I ALWAYS do a final accounting of how characters especially decision makers and institutions influence our lives for the last 365 days in 2018. This is sort of a simple math and will try my best not to overdo or under-rate for after all this is not about figures so trust me I will not do a booboo like what a Vice President in a country in the Pacific did.
- President Rodrigo R. Duterte shares with Miss Universe Catriona Gray our Persons of the Year Award. Duterte who was described by UP Professor Clarita Carlos as a leader who is “intelligently courageous” and “has a fire in his belly” still comes out blazing with expletives. But take heed. When he curses, he has a target audience. If it is not meant for you then listen with your left ear and let it out on the right. Make no mistake however as the man never wanes in his quest to hunt criminals and members of the drug syndicates. On the other hand, Digong is the most compassionate person I knew. He is gentle, very friendly and is kind and some members of Manila media at the start of his presidency thought that when he winks or whistle it denigrates them. Truth to tell, the ladies among them would tug along with the “taga bundok” President, as Jim Paredes would describe him, all the way to the wee hours of the morning sharing the microphone in Davao City’s KTV karaoke bar, laughing at his corny jokes and him at their childish cracks. The President never felt the immensity of his power and when he had fun with the lady journalists like in the first days of his presidency it was a simple man enjoying the company of his new found friends.
- Vice President Leni Robredo, who was given a portfolio in the Cabinet, should have demonstrated what she could do instead of listening to the assurance of her supporter Loida Lewis that Duterte would resign due to intense pressure and she will then assume as President. She went to church along with the Catholic bishops who had diabolically wished Digong will get sick and die only to realize that the man is as healthy as a ram. She became erratic driven by the fear that she might lose the electoral protest of Bongbong Marcos. Her camp has done every trick like soaking filled ballots and electoral returns to erase the damaging proofs and figures. Her mathematics became so convoluted, to her 4 X 40 totals to 1,600. But the polite Duterte still was polite to her although what remains of his admiration of Leni is her lovely knees.
- Senator Antonio Trillanes, the co-conspirator of detained Senator Leila De Lima in penning down Digong on their nebulous claims of “more than 2,200 extra-judicial killing cases in Davao City”, exited the country. He is facing criminal libel cases in Davao filed against him by former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. He is reported to be in Amsterdam for what he boasts as a series of speaking engagement. Really? Not even Patrick Henry could claim he was a sought after speaker. Amsterdam is just two hours away from the CPP/NPA Leader Joma Sison so maybe they can compare notes.
- Four “honorable” senators were in detention, namely Johnny Enrile, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Leila de Lima. Enrile had breached 90 so he was freed earlier and Bong is now a free man, the charges against him having been dismissed, while Jinggoy was given permission by the court to travel to Hong Kong. All three are running for the senate and two are within the magic 12. It looks like “the frailty of a woman” defense of Leila is not legally tenable.
- Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the little president, is not that really little as he is a heavy weight despite the tremendous workload in his office. He is the first man to report in Malacanang and the last to leave. He had been missing the green and if the urge to play golf even during weekends or holidays he has to formally file a leave of absence.
- Bong Go, is an ex-Special Assistant to the President. His boss had been so used to his physical presence and that feeling is mutual so while he no longer holds regular office he remains to be the loyal “tulay sa Pangulo” especially in extending assistance to medical patients and victims of calamities. He started off as No. 23 in senatorial surveys, but now people had realized he was serious in running he is inching within the magic 12 assuming he is not yet. The President will be his campaign manager.
To be continued