IF I were one of the lawyers or spokespersons in Malacanang at this time, I will insist on releasing the entirety of the decision that President Duterte signed, ousting Police Generals Edgardo Tinio and Joel Pagdilao. The reason: to show that the dismissal of the two was not meant to merely recover lost ground for the President after his popularity rating went down just recently.
I am sure that the political foes of the President will assail his order ousting the two from the Philippine National Police, on the argument that what he did was mere damage control, to counteract the 18 plus points drop in his ratings as reported very recently by the Social Weather Station (SWS).
To cushion the impact of these accusations, the evidence relied upon by the President to dismiss the two from the service must be shown to the people, complete with each and every detail of their participation in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country. That is, if there is such an evidence! There would be a problem if there is no such evidence. Then the campaign against drugs of this government would be truly screwed up.
On the other hand, was the reported drop in the ratings of President Duterte, as reported by SWS, true? Could it be possible that this is just part of the overall scheme to oust him from Malacanang? Is the reported close relationship between the owners of SWS and the high officials of the Aquino government a factor to consider in the report against Duterte?
These are the questions that supporters of the President asked me during the past few days after the release of the SWS report. According to these supporters (who call themselves “DDS” for “Diehard Duterte Supporters”), it is not possible for Duterte’s ratings to go down radically, as reported by SWS, since many Filipinos who installed him in power in 2016 continue to rabidly support him at this point.
Many of those who came to me also asked why many big media and broadcast companies in the country appeared to have been united in refusing to publicize photos of the rallies of Duterte supporters right after SWS released its report. They say that the pictures of the rallies show the continuing strength in numbers of those who are backing the President.
Be that as it may, whether the SWS report is accurate or true or not, it cannot really be denied that many of our countrymen are greatly affected by items coming out in newspapers, on radio and television and in social media, which depict police violence and extreme brutality, and the continuing corruption in government, especially in the Bureau of Customs.
From what people read in newspapers and hear and see on radio and TV and in social media, many are depicted to be truly hapless and helpless if they are poor and marginalized, especially in the ongoing campaign against illegal drugs, especially shabu. Many are saddened by the great disparity in how suspects in drugs cases are treated–a different treatment is given when one is a poor and marginalized suspect, and another treatment when one is rich and powerful.
As I see it, Malacanang can do two things here to fight the continuing decline in the popularity of the President. The first is an honest-to-goodness campaign against those who are implementing the fierce war on drugs, and against those who continue to engage in corruption in government, especially in the Bureau of Customs. The second is a more aggressive campaign among the spokespersons of the President to explain why he cannot be faulted for the crimes and abuses happening now.
Among the 25 congressmen who earlier endorsed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno before the House Committee on Justice ruled that it was sufficient in substance, it would appear that there were seven of them who also voted, in 2011, to impeach then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Data culled from online sources identified the seven lawmakers as Davao Rep. Mylene Garcia Albano, Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales, Jr., Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop, Quezon City Rep. Bingbong Crisologo, South Cotabato Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr., Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, and Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado. Is this online information correct, honorable lawmakers?
In the case of Cavite Rep. Jennifer Baraga, her husband who was then Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga voted for the ouster of Corona.