STUPIDITY, unlike Mang Inasal’s rice, is not unlimited. Du30 to his utter disgust discovered this hard truth when he issued Proclamation No. 572. Crafted in a treacherous way, the proclamation was signed on August 31 but was made public on September 4 aimed at catching Du30’s arch nemesis Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV by surprise. As events turned out, it was Du30 who got the biggest surprise of his life.
Du30 wanted to give himself a huge homecoming party by locking up Sen. Trillanes behind bars, another chief critic silenced. Du30 not only sought to boost his strongman credential, he also wanted to take revenge on the pesky senator.
Proclamation No. 572 revoked the amnesty given to Sen. Trillanes and ordered his arrest. The senator Du30 claimed did not apply for amnesty and never expressed regret for launching mutiny against then “president” Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The proof according to Du30 is the senator’s missing application papers in the archive.
The quick-witted senator checkmated Du30 and foiled his plan by seeking sanctuary in the Senate. Du30’s underlings frantically knocked on Makati courts (first at Branch 150, and then at Branch 148) pleading for the issuance of a warrant of arrest and hold-departure-order against Sen, Trillanes.
Aware of the brazen illegality of Du30’s order, the military and the police did not storm the Senate to drag Sen. Trillanes out. They dallied, seeking clarification for the order and waited for the court’s action. Both courts refused to issue an arrest warrant and instead set hearing for the case.
A visibly frustrated and irked Du30 returned home to find Sen. Trillanes having the monopoly of media coverage. Taking full advantage of the local and international media millage, Sen. Trillanes punched on Du30 and set the pace of the confrontation.
The limit of stupidity is exposed in the latest Du30 – Trillanes face-off which explains why Du30’s insidious plan backfired. Proclamation No. 572 is not only boldly illegal it also is based on pure lies and fabrication. Du30 wrongly assumed that functionaries and machineries of the state will follow whatever he says even if it is the most stupid.
In his fantasy and in the alternate universe he dwells, Du30 thinks he is a king, a medieval despot whose bark is law. Reality punctured his illusion and pierced his delusion. Even the staunchest minions of Du30 in the bureaucracy including the Gang of
Eight in the Supreme Court are hard pressed to defend the stupidity of his order.
Proclamation No 572 is clearly stupid and ridiculous on numerous legal and moral grounds. For one, revoking the amnesty granted by previous presidents especially if proper constitutional requirements (presidential act concurred in by Congress with the
Supreme Court taking judicial notice) are complied is recipe for chaos and strife.
If what Du30 did prevail, anyone who availed of government’s amnesty is vulnerable to persecution. Soldiers and rebels (even those aging) and anyone who was given amnesty can be rearrested. Sen. Honasan and company, the current AFP-chief-of-Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., even communist rebel Luis Taruc (if he is alive) can have their amnesty revoked, ordered arrested and stand trial.
Present and future presidents revoking the amnesty granted by their predecessors will render amnesty useless and inutile. Nobody will trust the government especially its amnesty program. Availing it is worthless if it can be set aside any time in the future.
How can national reconciliation in situation of conflict be effected through amnesty if Du30’s stupid act is given credence?
Aside from showing the limit of stupidity, the Du30-Trillanes tiff also exposed the boundary of Du30’s overreach and that he can go no further. In the last two years
Du30 tested the limits of the present constitutional order. He has played around with the rule of law and on many occasions mocked and violated the Constitution and got away with it. Du30 assumed that since he always have his way through bullying, it is time to take the action to the next level by issuing illegal orders.
This time, Du30did not get his way. The courts, the military and other institutions did not do his bidding fully aware that following an illegal order will destroy the present constitutional order and plunge the nation into anarchy ushering in social disintegration.
In his confrontation with Sen. Trillanes, Du30 lost big time and he will pay a heavy political price for it. His vulnerability is laid bare and his brash bullying has reached its apogee. From now on Du30 is politically on the defensive and on the retreat.
Failing to arrest Sen. Trillanes, it is now clear to everyone that Du30 can no longer have his way. Du30’s abominable removal of Chief Justice Sereno is the apex of his abuse of power and his influence is now receding, his clout waning. His other political projects like federalism are at risk and may be doomed.
Worse for Du30 his trust rating fell to a new low according to the Social Weather Station (SWS) latest survey. From 65 percent Du30’s trust rating plunged to 57 percent, an eight-point drop in the June 27-30, 2018 survey. During the survey inflation is at 5.2 percent. Now that inflation at 6.4 percent and Filipinos are wailing across the land due to high prices of goods and services it is likely that the trust rating of Du30 will further fall and the erosion of his political support may be irreversible.
Confronting economic conflagration with his political capital almost gone (wasted on confrontational leadership and by rehabilitating the corrupt – Marcoses, Arroyos, Estradas) Du30 is facing a category five political storm. The economy is plummeting as indicated by the widening trade deficit ($22.49B) and the peso falling at its lowest in thirteen years ($1 = 54.13 pesos).
Du30 will rise or fall on how he manage and navigate the economic storm. Signs show that Du30 is incompetent and ignorant on how to handle the economic crisis. For instance, he blamed Donald Trump and military check points for the inflation.
Problems of the country are complex and complicated and they cannot be solved by slaughtering people, propagating lies and fake news and issuing stupid edicts.