On RevWar: Does DU30 have what it takes? spot.ph

On RevWar: Does DU30 have what it takes? Featured

ONCE again, the Deegong has threatened a revolutionary government. This could be the latest harangue of an infuriated president. But this time, he didn’t mince words on using this power to get rid of his critics, whom he now calls “enemies of the state,” lumping them with common criminals, drug lords, corrupt bureaucrats, greedy politicians, communist rebels and terrorists, and of course his bête noire — the princes of the Catholic Church hierarchy.

The Deegong has once again upped the ante with these latest antics, which to the student of presidential politics, by now reading him so well, expect him simply to do the expected. Such predictability! And the President, true to form, indeed played to his audience, particularly his base. He seems unable to remain presidential for long and must intermittently revert to the uncouth and foul-mouthed persona which his sycophants love. Watching him rant on TV, switching from topic to topic off the cuff, ranging from the detested illegal drug proliferation to corruption within his government to the size of his penis, is an awkward experience by itself. It reflects simply his total mastery over a cowed captive audience pretending to lap up his every word with the males reluctantly emitting mortified chuckles while the ladies nonplussed, merely exhibiting sheepish smiles. Methinks this is a helluva frightened audience but can’t do anything about it.

And on the eve of the Holy Week in a speech in a campaign sortie in Cagayan, he was again on TV cursing the crucified Christ, disparaging the “idiots who attended the last supper”; yet in the same breath he professes to believe in God and fears karma. Can the President at least moderate his political virulence during this much-revered solemn Filipino observance of Lenten traditions? Perhaps not! These ramblings of late have been accelerating and getting into his nerves, conceivably precipitated by attacks on his immediate family by a certain “Bikoy” appearing anonymously on video clips going viral in social media. Today this incident has morphed into a full-blown conspiracy to unseat the President, seeing print in broadsheets and scattered in social media complete with pictographs and Power Point presentations. Yet, the dandyish Malacañang spokesman admits no evidence has been found, thus, no cases filed.

Days before the national elections, the President’s campaigning sorties have taken an ominous turn. He has been going around with his PDP Laban senatorial slate taunting the opposition and singing the praises of each of his senatorial candidates; going through the motions of following the tenets of democracy yet insulting the very spirit of that same democratic process by threatening to suspend the writ of habeas corpus if things don’t go his way.

If I were a betting man, which I am, with several formerly imprisoned senator-plunderers either out on bail or simply let loose but not completely exonerate, but allowed a legal aperture back to the Senate, where once again they will line their pockets with the people treasures, I’d probably bet this time on more people supporting the Deegong’s initiatives out of disgust.

But does he still have the balls to push through a RevGov? And more importantly, is he the right leader we need for this wild adventure? Even his DDS and the fist pumpers no longer show the kind of enthusiastic response expected of sycophants. He is beginning to sound like “the boy who cried wolf.” If his intentions are really clear to him and has the courage of his convictions — just DoH it! As Sec Javier’s once said, Don’t telegraph your punches, don’t advertise.

But DU30 has been erratic in his messaging and actions. I myself would give the Deegong an A+ for vetoing the billions in pork barrel in the new budget, chastising in the process the congressional tradpols allied to him. For this, I would excuse him his indelicate public insertion of his peripatetic erectile organ. As I wrote in this column several months back, RevGov can only succeed if four ingredients are present: He must have the support of the military, the political elite; the people’s support; and he must have the balls (roughly translated to political will) to carry it out. Any one of the four absent, it won’t succeed, or if it succeeds, it is not sustainable and will cause a bigger problem than what originally it intends to solve. He has done well, pre-positioning ex-generals and admirals in odd jobs in his bureaucracy. But when push comes to shove, these men are extraneous to the chain of command. The police and the armed forces become the main instruments of the Deegong in his RevGov declaration and by inference, instruments of the state.

I will quote my Manila Times article of Aug. 24, 2017: “The state by right has the ‘monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force’ (Max Weber, political scientist). This has been the core concept of a democratic state’s right to use, threaten, or authorize physical force on its citizens; along with it is the concept of a ‘police force’ and the concomitant system of justice within the defined territory of that state.

But will this legitimate instrument of physical force, sworn to defend the Constitution have the same appreciation of the situation as the President and follow his lead?

Secondly, the newly elected political elite and their backers and allies in the oligarchy may not be induced to support the Deegong in this destabilizing undertaking. Hindi pa nakakabawi sa gastos sa election. They need a little more time to once again refill their coffers by sucking the marrow off the people who put them back to office.

And despite his high approval ratings, paradoxically DU30 has been a polarizing leader, who, as he himself intimated doesn’t give a hoot about traditional institutions — the Church, political parties, international protocols and even conventional family values. So, people’s support for his RevGov may not be widespread and deep. But what the heck — does he really care?

But the most important element is the Deegong’s demeanor. He burst into the country’s political consciousness as a fresh outsider with nary a personal interest to protect – except perhaps his desire to run the country the way he ran his city. But now having established his own political dynasty, extending their political and possibly economic influence, protecting the same and guaranteeing his safety when he steps down from power — if ever — these perquisites could be a compelling disincentive to go all-in. One cannot equate political will for puffery; not in bullying Catholic bishops, not in the use of unpresidential vulgar speeches for shocking effect. Not even projecting an image of an alpha male, the ultimate macho with his turgid appendage!

But if the President acts to declare a RevGov, heading a military junta, replacing the 1987 Constitution with a truly centrist one — parliamentary-federal government with a liberalizing economy, perhaps, just perhaps, I may volunteer to be his adjutant. There are many of us who will deal with the devil today for a guaranteed bright future for our people. But, then again — does he still have what it takes?000
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