WOMEN CRITICS TAKE TURNS IN DUTERTE-BASHING

By ROGER M. BALANZA

Three well-known women critics took turns over the past few days in crucifying President Rodrigo Duterte who said he wants the Philippines ruled by a dictator if he steps down before his term ends in 2022.

Duterte last week  said one of his preferred successors is former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jrson of the late dictator President Ferdinand Marcos who ruled the country with an iron fist for more than two decades until his ouster in the Edsa People Power revolution of 1986.

marcos duterte robredo

Duterte said that instead of Vice President Leni Robredo as his successor, the Philippines is “better off with a dictator the likes of Marcos.”

He would not want his constitutionally-mandated successor Robredo to succeed him because the Vice President is “incompetent” to be President.

digong leni 3

On Friday in a fighting stance, Robredo hurled her harshest ever criticism at Duterte.

Banging the war drums, Robredo said the time has come for people to stand up against Duterte and his plan to place the country in the hands of a dictator.

“This is the time to fight,” Robredo said in her speech at the 2018 Ramon Magsaysay Awards ceremony on August 31, 2018 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila.

On September 1 in a statement, , Robredo followed up her attack by telling Duterte to devote more time in addressing the country’s pressing problems rather than train his focus solely on illegal drugs.

The President should have realized by now that he needed to address the more serious problem of rising prices of basic commodities, the Vice President said.

“Rising prices continue to make life difficult for our fellow Filipinos, especially for those in need,” she said.

duterte vs sereno

On September 1, ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno took her turn to bash Duterte by urging Filipinos  to have the courage to stop the return of martial law.

In her speech at the Forward Pilipinas Forum on Saturday, Sereno called on the Filipinos to oppose dictatorship.

“What you and I can do is be brave. Stand. Have courage. Only then can we hope to prevent the destruction of your generation’s future,” Sereno said.

She said martial law can return if not enough people resist it.

She recalled the horrors of the Martial Law years under Marcos and the killings, torture, censorship, and corruption during the dictator’s two decades of rule.

“We do not need the formal imposition of martial law for martial law to become a reality. We do not need to see tanks on the street, or men in uniform taking charge. We just need to be sufficiently afraid. Afraid enough to stay quiet when we see wrong, when we see our people being killed, when we know that our country’s coffers are being raided,” Sereno said.

Sereno said Filipinos should not just watch and see dictatorship unfurl without doing anything to oppose it.

“If all we do is complain among ourselves and not act collectively to publicly denounce corruption and lawlessness in government, then we have imposed martial law in our own minds. You see, the first objective of martial law is to impose control. And when we impose controls on ourselves by not speaking the truth when we should, then we would have helped the tyrant win,” Sereno said.  

de;ima vs duterte

Senator Leila De Lima joined the fray and in a letter sent from her jail cell in Camp Crame said: “Now, more than ever, citizens must rely on their own organic power to thwart any attempt to undermine constitutional democracy and to foist Duterte’s illegitimate choice of successor upon the Filipino people.”

De Lima, an opposition Senator incarcerated for her alleged link to drug trading at the New Bilibid Prison when she was the Justice Secretary, warned against Duterte’s “malevolent plan” to unseat Robredo and make Marcos his successor.

marcos duterte

“Now, more than ever, citizens must rely on their own organic power to thwart any attempt to undermine constitutional democracy and to foist Duterte’s illegitimate choice of successor upon the Filipino people,” she added.

Senator Marcos is protesting Robredo’s vice presidential victory in the 3016 elections before the Supreme Court. Delima suspects President Duterte may muscle Supreme Court justices into invalidating Robredo’s victory and declaring Marcos as winner.

Duterte will be appointing thirteen of 15 justices before his term ends in 2022.

De Lima warned, “As the math of coopted SC votes improves to favor a Marcos fake victory, so will the Marcos-Robredo PET case unravel to its malevolent conclusion.”

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