On Duterte-Duterte Ticket

BY FELIX ORCULLO

Felix Orcullo

POLITICAL COMMENTARY

To supporters of President Duterte, six years in the presidency without re-election is not enough.  Seems like an unfinished business.  He is not allowed to run for re-election according to the Constitution.  Just one term for six years.

But lo and behold, DDS saw a loophole.  If he is not allowed to run again as president after his term expires in May 2022, then he can run as vice-president, can’t he?  The Constitution does not say an ex-president cannot run as vice-president.

And now, after months of speculation, Duterte has confirmed running for vice-president.   So, who will run as president?  Of course, his daughter Sarah Duterte-Carpio.  If they win, Sarah will be the president, technically and Duterte will be the deputy, technically.  And that’s the beauty of it.  Even if Digong is no longer president, he can still continue his reign. 

For DDS, this is a perfect way to continue Duterte’s presidency after his current term of six years expires.  I’ve heard many proponents but this one tops the cake:  that future vice-presidents will be judged by the standards Duterte will be setting (as vice president), especially as apparently, he has already set the bar high as president for which future presidents would be judged as well.

The political enemies of PDP-Laban claim this is not right.  It’s immoral; against the spirit of the Constitution.  But no one says this scenario is moral, not even by the DDS.  Truth is, many of Duterte’s words and actions as president have been based on immoral means.   

Filipino politics, what a circus!

A Clayton Solution

The long running saga of the Murugappan family is not over yet.  They are now in a community detention placement in Perth after Tharnicaa and her mother Priya were airlifted from Christmas Island.  The little girl was suffering from a serious medical injury.  She had been complaining about this ailment for two weeks and was given Panadol.  Yes. Panadol!  And the government claimed the girl was given a proper medical care.  The girl had serious illness suffering for a fortnight and all she was given was Panadol. 

After strong public outcry about their treatment in the Christmas Island detention centre, daughter and mother were airlifted to a Perth hospital.  Then came Minister Alex Hawke’s decision that the family ought to be reunited.  So, father and the older sister girl joined them in a community detention placement.  Yes, in a community detention in Perth. 

I have opposed many of Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s views but this time, he was spot on.  Short of claiming the family has been subjected to serious racial discrimination, he said that if the girls’ names had been Anne and Sally and played netball, the whole family would have been released straight away.  That’s the bottom line.  This family is coloured.  How many white refugees have taken shelter in Australia?  And how quickly had their refugee status been approved?

Minister Hawke claimed he exercised appropriate compassion, whatever that meant.  Some compassion!   

This LNP government marches around proclaiming compassion and trumpeting their Christian beliefs.  What hypocrisy!  What a Clayton solution!

Free Julian Assange

Is there anyone wondering where Julian Assange is?  He is still in a UK prison even after a UK judge has ruled that Assange could not be extradited to the US on account of his mental and physical health.

He is charged of publishing truthful information in the public interest: evidence of US war crimes, uncounted civilian casualties, and rampant US corruption in 2010.  His incarceration in UK after his protracted stay inside the Venezuelan embassy compound in London following his escape from Sweden shook one of the foundations of democracy:  freedom of speech and free press.

In the first year of his presidency, The US President Joe Biden can end Assange’s imprisonment.  After all, Assange’s source of information, Chelsea Manning, was pardoned by President Obama.  If Obama could do this, why not Biden if only to restore the US’s image that had been damaged by Assange’s imprisonment in Sweden, made worse by President Trump’s attack on journalism during his term.

Sadly, the current LNP government in Australia has not bothered helping Julian (excepting certain MPs on both sides of the political divide) now campaigning for his release). 

It is time to uphold our democratic ideals and demand that all governments respect the rights of free speech.  The Biden administration can end this injustice now, by dropping the charges and let Assange walk free.

Menacing Wallpaper

The PM Morrison was like “a menacing controlling wallpaper”, says Julia Banks, the former Liberal MP for Chisholm.

In her book just released titled Power Play, she wrote of a toxic culture in the Federal Parliament.  Banks talks about how she herself, a successful 50-something corporate lawyer turned politician has been subjected to an “astoundingly brazen” act when a male colleague deliberately touched her in an open meeting.  She added that she was aware that there were worse things that had happened to other women in the workplace. 

You’d think that with all these revelations about a number of women being subjected to sexual assaults in Parliament, the government would be introducing measures to stop this culture and improve workplace for women.

Ask the PM.  He is not labelled a “menacing wallpaper” for nothing.

Vaccine Roll-out

It’s been reported that PM Scott Morrison has apologised for Australia’s slow Covid19 vaccine.  “Mr Morrison reiterated he took responsibility for the country’s vaccination rate lagging behind due to ongoing supply challenges.”

What exactly did he mean by this?  Morrison promised Australians would be fully vaccinated by October.  It now appears that we are two months behind schedule even if he has been at pains in stressing vaccination is not a race against time.  Clearly, there weren’t enough vaccines plus problems with roll-out.  We also know that it took ex-PM Kevin Rudd to assist in securing Pfizer vaccines after it had been reported that Morrison had refused to talk to the chair of Pfizer. Many countries notably Israel spoke to Pfizer more than 50 times to secure theirs.  Ours remained unmoved.  Why? 

The world envied us initially but now they’re laughing at us.  We are one of the lowest in vaccination rate!

Incompetence or arrogance?  Probably both!

Felix Orcullo June-July 2021

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