IF there is anything the opposition must thank about 2020, it is the prevailing issues. For brevity, let me state 10 oversights, largely products of over-confidence, that will stir and fail the national leadership’s vaunted juggernaut.
First, in a blunder that got the attention of pundits, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to finally abrogate the Visiting Forces Agreement in case the US failed to supply the country with COVID-19 vaccines. It was, pure and simple, a blackmail.
Second, as an indirect reaction to the threat, the US Congress, on Dec. 27, 2020, imbued the Secretary of State the power to deny entry of foreign government officials who persecuted journalists. Even immediate family members of banned bigwigs are also barred.
Third, in a display of short-sightedness, the Armed Forces, in defiance of legal processes, smuggled and allowed the use of unlicensed Sinopharm vaccines for its troops. To deflect any presidential responsibility, the organization had to concoct fantastic excuses.
Fourth, despite uproar on the supposed anomalies in the 2019 SEA Games, no probe has yet been made. Public perception on the matter has linked its suspected mastermind to misdeals.
Fifth, though in part this can be blamed on the ongoing pandemic, the burgeoning national debt makes for a good staple in the 2022 campaign, especially on suspicion the “savings” will be used to fund administration bets.
Sixth, the President has voluntarily exposed the names of congressmen in the corruption list but parried the gaffe by saying they are still presumed innocent. With hurt prides, expect the politicos to rally against pro-Duterte candidates in their respective turfs.
Seventh, the admission that DPWH is a warren of corrupt engineers and cohorts reinforces the failure of the government to address the issue of graft and corruption after nearly five years in power.
Eighth, the continuing abuses committed by the police force reflect neglect and tolerance.
Ninth, Duterte’s contentious pro-China stance will face strong opposition in 2022 when the largely pro-American voters decide their next president. With the Chinese being linked to illegal gambling, kidnapping, spying, occupation, and the destruction of our patrimony, the roll of the dice favors the opposition.
And tenth, the possible release of Sen. Leila de Lima on bond, after the court has allowed her to file demurrers in two drugs cases, can spell trouble. Outside detention, she will become a rallying point and that is a huge partisan headache.
Add to the list the failure of the President to satisfactorily address the deafening clamor for more government help to calamity victims, things can go awry, at least politically.