Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Bzzzzz: Duterte's much-talked-about chat with nation; Trillanes's arrest

CEBU. Cebu City Councilor Joy Pesquera (left) and presidential spokesman Harry Roque. (SunStar File)

Scrolling down: what people speculated the president would take up in his talk with the nation; why he dropped the idea (and if he did cancel it), was it due to the Supreme Court ruling that refused Trillanes a TRO?; how threat of the senator's arrest might continue even after the high court's decision.

BUT first, the rumor that Cebu City Councilor Joy Pesquera was interested in running for congresswoman in Cebu City south.

When she posted on her FB wall that she was not covered by term limit as this is still her first term (under a new count when she rested after she had served three consecutive terms), she raised the intriguing possibility, "unless you want me to run for Congress."

Many thought she was just teasing. But then came the rumor that Joy told former mayor Mike Rama about her interest in a House seat and he chided/scolded her, something like, "What! Do you have the money?"

If that is true, it would give some flesh to the once bare-boned theory that she would like to take a crack at the seat occupied by Representative Bebot Abellanosa.

Roque's trumpeting

There was as much speculation after presidential spokesman Harry Roque announced that President Rodrigo Duterte would talk to the nation. Just as much as when Malacañang announced Tuesday (September 11), one hour before the 3 p.m. broadcast and press-con, that the president had called it off and replaced it with a "tete-a-tete" with presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo. Later. Bong Go said his boss would push through with the nationwide address.

After the Roque disclosure Monday, the buzz was why and what would Duterte talk about?

It was unusual that Duterte would make a nationwide address, preceded by a blaring of trumpet a day before, which was what Roque's alert amounted to. Especially that it came amid the problems besetting the country and the noise over the Trillanes controversy.

Probable subjects

What would his talk to the nation have dwelt on?

* The problem of rising prices of basic goods, soaring inflation, and other signs of a faltering economy?

* Potshots at Senator Antonio Trillanes and, after the amnesty device was foiled, maybe unwrap another legal move that would send him to jail?

* Would he name and expose evidence against alleged "destabilizers" of government?

* Declare nationwide martial law or a revolutionary government? (One broadcaster noted that the next day would be September 12, reversible to 21, which Marcos adopted as official birth date of martial rule.)

Why plan changed

And speculations were just as rampant after the Palace bulletin that the nationwide chat had been dropped from Duterte's agenda (although later in the afternoon Bong Go said the address would push through):

* He would've nothing dramatic or important to unveil, not on the economic crisis or any other national ill or problem.

* As to the Trillanes PR problem, the Supreme Court refused to grant a TRO and leave the factual probe to the Regional Trial Court before issuing an arrest order.

No breather

If Trillanes thought the SC ruling gave him a breather, he could be wrong. Shortly after the high court rejected Trillanes's motion, presidential spokesman Roque said the ruling now paved the way for the senator's arrest.

Which would pervert the SC intent, since the tribunal precisely refused the TRO because it took judicial cognizance of the president's promise to defer the arrest until the RTC would rule.


Cuenco at rally

AND FINALLY THIS. Former multi-termer congressman Antonio Cuenco most probably will run for councilor in Cebu City south. Earlier, he said he'd have no chance to beat incumbent BOPK's Representative Bebot Abellanosa and his "millions of campaign money." Latest indicator: Cuenco was sighted at the Barug-PDP Laban rally that was promoted as an anti-illegal drugs, support-Duterte and support-your-local police rally.


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