CHAFF FROM THE GRAIN
By HECTOR RONALD ROMERO VILLANUEVA
“Après nous le deluge.”
[After us the deluge]
— Madame de Pompadour
Halfway through his six-year term without re-election, President Rodrigo “Digong” Roa Duterte has initiated numerous changes, direction, and startling advocacies without having put a closure on any of his dramatic advocacies.
President Digong is not physically fit but neither is he dying.
The question is, after he steps down in 2022, will his successor or the next administration pursue his advocacies or will it set new policy direction and priorities pari-passu with the changing political environment and economic condition?
Will the next president of the Republic be a clone of Duterte, or an independent-minded and strong-willed leader?
First, for openers, there is more than meets the eye on the emerging Bangsamoro Autonomy which will be neither harmonious nor quiescent as tribal rivalries are endless.
In the same manner that Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims are always in conflict, compounded by numerous small and ferocious tribes, the same may happen here with the Maranaos, Taugsugs, Maguindanaoans, and small splinter groups.
In short, who will keep the peace in Mindanao when Duterte retires?
After DU30, will secession cease and peace reign, or will conflict in Mindanao escalate?
Second, China has made tremendous inroads into the Philippines that economic leverage and sovereign independence may have already been compromised under the Duterte administration.
Undoubtedly, with the growing influence of China, the United States will not look kindly at the emerging situation, so to speak, and will reassert its dominance in the Pacific Rim.
With colonial mentality remaining in the Philippines, pro-West and pro-East sentiments can only escalate when Duterte is no longer around.
By 2022, Chinese influence under President Duterte shall have been overwhelmingly evident that independent action may be heavily circumscribed.
Third, after Duterte, will the next leader pursue with the same vigor and relentlessness PDU30’s brutal war against drug trafficking, and his uncompromising drive against corruption, as well as his war against Communist insurgency and criminality, which are all unfinished?
Will these landmark changes, reforms, and innovations unravel in a deluge as the political system and status quo will be unchanging?
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has achieved notable successes and game-changing breakthroughs that his successor is expected to enhance and improve upon rather than set aside.
At this juncture and present state of affairs, there is no personality equal to Duterte, except probably Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson.
Though not everyone likes “Ping” Lacson, the steadfast and honest senator is steadily rising in stature, reputation and credibility in a seemingly barren political landscape.
You be the judge.