By Manny Pinol
On my way to my hometown, M’lang, to join the Kawayanan Festival today, I received a message from a prominent Makati city political figure who has crossed swords with the powerful Binay clan for years now.
Former Makati Vice Mayor Bobby Brillante, a lawyer and former Binay ally who went to jail for libel following a series of scathing attack at then Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, asked me to relay his message to Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte.
While I have not personally met Brillante, I have heard a lot of stories about him, both favorable and derisive some of which described him as having a “knock” in the head for assuming the persona of Don Quixote fighting the Binay windmill by his lonesome.
I found his message to Rody Duterte profound and sincere.
He asked me to tell Duterte that “He is our only chance to veer away from the road to perdition.”
“History will not forgive him if he turns his back on this greatest call of duty to God and country,” Brillante added.
I understood that line as a milder version of what Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo wrote in his column where he said that Duterte will commit an unpatriotic act if he refuses to listen to the calls of the people for him to run for President.
Brillante ended his message with a prayer that “May God enlighten his mind and bless him with wisdom like that of Solomon.”
He added in his message that he was willing to help in the campaign in Metro Manila should Rody Duterte decide to take up the challenge and run for President.
Brillante is one of the growing numbers of political leaders in the country who have realized that without a leader untainted by issues of corruption and able to address the unabated criminality, the Philippines will go down the road to perdition.
They all see Duterte as the only hope.
Duterte, until today, however, has not made any commitment or even declared an intent to consider the Presidency.
In spite of his repeated rejection of the proposal to consider the Presidency, Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte remains a very winnable candidate should he accept the challenge.
Pledges of support have flooded the social media, especially this Facebook account, calling for the colorful and controversial Mayor to lead the country in these difficult times.
With the political field from which Presidential materials grow rendered almost barren as issues of massive corruption have debilitated top political personalities, it is almost a cinch that Filipino voters will opt for an alternative candidate.
Early indications show that Duterte is becoming the most preferred alternative candidate in spite of his vehement refusal to consider the idea of running for President.
But just how much do people know about Duterte aside from the fact that he has made his city the 4th safest in the world and one of Asia’s Most Livable Cities?
What else have they heard from Duterte aside from the cuss words on national television to express his disdain and contempt for the wrongdoings in government?
What other remarkable lines has he said aside from the now famous statement he delivered in the Senate during a hearing on rice smuggling when he chastised his fellow government officials saying: “The problem with us in government is that we talk too much but do so little and act so slow.”?
Who really understands what Duterte’s thoughts are on very important issues like Corruption, Criminality, Security, the Bangsamoro Problem, the Communist Insurgency, the China Issue, National Development and Poverty, the Environment, the Population Problem and other very important concerns?
In the many moments that I sat side by side with Rody Duterte, I tried to pick his mind to know his thoughts on critical issues which may confront a President.
Starting this week, I will share with the followers of this page what I learned from Duterte about himself and his views on important issues as a leader.
I believe that this is a very important exercise because the Presidency is more than just mouthing and repeating worn out slogans on poverty and better life.
The next President must have a clear agenda on how he will eradicate corruption, address the unabated criminality and bring back people’s trust in government.
I encourage the readers to ask questions which I may have missed so that together we will discover whether Duterte is really our hope for a national renewal which will make this country great again.