In case you’ve tweeted #PatayNaBa over the past week, you can rest easy: President Duterte is still alive. That is according to his best bud, Senator Bong Go, who posted several proofs of life on Facebook.
The Prezzo was filmed jogging, riding a motorbike, and golfing around the Malacañang grounds at nighttime. Go reassured the pvblic, with the caption ‘Nandito lang si Tatay Digong’ (Digong is still here).
But as the question of Duterte’s fate has been answered, another remains: If Dutz is healthy enough to do these things, then where has Duterte been the past week?
The last 7 days have been… eventful, to say the least. China has been aggressively encroaching on Philippine waters, even chasing off a Filipino news crew from their own territory. The US chipped in, airing a reminder that it’s treaty-bound to aid our country in times of conflict.
Duterte, for his part, has remained silent.
The Prezzo also missed his weekly address in the midst of rising per-day COVID-19 cases, which peaked at 15k in April. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque chalked the absence to a security precaution, as the presidential staff supposedly contracted the virus.
But it doesn’t help that the Pres. Mouthpiece hasn’t exactly been a consistently reliable source of news in the past. In the same week, Sara Duterte flew to Singapore, where the elder Duterte has been rumored to be seeking medical treatment. She refused to provide details, other than that it’s for ‘personal health management’.
Once everything’s pieced together, it creates seeds of doubt in a forest already full of them. The lack of trustworthy pro-government officials, the Prezzo and his camp’s allergy to transparency, and now, Duterte apparently being healthy enough to jog, bike and golf, but not address his people, even in a makeshift capacity.
In an unstable climate (like the one we have today), people look for a rock. Said rock doesn’t have to necessarily END the pandemic, as many of the pro-admin fanatics mistakenly argue every time. That would be unrealistic.
But the rock has to be there as a show of strength. For the frontliners who are groaning under the weight of the growing cases. For the poor who see ‘faith’ as a refuge for their grumbling stomachs. And for the average Juan, who sees no end to the chaos.
The rock has to also be consistent in his strength, regardless of how tired, inutil, or close to crying he claims to be. Yes, being a president is a brutal and thankless job. But that is something all candidates should’ve been aware of from the start.
And if in case the rock is on the verge of crumbling in his duties, then he might as well hand the reins to someone who won’t, before he brings down the entire structure along with him.