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Drilon, Robredo — and PDI — pushing opposition to extinction

AT the rate the Yellow Cult leaders are demonstrating how incompetent they are, and with the Philippine Daily Inquirer unwittingly broadcasting their ineptness, there won’t be any opposition in the next national elections in 2022.

In the span of a few days, Sen. Franklin Drilon, the most experienced and smartest Liberal Party leader, and Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo showed how blatantly incompetent they are to be leaders of the nation.

Of all criticisms against the Duterte administration, Drilon attacked what is inarguably the most popular — among all classes — and most solid accomplishment of this administration: its massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, its roads and bridges component led by the most respected Cabinet member, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar.

If there’s anything wrong with the “Build, Build, Build” program, it is whether the massive infusion of funds into the system would be inflationary or whether government can sustain the debt burden on borrowed funds used for it.

I won’t waste this space debunking point by point Drilon’s claim that the Build, Build, Build program is a dismal failure. (Check out the rebuttals of Duterte’s spokesman Salvador Panelo and his adviser on flagship Vince Dizon who have very ably shown Drilon to be ignorant, bigtime.)

P1 trillion
Suffice it to point out that the national income expenditure accounts (from which the more familiar GDP and GNP figures are derived from) show that from 2016 to 2018, the construction sector grew by 12.7 percent, while government budget data show that the Duterte administration spent about P1 trillion for its infra projects.

The PDI did have some saner editors so that right beside the article on Drilon’s harangue was a detailed list by “Inquirer Research” of the 75 ongoing and completed of the so-called flagship infrastructure projects.

What was Drilon thinking? Anywhere you go in the metropolitan Manila area, there are clear indications of massive infrastructure being built that would, before Duterte steps down, drastically reduce traffic in EDSA, as well as in the expressways leading outside it. I am sure a component of the Build, Build, Build program just recently opened up to motorists would even make Drilon’s commute to his vacation house in the South a lot easier. Hasn’t he heard of that?

Note how the other Liberal Party senators — the normally noisy Francis Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros — have cleverly not commented at all on Drilon’s claims.

On the other hand, the Liberal Party stalwart, its chairman, Robredo, in just a few days demonstrated how incompetent she is for the role that was given to her in the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-illegal Drugs (ICAD), whatever it really is. (Malacañang has not clarified how it could appoint a co-chair for the ICAD when the executive order that created it does not provide for such a position.)

Instead of buckling down to work, which would rationally involve first studying what the illegal-drug problem really is and how to combat it — things on which she is as clueless as Drilon is on the infrastructure program — Robredo has been blabbering nonsense.

The Yellow paper, of course, was so different.

She said that the Philippine National Police’s Oplan Tokhang program should be stopped. This has been a practice of the police to visit drug suspects — pushers or users — to warn them and get them to surrender or just stop their illegal activities. But tokhang, on the whole, has been effective in clearing communities of the drug problem, as the drug suspects would realize they’ve been identified, and they mostly leave the area. The very term implies a peaceful approach really, as it is derived from the Visayan terms “toktok” (knock) and “hangyo” (plead).

The casualties do not occur during tokhang operations but when the police are informed that drug suspects who ignored the tokhang warning so that the law enforcers undertake operations to arrest them.

What I find disgusting in Robredo’s recent actions is her statements that she would seek American help and front-paged again in the PDI was her talking to officials of US law enforcement agencies.

She is in effect sending a message that we Filipinos can’t solve our drug problem that we need the might of the US to help us. Isn’t she aware that the US has been powerless to help its closest neighbor, Mexico, in its war against illegal drugs? Indeed, only recently the Sinaloa drug cartel turned the city into a war zone to force the government to release the son of its founder the infamous “El Chapo” de Guzman who’s been convicted and thrown into a US prison years ago.

And then the Commission on Human Rights, headed by Jose Gascon, Robredo’s partymate, probably thinking that she’s now the big boss at ICAD, is demanding detailed data on the casualties in the drug war. Have they ever demanded from the Communist Party that it disclose details of their killings?

The only thing going for the Yellow Cult is that they are firmly in control of three media outlets: the PDI and the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN, as well as Rappler in which two Cory Aquino officials, Solita Monsod and Fulgencio Factoran Jr., sit as board members to watch over the Yellow investments.

I found it astonishing that PDI so starkly demonstrated that is still the mouthpiece of the Yellow Cult. It was the only newspaper that reported Drilon’s claim about the “dismal failure” of the Build, Build, Build program. Not only that, it put his canard as a screaming banner headline in unusually huge font. Other newspapers did not even have an inside story on Drilon’s fib.

Now that nobody believes his allegations, it would have been better for him and the opposition if the PDI had not been as eager to please its masters, and at the very least, just put Drilon’s allegations in its inside pages.

At the rate PDI has been trying to put down Duterte, reporting the Yellow leaders’ stupidities as screaming headlines in the foolish hope this would make people dislike Duterte, it is in fact pushing the Yellows to extinction.




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