Will we allow a dictator?

SANTA Banana, I can imagine what can happen to our beloved country if Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Du-Dirty is elected president on May 9!

Upon his proclamation by Congress, Du-Dirty will proclaim a “Revolutionary Government” with him as a virtual dictator, followed by another proclamation abolishing Congress and civil and local government units. This is what the late President Cory Aquino did during the first two years of her administration. She appointed all the local government officials.

Since we all know that Du-Dirty has no respect for the rule of law, he may even abolish the Supreme Court and have a one-man rule.

This way, all attempts to impeach him (because of charges of ill-gotten and hidden wealth) will now become moot and academic.

By doing all these, Du-Dirty obviously forgets that Article II on “Declaration of Principles and State Policies” that Section 3 provides “The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State...”

This is the same provision which ousted former President Joseph Estrada. Military forces started converging at Edsa. Erap had no choice but leave Malacañang in what the Supreme Court ruled as “constructive resignation,” leading to the oath-taking of then Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

This will happen if the people make the wrong choice. This will set us back another two to three decades. As a journalist of over 66 years who have seen the best and the worst of leaders, I cannot visualize what will happen to our country, confronted as it is with seemingly unsolvable problems wrought by poverty and corruption.

But I still believe prayers can move mountains. It is with this thought that I pray for the nation. Our future is now in the hands of God.

It is not only the thought of the presidency of somebody who has no respect for the rule of law that worries me no end.

I also fear that cheating with Smartmatic’s automated electronic machines will be massive, thus frustrating the will of the people. My gulay, if this happens not at the precinct level, but at the transmission stage, the military might also come in as mandated by the Constitution.

Since it’s only BS Aquino and the Liberal Party that have the motivation and the capability to cheat if only to protect BS Aquino from his inevitable of landing in jail when he steps down, next year could well be the crossroad of our democratic way of life.

I’m not an alarmist, just a concerned citizen. If what I fear happens, the country will be pushed over the edge. I am just thinking of possibilities that are obvious enough to see.

* * *

There are two senatorial candidates within striking distance within the Magic 12 circle for the Senate who truly deserve to make it. They are Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino.

Their track records and qualification show that they deserve to be senators. The “malasakit” advocacy of Romualdez is something the country needs at this point after a President like BS Aquino, whose administration utterly lacks sensitivity and compassion for the poor and the needy.

The advocacy of Tolentino for disaster preparedness is also something the country needs. I have seen MMDA chairmen come and go, but in my book, Tolentino has been the best.

Romualdez and Tolentino will inject fresh blood into the Senate.

* * *

The surge of Senator Bongbong Marcos in all poll surveys is not that difficult to explain.

The young Marcos doesn’t only have the charm of Imelda, but the brains of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Bongbong’s track record as governor of Ilocos Norte, congressman and senator speaks for itself. Above all, his advocacy for healing political wounds and unifying the country resonates with the people. Without unity, the nation can never move forward.

* * *

Last week, some former Customs personnel who have since retired saw me and sought my help about their unpaid overtime, transportation and meals while serving the incoming and departing domestic and foreign airlines at Naia’s terminal 1 and 2.

They asked me if it is ever possible for the next administration for the Board of Airlines to comply with the Sept. 11, 2011 ruling of the Supreme Court, penned by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, that mandates domestic and foreign airlines to pay overtime for some 900 Customs personnel. What is ironic is that Immigration and Quarantine personnel who have served, as well, have been paid.

It would seem that Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and a long line of Customs commissioners like Lito Alvarez, Ruffy Biazon, John Philip Sevilla and now Bert Lina did not lift a finger to have the Supreme Court ruling implemented.

Are they now in the payroll of the airlines? It would seem so. Instead of having the Supreme Court ruling implemented, Purisima and the Customs commissioners have not lifted a finger to give 900 or more Customs personnel the justice they deserve.

To make matters worse, the airlines want to reduce their P1.9-billion obligations. The Customs people readily accepted that. Better than nothing, I was told. But despite this reduction, the payment never came.

How tragic.

* * *

When I told the retired Customs personnel to charge the airlines with contempt for not complying with the Supreme Court decision, I was told that they tried but, the Solicitor General’s Office, the tribune of the people, ruled against it.

The Bureau of Customs had since abolished Customs overtime, hiring more Customs personnel which cost the bureau something like P1.2 billion.

That’s the Aquino administration for you. No compassion, no sensitivity to the needy!

Topics: Emil Jurado , Will we allow a dictator? Rodrigo Duterte , Rep. Martin Romualdez , Francis Tolentino , Bongbong Marcos
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