Friday, September 16, 2016

The Duterte Series: Just (Wido)Do It

     It looks like our Pres. D  is fast becoming Mr. Ambiguity.  Latest incident involves Indonesian President Joko Widodo concerning the case of convicted Filipina drug mule Mary Jane Veloso. According to news reports, Duterte has said to "go ahead" and carry out the execution if Mary Jane is found guilty under the Indonesian judicial process. Our local media has picked up the news after D's statements made headlines in Indonesia. A lot of us were dismayed because during the previous administration extra diplomatic efforts were carried out to save Mary Jane from execution.

      Mary Jane's case grabbed headlines because she insisted that she was duped into carrying 2.6 kilos of heroin into Indonesia in April 2010.  She was sentenced to death in October the same year but was spared via moratorium enacted by then Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.  Her execution was reinstated thereafter with her death by firing squad set April 29 of last year but was granted a stay just minutes away from her execution. The Indonesian government decided to postpone her execution due largely to our government's appeal for reprieve while her case is being reinvestigated and also because of the public outcry the case has elicited across the globe.

Mary Jane Veloso: Living on a prayer

     D's camp is on the clarificatory stage ever since the news broke, saying that the president didn't really give the green light.  And today Widodo has clarified that what D actually told him was to "go ahead with the process in line with the law in Indonesia." But still the fat fact is our president didn't make an appeal to save Mary Jane.   For those who expect him to do otherwise, particularly Mary Jane's family, I'm sure they're disheartened by the news.  I personally didn't expect D to appeal because of his obvious stand against the illegal drug trade and its perpetrators.

Duterte: I didn't say "just do it" to Widodo (Photo

     Why is D so often misquoted, misinterpreted or misunderstood as his men alway allege whenever the president elicits criticisms for his statements? D blames the media or the people around him but never himself for the negative publicity.  His men always scramble to correct his numerous faux pas, both intentional and otherwise.  Maybe it's not the media who's on the err here as D and his men always like to point out.  I mean, if it only happens once or twice or is being committed by one or two reporters, he can argue that he's just being misquoted/misinterpreted/misunderstood. But it happens almost always.  It happens whenever he opens his mouth, whomever is listening to him.  It's obvious D lacks the communication skills needed for an effective national leader.  Our leader should espouse clarity, never ambiguity,  into which our country is being led to.  You don't say you do not condone extrajudicial killings in one interview then promotes bounty hunting and democide in another.  You don't say you respect human rights then later on adorn suspected criminals with bullet holes and placards.


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