If you have been hearing news over TV, radio, and social media regularly over the past few months, two things have come out loud and clear: There is noise and there is chaos. The cacophony has evolved from trash talks, and the confusion has resulted from non-coordination.
Especially in asserting that everything the government has been doing is right, the Palace has involuntarily turned itself into a speaker’s bureau, churning out declarations from every corner without being conscious that its effort to explain nagging issues has only added muddle to an already confused national leadership.
While the administration’s lieutenants have adopted a semblance of control by deferring to the President’s decision, the picture the public have so far observed goes the other way and nobody has taken the blame for all the mess other than the national leadership.
Just how many official mouthpieces the Duterte presidency has is un-clear. Almost daily, we hear Herminio Roque, looking harried, parrying the most trivial question and insulting public sensibility with responses that do not amuse. And on a confused day, you hear vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez issuing conflicting statements in various forums.
To mitigate the impact of confusion, you see Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles dancing the Tik-Tok. And if you add the names of Vince Dizon, Salvador Panelo, and Francisco Duque III to the mix, the clatter further escalates.
The never-ending confusion that has evolved from issues related to the pandemic has also given rise to a new kind of opposition. Recently, Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia, apparently dissatisfied with the steps the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has taken, has declared resistance to any lockdown.
The Garcia statement came at a time when pro-Duterte supporters, in defiance of IATF COVID restrictions, stormed the country with “Sara, Run, Sara” posters. For all the violations these early campaigners committed, we have yet to hear a word of warning. Obviously, the closer you are to the Palace, the better your chances of being spared.
But the confusion has also extended to the House where a catfight is turning into a nasty verbal confrontation. Allies of House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and minions of defrocked Speaker Peter Alan Cayetano have started to hurl muck, accusing the other faction of realigning funds in a clever bid to mine commissions from the readjusted appropriations.
Down South, in the President’s turf, the confusion is muffled. Ask any taxi driver of his impression on how Davao City has handled the pan-demic, it’s almost sure you hear every displaced taxi driver swearing not to support anymore with the Duterte juggernaut.