Duterte in a bind – threatened by a rebellious friend and a loss of support from thousands of motorcyclists


By ELINANDO B. CINCO                       

Elinando B. Cinco Elinando B. Cinco

It is easy now for many Filipinos to say President Duterte is having his comeuppance.

            In every public speaking opportunity, he finds it convenient to hurl threats at critics and the opposition, the religious, the Catholic Church, and international institutions like the US, ICC, UN and EU. But this time he is their adversary, at the receiving end of some thunderbolt from the local front.

            For example, on Wednesday last week, in a meeting in Malacanang among leaders from Mindanao, the animated gathering turned awry.

            An old friend of the President – Nur Misuari, the founding chairman of MNLF – expressed something many in the group did not want to hear.

            He said in case the administration fails to adopt federalism as the form of government, he will go to war against the present dispensation.

           If the majority of the regional leaders in attendance understood the hurt feelings of Misuari, they also understood his baneful attitude.

            Left out from the recent widely endorsed regional administration, the BARMM, Misuari’s MNLF has become a lonely organization in Mindanao, with thinning followers in Jolo, Sulu.

            With a federal system, Misuari foresees his campaign to lend a federated state of Western Mindanao become a reality.

            And in fairness to him, many credible leaders in the region believe Misuari is right for that position.

            In another front --  in what TV reporters called “a noisy opposition,” some 50,000 motorcycle riders from Metro Manila and nearby provinces roared through the 23-kilometer stretch of EDSA last Sunday afternoon.

            The two-wheel riders, brandishing placards and bull horns, made known to authorities their position to the newly crafted Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act. Sen. Richard Gordon is the author of the bill.

            RA 11235 requires them to display two bigger and color-coded license plates made of steel on the front and rear end of the vehicle. They claimed that in road accidents the plates could slice through their body.

            President Duterte signed it into law recently. The LTO is now composing the Implementing Rules and Regulations.

            The leaders of the motorcycle caravan wanted the Chief Executive to withdraw his signature from the measure, “or else” they would not support the senatorial candidates supported by the Palace.

            The 50,000 riders who showed up at EDSA last Sunday, plus, their spouses are a big election denominator, if you ask me.


FOR SENATOR -- DAN ROLEDA, UNA. Here is one candidate for membership in the Philippine Senate whose strongest qualification is largely crafting legislation. He was elected city councilor of the Third District of Manila for two terms (six years). He was also elected president of the Philippine Councilors’ League.

 After that productive stint, he went into legal practice and distinguished himself as a brilliant practitioner for having won crucial cases in various judiciary bodies.

            In the mid-2000’s, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed Dan Roleda presidential adviser on foreign investments with the rank of Cabinet secretary.

            This young lawyer finished law as an honor student in the Faculty of Civil Law, UST. He was  president of the student council. He is a native of Calbayog City.