By Rudy D. Liporada
[su_dropcap style=”flat”]W[/su_dropcap]ith his recent State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte, while he read most part of his teleprompted speech and veered away from it with his usual ‘F’ loaded tirade, revealed further that he is nothing but a butangero, a bully, bellicose, and buang.
Dubbed earlier by Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), as butangero, Duterte spoke in the demeanor of a gangster or a hoodlum, spewing phrases which were unpresidential and downright street ruffianish. At any rate, he himself admitted that he had been in and out of prison when he was a kid anyway.
Along with his being goonish, topping his agenda with the continued war against his failed six-months and extended eradication of the drug problem in the country, he will continue to bully the helpless poor drug users who he blames to be the scourge that deter the nation from developing. And like any bully who only victimizes the weaker, he had let the bigger more powerful drug lords scot free. To date, the extra-judicial killings of his victims must be running to over 10,000.
Reacting also to Sison calling him a bully, Duterte responds that he is indeed a bully – “a bully to the enemies of the state.” He would later, childishly, belittle the New People’s Army (NPA) saying that he has the Armed Forces of the Philippines behind him while the NPA only have the indigenous Lumads. In his bellicosity, one wonders if he was really a former member of the Kabataang Makabayan or, in his old age, has forgotten the theory of protracted struggle which the NPA has embraced in their guerilla warfare. He fails or refuses to understand that the NPA has been growing in quantity and quality since its founding 48 years ago – that Lumads are just relatively recent addition to the revolutionary forces.
While he had used buang to describe harsher than crazy those who oppose him and applied the word even to Magellan, he himself had been tag as buang by leftist personalities. Buang because he fails to understand that the drug problem of the Philippines is not the main reason why the country is not progressing. It is, in fact, just an offshoot of the feudal and colonial status of the country. Buang because of his thinking that he could hoodwink the revolutionaries to laying down their arms through the peace talks without agreeing to the deemed solutions to the arm struggle – that of finding the social and economic solutions for the emancipation of the peasants and true industrialization without foreign domination. Buang for thinking that he could quash graft and corruption when he venerates the father of all graft and corruption, Ferdinand E. Marcos, by allowing the dictator to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Buang for not fulfilling his campaign promises – kicking out the US imperialist forces from the Philippines, not kowtowing to any foreign country, bannering true land reform, disallowing contractualization of workers among others.
Buang because, like Marcos, who does he think he is that he could quell Muslim fighters in Mindanao? Terrorists aside, Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines may be dormant at times but the Spanish and American colonizers and Marcos were never really able to subjugate them, how could Duterte? The current Maute fighters, reported only to be a handful and for which reason the whole of Mindanao was placed under martial law, appears not to be being depleted but growing in numbers. The Maute appears to be the latest mutation of Muslim rebels who had risen from the earlier fighting groups.
Buang because, unlike Marcos who during his time, the NPAs were just starting and a much weaker force operating only in Central Luzon and the Sierra Madres in the Cagayan Valley, and who appears to be strategically and tactically more proficient than him; Duterte is facing an NPA that has been tempered in 48 years of guerilla warfare and is now dotting almost all the islands in the Archipelago. If Marcos was not able to quell the NPA then, Duterte must really be buang to imagine that he could defeat them. He had already even used bombs with his fighter planes, flattening the mountains, to kill NPAs but, to date, no NPA fighter had been reported to have been killed by any of those expensive bombs. Nonetheless, worse than Marcos, who has salvaged over 3,000 innocents, Duterte has already killed over 10,000 people. Marcos also detained deemed law-breakers. Duterte apparently would not like to take prisoners and just have his police force shoot victims in the guise of self-defense.
Buang because he thinks that he controls the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who he admits is US influenced. The fact is he even admits that if there is a coup, “nakakahiya,” he says. By having his cabinet riddled with ex-generals, he has established a virtual military junta. He has also said that he seeks the advice of the military of when to lift martial law or not. Meaning, he fears the military despite his like in command stance. In this regard, he would even protect soldiers who would rape in their course of duty.
Moreover, buang because his dangling martial law all over the Islands is covering up his failures to deliver on his promises. Blaming the Muslims and the NPAs as forces to be suppressed, Duterte is diverting attention from his failure to propagate genuine land reform and industrialization. While he might have cosmetique patches of solutions to some situations like solving some problems for OFWs in processing their papers and the like, overall, the Duterte is directionless in alleviating the hardships of the majority of the Filipinos.
Lastly, if the slide of the peso to 50 to a dollar is any indication, he is buang to claim that the economy of the Philippines has progressed within his past year of administration.
All in all, D also rhymes with T. Bahala na NGA kayo to guess what T stands for.