Duterte Questions

  1. Is Duterte a Marcos loyalist?
  2. But he is friends with CPP NPA, who really hates the Marcoses, how will he toe the line?

In Davao he can deal and make concessions with NPAs, but he has not done this at the national level. If he is a Marcos loyalist and at the same time secretly dealing with the NPAs during his term in Davao, doing so as a President will be a very dangerous experiment.

  1. Who is more powerful, Duterte or Bongbong Marcos?

Marcos cronies are still in power and owning businesses all over the country. The Floriendos for instance who owns unbelievably sprawling banana plantations in Mindanao. Banana plantations as far as your eye can see. Imagine, businessmen like that, whose products are not being sold in the Philippines, and always ridden with labor issues. Let us just say, these cronies are not very patriotic businessmen. Now imagine these businessmen are in food, media, energy and so on. Well, question answered: BBM. Duterte? Who are his friends? The Balimbings?

  1. Too many Communists in the government?

Cory Aquino made that mistake in her term. Because of this, and probably something else, Gringo Honasan and his men made around 9 coup attempts! I was an elementary student back then, and you could just watch fighter jets shooting at each other right above Manila! Violence leads to bad economy. So kids, we are not poor because of the Church, nor because of Cory alone. There are many factors and events that lead to poverty and injustice – that includes the 25 Billion Dollar debt left by Marcos which we all have to pay until, by estimate, year 2025. Marcos cronies, on the other hand, they never knew poverty.

  1. Does Duterte hate the Catholic Church because it is a hypocritical institution?

Two things. First thing, obviously Duterte was hurt because the Catholic hierarchy did not endorse him. He said it himself. Hands down, that’s the real issue on why he rants against the church! Second, everybody loves to hate the Catholic Church. Simply, join the bandwagon, mention frailocracy, Inquisition (which is European history), Crusades (which is European history), child molestation (mostly done by white men, Americans / Europeans, so Bishop Oscar Cruz asks Duterte for names if there are any Filipino abusers, just say it and it will be dealt with, simple) and Church money. Then ask the people, what do you know about them? They can’t answer, except “Basta, nakakainis talaga ang mga pari at bishops na ‘yan! Mga Hipokrito!” Then they go on debating like that for several days, based on allegations and emotions. Now do they have time to ask more relevant issues aside from sex? Nope. Now, what is the rhetoric. When he attacks the Catholic Church he appears to be a hero of Church and State separation thing. But many politicians, even himself, goes to INC, Quiboloy and other religious sects. Any church but not Catholic church? Besides, INC can influence and is influencing who to put in a government post! So who’s partially running our government?

What I see is this. People buy Duterte because of “Oh, My God, I hate drugs,” “If you go to Davao and smuggle I will kill you,” so on and so forth. Second, people are expecting that under Duterte administration Philippine wealth will trickle down to the poor. But one of the sources of poverty is the crony system, or the oligarch system. Numerically, we can have high GDP, but it does not necessarily have to benefit the rest of the Filipinos. The numbers stay among the few. After EDSA I, our governments did not have the heart to dismantle the reigning oligarchs in the Philippines. I think, it amounts to an economic vacuum. So they are still there, well placed. And rich and in control of the economy and our politicians.

I propose a logic. The main source of poverty is Oligarchy. The Oligarchs that Marcos placed are still there, they have expanded their businesses. Duterte for all we know has a very special attachment to Bongbong. Bongbong still has the loyalty of the cronies. Duterte will not touch the cronies. Duterte wants to make the Catholic Church unpopular. But he likes Iglesia ni Cristo and Quiboloy, they supported him and the latter gave him money. So they are silent about moral issues that are supposed to be religious concerns: divorce, death penalty, business ethics, political ethics, human rights violation (by the way INC was “with” Marcos during martial law) and so on. Only the Catholic Church openly speaks about them. Duterte will in the end need the power of INC, to which he will be exposed on the national level, and that will be a game changer. So he   will not touch these religious sects, for after all, INC and the Marcoses have had good friendships in the past. Separation of Church and State, nada.

CPP NPA in government? A thorny issue.

So where does our logic go? Duterte is giving us the impression that he is grassroots guy. But in the end Duterte is surrounding himself with elitist power. He needs them. The foolish thing will be is this, to think that he is in control.

Duterte, it seems, is playing a game of hide and seek, shock and awe. That is why analysts find it hard to read him. A little patience and you will be able to “read” him. Mine obviously is just one among the many ways of reading.

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