Duterte-Pacquiao bout highly lopsided

President Duterte challenged former Supreme Court Senior Associate Justic Antonio Carpio to a debate on the West Philippine Sea. Carpio accepts challenge. Duterte backs out.

Duterte challenged Sen. Manny Pacquiao to show proof of corruption in government. Pacquiao accepts challenge, shows voluminous proof. Duterte becomes silent.

In October 2019, Duterte appointed Vice President Leni Robredo as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs. The other chair is the PDEA director-general. The appointment came after Robredo criticized Duterte’s deadly anti-drug war that succeeded at apprehending and confiscating only one percent of the total illegal drugs traded around the country.

When the Vice President started working by asking for pertinent files, Duterte immediately pulled her out.

These are facts. Opinion on the other hand is the stuff of DDS vlogger Nino Barzaga who was recently arrested for libelous content hurled against Manila mayor Isko Moreno. The vlogger later admitted to police he is part of a network of trolls paid to spread fake news.

One can only deduce that those who remain loyal to Duterte must benefit financially, otherwise, the facts speak for themselves.

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, when presented by Sen. Pacquiao with documents, lamely said the allegations of corruption are not new; what they need are concrete evidence. Therefore, the PACC does not investigate; it merely waits for evidence from external parties.

Paper trail of corruption at DSWD and DOH seem not enough. People are aware the BIR and Customs are historically dens of corruption. The PACC knows this. But Malacanang seems oblivious.

Even when cases are filed in court, the outcome will not send corrupt officials in jail. The justice system is flawed. Evidences can be suppressed. Witnesses can be threatened. Police investigators can be bribed.

The BIR and Customs employ examiners who happen to be good lawyers. In time, they can be experts at circumventing the law.

Lifestyle checks are no longer fashionable. The influx of foreign donations for COVID response must have encouraged corrupt officials to run for office. It’s incomprehensible for politicians to spend millions of pesos for the election campaign; money that should have been used to help those who suffered during the pandemic.

This has led to Pacquiao’s exasperation at the vicious cycle of corruption. Manny has the best intentions. He has no interest to accumulate wealth while in office. He is already rich, very rich. His advocacy to help the poor is genuine, no one can doubt that.

But he is inside a snake pit full of cunning politicians who can destroy him. Actually, it has started, with attacks from Chavit Singson and Apollo Quiboloy.

He wants to run for president with the purest of intentions. His popularity in sports will not bring him to Malacanang. Even if all Filipinos voted for him, Comelec cannot guarantee that will be counted.

Like Dolphy who was prodded to run for president due to his popularity, Manny should consider what he will do next when he gets to be president. The task is overwhelming. His critics will not go away. Detractors will hound him throughout his term. His intelligence will be tested. It’s not enough to be compassionate.

Running for president will destroy Manny’s political career.

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