As a political scientist and supposedly a self-styled political operator, Manila Times columnist and De La Salle University (DLSU) professor Antonio Contreras lacks one essential element, which is political pragmatism. In his piece “Fit to be thrown out as trash” he writes…
No wonder it is easy for Duterte to throw to waste an important document legitimizing our claims. After all, he doesn’t show any compunction about throwing away his own words as useless pieces of trash.
One can no longer trust this man. He once said that he was “inutil” (useless) when it comes to asserting our rights by frontally engaging China. But as things go, he is no longer just helpless. In fact, he is actively betraying our trust. Had we been in a state of war, what he is doing right now would amount to treason.
Much has transpired between 2012, when the dispute with China began, up to the present. One should take what a candidate states during the campaign with a grain of salt. It is a promise, not a signed commitment. Even if it is set in stone, the dynamics could still change. After all, change is the one constant in most aspects of our lives on this earth.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte didn’t have any presidential ambition since he began his political career and yet, he is President. Who knew? The same can be said of the brouhaha which has Contreras and his panties all in a bunch at his ankles. It is much ado over an issue which the most powerful man in the country has no control over. Why? Practical realities dictate that a political and diplomatic chess game be played. This is what the US and China are doing in the South China Sea. You have both their navies playing a game of chicken. We can only do so much given our limitations which is the product of misguided policy directions.
But the problem with the opposition is they use the issue against the President in a political context. “Traitor” they describe him. If this is the case then shouldn’t he be distrusted by the majority of Filipinos at this point? The correct approach is one of a collective effort which protects the interests of the country and not the vested interests of the few. This is why the opposition has low credibility in the eyes of the public. It also reflects on their political maturity.
Duterte plays stupid. If up to now the opposition still doesn’t get that, then they should have their heads examined. I don’t see them providing solutions to problems which they point out. If this was their tact, maybe then the public will start believing them.