I am Rodrigo Duterte and on June 30th, god willing, I will become the 16th president of this republic. Yes, I won the May 9th elections by landslide, despite all the machinations of the ruling Liberal Party [TP: Smartmatic]. Who would have thought that a penniless, foul-mouthed probinsiyano like me would blindside all of my well-prepared rivals? Just imagine all the money they threw out the window, while I managed to get free publicity on Facebook and Twitter.
I hope Mar Roxas’ accountant isn’t contemplating suicide right now [TP: Roxas Campaign Spending].
(In the #KungAkoSiRody article series, ThinkingPinoy attempts to “play the political Game of Thrones” by pretending to be President Rodrigo Duterte.)
A Precarious Hold on PowerJust like ThinkingPinoy explained before, despite my overwhelming mandate, I am fully aware of my precarious hold on power. After all, I cannot deliver on my promises if I get rendered toothless or worse, get removed from office, before the year ends. In particular, there are three things that will impede my plans. These are:
- LP’s “Plan B”, where Leni takes over my place.
- Traditional Politicians (TraPos), who want a piece of the action.
- The CBCP, who wants to impose their morals on Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
- The Supreme Court (SC) and it’s love for judicial review.
- Congress and its potential resistance to my policies.
There’s actually a fourth impediment – yellow journalists – but I have always been known, even in Davao City, to be an advocate of free speech. I’ll “putang ina mo” the Philippine Daily Inquirer once in a while, but I’ll basically leave media alone. As I’ve said before: I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
SIDE NOTE: I said before that Disraeli coined that phrase, but it’s actually Voltaire who allegedly said ”Monsieur l'abbé, je déteste ce que vous écrivez, mais je donnerai ma vie pour que vous puissiez continuer à écrireI (Monsieur l'abbé, detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write)”. Sorry naman, matanda na e.
Regarding LP’s Plan B, I have taken care of that courtesy of Villar’s appointment [TP: Mark Villar] and my newly-inked alliance with NPC [CNN]. Along with the Grace Poe bloc, I can be sure that any impeachment proceeding will never receive a two-thirds senate majority.
Hehehe, this is what you call Political Poetry, my child.
CBCP’s Noisy BishopsRegarding the CBCP’s paranoid, overly outspoken bishops, I believe that the Philippines is ready for a more secular leadership. After all, I won the elections despite all the vitriol thrown at me by the Liberal Party Parish Priest, Bishop Socrates Villegas [TP: Duterte vs CBCP]. I consider the May Elections as a referendum by the Filipino People, i.e. whether my countrymen will listen to my message, or to that of the Catholic Bishops. They obviously chose the former.
However, I still am uncertain on whether I have enough political capital to survive a constant barrage of words from the clergy or not. To clear that issue, I did a litmus test. Just a few days ago, I slammed the CBCP for criticizing my legislative agenda, making me the first president to have the balls to go against church leadership. This move is a double-edged sword.On one hand, positive public reaction will validate my theory. On the other hand, an outpouring of public support for the bishops will prove me wrong. Luckily, I am not the president yet, so I can still take advantage of plausible deniability.
Hindi pa ako presidente, di ba? Fortunately, it appears that the most of the public agrees with what I say.
The Supreme Court and Judicial ReviewThe 1987 Constitution bestows upon the SC the power of Judicial Review, which allows it to destroy any law, including presidential EOs and other executive regulations[MS]. The SC has used it several times to incapacitate the Aquino Administration: for the EO 1 or the Truth Commision [GMA]; for EO 2 against Midnight Appointees [Rappler]; for the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) [Star]; for the Reproductive Health Law [Inq]; for Online Libel per Cybercrime Law [AJ]; and the list goes on and on.
Now, I do not want these associate justices to encumber me with a barrage of temporary restraining orders, as these TROs, which last for at least 30 days, will ensure my failure to meet my self-imposed three-to-six-month crime-fighting deadline [CNN]. So how will I avoid TRO’s?
Let me ask you: why did I bother to spend tons of political capital just to reach out to former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (PGMA)?
Second and more importantly, remember that the current SC is made of six PNoy appointees and nine PGMA appointees [TP: SC Math]. This essentially implies a majority is more likely to sympathize with PGMA. That’s something I can use to my advantage. I am a Pinoy Machiavelli [BW], remember?
My overwhelming mandate plus the PGMA gesture, decreases the likelihood of an antagonistic SC. That way, I can evade a lot of annoying TROs until 26 September 2019, the date on which I would have appointed eight SC justices [TP: SC Math].
As I’ve said before, “I’m willing to stake my honor, my position & my life. Lilinisin ko ang bayang ito. [MS]”, and if that entails striking a deal with the devil, then so be it.
Now that I have taken care of LP’s “Plan B”, TraPos, CBCP, and the Supreme Court, the last obstacle remains: Congressional Resistance.
You see, I come from PDP-Laban, an excruciatingly tiny political party, with just one member in the Senate [Rappler] and three members in Crocodile Park, more commonly known as the House of Representatives [GMA]. In short, Congress can pretty much cock-block my every move, so I lured both budding idealists and the usual political butterflies towards my side.
Regarding the House of Representatives, I have managed to attract 290 to form a supermajority of 90 percent in the House of Representatives [Inq]. But it’s not just about creating a coalition: I made it harder for turncoats to go back to wherever they came from. Those former LP members who betrayed Mar Roxas and SR Metals [TP:Mining Crony]? I forced them to join PDP-Laban as full-fledged members, contracts and all, and they signed those documents, probably out of fear and desperation.
Regarding the Senate, I initially had only two Senatorial allies: Cayetano and Pimentel. However, I inked a deal with NPC that adds three more allies (Gatchalian, Legarda, Sotto) [Rappler]. Considering that NPC pretty much controls the “Grace Poe Bloc” [TP: Poe-Danding], that also adds at least four more (Poe, Escudero, Gordon, Zubiri). I also have the support of Villar [TP: Villar] and Angara [Inq]. UNA and LP probably hates my guts, but I can probably count on Pacquiao and Villanueva [Inq] in as far as my legislative agenda is concerned. In short, I got 13 out of 24 senators – a simple majority that’s enough to pass laws – who support me.
Yes, I now control both houses of congress.
SIDE NOTE: Now that I control congress, it will be easy for me to ask Congress to subpoena the owners of websites that steal ThinkingPinoy’s painstaking work. Imagine the epal Trillanes grilling those copyright violators. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Kung gusto niyo kasing magkaroon ng content ang website niyo, magsulat kayo ng sarili niyong content, huwag kayong magnakaw. Sige, hintayin niyo ang June 30. Sige lang.
LP’s Plan B? Check. TraPos? Check. CBCP? Check. Supreme Court? Check. Congress? Check.
I have finally laid out all the groundwork. All that’s left to do now is finalizing my cabinet and I am good to go. Mababago ko na nang tuluyan ang bayang ito. Hindi mo na makilala ang Pilipinas pagbaba ko sa puwesto. Sa sobrang pagbabago, madadaig pa natin ang mga nagpa-retoke sa Bangkok.
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