President Rodrigo Duterte has proven to be an unmitigated disaster for the Philippines, who has steered the country increasingly towards China, thus compromising heavily on Manila’s national security. But there is a silver lining on the horizon now. Duterte had last month announced his retirement from politics, which means he will cease to be President in June 2022. So, the hunt for a new President is on in the Philippines, with critical elections slated to be held in the country next year, which would decide the fate of Manila in more ways than one. However, as explained by TFI, a cruel karma awaits Duterte, and he has only one way of escaping it.
Rodrigo Duterte prostrated before China. He abused U.S. President Barack Obama. He alienated the United States only to get in bed with Xi Jinping. Above all, Rodrigo Duterte waged an inhuman war on drugs which took a disproportionate human toll. Since he took power, at least 8,000 suspected dealers and addicts have been killed in police operations. These are just official numbers, although activists and independent groups claim the number could be much more. According to a complaint before the International Criminal Court, between 12,000 and 30,000 people were killed by Duterte’s so-called war on drugs.
Rodrigo’s plan to evade consequences:
Rodrigo Duterte has devised quite a plan to stay safe and out of prison, once he steps down as President. It involves his eldest daughter, Sana Duterte and the son of a cruel Filipino dictator. The daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said she will run for vice president in next year’s elections together with presidential hopeful Ferdinand Marcos Jr. According to Nikkei Asia, Sara and Marcos, who have performed strongly in opinion polls, are seen as a formidable pair in an election that will test the public’s appetite for change, after six years of Duterte’s presidency.
The Marcos and Duterte families are traditionally considered to be allies, although they never shy away from bickering publicly in order to spin the appearance of them being rivals. Sana Duterte running for President and fighting it out against Marcos Jr. would have played out in a bitter manner, perhaps creating a rift between the two bloodlines forever. The two families need each other for survival and safety in the Philippines, and Sana’s decision to become Marcos’ running mate has her father Rodrigo written all over it. Opinion polls showed Sana Duterte having the edge over Marcos, and she would have most likely won the presidency.
Now, even if Marcos Jr. wants to take action against Rodrigo, there will always be Sana Duterte stopping him from doing so, since he made it to the highest office in the country due to Sana’s withdrawal from the race. As Vice President, Sana will work to secure the interests of the Duterte family in the short term.
But in the off chance that she did not withdraw from the race, and Marcos, or worse still, boxer-turned-politician Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao became President, Rodrigo would most definitely be punished for the crimes he committed as President. So, in order to secure himself and his future from all sides, Duterte has sealed a decisive deal with the Marcos family. Now, his daughter would be Vice President and Marcos Jr. would most likely be President, and they are not going to take any action against Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s strategic and calculated game:
However, Duterte must also not appear as an outright supporter of Marcos’ bid. So, he is also issuing statements against him. Duterte’s statements against Marcos Jr. will not hurt the latter’s presidential bid, but they might just help Duterte show how his daughter is not allying with the opponent to save her father alone.
Without naming Marcos Jr., Duterte said in a speech on Thursday night, “There has been a presidential candidate using cocaine. What contribution has he made for Philippines? I just want to ask.” He added, “He is a very weak leader … except for the name. He might win hands down, OK. If that is what the Filipinos want, go ahead.”
How Duterte’s plan may backfire:
The Philippines’ defense establishment exercises tremendous political clout over Manila. And they are no fans of Rodrigo Duterte. In fact, the defense establishments seem to have vowed to bring Duterte to task for his overtures to China and for compromising the Philippines’ national security in multiple ways. No matter who becomes president in June next year, the fact is that the defense establishment of the country will not rest until it has had its pound of flesh from Duterte.