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How can Duterte as senator reform the conduct of Senate investigations?

Watching President Duterte on TV is often cause for embarrassment as he grapples with either the English language, Tagalog, or Taglish. Try as one might to follow his train of thought, what usually one gets to see is a train wreck. Without a prepared script to read, he can hardly finish a sentence, and ends with an abundance of expletives whatever thought he tries to convey. How did we ever deserve a leader like him?

Take for instance, the latest report (“Duterte: I’m running for senator to change conduct of Senate inquiries,” Inquirer.net, 11/18/21) where he struggles mightily to explain why he has chosen to run for senator: “Kung magsalita ito sila Gordon, parang—sila Drilon—para silang bright na pinuputol. Hindi talaga nakakasagot. Walang sagot, so walang totoong lalabas … If that is the way how you conduct your inquiry or investigation, and your behavior is you want to talk — ayaw magpatalo ‘yan si Gordon. You want to monopolize the time with your, maybe your smartness. Marunong ka and you’re articulate. Okay lang ‘yan. Pero ‘yung bastusin mo?”

Huh? Ano daw?

Listeners can’t really make up their minds whether they should laugh or cry over the bumbling way their President talks despite constantly bragging that he is a lawyer. One only needs to Google his past rantings and ravings to realize how bad an impromptu speaker he really is. Any reporter tasked with covering Mr. Duterte would feel the added burden of making sense out of everything that comes out of his mouth. Yet, his former spokesperson Harry Roque thought his boss was the “best communicator.” Duh!

So, what was Mr. Duterte actually talking about in that latest report? No truth came out from that Senate investigation into the plunder of pandemic funds by his friends in Pharmally because blue ribbon committee chairman Richard Gordon “monopolized” the hearing with his talkativeness and committee member Sen. Franklin Drilon was always cutting the witnesses’ answers short? Is that really what Mr. Duterte was so mad about?

Nah. He went berserk when the senators ferreted out the truth of how Pharmally was robbing the Filipino people blind, and pressed for more answers that could potentially lead to the big boss in Malacañang as the source of their “license to plunder.” Gordon put it this way: None of this thievery by Pharmally could have happened without “executive imprimatur” (read: Mr. Duterte’s knowledge and approval). With Mr. Duterte fighting tooth and nail to stop Gordon et al. from asking more questions, no truth is truer than what common sense can bear out.

If Mr. Duterte wins as senator and gets his way done in the conduct of Senate investigations into any plunder of the people’s money, he will have none of it if it involves his relatives, political allies, and cronies. God help us!

JEREMIAS H. TOBIAS
[email protected]

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