There is fear that incoming President Rodrigo Duterte may be assassinated by forces identified with the outgoing administration. To my mind, this is not a likely scenario for the simple reason that their base, the ground where they stand, has already fallen beneath them, what with Congress now in the hands of a “supermajority” aligned with the widely popular-with-the-angry-masses President-elect.
If indeed there was such a plan, then I believe those forces have a grand underestimation of incoming Vice President Leni Robredo’s character and will. I do not read her character to be that of a weakling who will just do anyone’s bidding against her better judgment or conviction. I see in her a genuine heart for the masses, the underprivileged and the oppressed, albeit expressed in too much feminine energy and might be lacking a dose of masculine energy.
Many people think that the Philippine’s Duterte is just like America’s Donald Trump. I say that there is only one similarity between the two: their both being fiery. But it ends there. The source of each one’s fire are worlds apart.
It appears to me that the source of Duterte’s fire comes from a heart bleeding for the downtrodden, for the oppressed, for some 65 percent of our population. All the institutions or systems he lambasts he sees as representative of, or at least supportive of, oppressive forces. His fire spews forth from an overdose of alpha male energy, although sorely lacking large doses of feminine energy.
Trump’s fire comes purely from material greed and bigotry. He brings to fore the most extreme expression of the Republican mindset, which is that of an arrested consciousness that views the world in simple “us versus them” terms—a limited worldview that is incapable of perceiving mankind working together for the benefit of all. A Trump presidency will certainly not augur well for the Philippines and for the rest of the world.
John Perkins, author of “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man,” narrates how he was tasked to offer, to leaders of countries, US interest loans with large kickbacks for them. He says that these loans are given even if it is predicted that those countries would not be able to repay. The United States’ ultimate objective is to be able to dictate on a borrowing country economic policies that will benefit only their multinational corporations, never mind that they will be detrimental to the country’s population at large. Perkins says that in the event their offer to grant loans and/or their dictates are rejected, assassins would be contracted to eliminate the subject country’s president and install its puppet president.
The possibility of this happening under a Trump presidency will be higher than under a Clinton presidency as US Democrats possess a wider, more inclusive and progressive worldview.
Incoming President Duterte’s overwhelming victory can be viewed as a revolt of sorts by the masses. He articulates their frustration and pent up anger at past administrations and institutions that have been indifferent to their plight. President Duterte is held by the masses as their champion. I believe that even a large chunk of the middle class holds him in high esteem regardless of his brash ways. Hopes are high for change, for the upliftment of the Filipino people, so much so that for our soon-to-be-sitting President to be assassinated would plunge the country into chaos.
Who might carry it out? The United States? Forces from the previous administration? Drug lords? The oligarchy? Most likely, none of them. Possibly the Left, the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
While the CPP has demonstrated its moral and ideological bankruptcy even as its strength and influence have considerably waned, it manages to survive due to the masses’ discontent. It promises a way out of misery through armed struggle. It establishes legal fronts that serve to air the masses’ plight and as a source of new recruits into its fold. The CPP continues to survive due to the miserable state too many of our brethren are in, but it badly needs a shot in the arm to gain strength, to become a force to reckon with.
Should the “Champion of the Masses” be assassinated and should it be blamed on US imperialist forces, that would be perfect for the CPP. Imagine the anger, the rage of the masses—and the opportunity for the CPP to present themselves as the only alternative. It will be easy for them to claim the president as their own martyr, for did he not include a couple of them in his Cabinet?
But I see in the inclusion of two leftists in his Cabinet as a sincere move on his part to give a chance to the Left to put their money where their mouth is—that is, the chance to work for genuine agrarian reform and for the welfare of the underprivileged.
President Duterte may not be aware of how devilishly insidious the top brass of the CPP are. He must be on guard. The CPP can only manage to bring our country to utter ruin.
Philip S. Ycasiano is a retired businessman.
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