Duterte zooms ahead

jayIts crunch time and Rodrigo Duterte, the Mayor of Davao City  is poised to win the presidency come election time on May 9.

If surveys are to be a guide, it looks as if the Philippines will elect for the first time in our history a son of Mindanao to the highest position of the land.

He would also be the first incumbent mayor / local official to run for president and win.

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Duterte  carriesa commanding lead against his rivals in the latest surveys where one of three Filipino voters will vote for him.

Grace Poe is faraway second place, more than ten points away from Duterte.

At the same time, in the last two minutes, Duterte has been swamped with a barrage of black propaganda, the most notable of which is his supposedly having billions of pesos.

We are already at the tail end of the campaign, and Duterte is obviously the clear front runner. That is why it is not unexpected that his rivals will move heaven and earth to pull down Duterte with a slew of accusations.

Why make these so-called exposes only now?

It only shows Duterte’s adversaries are already on panic mode.

Every accusation against Duterte is made through the media.

If the intention is to investigate the wealth of candidates, there is a proper and legal way of doing it—certainly not through publicity stunts in media.

That is why Duterte is demanding that accusations be made under oath, especially that made by Senator Antonio Trillanes.

To seek a probe of a government official’s wealth, the various institutions of government are  the proper venue, such as the office of the ombudsman, and even the proper committees of congress like the Senate Blue Ribbon committee.

The fact that exposes, composed of unverified pieces of paper, supposedly sent anonymously through envelopes, are brought straight to media is a confirmation that the motive of such exposes is purely political.

Assuming for the sake of argument indeed Duterte has millions of pesos, that does not speak anything about the man, without linking him of any anomalous transactions in government.

This is unlike another presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay, whose accumulated billions of pesos has been linked directly to an anomalous government project or projects such as the construction of the Makati parking building, among others.

Without any anomalous government transaction tagged to millions in a government official’s account, it would not in anyway spell corruption.

For then the possibilities are endless as to the sources of a government official’s deposits.

It could be proceeds of inheritance.

It could be a donation from private businessmen who want to contribute to the expenditure of government programs for the general welfare like peace and order, purchase of communications equipment, CCTVs.

Why donate and deposit to the account of a government official?

You cannot blame the sentiments of private donors, if the donors wish to make the government official a trustee, because of confidence that the money in the hands of the trustee will not be malversed.

Why will Duterte list such benevolent private donations in his SALN—assuming this to be the case— if these funds were given to him merely as trustee of private contributions whose intention are to help defray costs of worthy government programs for the general welfare?

But what these political attack dogs are doing is to equate bank deposits with corruption, even without basis.

Duterte’s posturing thus makes sense. His stand is that if his bank deposits are to be checked, it must be done in a proper and legal manner— not through publicity gimmicks with only two minutes left before end game.

Only a week remains before the day of political reckoning.

In the horizon we are seeing the inevitable.

The Filipino people opt for change. (By Atty. Jay Icamen Dejaresco)



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