Thursday Feb, 22 2024 11:01:51 PM

Former North Cotabato Gov. Pinol on Duterte

 • 03:23 AM Wed Oct 14, 2015
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Posted with permission from author
Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte speaks to reporters. ((Photo downloaded from Peter Tiu Laviña's Facebook page)

By Manny Piñol

How do I
begin?

Perhaps, it
is best that I first bow my head and beg for your forgiveness for taking you on
a ride and making you believe in a beautiful dream.

We all
dreamed of a President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, The Punisher, Incorruptible,
All-Embracing and Inclusive Leader, Federalism Advocate, Tough Enforcer of the
Law, and Compassionate Father.

He would
neutralize drug dealers and criminals, send to the execution room the
plunderers, kidnappers, rapists, create millions of jobs with the development
of the countryside through a Federal system of government and lift the farmers
from poverty through a market-oriented agricultural program.

In many
instances, Duterte made all of us believe that the dream could be real with his
hypothetical If I were President... statements.

Yesterday,
however, the dream ended in a surprising twist.

For the third
time, which I believe could also be the last time, Duterte again said he wanted
a quiet life and the Presidency was not for him.

Shock and
disappointment are both understatements to describe what I and millions of
other Filipinos who believed in him felt yesterday.

It was an
unexpected turn of events because earlier, we, who belonged to the small group
of Duterte friends, had already prepared a plan on what to do before and on
Oct. 15 when he would file his Certificate of Candidacy before the COMELEC in
Manila.

Of course,
the thought that he would decide not to run for President was considered in the
planning, although it was categorised as a remote possibility.

I had my
reasons to really believe that he had been swayed by the people's call for him
to run for President because a week earlier I volunteered to write a draft his
acceptance speech.

About two
hours before the press conference yesterday, I emailed a copy of the draft to
his trusted aide Christopher Bong Go and I had a hardcopy in my
hand going to the press conference.

Seeing a
one-page statement in his hand as he sat in the centre table for the press
conference, I felt I was stabbed in the heart.

I knew there
was not going to be an acceptance speech.

What brought
about the unexpected turn of events yesterday?

I believe it
was influenced by the temerity of some people who assumed they could influence
and pressure Duterte into making a decision.

In an earlier
interview with DWIZ's Karambola hosts, I said that the possibility of Duterte
backing off was still there especially so since some people were jumping the
gun on him and pre-empting his moves.

Even before
he could formally announce his decision on whether to run or not, tarpaulin
streamers announcing his partnership with a Vice Presidential candidate were
seen all over Metro Manila.

At a time
when he was telling the people that he was still going through the painful
process of making a decision, a self-proclaimed political adviser issued an
official statement that Duterte was definitely running.

While we all
believed he was running, a statement that he was running coming from a
political adviser made Duterte look foolish and a liar.

Knowing
Duterte, he does not like to be influenced into making a decision and I know he
was bothered by the official announcement that he was running
because he issued a press statement denying it.

He seldom
does that especially when the press statements are products of people who
really understand him and whom he trusts.

Duterte, who
zealously protects his reputation as an independent-minded individual, was
actually faced with serious predicaments.

There is the
problem on how to finance a national campaign without submitting himself to the
dictates of the traditional political funders.

He also talks
about his age and his health problems caused by a motorcycle fall several years
ago.

And there is
the worry on what would become Davao City should he leave it to run for a
national position.

I might
be like a plane who takes off and comes back finding that he has no more
airport to land in, he told TV5's Mia Reyes.

There are
reports that he failed to convince his daughter, former Mayor Sarah
Duterte-Carpio, to take over the mayorship of the City.

The premature
announcement apparently served as the last straw that broke the camel's back.

So this is
where are now. The beautiful dream ends.

Is there
still a glimmer of hope that Duterte would change his mind at the last minute?

Only
when there is Divine intervention, I told media people who asked me that
question yesterday.

Just like
millions of Filipinos, I grieve over the decision of Duterte not to run for
President.

It is not
because I wanted my friend to become President but simply because Duterte
offered hope of a better life for the Filipino people.

That is now a
far-fetched dream, even more remotely possible than a Duterte Presidency.

I deeply
apologize to all the followers and readers of this page for raising false hopes
and for trying to weave a beautiful dream that we all wished would come true.

I will
continue writing in this page and sharing with you my thoughts on issues
involving our daily lives.

Honestly, I
really thought this page would be part of history with the making of a
President who changed the country and made it one of the greatest nations on
earth.

It is not
going to be. I am sorry.

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