‘Duterte’s term ends on June 30, 2022. But it’s obvious he wants to stay in power beyond the constitutional limit to protect himself and officials who helped him execute his controversial policies and programs like the bloody war on drugs.’
BOXING champ and Sen. Manny Pacquiao and President Duterte used to be allies.
Despite his being a born-again Christian, Pacquiao did not condemn the extra-judicial killings that became a daily occurrence as Duterte waged his war on drugs.
He supported Duterte’s initiative to re-impose the death penalty. He voted for the abhorrent anti-terror law.
He was silent when fellow Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV exposed Duterte’s bank deposits in hundreds of millions in 2016, which remains unexplained up to now.
Now, he talks about corruption in the Duterte government.
Duterte has called Pacquaio an inspiration to Filipinos not only for his performance in the ring but also in public service despite his absenteeism in the Senate.
Duterte was in the audience at the Axiata Arena in Malaysia when Pacquiao won over Argentine Lucas Matthysse in July 2018 and called him an inspiration to “Filipinos not only in boxing but also in the public service.”
Now, Duterte is talking about Pacquiao’s absenteeism. A few days ago, during the inauguration of the light rail transit extension, Duterte said: “Eh kung mag-report ka lang, dalawa, isang buwan, then I would say that you are a s***. A s*** is a s***. Mag-trabaho ka, hiningi mo ‘yan, nandiyan ‘yong mga papel.(When you report (to work) twice in a month, then I would say you are a s***. A s*** is a s***. You work. You asked for it. The papers are there.)
“Start investigating. Do not go elsewhere. Comply first with your duty as a senator. Tapusin mo ‘yan, nandiyan ‘yong mga papeles. Huwag kang pa-absent-absent. (Finish that first. The papers are there. Don’t be absent.)
The change of tune, no doubt, is related to the 2022 elections.
Duterte’s term ends on June 30, 2022. But it’s obvious he wants to stay in power beyond the constitutional limit to protect himself and officials who helped him execute his controversial policies and programs like the bloody war on drugs.
The Constitution does not allow a re-election for the president. His allies’ attempts to change the Constitution miserably failed.
He floated the utterly ridiculous idea of him running for vice president to his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, or his aide-turned-Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, which he later admitted to be just an anti-lame duck scheme.
The promotion of the 43-year-old Duterte-Carpio to succeed the 76-year-old Duterte seems to be working because she is leading the surveys on possible presidential candidates for 2022.
Of the names in the top five in the February 2021 Pulse Asia survey (Carpio-Duterte, Bongbong Marcos, Grace Poe, Ishko Moreno, Manny Pacquiao), it’s Pacquiao who is expected to compete with Carpio-Duterte for the Mindanao votes and more importantly of the vote-rich masses.
Thus, he has to be eliminated from the competition. It started with his ouster as acting president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party.
Last Thursday, Duterte erroneously announced that Pacquiao backed out of his fight with 31-year-old Errol Spence Jr. in Las Vegas scheduled on August 21. There is no official announcement of Pacquaio withdrawing from the fight although he is facing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit from Paradigm Sports Management, which sought an injunction against the Pacquiao-Spence bout.
The boxer-senator needs to win this fight, not only for the money, but to boost his political ambition. Duterte is just one of those who want to see him fail.