Ledesma: Duterte and the demise of the Aquino myth

THE trust rating of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is at record high in the level of excellence. This despite the efforts of the opposition and the leftists organizations to discredit and demonize him with issues that ranges from the banal extra-judicial killings, threats of martial law to name a few. Despite all the denigrations the President just go on with his job with his usual and to some unusual leadership style that had made him so distinct from the mold of traditional politicians particularly the Chief Executives before him. Well they may not like what and how he conducts and manages the affairs of the government but there is no denying he delivers. The critics might repudiate that but the public as borne by the results of the surveys tells a more significant and meaningful story.

This overwhelming support for the President swamp and dump whatever issues the critics raise against Duterte. Even in survey of the "senatoriables" nary a political figure identified with the opposition landed in the magic 10. This apparently worries Bam Aquino who, of late, swallowed his yellow pride and hinted that he is willing to cooperate with the Duterte government in its development undertaking. My take here is that if the midterm elections are going to be held tomorrow no one from the Liberal Party is going to make it. For Bam who is the remaining Aquino active in politics the survey is very foreboding as it rings the political death knell for the clan.

Two chapters of the Aquino administrations were replete with ineptness and vindictiveness in the first canto, the second continued with it but added a bitter note, that of institutionalizing corruption in the government bureaucracy and the abatement of syndicated crime to include the utter disregard for the growing menace of terrorism.

Attempts to cover the sins of omissions and commissions especially the first chapter of the Aquino administration had waned as quickly as adherents discover the cracks which for a long while were eclipsed by the hatred against the Marcoses. But it looks like the Marcoses have a tenacious staying power except for Bongbong lackadaisical campaign for Vice President where he lost to a lackluster Leni Robredo by the skin of the teeth. The mortal sin of the Cory government was not so much on holding on to Hacienda Luisita Inc. which involved the tenants in that vast agricultural land, but in passing that Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program which mandated the land be awarded to any Tom, Dick and Harry who landless and who might even hate the smell of the earth but love its value. CARP was conceptualized principally to saved HLI but was the primary and only reason why many actual tenant-farmers were deprived of land.

The coming of the new leader from the hinterlands of Mindanao has radically altered the entire political spectrum. Duterte is a child of destiny. When his mother, Nanay Soling, was appointed as vice mayor of Davao City for her role in the Yellow Friday protest march she politely declined the position. The regional leadership placed Rodrigo's name in her stead. He went on as Mayor for more than 23 years punctuated only with a stint in congress. In the Presidential elections, he was the most reluctant candidate. But I have personally witnessed and hear how the crowd of people would gravitate around him as he was campaigning for Federalism. Each assembly was a specter of pandemonium as the event would end up with the audience roaring in thunder "Duterte for President", "Takbo! Takbo! Takbo" , run, run Digong run. His name for a long while was not even mentioned in surveys. But when they did, the survey institutions discovered what they never expected. The man who abhors the power of the Presidency leads.

President Duterte closed the final chapter of the Aquino myth. Today we see pages in our current history written as events are taking place in dizzying dynamics. Duterte has only to steady the course and we are on the way to prosperity. The demise of the Aquino myth is behind us now and no one mourns.
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