The President is a joker

September 24, 2018

By his own admission, only two out of five of President Duterte’s public statements are true. The rest are just jokes.

Ergo,  if we heed the advice of  Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (not to take Duterte’s jokes seriously), then we don’t have to take the President seriously most of the time.

What about his public rants against the United States which from day one has become the President’s whipping boy no. 1.?

In a private meeting with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, the President  explained his tirades : “I told him (Abe) they were mere words. Why would you give these things any importance?”

How about  his PI- laced remarks ?

A presidential defender explained that “PI” could actually be a term of endearment as when he told his son whom he had not seen for some time : “ PI, Baste, umuwi ka na”. 

What about his jibe at a stupid god? his sick rape jokes? his Hitler and the million Jews remarks?

In Davao City, journalists who have covered then Mayor Rody have gotten used to the President’s colorful speech. They have learned to distinguish the joke from the serious stuff. One said: “Alam mo agad kung nagbibiro lang si President Rody. Lumalaki yung butas ng ilong!”

His style has apparently clicked with the provincial media and with his millions of dutertards. The problem is he is no longer just a probinsiyano mayor. He is now President of the Philippines.

Did he not promise: “There will be a metamorphosis once I become President.”

The irony of it all  is he is capable of acting more presidential. Just listen to testimonies of  business and other leaders who have met him in private.

Almost unanimously, they come up with a very different image of the President – a serious, very focused, dignified and even respectful President. In private, he listens, he does not lecture. In private, he reportedly kisses the hand of men of the cloth whom he berates in public. In private, he reportedly defers to women guests and addresses  them as Ma’am.

His more presidential persona is noticeable during   one-on-one interviews – a marked contrast during press conferences where he tends to rant and ramble.

Why the difference in this dual behavior?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio

Before long, the post of Chief Justice will become vacant  with the  retirement of Chief Justice Teresita De Castro.

President Duterte justified the appointment of De Castro on the basis of seniority.  If the President will just be consistent, then his choice of the next CJ would not be very difficult.

In my books, there can only be one candidate.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio T.  Carpio  twice served as Acting Chief Justice, in the aftermath of the Corona impeachment and after the ouster of former CJ Sereno.

Nobody can be more senior than Carpio.

Carpio declined what should have been an automatic nomination by the JBC because, rightly or wrongly,  he thought he should not benefit from the quo warranto case which ousted former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

One of the dissenters in the Sereno quo warranto case, Carpio nevertheless was among the first to urge everyone to  respect  the high court verdict.

The only possible fly in the ointment is  Carpio’s  open disagreement with the stance of President Duterte on the issue of the West Philippine Sea.

But who knows, President Duterte might just  be more of a statesman than we give him credit for.

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