By Danilo P. Padua, PhD
I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears when I heard FPRRD uttered those unsavory and un-presidential statements a few days ago about our current president, PBBM. He made it in front of national (naturally, international) television audience.
FPRRD perhaps thinks that it is campaign time? He said about PBBM, “We have an addict president”. He further related that he saw a PDEA drug watch list where PBBM was alleged to be in it. He said those words and information emphatically, and in all seriousness. He appear to mean every word of it. How on earth can a former president unabashedly let those words fly with abandon to his successor, to the detriment of the country? And he calls PBBM his friend!
With a friend like him, who needs an enemy?
I can not recall a former president (from Pres. Diosdado Macapagal to Pres. Noynoy Aquino), ever did similar attack on TV, to his/her successor. It was always the other way around.
FPRRD is a well-loved president of the republic, of course. He still had a sky-high rating of more than 80% approval when he left office, the only former Philippine president to be so rated. But this does not give him a license to quack like he did.
He was in effect insinuating that the 31 million people who voted for PBBM were not intelligent enough since they voted for a “damaged good” as head of state.
I personally believe and applauded Pres. Duterte for doing a lot of good for the country during his term such as building so much infrastructure necessary for our economic upturn, providing safer and more peaceful environment for our citizens, and many more. Because of these, not only a few called him the best ever president we’ve ever had.
It seems that those accolades got to his sensibilities, and concluded that perhaps he had the best method of running the affairs of the country. Anybody who will not follow his path will be a failure? He is probably measuring the performance of PBBM based on his own yardstick. Finding him wanting, he unwisely ranted and utter those inglorious, damaging words.
FPRRD’s fulmination somehow dented the credibility of Marcos Jr which could probably impact negatively our efforts to invite foreign investors and dampen our march to a better economic performance. The former president could have lambasted PBBM for all he cares, in a more private way, not in the spotlights of television.
I think with what he did, he wasn’t able to gain more adherents. He may have been correct but I know of people who criticized him for the manner that he chose to convey his alleged information.
Problem is, he was repudiated by both PDEA and PNP who both said that PBBM was never in a list, past or present, of any of their drug watch list. With these, the Duterte diatribe was put in its proper place.
Fortunately, the reaction of PBBM to the Duterte diatribe was a tongue-in-cheek statement of the probable effect of a medicine that FPRRD was taking for his headache.
In subsequent news, he continued to spout some un-presidential statements. He was already talking about Mindanao becoming independent from the Philippine republic. He was telling the Muslims, “magkaisa tayo mga kapatid na Muslim, pero gawin natin ang tamang proseso”. He was toying with a “legal way” to make this happen. That’s a figment of his imagination that was quickly doused by Mindanao solons and other legal luminaries. It’s impossible to legally happen, was the verdict.
As this article was being written, a news came out on TV that the country harvested more than 20million metric tons of palay, the highest ever for the country. Also that that the gross domestic product of the country for 2023 was 5.6% which was lower than that of 2022 (7.6%) but was higher than the market expectations, according to our economic managers.
Is this also a repudiation of the allegation that we have an addict president?
For the good of the country, we should all hope that a so called Marcos-Duterte rift will not ripen into a full-blown falling off. Likewise that FPRRD will temper his campaign-like statements in public. His good accomplishments should not be sullied by poor public exposures. Also that PBBM, if ever he was into drugs before or now (judging by how he carries himself in public, I personally believe he is not into this menace) should prove to all that he is in control of the government reins. **