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Can Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hack the presidency?
True, there are many who want him to be president of the Philippines, since he did a job of bringing in peace and order to the city, amid his violations of the law and the Constitution, which appears to be his only qualification, as far as his admirers and propagandists claim.
However, can Duterte replicate even just this in the entire Philippines?
There certainly are a lot of serious doubts. Davao City, led by a tough-talking, cussing and dictatorial mayor is just a tiny speck in the entire Philippines. As mayor, and the chief local executive, he can afford to bow to no one. The police bow to him, not to the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), national and local offices. The businessmen bow to him, mainly because they fear him and his waysa and accept his dictatorial rule, because they are being protected from so-called crminals and even non-criminals, who are shot dead Even the leftist guerrillas bow to him, as does the Davao Death Squad. One can even venture to say that the local courts may be bowing to him.
Stated differently, Duterte is the king of Davao City — and only in Davao City, where he holds power and authority.
Transfer Duterte to Manila holding court in every city, municipality, province and regions. Can he really bring about peace and order to the country in the same way he did in Davao City? Can he even control the military even if he is president? And can he control both Houses of Congress, not to mention the Supreme Court?
As president, he can’t even tell the mayors how to do their jobs, since the mayors are kings in their respective kingdoms and districts. Not even the Metro Manila Development Authority can order and force Metro Manila mayors to follow MMDA orders. What makes Duterte and his admirers think Davao can be replicated in the entire Philippines?
Duterte can’t even have form a death squad in Metro Manila, as the Commission on Human Rights and the courts of justice can get him on this, even if he is president.
And, as president, Duterte has to follow the Constitution. He gets away with it in Davao City but certainly not in the Metro Manila courts of justice, especially the Supreme Court.
One has heard only about Duterte’s achievement of bringing about peace and order in Davao City. But has anybody heard about a Davao City pro-poor plan? Are the residents in Davao all prosperous economically, or is it just the businessmen who get the huge share of the economic growth? Has he done anything for the senior citizens, the needy and the sick — in the sense that these should be more than what the law requires? What about education? Are there enough classrooms for students, and are these students getting quality education?
What about inflation, the economy, the foreign policies? It’s not only about China and the Philippines row. What about corruption in government? Will he kill all the corrupt in government?
The presidency is not just about bringing in peace and order in the country. It is not about talking tough and peppering every sentence with a cuss word, which is very unpresidential.
The presidency is not about having people killed by a death squad simply because they did not obey the law or that they are political foes. The courts exist for this very thing — to determine whether or not the law was violated, and if guilty, then convicted and given a sentence. It should not be, and never should be, the President who decides who is to be killed, to be imprisoned, because the law is being violated.
There is what is called “due process” which even the Davao mayor and even the President of the country must bow to. But Duterte has that reputation of not heeding due process or even the law.
If that is all Duterte can do, bring about peace and order, then he need not be president. He only needs to be a secretary of interior and local government, since this is the job of a DILG secretary.
What has Rodrigo Duterte really done for Davao City outside of ushering peace and order in his city through constant violations of the Constitution?
And yet he has the face to claim that the Constitution must be followed, which is why he says the country cannot have an American in Malacañang.
Fine. But at the same time, the country cannot have a president who constantly, has proven in Davao City under Duterte, a certified “punisher” who has gotten away literally with murder.
And the worst part of it all is that the so-called PDP-Laban, headed by a father and son who claim to be human rights advocates, want him to become president. For them, human rights hang. Power is what they want under a Duterte presidency.
Most everyone wondered why Sen. Pia Cayetano, a lawyer, voted, along with the other four senator-judges for the dismissal of the quo warranto case filed at the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) by Rizalito David.
After all, being a lawyer, she must have known that based on the documents alone and the constitutional issues pertaining to the requirements for senators, vice presidential and presidential bets are to be followed, and that even international laws to which the country is not a signatory, are inferior to our Constitution. Then too, if she does read up on Philippine jurisprudence as lawyers should do, she must also know that vox populi cannot be applied if the candidate lacks the necessary qualifications mandated by the Constitution as the candidacy is void from the start.
The senator, having finished law school and earned a degree must also have known that the DQ issue is not about foundlings’ rights but the questioned natural born status of Grace Poe.
However, it is now becoming a bit clearer why Pia Cayetano voted with the majority — now that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has, as he put it crossed the Rubicon, and will definitely run for the presidency, with Pia Cayetano’s brother, Alan, as his running mate.
As Pia herself admitted publicly, she has always been for Duterte and will be campaigning actively for him.
And as Duterte himself stated, he is running because he does not want an American to be in Malacañang, and even stressed that if the SET does not change its vote on an MR, he will definitely run for the presidency.
It now certainly looks like a well laid out plan hatched by the Cayetanos-Duterte strategists long before the Davao mayor had the urong-sulong style of portraying himself as a presidential candidate.
Pia voted along the plan laid out by the Duterte-Cayetano tandem, and certainly not for the sake of the rights of foundlings in the country. It was to make sure that the SET would rule that Poe is a natural born Filipino, to usher in the candidacy of Duterte.
It also explains why Alan Cayetano has been spending so much on his posters and tarpaulins showing him and Duterte as partners for change even after Duterte had already stated too many times that he was not running. Period.
The tandem knew it was still a go for them for the two top posts.
