FVR has earned the right to critique Duterte

The Kingmaker and the King

THE critique of former President Fidel V. Ramos of President Duterte’s first 100 days should be a warning to the latter that he cannot go on with his “Kill, Kill” mantra with five years and nine months more to go in his presidency.

FVR burst the bubble of Malacañang’s euphoria over the President’s 76 percent satisfaction rating (Social Weather Stations September 24-27, 2016 survey) with a commentary in the Oct. 9 issue of the Manila Bulletin that “..we find our team Philippines losing in the first 100 days of DU30’s administration – and losing badly. This is a huge disappointment and let-down to many of us.”

“Team Philippines” refers to the 101 million Filipinos.

Ramos said Duterte could have done better “..if he had hit the ground running instead of being stuck in unending controversies about extra-judicial killings of drug suspects and in his ability at using cuss-words and insults instead of civilized language.”

If it were not FVR saying this, Duterte and his supporters could have easily dismissed it as part of a CIA-sponsored campaign to bring down the popular president.

But this is FVR, the person Duterte especially thanked for his becoming president during his inauguration.

This is FVR, who had proven to be the most competent of the post-Marcos presidents. He knows what he is talking about when he says that new administration failed “on two concepts of primordial importance – Leadership and Teamwork.”

One of the issues FVR took Duterte to task was on his puzzling animosity towards the United States.

Ramos said: “Equally discombobulating are the mix of ‘off-and-on’ statements by P. Digong on Philippines-U.S. relations, particularly on security and economic matters.”

He noted the bizarre timing of Duterte’s tirades: “At the time when (1) DFA Secretary Jun Yasay was addressing the U.N. in New York; (2) DOF Secretary Sonny Dominguez was leading a trade delegation to the U.S.. and, (3) DND Secretary Del Lorenzana was huddling on South China Sea/West Philippine Sea concerns with U.S. Defense Chief Ash Carter and the other ASEAN Defense Ministers in Honolulu, our president continued to berate outgoing President Barack Obama, outgoing U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, and terminated RP-U.S. Military exercises by end-2016.”

“So, what gives??,” Ramos asked with a double question mark.

The West Pointer asked the questions which are in the minds of Philippine military officials: “ Are we throwing away decades of military partnership, tactical proficiency, compatible weaponry, predictable logistics, and soldier-to-soldier camaraderie just like that??”

“On P. Du30’s say-so???” he asked with three question marks.

In a talk with him the other day, he said major policy shifts should be decided upon consultation with the Filipino people.

Ramos, who was named by Duterte as special envoy to China, will not be joining the President’s state visit to China on Oct. 18 to 21.

He said he has performed his job as “ice-breaker” in Philippine-China relations which was strained during the Aquino administration with his team’s meeting in Hong Kong last Aug. 11 with Chinese friends and officials.

His team was supposed to have gone to China last week of September for a second meeting with Chinese officials but it was cancelled. Reason given was the President’s state visit.

One sensed frustration in FVR’s voice when he said that “That was it” for his special envoy role.

Duterte has not reacted to FVR’s commentary but Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said they see the former President as “ acting in a sense like a father.”

Will the President/child listen?


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