If the President dies
By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
This is being written with the reality that the president has appointed many former military officers in high offices in the government and has caused the appointment of others in choice private sector positions. He also increased the salaries of policemen and soldiers to as high as about nine times the usual dirt rates of the lowest ranked.
In short, the police and the military love the President. So a coup would be very unlikely.
But what if he dies before his term ends? As shown by footages on how he was during the PMA graduation last month, this question is very valid and begs to be answered. He almost fell while walking and almost fell from the vehicle he was trying to board for the parade and review part of the ceremonies.
If he dies before his term, I think the vice-president will not be allowed to take over. How about his daughter Sarah? Her presidential aspirations would also be dead in the water.
The reins of government will be taken over by the military. Theirs would be the only group capable of doing so. This is due to their organization and the power of the barrel of the gun.
The vice-president could run the government if she is backed by the military but the latter don’t look at her as competent enough. Thus, preventing her from taking over as president would be looked at by the military as the patriotic thing to do.
Then what will happen next? There will be a military junta that will run the government. Will they call for an election so a civilian government could be formed to which they will hand over power? Very unlikely. My guess is the junta will continue ruling the country until the right time comes when it would be wise to call an election. When will that be? Perhaps on the 12th of never.
Only political pressure from outside like that from the US can force them to call an election. But there is also the China and Russia factors. These powerful countries can back the junta and the US would be powerless. So the junta could rule forever. Yet if the members are really patriotic and realize that most progressive countries in the world are democracies, they might find it in their hearts to allow the establishment of a democracy.
The next question is, what kind of governance would a junta wield. It will be militaristic or dictatorial. A lot of our freedoms would be abridged. Most of the power of the fourth estate will be clipped. Such would be considered too much freedom. Most of the media outfits will be closed down.
How about the economy? It will go on a tailspin and everybody will become a lot poorer. This will be exacerbated by rampant corruption as checks and balances would be gone.
We would slide down even further from being a third world country to a basket case.
So I pray as everybody must pray for the survival of the president until his duly elected successor takes over.
Who will be running for president in 2022? One line up I heard will be headed by Sarah for president with Mark Villar for vice president. Good luck. **