October 12, 2020

Pres. Duterte to trap Cayetano today? Alan Peter still has way out

Evidence suggests that President Rodrigo Duterte may have put Speaker Cayetano on the horns of a dilemma, between Scylla and Charybdis, between the devil and the deep blue sea, between a rock and a hard place. 

But before we go any further, let me state that the special sessions that President Duterte ordered [0] should be enough to pass the 2021 National Budget in the House of Representatives. That is, the nation’s primary concern, a COVID-19 budget, should not be a problem anymore, thanks to PRRD’s intervention.

With that said, we can now discuss the secondary issue, the ongoing speakership war.

October 6, 2020

Duterte's precarious hold on power and the future of the Liberal Party

Being a Philippine President is like being the driver of the car called "the Philippine Government." Winning in 2016 is Duterte driver's license, but a license is not enough. 

Duterte also needs (1) fuel for the engines, and (2) lubricants to keep the car's parts from breaking down. He fuels the car with tax revenues then he lubricates its parts using political power so that other politicians – the car parts – follow his lead.

To be an effective president, Duterte needs a constant supply of funds (mostly via tax money) and political power (political influence). Unfortunately, the President is currently having difficulty securing both.

First, COVID-induced economic contractions mean lower tax collections. 

But lower revenues have a pretty straightforward solution: austerity measures coupled with loans until the economy gets back on its feet. Diminished influence, however, is much more complicated. 

Second, some of the President's supposedly staunchest allies are undermining his political influence.

Recent events indicate an attempt to decimate much of Duterte's political power (the "government lubricant") that will render him unable to make the government car run the way he wants.

For this nation's sake, I do not want that. I need to protect this President until his term ends in June 2022.