What is it with Sara? Réseau International

What is it with Sara? Featured

AFTER eight seasons, “Games of Thrones” (GOT) has ended. I have been an aficionado of this fictionalized medieval drama set in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Not an iota of the tale is true. No facts. Just pure fiction. But even with the presence of dragons and white walkers the episodes were as riveting as any historical narrative from the real dark ages, from the fall of the Roman Empire to the Renaissance in the 1500s. The court intrigues and political maneuverings convey universal truths reflective of the practices of that fictional period that transcend time. This is the backdrop against which this column is set.

Sara Duterte-Carpio, Deegong’s daughter, could be a composite of several colorful GOT characters, a scheming Cersei Lannister or a dispossessed Daenerys Targaryen out to regain a throne. In the real world, Sara could dangerously be vulnerable to the guile of her father’s sycophants. She is now being injected into our political consciousness as next in line to the presidency. She burst into the political stage on her own as a no-nonsense mayor who punched a sheriff on TV. A daughter drawn from the same mold but endowed with a demeanor perceived to be a much more finessed version.

The midterm administration election triumph could chiefly be attributed to the initiatives of the President these past three years. His “build-build-build” mantra on expanding infrastructure will not yield dividends until starting the second half of his term and beyond. With the propensity for politicians to claim credit for projects in the pipeline, many of these roads and bridges connecting islands, expanded communication and internet capacities, electric power and mining ventures with long gestation and constructions periods will be claimed as theirs by those coming after the Deegong’s time. Whoever heads the future Federal Republic of the Philippines, whether president or prime minister, will be the beneficiary of the Deegong’s work today. The DDS and the sycophants want Sara installed to claim credit and be benefited by these.

What DU30 has done to separate him from past presidents is his use of presidential prerogatives, actions and decisions perceived from different angles: seen by his avid base as acts of “political will;” from his detractors as “abuses of power;” but from the general public as “acts of a leader.”

A case in point is his “Tokhang” and war on drugs. What is interpreted by his detractors and human rights advocates as criminal acts worthy of international attention and world condemnation, is seen as “keeping us safe” by those who live in the communities where these are instigated; but more importantly, seen by the general public as “good governance” preventing the country from deteriorating further. These are what propelled DU30’s approval rating to soar to almost 90 percent.

But what sets PRRD apart is his perceptive grasp of the Filipino psyche. An inveterate iconoclast he is a master at pushing the limits of his discretion but not going over the edge. This is political command at its best. His assaults on God are deflected as attacks against the Catholic hierarchy muted somehow by undercurrents of disgust for these Padre Damasos among us.

And DU30’s unilateral decisions to close and rehabilitate the cesspool Boracay, the cleaning up of Manila Bay and the threat to dump Canadian basura to their waters are at best palliatives and merely symbolic. But they resonate with the audience that matter most — the ordinary Filipino.

This litany of the President’s exploits are just samples reflecting what was promised and a vision of what the next years will bring. And the most crucial is the systemic changes that DU30 has sworn to put in place through the revision of the 1987 Constitution towards a federal parliamentary republic. This is the President’s legacy. The Deegong needs to perpetuate what he started. He needs a keeper to his legacy. Sara is not up to it!

Take it from the words of an OFW political technocrat and an avid social media blogger with a large following, Orion Perez D (FB blog, April 25 at 9:14 p.m.). I quote him verbatim:

“Dagha’g salamat kanimo, Sara Duterte. You made it very clear for me that the Philippines is likely to end up as a freakin’ basket case because you yourself cannot use your brains to do the necessary research and learn more about the advocacy that your own father has been fighting for.

“A year or so ago, I was already aware that you were ‘not yet sold on federalism’… But as late as now, you aren’t just ‘not yet convinced’ but you are actually against federalism, and worse, you base your opposition to it on fake news!

“I staunchly support Rodrigo Duterte because he is pro-federalism and pro-constitutional reform. Just because I support the father doesn’t mean I should slavishly support the daughter especially when she is actively sabotaging her own father!”

What is disturbing is the anointing of Sara as the heir apparent based on bloodline not on the political legacy of PRRD which she disagrees with. The ascendancy of a daughter of a strongman is understandable as the country is enamored with a “can do” president, a maverick and a perceived reformer. The sycophants particularly want a continuation of a reign of a strongman to protect their sinecures and prerogatives. Thus, the longing for an avatar for another six years after this current Deegong has been led to pasture.

But I doubt the Filipino is prepared for another Duterte from Davao. True, Sara has arrived, so to speak, but she is untested. “She lives under the shadow of the king. She dies in the light.” Witness the debacle of Hugpong in Davao del Norte where her anointed were obliterated by Congressman Alvarez, her nemesis whom she had caused to be booted out of a speakership.

This pining for an heir apparent presumably is a longing for the qualities of the next strongman without the political baggage accumulated over the previous six years. One who has the experience and the sophistication of a lawgiver yet can tread the muck of bureaucracy; who is also perceived to be tough on public safety and order; perceived to possess political will in copious amounts. One who understands the evils of “pork barrel” and its corrupting influence. Sceptics would even say we need someone who could himself be perceived as a killer.

And if we are successful transiting to a parliamentary-federal form from this perverted presidential-unitary system, perhaps one who can become an adept prime minister.

The Philippine political horizon has produced names post mid-term elections who could fit these bills of particulars.

One whose head is above the crowd is Sen. Ping Lacson. I have never met Lacson nor have I ever exchanged a word or two with Sara. These two won’t know me from Adam, but I’ve watched and studied them both.

In my version at the end of the “Game of Thrones,” I can see the last poignant scene of Jon Snow, the last Targaryen heir, doing in Daenerys, the heir apparent – and he himself sitting on that throne.000
Read 385 times Last modified on Thursday, 13 June 2019 14:25
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