LESS THAN 90 DAYS OLD, it is quite unusual for a newly installed government like Â that of Digong Duterte’s, to be already Â facing “destabilization”. Instead of a honeymoon period of wine, roses and caviar- it seems some Â “destabilization” efforts are Â getting serious.
At least that is what the country’s No 1 Spy- the National Security Adviser secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr. believes . The prime suspect-movers of the plot could Â be the “drug players” whose industry has been severely crippled by the Â relentless Â government war versus drugs as initiated by the president.
The “drug industry”, no cottage industry this,is one of the country’s biggest. Imagine the figure of 3.7 million drug users- that is the industry’s captive market. “Captive” because the sponsors need not advertise the products- because that huge Â market is already Â addicted to them (illegal drugs).
Try one’s math and assume that each drug user spends only P500 a month or P6,000 a year and multiply that figure by 3.7 million . The result is hundreds of billions of pesos – that is the size of the drug Â industry. Â They also pay no taxes- whether Â drugs are Â smuggled from abroad or illicitly manufactured here.
Neither though they pay VAT for every sale nor any income tax – because the Drug Industry” is an underground industry. Therefore, it Â is so lucrative- it can have politicians, judges, cops , runners, fronts and killers at their beck and call.
Today- drug prices have skyrocketed almost beyond the Â reach of the average addict because the supply is down by 80%. To the “drug players”- there is “hell to pay” for those responsible for messing up their very profitable crime.
Who else has been targeted -reportedly- but Digong and his Top Gun (top is also gone) Bato de la Rosa with an alleged combined budget of P1-B to bring the two to the cemetery or the memorial park?
Esperon says they have been religiously watching suspicious “movements” of funds- and they are trying to connect the dots as spies are wont to do. The PMA-graduate Â and former AFP Chief of Staff Â said the bombing in Roxas Market in Davao City (15 killed and 100 wounded) is just Â a small part of that big Â plan.
General BatoÂ had hinted at links between the “drug pLayers” and the Abu Sayyafs- the first one for the Â funding, the second executing the game plan. Â The ASG initially claimed and then retracted their authorship of the Davao carnage.
Interestingly, no clear Â Davao suspect has been charged, so far.
A separate group of so-called “Fil-Americans” is also Â allegedly finishing the road map that will finish the short presidential career of the 71-year old Duterte by January 2017. Thus blip was allegedly captured in the Â intelligence radar of either Cabinet secretaries presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella or DFA secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. They were both in New York recently.
What is the interest of this Fil-Am Group? It is hard to decipher at the moment – if indeed true.
Another unrelated point of interest was the recent isolation of a Saudi Arabian airplane from Jeddah with 431 passengers Â into a remote area of the NAIA because the pilot had allegedly TWICE pressed the “crisis” button towards Â the airport authorities.
The passengers were , however, successfully made to deplane safely-hours later. There is, however, Â a pesky, unofficial rumor that indeed there was a “foiled attempt” of a terrorist bombing Â (in that airplane) that was kept under wraps for security and image reasons. How true?
The United States of America,on the other hand, Â has always looked at the Philippines as a strategic ally in the Asia Pacific region due to its vital Â location. Â The VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) Â today is Â America’s confirmation of their need for more military Â presence in the Far East Â after being yanked out of Clark and Subic bases by the Philippine senate in 1991.
While the bases were here, the USA made her presence felt up to the highest echelons of government. Despite the plunder and the human rights violations in the Marcos era, Washington supported the dictator because he may be an “S.O.B” (son of a bitch) but Marcos was USA’s S.O.B.
But when EDSA One threatened to explode into a civil war, American president Ronald Reagan Â was forced to ask Marcos “to cut and cut cleanly”-and provided Â the vital Â plane to exile him to Hawaii.
Then, at the height of coup d’etats of the military rebels in 1999 versus president Cory Aquino, only the flights of American jet fighters Â hovering over Malacanang convinced the rebel soldiers that they had America to face if they fell Cory. They stopped.
Without the bases here today, America has to Â play ball more carefully. Digong had clearly told America he was no Washington lackey -and besides a new American polls is forthcoming in November. American -Philippines relations is, therefore, still hanging on a delicate balance today.
Despite Duterte’s acerbic ,colorful language versus America and its president- we still Â see no rhyme and reason for the USA to destabilize (at this point) Â the Philippines and push a historic Pacific ally into the waiting arms of a China and Russia.
Because of Duterte’s predisposition to strong-arm Â tactics (although he has publicly announced as a lawyer, he will uphold the rule of law), he has to rely on the unconditional loyalty of the men in uniform. His recent Â numerous camp visitations and his partiality to the soldiers’ financial and physical welfare are signs Digong needs them badly on his side Â in this vicious fight against drugs and criminality.
One thing going for the president is that Â like the late Cory Aquino, Duterte is a fatalist. A believer in destiny that the presidency was given in that fashion and ( as well) Â he is ready to die – in his words ” ready to sacrifice my honor , life and presidency” to attain his goals.
Which truly means any destabilization moves will succeed only “over Duterte’s Â dead body.” That is an important part of the equation Â that the destabilizers Â have factored in -in their equation.
But for as Â long as there is widespread and committed (not just fence sitting) civilian support and loyalty of the military to the government , any talks of destabilization at this Â point may be premature.
President Digong thence Â has to now Â play his cards more smart than tough from hereon.
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