No order possible under Duterte

Contrary to what Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is promising voters of a peaceful Philippines if he is elected president, a possible Duterte term is shaping up as one that would be dominated by strife and turmoil.

More worms are emerging from the proverbial can of the Davao City mayor that put a lot of questions on his self-styled image as a clean crime-buster and the hope of the poor.

The long-time local government head who leads in pre-poll surveys is now being threatened with a host of criminal cases, including the prospect of being impeached if he wins the presidency.

The scenario of a Duterte presidency thus may involve political strife that has never been experienced in the country with him at the center of the controversy involving questions on past corrupt practices.

Aside from allegations that he kept several bank accounts containing hundreds of millions and even billions of cash deposits, the sudden anti-Duterte critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes revealed a list of 49 hidden properties of the Davao City mayor all over the country.

Most of the properties are in Davao and other provinces in Mindanao, the list showed Duterte has a property in San Juan under the name of his son Sebastian Duterte; a ParaAaque property under the name of Manases Carpio, husband of Duterte's daughter Sara; and another property in Quezon City under Sara's name.

Trillanes' list also showed Duterte has nine other known addresses at 386 P. Guevarra Street, San Juan City; 93 Sapphire Street, DoAa Luisa, Matina, Davao; 115 Camagong Street, Monte Maria, Davao City; 267 Makiling Central Park Bangkal, Bangkal Davao City; 458 Taal Road Central Park Subdivision, Bangkal, Davao City; 2 Atlantic Avenue, Ecoland, Davao City; 10 Atlantic Avenue, Ecoland Phase 3, Davao City; 9 Atlantic Avenue, Ecoland Subdivision Phase 3, Davao City Del Sur; and, 105 SM Village, Bangkal, Davao City.

Trillanes claimed that most of the properties were not reflected in Duterte's Statements of Assets, Liabilities and net worth.

On foreign relations, a Duterte administration also promises to be no less contentious.

Duterte set the tone on the make up of foreign relations under his administration after he, without compunction, told both the American and Australian ambassadors to be ready to pack their bags as he would not hesitate to cut ties with both countries after the diplomats issued statements deploring his rape joke.

The US government is apparently apprehensive over Duterte as it indicated doubts over the prospects of a Duterte presidency.

Stars and Stripes, a US military publication and at times acts as military policy mouthpiece, with China's assertive claims in recent years over tiny islands in the nearby South China Sea and the more "US-friendly Aquino," the military relationship between the US and the Philippines is at an all-time high.

What heightened Washington's unease is Duterte's statement that "we really don't need the Americans to deal with the Chinese because the Chinese want to talk to us alone."

Noynoy in contrast had tenaciously clung by the coattails of the Americans regarding the approach to the Chinese and had refused to engage Beijing with a bilateral meeting over the South China Sea conflict.

"If I become president, I'm going to reach out to the Chinese and talk to them alone without American intervention," Duterte said.

Stars and Stripes also noted that Duterte publicly opposed the Visiting Forces Agreement with the US and likely the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) and claimed in 2013 that he had rejected a request by the US to establish Davao as a base of operations for drones.

Earlier this year, he was quoted as saying that although the country was now bound by the EDCA, he had "reservations about the presence of foreign troops." He added, "We will not allow the building of structures."

The US military paper quoted Carl Baker, an expert on the US-Philippines alliance at Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, said Duterte would be too local, too much of an outsider to garner support from an elite-controlled Manila and would have a hard time bringing about change but the new administration will have broad control over how enthusiastically the base-sharing terms of the EDCA will be implemented.

Duterte's pledge for a peaceful and orderly nation under his term is nothing but a myth.

The domestic and foreign political strife he is stoking debunks what he peddles to voters.

Source: Tribune