“Man is insatiable for power; he is infantile in his desires and, always discontented with what he has, loves only what he has not. People complain of the despotism of princes; they ought to complain of the despotism of man.” –Joseph de Maistre
The last time I interviewed Taguig-Pateros lone district Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was in June 2015 at the Philippine Consulate General in New York City. At the time, the then-senator was trying to coax then-presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte to recruit him as his running mate. He eventually got what he wanted to ‘Tatay Digong’ and was clobbered in the election by current Vice President Leni Robredo and former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr.
He then aimed for senate president and but that race was won by Senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III; then he sought the position of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary, which he was granted.
After his tenure at the DFA (a not-so-impressive performance), he won a seat in Congress, a post he previously served from 1998 to 2007. Now, the insatiable Cayetano wants to be house speaker.
Like a spoiled brat, jostling and cajoling what he wants from ‘Tatay Digong,’ a “term-sharing” deal has been concocted with Marinduque lone district Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco.
Cayetano is perhaps the only Filipino politician who treats public office like a Ferris wheel or tour bus. His insatiable and bratty nature has raised suspicions among many that he is not sincere in public service and only wants to establish a record of “government service.”
It would not be surprising, after altering the Constitution and changing the system of government, Cayetano next aims for prime minister.
Are the ongoing woes associated with dengue at 12 Iloilo government hospitals the result of a late reaction? As of yesterday, there have been 1,984 dengue-related patients admitted. A number that has swelled since Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. issued an executive order last week declaring a dengue fever outbreak.
Perhaps it was because of the midterm elections; meaning, had elections not been held two months, government officials would have paid attention to the health concern.
Dengue-related cases have currently left hospitals short of beds. In addition, as early as September 2018, the Bacolod City Health Office already reported seven dengue-related deaths; mostly children aged 3 to 11 and one 23 years old.
Last February, the Department of Health-Region VII (DOH-7) reported 28 deaths due to complications from dengue fever since January 1, 2019. Meanwhile, the DOH-7 regional epidemiology and surveillance unit reported, between January 1 and February 16, they have recorded 3,681 dengue cases, which constitute a 233 percent increase as compared to the 1,105 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Alex P. Vidal, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