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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 5, 2016
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Reacting to my column on Monday, Andoni Valencia listed a long list of “change” that he said Rodrigo Duterte will bring to this country. Valencia's problem is that he cited the dreams of a Utopia that Duterte never mentioned as a program of government. Valencia, like so many has pipe dreams (legitimate surely) and had fallen to believe the big lies. Valencia says he is only supporting Duterte so that what he says is only his own and, in fact, most of them are contrary to what Duterte is saying and doing.

The big lies of Duterte have distorted so many minds. Valencia is not alone in dreaming the best for the country but change must come, not by destroying, but building and correcting whatever imperfections we have. As Duterte's lawyer said last Monday if we give Duterte dictatorial powers then we give him a mandate to do whatever he pleases because that is what Duterte says he would do.

Duterte created what a priest last Sunday mentioned in his homily -crisis . While the priest did not mention Duterte there was no mistaking about who he meant. A priest in another church was clear: he mentioned Duterte as the threat .

If Duterte is in a rut, he has nobody to blame but himself. He said many times many things that insult our way of life, our sense of values and our democratic system of government. There is much to say about the defects of our way of life. The communists, for a long time, had been saying them and we rejected their way of doing things – violence, the use of arms to establish a government that will take away our freedoms.

Duterte is saying the same things and, sadly, so many people are misled to think like a doper that drugs can bring them to better, peaceful and no-problem life. We know the results.

Sure there are many problems but we cannot solve our problems the Duterte way – extra-judicial methods . The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines posits the criteria – protection of the family and of life and a character that respects our Christian values . Duterte's plans ran counter to all these. As a priest at the Manila Cathedral said, the criteria laid out by the CBCP speak on who the church means. He added “ walang magnanakaw at hindi na mamatay ng tao ”.

Duterte created the lie that he is against corruption but was unmasked with millions in the bank and 40 properties that he did not declare in his SALN; he hedges and lies again. He signed a waiver but it was useless because he refused to reveal all the transactions.

If he is as clean as he claims, why will he not make all data available to prove his innocence? Grace Poe and Mar Roxas signed unconditional waiver but Duterte followed Binay who is also afraid of full disclosure. There is only one conclusion – he has all the wealth that Senator Antonio Trillanes said Duterte keeps.

By not disclosing his assets in his SALN, Duterte has already committed a crime, an impeachable crime, an assumption that the assets are ill-gotten.

Duterte lied about his hidden wealth. How can his people say he will stop corruption when he does not even disclose his wealth and where he got them? Is he not similar to Binay, corruption wise?

Is not Duterte using the same tactic as Binay – deny, distract and divert?

If he is elected some think he can be impeached. Legally yes, but he already said he will dissolve Congress and declare a revolutionary government, which means abrogating the Constitution and taking absolute power.

This is the crisis that the international financial community is looking at. As Duterte makes a strong showing, the investors “ have expressed apprehension ” about the uncertainty of someone who “investors are not comfortable with” according to Blomberg's survey. Duterte is described by financial experts as one who “shoots first, ask questions later.” This character makes investors get out of the country.

This is one aspect – capital flight – that many do not consider because many do not understand. But in concrete terms capital flight means less money, less work and less rice on the table. An economic program is vital, but Duterte has none.

People do not realize the crisis that we are in. If by collective mistake Duterte takes power, this nation will suffer a situation worse than martial law . This is a crisis where vox populi does not mean vox dei .*



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