WHAT happened? I have not seen the faces of the garrulous characters who just last week were so sure they will yank President Rodrgio R. Duterte out of Malacañang. Cardinal Antonio Tagle and a University of the Philippines Chancellor even joined the fray. Tagle had wanted to do a Cardinal Sin believing the words of Bishop Socrates Villegas that there are zillions of Catholic faithfuls listening to him and will spill out to the streets bearing flowers and buns for the soldiers who might stand in the way of their street rallies. I never expected Cardinal Tagle would swallow the venomous homily of Villegas. Having said that, I hope the cardinal will summon the rest of the activist clerics into a retreat and contemplate whether the proverb “Vox Populi, Vox Dei” a Latin proverb which means “The Voice of the People, is the Voice of God”, is true today as it was before.
I was glued on my radio and TV until late in the afternoon, but the Sunday news were bland. Facebook which used to be replete with warnings of repression and threats from the usual anti-Duterte propaganda artists was as bland and uneventful as the empty streets of Edsa. A very optimistic member of the plotters moreover managed to quip, “pagsamasamahin mo ang sumali sa rallies sa iba’t ibang lugar ng bansa, marami-rami naman siguro”.
In Davao City demonstrations and protest rallies are staged without the necessity of a mayor’s permit, the atmosphere is as quiet as it was boring.
People were still talking about the quotes of the irrepressible City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio who was at her best when she presided over the launching of Hugpong ng Pagbabago a day before. “Do not mess with this girl”, she warned the No. 4 most powerful person in the Philippines, House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez.
Mayor Inday was piqued with the Speaker and enumerated five reasons why. According to her Alvarez belittled HnP by claiming that 1. It is without the blessings of President Rodrigo Duterte. 2. That HnP is a product of political dynasty. 3. That she is acting alone. 4. That she and her father are at odds, and 5. The she and the core members of HnP are part of the opposition.
The speaker denied having said that but just the same he waved the white flag.
HnP region is in fact President Duterte’s strongest bastion when he ran for president. Davao City, his turf, delivered a whopping 98% of the city voting populace. This was followed by Davao del Norte, with 96%; Davao del Sur with 95%; Davao Oriental with 85% and Compostela Valley with 76%. The total voting population is over 3-million votes, Mayor Inday stressed during the launching.
The Mayor was not hiding her agenda. If they can deliver those number of votes that made a presidential candidate win when they still belonged to different political parties, now that they are united under HnP, national candidates will have to deal with the party. It is real politics in the works. Mayor Inday explained that it is the only way to go. The Davao Region is a potential growth center of the country. Development programs and projects cannot just be concentrated in Davao City alone, she says. She pointed out that all the provinces, cities and towns of HnP complement each other in terms of food sufficiency, services, industries and opportunities.
Divided, they cannot demand just share of the nation’s wealth from Congress. Together, they can sway national legislators.
Mayor Inday has reignited and resuscitated a genuine and unfinished revolution that could catch fire in other regions that solidly support her father. PDP-Laban was a moribund party which came to life only because of an exigency.
This time a new ideology is being defined. It has nothing to do with numbers, not even with poltical party branding but a lot to do with commitment.
Last weekend, Mayor Inday flew to Macau and Hong Kong to fulfill an engagement to speak and hobnob with thousands of overseas Filipino workers there. There were grand celebrations in these two glittering special regions of China. It was like carnival as the OFWs gathered. It was so different from the morose atmosphere that characterise the EDSA fake revolt which was sponsored by the clerics, the oligarchy and
amply aided by the CIA.
Edsa fizzles as the gale of a new revolution from the south blows.