Enough of Digong’s personal attacks vs. Bongbong | Inquirer Opinion
Sharp Edges

Enough of Digong’s personal attacks vs. Bongbong

/ 05:30 AM April 16, 2024

In the past 656 days after UNITEAM partners Bongbong Marcos and VP Sara Duterte were sworn into  office, relentless attacks by former President Rodrigo Duterte Jr against the incumbent President continue.   Accusations range from personal laziness of BBM , being a non-college graduate, alleged drug user, and reported preference  to extend his term beyond six years among others. His allies in the meantime are singing the tune of Marcos Resign led by Congressman Pantaleon Alvarez who calls for secession of Mindanao or a military withdrawal of support for BBM.  There is also the situation of ally-fugitive Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and his controversial SMNI network.  Their anti-Marcos tirades were heard  in mass street actions, broadcasts and trolled in social media.  As if nobody understands that removing Marcos will directly benefit daughter VP Sara by constitutional succession. But would the majority of people allow this?  Why can’t Duterte’s  people wait until the next elections in 2028?

The personal attacks on BBM became more vicious when he pivoted from Digong’s pro-China foreign policy into a partner of America and Japan in  the South China geopolitical game.  In less than two years in office, PBBM makes extra effort to re-introduce the Philippines to th  world in his 23 international trips in 17 countries . In comparison, the reclusive  Digong,  made only 21 international trips in 20 countries in his total six-year term. Understandably, he hated the EU for its human rights campaigns and ICC and being the only Philippine president in history of not visiting big brother US.

And since China, America and ASEAN are locked in crisis over their Nine-Dashed Nine line in the South China Sea, the agenda  being expounded is to portray PBBM as bringing our country at the brink of war with our superpower neighbor. And that a lot of Filipinos will die if it happens. War scares, and “anti-Chinese deterrence” became overused and lost in translation as we are swept by pro-America and pro-China propagandists. If Digong was tagged as pro-China dog during his term, BBM today is tagged as a US stooge.

But come to think of it, most Filipinos prefer to work with America on the rising tensions in the South China Sea. The daily attacks on our civilian sea craft and declarations that they own Pag-asa Island and Scarborough Shoal are really boiling peoples’ nerves.  Pulse Asia in December 2023 cited 79 percent favoring USA  against only 10 percent favoring China.  The SWS June 2022 survey showed only 33 percent like China compared to USA’s 89 percent. OCTA research had the latest reading, 60 percent of Filipinos agree with Marcos’s approach to territorial disputes with China and that 86 percent of Pinoys are “SICK AND TIRED” of continuous Chinese intrusions and bullying. 


Perhaps, these recent perceptions on Digong as pro-China are reasons why he has been losing his connections to the Filipino collective mindset.  And sadly, this has obliterated many of his valuable contributions during his six years in Malacañang.  Quite frankly, he led us out of the deadly pandemic, drugs, criminality and worse economic crises, actions that deserve gratitude. But with his pro-China pitch, only history will judge him. But for now, Digong is already  political hero of the past and irrelevant. (next)

Will Israel retaliate in Iran’s direct attack?  Will Oil shock happen?

The world waits with bated breath as Israel ponders its response to the first ever direct attack by Iran on its territory. News reports say, 72 hours before the attack, Iran notified the US and its allies and despite advice from US Pres. Joe Biden, Iran  attacked.  It launched a total of 185 drones, 36 cruise missiles and 110 surface to surface missiles but were thwarted 99 percent by joint Israel, US UK and Jordan military.  Independent sources reveal that nine Iranian missiles penetrated and hit two air bases, Nevatim and Negev Desert in the attack.

Iran says this was their answer to Israel’s April 1 attack inside their embassy in Syria killing five people, three military personnel including two generals. These targets were being linked to the October 7 Hamas attack on Gaza.

There is an ongoing UN Security Council meeting where both Iran and Israel slammed on each other. “If Israel responds, the next one (attack)  will be decisive”, according to Iran’s ambassador to the UN Saeed Iravan. The message is clear, Iran can destroy civilian and military targets inside Israel. 


Will Israel pass up this challenge? This is the first time that Iran has directly attacked Israel and many people would have been killed if not for Iron Dome and help of allies. The Israeli cabinet are convening on a series of retaliatory options against Iran. And in truth, it will now be left on its own and to decide in the next few hours.  In the 1974 six-day war, Israel engaged six countries, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon and successfully defeated them. Now, for the first time, they are facing Iran, and their usual day to day enemies, Hezbollah, Houthis and Hamas. Will Israel resolve this?

 US president Biden told PM Benjamin Nethanyahu that the US would not engage in any retaliatory strikes against Iran.   UK and other European nations told Israel “Think well over its head” in responding to this direct attack by Iran. Russia also called for restraint like what Iran did when it said it does not want a regional war.


But any Israeli response, sanctioned or not by the US, will trigger into a regional war in the Middle east or possibly World War 3. This means a serious oil crisis for all of us and possibly the fall of world economies including our own.

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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos, Rodrigo Duterte

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