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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, April 6, 2016
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with Rolly Espina

Cracks in DU30's campaign

Rolly EspinaPresidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte may be winning in social media, but from the ground, cracks are starting to show in his campaign.

The Davao mayor gallantly advocated he'd rather receive no vote if his voter will not choose his vice-presidential tandem, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.

However, his son and Davao Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte moved on the contrary and came out to publicly support the vice presidential bid of Sen. Francis Escudero, an act that was downplayed by his father as it came right at the heels of his so gallant pronouncement.

Paolo may be entitled to his own choice as his dad defended, but this act speaks volumes and implies that Duterte's so-called “iron hand” is a political gimmickry when he does not even have a control over his own household.

Some may say as a politician, his son definitely can have a mind of his own. But when this is manifested even before the father is elected into the highest office, this doesn't bode well in terms of what we may expect from the First Family should he win.

In the hierarchy of presidentiables, Duterte was among the favorites in our family. Like most Filipinos who have been enamored with this candidate, it was the promise of restoring peace and order and replicating what has been done in Davao.

Of course, there were violent reactions from some family members as this so-called Davao-cleansing is linked to alleged extra-judicial activities and claims of some 800 still missing in all those years.

While we desire a drug-free and crime-free society as promised by Duterte, the way these ideas have been peddled have turned-off many as it already promotes anarchy.

A former Duterte-supporter told me he had a change of heart soon after attending the SMX sortie. He could not swallow the cheers from the crowd every time Duterte cussed and how they applauded his idea of killing people, though they may be criminals.

It's like a scene from the Gladiators where as more blood were being drawn during the barbaric fight, the louder the people cheered.

It made him sick to his stomach to know that many of those who cheered and applauded were “the learned” members of our society, the very people he least likely expected to glorify the idea that killing is okay.

If you go through the social media, some of those who are strongly supporting Duterte and have been sharing the mayor's speeches and sorties are also sharing messages of peace, love, and God's mercy. Such hypocrisy to preach of the Church's teachings yet has no qualms in cheering for someone who boasts of killing.

I actually fancied Duterte until he made that promise of cleansing our country of drugs and criminals within six months in office. That pronouncement made me realize that with him at the helm, killing will become a way of life for his followers.

Granting that Cayetano is lagging the in the survey, Duterte's camp should have concentrated more in boosting the former's ratings and consolidating their groups rather than leaving him behind to fend for himself.

Paolo's move to support Escudero was clearly from an ingrate, especially since they knew it was Cayetano who bankrolled the elder Duterte's candidacy. In fact, if we recall, the mayor has many times declared he will not run until he was wooed by Cayetano.

I am likely to believe that claim of financial support from the senator since political ads of Duterte actually show more of Cayetano than the mayor.

While I personally like Chiz, having met him a couple of times, we know this guy, despite his age, is a political player and mover. We've seen what happened during the last presidential elections where he was one of the leaders in Aquino's camp and dumped Mar for Binay.

Allegedly, Chiz is still in talking terms with Binay despite being the vice presidential candidate of Sen. Grace Poe. But if true, I am not really surprised. Elections in this country have become a joke in terms of party politics.

As they say, it's a “salva me” (save myself) situation and sometimes, if you are not foxy enough, you will end up holding the ideals of the party's platform while someone else gets elected.*

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