals, probably because they didn't follow orders to storm the Senate for Trillanes. 'Doon kayo kay Trillanes. Never mind me. I will survive. You can kill me. Pakita nyo sa Filipino na matalino kayo'.”

He even said “Bakit gusto nyo si Trillanes, dahil mas guapo?”

He must have been affected by all the memes putting him side by side with Trillanes.

Jing Garcia said, “Daming topics pero puro Trillanes lang narinig ko. It’s like Facebook live on TV."

Noel Esquela said, “I found it ridiculous, pathetic in its petulance, petty in its vindictiveness, framing everything as a choice between himself and the folly of public outcry against his perceived incompetence or inability to govern at all.”

Virginia Florita said, “As usual..nag dakdak na naman...just like an old broken tap.”

Beting Laygo Dolor: "He's rambling, but what else is new?”

That’s what JB Bayon said: “He is no Rambo. He is rambling.”

Manny Marinay said, “I started cooking dinner. Walang kwenta, as usual.”

Jinky Jorgio: “Nakatulog ako.”
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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.