A President Who Has No Clothes

by Joseph G. Lariosa

“Few in the conclave that elected Pius VII could have anticipated the severity of the struggle that awaited the pope and the Church in the coming decades, for the new Vicar of Christ spent the next 15 years in battle with the dictator openly cursed as an Antichrist and an enemy of civilization: Napoleon Bonaparte.”

The Pope Who Outlasted a Tyrant By Matthew E. Bunson (Catholic Magazine Article) (http://tinyurl.com/nw2m796)

CHICAGO (JGL) –Some of the handlers and advisers of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte are my friends. But I pity them because despite their assurances that they will make the front-running 70-year-old presidential candidate eventually shape up, I just don’t know how they will modify his behavior.

Have they forgotten the saying, “you cannot teach old dogs new tricks?” And,

Secondly, how could they undo some of the controversial faux pas of Hizzoner, which, I think, are fatal to his candidacy?

If I were Mayor Duterte’s handlers, I will tell him that sometimes silence is golden!

Duterte admitted to having killed 1,700 people, and even fried or grilled some of them inside a car? Then, he admitted having two wives and two mistresses. He even suggested that her youngest mistress was even asking him to provide her a second-hand car, saying she does not need to drive around because he always fetches her from and returns her back to where he picks her up because they only have a brief tryst.

He also proposed the removal of Algebra and Trigonometry from the school curriculum, which I find questionable.

And what takes the cake is that Duterte even had the gull to curse Pope Francis. He was quoted as saying, “P – – a” (f —–) … the Pope?”

I am probably as mediocre or worse in Algebra and Trigonometry than the Mayor but these subjects (courses in U.S.) help students promote analytical, critical and logical thinking. Algebra was able to solve Einstein’s theory of special relativity thru what Einstein called “time dilation,” which is now the basis of GPS system of satellites in the sky that the military and police forces now use.  As to Trigonometry and Calculus, they are essential for exploring and validating other types of problems and phenomena around us. If President Duterte tries to tweak this curriculum, there should be thorough debate on these.

Coming from his mouth, some of Duterte’s confessions could make Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and dictator Ferdinand Marcos choirboys!

When Duterte boasted to have killed 1,700 people and have two wives and two mistresses, he incriminated himself with “grossly immoral conduct” as a lawyer and as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. As a lawyer, he becomes an officer of the court and based on the “clean hands” legal principle, he is “not to engage in any unlawful, dishonest and immoral or deceitful conduct.”


Let’s see how Duterte’s actions measure up to the Golden Rule.

If Duterte were the parent or sibling of his two wives and two mistresses, will he allow it that what he did to his two wives and two mistresses would happen to his mother, daughters or his sisters?

What message is he trying to send to the masses?

According to Section 11 of the State Policies of the Philippines Constitution, “The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights.” How does he respect the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights, if he puts the law into his own hand by killing or allowing his men to kill 1,700 without due process?

This is a violation of the No. 1 provision of the bill of rights: “SECTION 1. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.”

How will he Duterte reconcile himself to Section 12 of the State Policies of the Constitution, which says, “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. …. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government?”

If he becomes president, will he be a right role model to recognize the “sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution” and develop good “moral character of the youth” when he is a self-confessed philanderer and womanizer?

How does he rein in and feed the burgeoning 102-million Filipinos if they double their population after his six-year term of office, in case Filipinos will be enticed to follow him like a Pied Piper?

Isn’t it like President Noynoy Aquino trying to tell Filipinos to stop smoking when PNoy himself could not even lick his own addiction to nicotine?

In the eyes of the Catholic Church, having two wives and worse having two mistresses are not only adulterous relations that can get him excommunicated in violations of the sixth commandment (adultery) and admission of killing another man (murder) is also a violation of the fifth commandment, which are both mortal sins. Unless he confesses and repents and vows not to commit the same mortal sins again before a Catholic priest, he cannot receive communion.

But, then, again, how will he pay the heavy civil (monetary) penalties that he or his henchmen have to pay for those 1,700 salvaged victims? And what about the criminal penalties (his incarceration or his henchmen’s incarceration) for committing the extra-judicial killings? Who will police the police? Or who will jail him or his henchmen, if he becomes president?


