Driving Philippine democracy up the wall

I began my analysis and commentary on the 2016 elections in early 2014, with the prognosis that it will be a "threshold election," meaning that it will signal the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one.

Watching how events are unfolding in "the making of the president 2016," I am forced to conclude that it is more fitting to say that the 2016 election is driving Philippine democracy up the wall, which means that our electoral politics, the campaign and all, is going bonkers or going mad, and nobody has a clue how things can get back to normal or to sanity, beginning with President Benigno B.S. Aquino 3rd, the self- proclaimed "father of the nation."

To help us return to normalcy, I thought it might be useful to remind the candidates and their fervent supporters, and our citizenry of Socrates's famous teaching: "The Greatest way to live with honor in the world is to be what we pretend to be."

Sharing a common ground

If people can be reminded that the current distemper has arisen from the desire of everyone to inaugurate a new life and future for the nation, maybe there is a chance that we can share a common ground, and we can then all behave more honorably and with respect toward one another, even toward political opponents.

I wake up every day telling myself that what our people and our country are living through at this time is important and momentous for the nation. I reason that if the actors on stage are parodies or caricatures of what a national leader should be, maybe our sovereign people will have the good sense to hand the scepter of power to the most able among them. I reason also that if many indecencies and indignities have been committed in the campaign, consider that like food and drink we take to excess, they too will all soon pass.

We have had a lot to chew and absorb over the past three months, since the campaign officially began.

The statement of the National Transformation Council (NTC) yesterday that the nation needs an alternative to flawed elections is spot-on in its diagnosis of the political situation.

Duterte's meeting with oligarchs

As they did with the other presidential candidates, the Makati Business Club (MBC) and the Managers' Association of the Philippines (MAP) organized a dialogue with candidate Rodrigo Duterte at the Manila Peninsula's Rigodon Ballroom, anxious to hear the mayor present his platform and policy agenda.

To the shock of the members of the two clubs, Duterte did not tone down one bit all the shocking things that he has been saying in the campaign. In fact, he added fuel to the bonfire.

He told them that "it will be very bloody" if he becomes President.

As President, he will pardon himself in advance of any crimes he commits or will be accused of.

We should not overestimate the clout of the business chambers, but not long after the dialogue with Duterte, Sen. Antonio Trillanes came out hammer and tongs with his expose on Duterte's undeclared millions in many bank accounts.

The tough guy began by denying vehemently the existence of a personal account at the BPI branch on Julia Vargas Ave., Pasig City. Within a day he was confessing that he indeed had an account with the bank.

An agreement was reached for Trillanes and Duterte's lawyer to meet yesterday at the BPI Julia Vargas branch, for the opening of the controversial account.

Grace Poe as sincere hypocrite

One interested spectator in Duterte's travail was candidate Grace Poe. I could not believe my eyes when I read in the Philippine Star last Sunday that Grace Poe was urging Duterte to tell the truth.

In a story headlined "A leader does not flip-flop - Grace," Poe had the temerity to lecture Dutete on the importance of honesty in a president. She said: "The public should be able to trust a president to always tell the truth, especially regarding his personal life."

The hypocrisy of this could not have been lost on anyone who is half aware of the many lies that Poe has told about her citizenship and residency status.

Lest anyone forget, Poe committed the following transgressions:

She has lied egregiously about her citizenship and residency in the Philippines, and gone to the Supreme Court to contest the Comelec's decision to disqualify her for her lies, and argued for her right to lie.

She turned the Constitution on its head in order to run for president.

She has not told the truth about her felonious use of a dead man's social security number (SSN) in the US.

She has not told the truth about her husband's citizenship status in the United States and the Philippines.

Possible plot twists

What further surprises will unfold between now and the elections on Monday?

I can think of a few plot twists that I fantasize might happen over the next few days, as I notice our country becoming increasingly like a South American nation with its oftentimes bizarre politics and its tradition of magic realism.

President Aquino, fed up with the suspense of waiting for his turn to face life in detention, could suddenly resign his office before June 30.

Grace Poe could suddenly decide to tell the truth, and she will like the experience so much, she can't stop telling the truth about all her lies and deceptions!

Justice Sereno and her eight accomplices in the Supreme Court, sick at heart and stricken by what their wickedness has done to the Court and the Constitution, will suddenly decide to rehear and rewrite the Court's decision on Poe vs Commission on Elections.

Jejomar Binay, realizing finally the venality of thinking that only a Binay can serve as mayor of Makati, will suddenly pledge to sponsor an anti-dynasty law if he is elected President.

Mar Roxas, sick to death of Tuwid na Daan (Straight Path), will expel the term from his vocabulary.

Miriam Defensor-Santiago will have a complete recovery from cancer. The lady deserves this break.

Source: Manila Time