I don’t get this president.
It mystifies me that someone who loves his country the way Rodrigo Duterte does would commit this act of treachery on a country he has given his all to.
What for, Mr President? For a job your father got from the dictator ages ago? You think this is a debt that has to be repaid a million times over? Isn’t it enough that your father did his job well?
So as far as political debts go, there is nothing to be repaid. Unless you want to insult your father’s memory and feel the need to be perpetually in debt like your father didn’t do his job well.
Also, political debts are so, you know — trapo? Something I was hoping you would purge us of.
And I could sit with you for 2 minutes–that’s all it will take for me to let you see that a lot of the things you abhor about this country— this mess you struggle to put under control as president can be traced back to the thievery and the lust for power of Ferdinand Marcos and his family of impossibly greedy plunderers and murderers.
And I know–I’ve heard you say why you are allowing this heartbreaking travesty to happen–“He’s a soldier. The law says soldiers can be buried at the LNMB.”
You can’t just stop there though. Context is everything, Mr. President.
A most dishonorable soldier who faked his medals (fact #1), who went on to become the country’s biggest plunderer and murderer (fact #2). Someone who stole from us our honor and dignity as a nation.
Like those narco-generals you despise so much.
I heard you last night reading the list of govt officials who, as it turns out, had chosen to be drug coddlers. How you cursed them. “You have destroyed our country, you traitors!”, you said, so impassioned.
And yet, you turn around and confer lightly what so few of us take lightly–a place at the LNMB to someone who has betrayed his country a million times over and someone so unlike any Philippine president that ever sat in office for the magnitude of destruction he wrought while he sat in office (and even in death, this asshole still has the capacity to destroy us) .
You say you hate corruption—and it is apparent that you do. And yet you turn a blind eye on the corrupt son of the most corrupt president this country has ever had–someone who, himself, is a plunderer like his father.
You say you hate abuse of power as well as arrogance. And you say this while you do butterfly kisses with a most abusive and a most arrogant plunderer’s son–Bongbong Marcos.
There will be hell to pay for this act of treachery you are about to commit, Mr President. And I am sorry to tell you generations of Filipinos will pay for the willful amnesia you force on us.
And a lot of good that you’ve done gets undone with this forgetting. This is the tragedy you visit on your presidency and our people.
It was the writer George Orwell who said, “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
This, sir, is what you have set your hand on.
**Art work by Pablo Baens Santos, “Krista (Female Christ)”, oil on canvas, 1984, Ateneo Art Gallery Collection**