“Insincerity is always weakness; sincerity even in error is strength.” – George Henry Lewes
If President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Mayor Sara Carpio, were sincere, they would not turn the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for the May 9, 2022 election into a slapstick show.
They would have told the people right away straight in the eye that daughter Sara will be running for president.
No more melodrama, no more acts of buffoonery and political processions.
That’s how real public servants should behave; they don’t conceal their intentions when public interest is concerned.
Statesmen and women are transparent and aren’t merchants of political voodoo.
True leaders don’t beat around the bush when it comes to telling the public how they would want to serve and in what capacity.
What is happening is no less than Mr. Duterte himself is the one setting a bad example of how a leader can misbehave.
First, Mr. Duterte said he would not run for any public office anymore when his term expires next year.
Then he announced he was running for vice president after “accepting” the nomination from his PDP-Laban party.
And, again, he is now saying he has “decided to retire” from politics. When can we expect this leader to tell us the truth and nothing but the truth in one fell swoop?
And like her father Digong, daughter Sara said repeatedly she would not seek the presidency.
She filed her COC for reelection as mayor of Davao City to prove this.
They think the Filipinos are fools and ignorants who don’t understand the Duertes’ tactics and soap opera.
If father and daughter can’t be transparent to the people about their candidacies, how can we expect them to be transparent in their dealings once they retain or reclaim the Malacanang next year?
We all know that father and daughter are only bluffing.
We know they have been playing political footsies and masquerading since day one in as far as the question of who will run for president and vice president in their family is concerned.
They may call it “confusing the enemies” as inspired by Lao Tzu’s Art of War, but we know that President Duterte, in truth and reality, wants daughter Sara to succeed him, not his sidekick, Senator Bong Go or any of his ass lickers.
But while the Dutertes try to “confuse” their enemies with their games of musical chairs tactics, the people are the most confused, which affects the image of the Dutertes and how they perceive them as leaders.
When people are confused they can’t decide which candidate or political party for that matter to support.
They become vulnerable to distortion of facts and truth; their minds can be misdirected and manipulated; and they can be brainwashed and pushed to the dungeon.
And we know that Go’s candidacy for vice president is a farce.
We know that the election law in the Philippines allows a last-minute switching or substitution of the candidates.
Under Comelec Resolution No. 10695, promulgated Feb. 10, 2021, the ultimate deadline for substitution of candidates is not Nov. 15, but May 9, 2022.
The eight-day period from October 1-8 is also the time for filing the list of nominees, certificates of nomination and certificates of acceptance of nomination and affidavits of party-list groups, coalitions and organizations under the Comelec Resolution approved Jan. 13, 2021.
The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo./WDJ