Expose and condemn Duterte’s last ditch efforts to evade accountability and extend power!
With just more than a hundred days in power as president, Duterte is definitely scrambling for ways, means and people to fill up vacant positions in the government and protect himself and his cohorts against the ire of the people once his immunity from suit becomes passe and inutile and to evade accountability. His “all my bags are packed, i’m ready to go” is but one side of the coin. Behind Duterte’s usual long ramblings are workings on his last ditch effort to extend his dictatorial powers and influence or control governance under the new president and administration, if ever he steps down.
Appointments to various government positions and government midnight deals are expected to keep Duterte preoccupied during his last days in Malacañang aside from endorsements and candidate hand-raising for the next two months. While the Filipino people are agog listening to promises of candidates in the forthcoming May 9 elections, the outgoing, fascist, corrupt, tyrannical and murderous Duterte is silently laying the grounds for a “graceful exit”.
Just a few days ago, he appointed his fraternity brod Antonio Kho, Jr. who hails from Mindanao as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Kho had just retired few weeks ago as COMELEC commissioner and voted for the dismissal of the disqualification case against Bongbong Marcos at the Second division of the COMELEC. As a SC justice, Kho completes the line up of 12 out of 15 justices of the highest court of the land appointed by Duterte.
Last Feb 17, Duterte also appointed Rizalina Justol as new chair of the COA replacing Michael Aguinaldo whose term ended last Feb 2. Before this, Justol served as deputy executive secretary for finance and administration under the Office of the President. Note that in 2010 Justol was one of the respondents in a plunder case filed with the Ombusdman for the misappropriation of P11M in the city’s Special Education Fund. Among her co-respondents in the case were Davao City Officials, including Duterte as mayor.
The appointment of more Davaoeños, brods and cronies to various government positions is Duterte’s priority agenda and would be very beneficial to him even after he steps down.
Maria Belen “Mabel” Sunga Acosta, a Davao City councilor for 18 years was appointed chair of Mindanao Development Authority, replacing Emmanuel Piñol who resigned to run for a senate seat.
Jesus Quitain, who served as Davao City Administrator under Duterte was named Chief Presidential legal counsel to replace Salvador Panelo in November 2020; Warren Rex Liong as overall deputy Ombudsman replacing Carandang after he pushed for an inquiry into Duterte’s alleged unexplained wealth; and the now infamous Aimee Ferolino, also from Davao del Norte who was appointed as a replacement to Al Parreño as COMELEC commissioner. Ferolino authored the COMELEC’s First Division ruling that dismissed the consolidated petitions for the disqualification case against Bongbong Marcos decided by the First Division of the COMELEC.
With the retirement of three out of seven members in the COMELEC – Chairman Abas, Commisioners Antonio Kho, Jr. and Rowena Guanzon last February 2, and only three months before the 2022 national elections., Duterte will handpick men and women as replacements to these vacancies. Until then, the poll body would be governed by four Duterte’s appointees — three of whom are from Davao (Socorro Inting, Marlon Casquejo, and Aimee Ferolino) and the remaining a Duterte’s frat brod, Rey Dulay.
Expect more Davaeños and Duterte loyalists to fill up vacant positions at the Comelec, COA, Supreme Court and the reactionary fascist machinery. So with all the Duterte’s Davao and loyal people posted in very important and strategic government position — nothing could go wrong for Duterte. Add to that his ever-dependable cronies, spiritual advisers and murderous generals! Now talk about experience, credentials, achievements and best minds!
While Duterte and cohorts sit down, relax, watch and prepares for his “retirement” from politics, offering the best minds in his government as “gift” to the next administration, he also admits having some sloppy/palpak cabinet members. He missed to admit his retinue is also composed of incompetent, corrupt, fascist and murderous government officials, just like himself and his idolized dictator- Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr.
The Filipino people who will be left with Duterte’s “legacy” of widespread unemployment, increased taxes to pay for the enormous debts incurred but funneled and lost to corruption, failed promises and a long list of human rights abuses, has long before graded the Duterte regime not only as “palpak” but corrupt, fascist, tyrannical. The Filipino people seeks justice and will not let Duterte and cohorts go unpunished. The Filipino people must unite and frustrate Duterte’s plan to extend his dictatorship, rig the forthcoming election. They must expose and reject the most evil political alliance of Marcos-Arroyo-Duterte seeking to win the presidential and vice presidential seat. We must never forget the atrocities and crimes of the most corrupt, fascist and tyrannical alliance against the people.###