By Jun Ledesma

Confusing the enemy

PRESIDENT Rodrigo  Duterte is a killjoy. He just told Leni Robredo to shut up. In this time of the pandemic, I can fault the President for depriving us of the hilarious remarks of the Vice President. She has a natural talent for comedic repartees which are veritable catharsis given the problems that beset the country and those of other nations as well. 

Don’t mind her. There is only one person who made his way to Malacanang Palace who creatively allowed himself to be the butt of the jokes -- Erap. But he did not complete his term as his Bacchanalian politics did not sit well with the people.  

I do not think that China, which donated 1-million doses of Sinovac Coronavax,  is taking VP Robredo’s position to subject the vaccines to a review by the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC). After all, over a dozen countries all over the world are using it for their mass immunization program with their heads of state getting the first jab. For a Vice President who had been in the tail end of surveys for probable presidential bets,  ungrateful remarks do not ruffle the feathers of the Chinese donors. Besides even before it creates a ripple, HTAC issued a statement that they are in accord with the Food and Drug Administration decision that issued an Emergency Use Authority to Sinovac.

The absurdity that  Robredo herself commits is a rib-tickler. 

But what can be more amusing than when she finds the survey results on the 2022 “presidentiables”  foreboding as the figures showed Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte a runaway winner. She raised the specter of what the Philippines will be if another Duterte will occupy Malacanang. 

Ako para sa akin, kailangan natin ‘yun seryosong pag-aralan. Bakit ba ‘yung karamihan sa mga Pilipino, attracted sa ganitong pamumuno. Kailangan natin ‘yun harapin. So sa akin I think maraming mensahe. Marami yung malalim na mensahe kung bakit ganon at kailangan harapin natin ‘yun. kasi kung hindi natin yun haharapin, hindi natin masusulusyonan ‘yung ating mga problema bilang isang bansa."

This is a classic convoluted statement coming from a Vice President and figuring out what she wants to convey is quite a challenge. Is she saying that perchance Inday Sara will run and becomes President the problems of the country will not be solved?  Is she saying that she and the moribund opposition alone have the solution and that those who said “yes” to another Duterte presidency must rethink their position?

Such an affront could prod Inday Sara to run. But now Pulse Asia is saying a Bong Go - PRRD tandem is another bankable pair. However, Bong is quick to issue a statement he is not interested in. Inday Sara says the same thing but she says something cryptic in Cebuano recently which roughly translated can offer a hint to the political watchers: “whatever position I run comes October,  I, as in the past, will never authorize anyone to solicit campaign funds for my candidacy." 

Confusing a confused enemy. All that the VP could say of late is that the Duterte administration is a “murderous regime”.  Shades of Maria Ressa who once declared on CBS TV that the Philippines “is worse than any war zone”.  Indeed if you have characters who do not mince words to destroy the image of the country, you need not look for an enemy as they are right in your doorsteps. 


About the Columnist

Image of Jun Ledesma

Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.