May 24, 2016

#KungAkoSiRody: Duterte Cabinet: I'm 71 and you're still a child to me

I, Rodrigo Duterte, can admit that, at first glance, some of my preliminary cabinet choices do not meet your expectations. Just like past administrations, you were expecting me to appoint martyrs with scot-free reputations. Thus, I can just imagine the shock that you felt after hearing about the first few men that I invited to the fold. News outlets were quick to judge me. They said I am ruffling feathers in my own circle [Rappler], and that I am just appointing KKK or kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan [Inq].

(In the #KungAkoSiRody article series, ThinkingPinoy attempts to “play the political Game of Thrones” by pretending to be President Rodrigo Duterte.)

It’s too late to “kurakot”.

I am 71 years old. I am probably in my last decade, and I will be the most ancient president this country has ever had. The only politician older than me is that fossil that goes by the name of “Juan Ponce Enrile”.

JPE himself drew this cave painting during the last Ice Age.

Throughout my over 40-or-so years as a government prosecutor and a public official in Davao City, I have never been entangled in any serious corruption scandal. Putang ina, throughout the three presidential debates, where every candidate was throwing corruption allegations at each other, didn’t you even notice that no one tried to throw one at me?

Yes, Trillanes’ P2.4 billion BPI Julia Vargas allegation counts as a major scandal. However, let me ask the question: why did people give credence to Trillanes, whose word is less valuable than a pothole in EDSA? The answer is simple: people believed it because it was so unbelievable. Just read what ThinkingPinoy wrote a few weeks ago and you’ll see what I mean [TP: BPI Julia Vargas].

I will be your president for the next six years. If I will “kurakot” all your money and assuming that I will reach the ripe age of 80 years, I will have a full four years to enjoy the loot. Wouldn’t that be stupid, let alone fact that I will be destroying my family’s good name in the process for the rest of eternity? That's just stupid.

Here's a tip: watch less "Ang Probinsiyano" and more of "House of Cards". It helps.

I hate spoon-feeding explanations but let me break this down for you.

I never forgot Jojo.

Let me remind you about what happened to the fallen Vice-president Jejomar Binay.

Jojo always dreamed of becoming the country’s president. He was so eager that he announced his presidential plans in as early as 2014. Adding the fact that he topped all voter preference surveys at the time, he became the prime target of all his political rivals.

For a glorious 20 months’ worth of senate investigations, he was tried, scourged, and crucified [Rappler]. His rating took a death drop because of that [Inq]. If it weren’t for that long-drawn investigation, no one among Roxas, Poe, and I could have stood a chance against him.

Moral of the Story: Don’t reveal your plans too early. Let your enemies discover them when it’s already too late. 

But for your benefit, let me give you a glimpse of what I plan to do.

I do not micromanage.

The government is one gigantic monster of an organization, and reining it in requires the help of people that I can entrust my life to, people who I know will stick with me even when the going gets rough. I do not want to fill my core team with the likes of Joey Salceda, who basically raised the definition of turncoatism to a whole ‘nother level [Inq].

When I said a Trudeau-esque cabinet [TP: Trudeau], I was referring to positions below cabinet secretaryships. Why? Because hiring outsiders at the onset is risky for my still-fragile hold on power, and outsiders are more likely to be overwhelmed by the political pressures that their prospective positions will entail. You might have worked in an office before so you’re probably familiar with office politics. Now, multiply that by a million and that’s the kind of shit cabinet secretaries go through every single day.
Now, as soon as I get comfortable in MalacaƱan, then that may be the time when I let qualified outsiders in. But for now, I will limit this meritocratic Trudeau thing to undersecretaryships and lower positions. Don’t be picky, I am already generous as it is. Just look at PNoy who never even bothered discussing his choices before he occupied the palace.

Now, it’s time to talk about those politically-charged presumptive cabinet appointees. I know that's what you're itching to know.

I know the art of saying “No!”

Let’s assume that I chose the crappiest possible cabinet members and that fact had you thoroughly pissed. What you forgot, however, is that I still have over a month to go before I get sworn in. Did you know that PNoy announced his cabinet just a day before he took office [Mirror]? Meanwhile, I pretty much showed you my plans a day after I got elected. Didn’t it even occur to you that something is off?

Let me teach you one thing about politics: a leader should know how to say no without saying no.

Imagine this, Governor Trapo flies from Manila to Davao City, visits me at Matina Enclaves, and kisses my ass so he can ask a favor. You, the wise-ass idealist, would want me to say no, so I say no. Thus, a fuming Governor Trapo angrily leaves the Matina Enclaves and will then start plotting something against me as soon as he gets home.

That’s exactly what Mar Roxas did to me when I declined his offer to be his vice-presidential running mate [Inquirer]. Buang na 'yon.
Thus, instead of an outright “No,” I say “Yes,” and let Mr. Trapo and the media think I said yes. Because it’s still a month to go before oath-taking, I basically fed Mr. Trapo to the wolves. Yes, you and the rest of the country are the wolves. Mr. Trapo will be roasted in every major newspaper, every major TV network, on every AM radio station, to a point where I can just tell him in June, “Look, I want you, but the Filipinos clearly don’t.”

But what if Governor Trapo turns out to be more shameless than I thought? Then here comes my Plan B.

I keep my friends close, but I keep my enemies closer.

Let’s assume that despite public hatred, Mr. Trapo still insists on staying. Of course, I can just eventually fire Mr. Trapo as soon as he fucks up. But what if he abuses his power so subtly that no one notices it right away? Now, suppose Mr. Trapo is one thick-skinned motherfucker, then it’s time to cite two things:
  1. My future Executive Order FOI, and
  2. 26 September 2019
I am not Congress so I virtually have no power over the passing of the FOI bill – that’s the legislature’s job. However, I am the God of the Executive Department, so I can just impose FOI on all of my subordinates [Inq]. Did you forget what I said last week? I said all applicants in bureaus and government corporations must agree to have their names published [Star]. Now, combine the FOI EO with the knowledge of who to attack via the list of names, then you will obviously have a field day haranguing Mr. Trapo.

I will use your investigative reports to find damning evidence against Mr. Trapo, and successfully put him behind bars in as early as 26 September 2019.

What’s with 26 September 2019?

By 26 September 2019, eight of the fifteen Supreme Court will be my appointees. This is because SC Justices Perez, Brion, Reyes, Mendoza, Velasco, de Castro, del Castillo, and Jardeleza, would have have already retired by then [TP: SC Math]. If I wait for one more month, Bersamin and Carpio would have also retired, so that 10 of the 15 justices will be under my influence.
Supreme Court Justices, labelled according to decreasing seniority. The 8th oldest (newly-appointed Jardeleza, shown in image is predecessor Abad), will retire on 26 September 2019. That is, Duterte would have appointed 8 out of 15 (majority) of SC judges by the end of 2019 [TP: Supreme Court Math].

Wouldn’t that be lovely? Yes, Mr. Trapo will have nowhere to go, and isn’t that what you wanted all along?

My unpredicatibility is my greatest asset, that's how I won the presidential race against all odds. Yet here you are, thinking that you can easily read all of my intentions.

You give yourself too much credit.

My child, there's a reason why I am president... and you are not. (ThinkingPinoy)

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