In reality, there is nothing wrong with Duterte and Cayetano running for the top two posts. What is intrinsically wrong if for a senator-judge to come up with not only a political vote as a ploy to make certain that (1) her candidate, Duterte, will now have the “justification” to run for the presidency using the SET majority vote to qualify Poe and (2) for her brother Alan to improve his chances of winning the vice presidency.
Obviously, the other SET member, Bam Aquino’s vote also had an ulterior motive and certainly was not based on his rights of the foundlings’ case, but was based on ensuring that the Liberal Party, to which he belongs, is finally rid of the public suspicion that the LP is behind the disqualification case against Grace Poe, since he, an LP, vote against the DQ of Grace.
As some of the senator-judges admitted, Poe still faces numerous disqualification cases before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) not only on the issue of her questioned natural born status, but also on her residency and domicile issues, which would disqualify her easily, being documents-based.
And then too, in the end, it will be the Supreme Court (SC) that will rule on Grace Poe’s natural born status following constitutional lines as well as her 10-year residency and her domicile issues.
After all, for the senators who voted along political lines and the non-issue of foundlings’ rights, even if the SC rules that there has been an abuse of discretion, jurisdiction and their not having judicial integrity, there is really no penalty for them to speak of.
But with Duterte’s campaign spiel of not wanting to see an American in Malacañang may well be a great irony for the tandem, as Alan Cayetano may well be a dual citizen, as his mother is an American, even if his father is Filipino.
Thus far, no one has checked on whether Alan Cayetano, a half-American-half Filipino senator and vice presidential candidate, has dual citizenship.
Fate may well play tricks on the tandem.
Like Rody Duterte or not, what is evident, should he finally decide to run for the presidency as a substitute presidential candidate under the Pilipino Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban banner, that is, if the early withdrawal and disqualification of former PDP Laban presidential bet, Martin Diño’s void certificate of candidacy for mayor is not declared void by the poll body.
Duterte will be hurting the chances of Grace Poe in winning the presidency, since he has claimed that he is running for the top post because Poe is not a true-blue Filipino, not being a natural born Filipino citizen.
Of course, Duterte being Duterte, has again come up with another condition for him to run for the presidency, the latest of which is that if the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) does not reverse its ruling, he will run for the presidency in 2016.
Should Duterte run for the presidency, his campaign may be more focused on Grace than on his own candidacy, and once it is finally resolved by the high court, Grace may just have to step out completely from politics.
Thus far, it has only been Poe who, in all her sorties, always debunks even opinions from justices as meaningless, and insists she is a natural born citizen and for a time, got away with it, while playing on public sympathy for the foundlings. No other presidential bet has really focused his campaign on Poe’s lack of qualifications for the presidency. Only Duterte appears to be doing this, which, as mentioned earlier, will impact negatively on Poe.
Poe and her lawyers won the first round, with the majority of politicians in the SET rooting for her, despite the clear violation of the law and the Constitution. But it is unlikely that the majority of the Supreme Court (SC), if it does not get unanimity, would go along with the majority decision of the SET, since clearly, these five senators, can hardly go against what is clearly stated in the Constitution and which has nothing to do with the issue of foundlings but on Poe not being a natural born citizen and unqualified to run for that post.
But just to prove how hypocritical Poe and her rooters are in claiming that they had voted not for Grace but for all the foundlings, along with the crap of no foundling can ever hope to be doctors and whatever profession else, plus their being barred from politics, such foundlings can even aspire to run for, and be elected to, the House of Representatives. Only senators, vice presidents and presidents are required to be natural born Filipinos.
Had these five senators, plus Grace and Chiz Escudero, really bled over the political fate of these foundlings, one may well ask: What the hell were they doing all that time they were seated in the Senate and Congress for the foundlings?
Did any of them, both in the House and the Senate, introduce a bill for the foundlings in the country, to ensure that they are natural born? Has any of them spoken of the need to amend the Constitution to accommodate these poor foundlings? Nada. Zilch. And now they claim to bleed for the foundlings in the country whom they said are denied their civil and political rights. Such hypocrisy is being bared by these politicians led by Grace Poe.
The three SC justices who are SET members have thoroughly explained their dissenting vote following the Constitution, compared to the five SET politicians who voted to dismiss the Quo Warranto case whose opinions were only two to three pages long, without even even presenting any argument quoting the Constitution and judicial precedents, because they knew that their arguments won’t stand constitutionally.
But it will be incumbent on the SC not to drag its feet in resolving this issue on the lack of qualification of Poe as a presidential candidate. So should the Commission on Elections quickly resolve the four petitions for Poe’s disqualification. The three SET SC justices, all of whom are experts in law and the Constitution, have made it easy for the Comelec and even the SC, if it comes to that, for the poll body to resolve these cases quickly and not wait for May, 2016, to issue their resolutions.
It is the least that they can do for the people of the Philippines, who must, as the Constitution mandates, vote in a president vice president and senators who are natural born citizens and who have not renounced and abjured (in Tagalog, abjure means kinasusuklaman) the Philippines, the flag and its people.
We cannot have a foreigner as the country’s president with a foreign husband and children, and more importantly, we cannot have a president who betrayed the country by renouncing her Filipino citizenship.
Go for it, Rody Duterte. Hit her hard, whether you run for the top post or not.
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