The threat of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against his critics not to push him through the wall as he will will suspend the writ of habeas corpus and declare a revolutionary government is literally a classic style of his leadership which is out of taste.
His statement came on board after Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon called on the senate blue ribbon committee to reopen the investigation on the allegations of involvement of Duterte’s son Polong Duterte on the illegal drug trade which has even implicated the President and Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs Michael Wang, a Chinese National and the only foreigner appointed to a government position.
Drilon also called for the review of all contracts entered into with China by Duterte after Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio disclosed a portion of a loan contract that categorically mentions as collateral properties of national patrimony thereby raising qualified doubts on the extent of bargain the Duterte administration made just to get the loan and please the Chinese government.
And as if the universe simply connived against the Philippine leader who has been regularly taking Fentanyl just to relieve himself of the pain he suffers brought by an illness, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism released a series on how the Duterte’s managed to cover their riches in order to make it appear that they are living simple lives.
Probably, the pressures created by the series of recent events are too much for the old leader known for projecting mental and physical toughness and clean governance and that he is left with no choice but to react and even entertain the thought of forcefully silencing criticisms which his government and style is also known of.
Senator Leila Delima who has been investigating the alleged human rights violations of Duterte in Davao when she was still the commissioner of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now in prison. When retired police Coronel Eduardo Ancierto went out last month and exposed a drug matrix involving the Chinese friends of Duterte and Michael Yang of operating shabu laboratories in Davao City, Duterte instead of calling for an immediate and extensive investigation lawyered for his friends and asked the military and police why Ancierto is still alive. He wanted the Catholic Church to stop the criticisms against extra-judicial killings and the bloody war against drugs but failed. He then called for the murder if priests and bishops who are accused of wrong doings. Several priests were murdered and the police has not even produced a single criminal to prosecute. He has a narco-list borne out of wild verifications that include politicians not allied to him whom the police cannot file charges as there are no evidences leading to them despite efforts or maybe projections of investigations. He declared that in six months, the will be free country from illegal drugs yet today four years after the illegal drugs has only worsened.
Duterte cannot simply kill all. He cannot put to jail all his critics. He has not actually lost his mind when he threatened the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. He simply has no more reasons and justifications for his failures, excesses and omissions. He cannot cover and hide all. His lies are being uncovered and his covers are getting thinner. Panic and fear is human nature. Duterte may be wielding power today but his insecurities are mounting knowing that the loyalty of the military to his administration is not witin range. Meantime, Filipinos can only pray to God that reason will prevail.