What if?

What if? Featured

MY conspiracy series starting with the January 23 “A Russian Spy in the White House?” segueing into the local “Conspiracy theory,” provoked commentaries falling under another genre: What if? Some readers likewise are framing their thoughts on the rhetorical question with several twists: from the benign to the bane; from the probable to the possible; from wishful thinking to grudging hope; from pure conjecture to reality in transit. What if, the Deegong were really sick and loses his grip on power unable to perform his presidential duties?

Denizens in the fringes, deviants given voice through social media, incorrigible rumormongers and simply the peddlers of lies bound by a common loathing for the Deegong have declared that the President is dead! A doppelganger now sits on the throne! Despite evidence to the contrary, they will insist on spreading that which gives them some sort of social media legitimacy. But the reality is simple. President Duterte is alive and well and kicking ass. And if his health is a gauge, he will live to torment the unbelievers way past his term of office; way past the term of office of his designated successor, Sara! And with the help of God, he will live to be a 100. But this will be a curse upon him.

I remember the twilight years of the Marcos regime, with the dictator afflicted with lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease, his detractors were divining his every move and any minute change in his complexion. And even his supporters believed he was dying. Eventually he died of other complications. But people by then had successfully passed judgement and booted him out. A sad spectacle of a leader possessed of a brilliant mind in a deteriorating body, dead in exile.

But the evil genius planned his exit. Marcos was beyond his legitimate term of office, but he had the Armed Forces and the PC-INP in his pockets. He had no rightful successor, but he had the triumvirate of disciples ready and prepared to take over government in case of his quick demise (Tolentino as his VP towards the end was a pathetic play to the American ruling elite). Headed by a headstrong and flamboyant wife, Imelda, his ever-loyal lapdog of a cousin and head of the Armed Forces, Gen. Fabian Ver, and the oligarch Danding Cojuangco, the son he never had — the three were to carry out the dictator’s wish, even beyond the grave.

We don’t have this set-up today. That the Deegong himself could be the author of this conspiracy is being debunked. At best, this is simply an unfolding series of serendipitous occurrences favoring the Deegong. DU30 “…is not in the mold of FM. If he is capable of deep diabolical thinking, it certainly does not show given his many inexcusable blunders.” PRRD may just wait for the opportunity for a rev-gov to present itself and grab it. And this could be happening now. Marcos created the conditions for the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus in the 1970s with the unwitting help of the communists in the Plaza Miranda bombing of the Liberal Party rally as a prelude to the declaration of Martial Law. “The bombings in Mindanao, the uncovered humongous anomalies of the Aquino administration, the public impatience with the incessant bickering and antics of politicians, the bloody elections can serve as the trigger to justify rev-gov.” This is John Rana’s take; he is an ally of DU30 and an FVR protegee. He is not suggesting PRRD is doing a Marcos, but the DDS are extremely delighted to read into this its rev-gov agenda — scaring the bejesus out of ordinary peace-loving citizens.

Now the ultimate What if — the Deegong suddenly dies? In 1957, President Magsaysay died in a plane crash. The transition to Vice President Garcia, a Nacionalista partymate was seamless. In 1948, President Manuel Roxas died of a heart attack in Clark Field, Pampanga. Vice President Elpidio Quirino, a Liberal partymate took over as President in a peaceful handover.

In the current context, God forbid if it happens, there exists a constitutional successor, Vice President Leni Robredo, leader of the opposition Liberal Party, bête noire of the DDS. Fortunately, no one in the cabinet has the alpha cred and political chutzpa to lead a coup. There are four dozen ex-military men installed by DU30 in his civilian government, occupying sensitive positions in all levels of government. But they don’t have the wherewithal. Chances are they may simply have to go through the motions proving themselves irrelevant and a nuisance.

The DU30 sycophants, visualizing this likelihood, have been agitating to replace Leni with the pliable Bongbong Marcos. She can’t just sit and declare her constitutional right to lead. She may have to be propped up by Gen. Benjamin Madrigal Jr of the AFP. The general has effective command of the troops and can enforce the chain of command. The other is Director General Oscar Albayalde of the Philippine National Police (PNP). But there are no indications in their past that they will not defend the Constitution.

Abu-Sayyaf and the Muslim extremists may create pockets of disturbance but the recently mainstreamed MILF/MNLF have now been granted their BARMM to protect. The NPA may be the main beneficiary of this disarray but their ranks have been decimated; it is now populated by an aging leadership. And the Catholic Church hierarchy, bereft of a politically astute Cardinal Sin, will continue to ask for prayers, preach against violence and will not take sides and alienate its flock lest it endangers its collection plates. The President’s rabble will for a time be agitating for a “civil war.” This will not happen. Like the oligarchy, they are too comfortable in their current status, and when the patron is gone, they will seek out other patrons.

And our politicians will predictably gravitate to the next brand, probably Leni’s Liberal Party; reprising DU30’s 2016 ascendancy where PDP-Laban grew from a handful to hundreds in just a few days. You can rely on the shameless trad-pols whose concept of public service is to serve first their family political dynasty.

Methinks the US will show their velvet glove as they twice did for the Cory regime: allowing Marcos the means to “cut cleanly” in 1986; and a display of their F-4 Phantom II jets over Metro Manila driving Honasan out with his tail between his legs in the 1989 coup attempt. America will support the constitutional path. And China wouldn’t really care. They have signed MOAs and gave promises of billions to the Philippines. They can do the same to a Robredo administration. Give promises.

But the person our people will look up to is the defense secretary, Delfin Lorenzana – a patriot, one close to America but not a certified “Amboy” though not strictly within the chain of command; he has the moral facade and credibility. He swore a duty to defend and protect the Constitution – not the Deegong, not the person – but the institutions.

This ‘what if’ depends so much on the Deegong exiting the scene due to natural causes. What if, DU30 dies under questionable circumstances?

Then all bets are off!000
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