I’d like to think that Duterte was just trying to promote a macho image by making those outlandish claims. But since he admitted those wrongdoings voluntarily, he can blame nothing but himself for his bloated bravado.

According to a Wikileaks report of U.S Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kinney dated May 8, 2009, the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (6. (C) CHR) Regional Director Sipaco (strictly protect) noted that Mayor Duterte’s visible rage against criminality and drugs stemmed from family history: Sipaco claimed that one of Duterte’s two sons previously abused drugs, and the Mayor channeled his anger over his son’s drug use not just against drug pushers, but also drug users, eventually leading him to embrace vigilante killings as a means to reduce crime. The Mayor’s tough anti-crime rhetoric became the hallmark of his governance style, and Davao residents perceived a marked improvement in public safety under his tenure, which many thought contributed to improved prospects for economic growth (ref C).”

Because of Duterte’s “embrace of vigilante killings as a means to reduce crime” the claim of 1,700 salvaged victims may actually have factual basis.

And if no media member in Davao City can criticize the Mayor it is because they don’t want to find themselves at the receiving end of Mayor Duterte’s visible rage.

Think of a brief post by my journalist friend, Philip Ilustre, Jr., on his Facebook page, which went viral after it was claimed that Mayor Duterte has “cancer of the throat.” The Mayor vehemently denied it, accusing Ilustre as a mouthpiece of Duterte’s rival, Sec. Mar Roxas. Unfortunately, for Hizzoner, Ilustre denied Duterte’s claim that Ilustre is a supporter of Mar Roxas, saying, “Duterte is a trash talker. I don’t receive a dime from him (Roxas) or any body. Ignore that s o b… .”

If Ilustre’s report were not true, why would the Mayor be livid against Philip? If it is false, the Mayor can just laugh it off as false alarm and move on. By being angry, the Mayor is just confirming that Phil’s report is true. Mr. Mayor, have you forgotten the saying that truth hurts?

I can just imagine if Duterte were elected president in 2016, no media member will dare to even criticize him. And his attitude towards Ilustre is Exhibit “A.” That led me to think that if he becomes a president, like President Marcos, Mayor Duterte could vanish a once powerful media man, like Primitivo Mijares, “who was reportedly last seen at the San Francisco Airport on January 7, 1977, in the company of a certain Querube Makalintal Jr., a confirmed intelligence agent of the Philippine government. A story is oft told that he had boarded a plane in San Francisco and was probably thrown into the Pacific Ocean since no witnesses could attest that he disembarked in Honolulu. But for Reuben Canoy, author of “The Counterfeit Revolution: Martial Law in the Philippines” (1990), such rumors are unfounded, for disposing a man aboard a jet liner mid-air, he said, cannot possibly be done without being noticed by crew or passengers. And so what happened to Primitivo “Tibo” Mijares? It is widely believed, however, that he landed in the Philippines and was subsequently murdered by Marcos agents to prevent the conclusion of the investigation” of the abuses of the “The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos,” the title of the book Mijares wrote, which, according to (Sterling) Seagrave, never saw the light of day as it was systematically plundered on every bookstore and public institution in the United States, including the Library of Congress.”

Just imagine this, when Mayor Duterte cursed Pope Francis, he could be trying to outdo Napoleon Bonaparte. I have not read Bonaparte cursing the Pope but it was the cardinals who were cursing the tyrant, Emperor Bonaparte, when on November 30, 1799, 34 cardinals from across Europe gathered in a conclave to elect a successor to Pope Pius VI. The papal election, however, was not held in the Sistine Chapel, not in Vatican City, and not even in Rome. Less than two years before, in February 1798, French troops had marched into Rome and had taken Pope Pius VI prisoner. They placed the sickly pontiff in the citadel of Valence where he died on August 29, 1799.

As to why Mayor Duterte’s popularity is surging? The Filipino customs and traditions are replete with explanations for that: “ningas cogon” (flash in the pan) at work.

So, if Duterte were elected in 2016, Filipinos will be electing a President, who has no clothes!

Merry Christmas!


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