General Admission

It was also a vote of confidence for Duterte

By Al S. Mendoza

THE Inquirer said it all.

In its headline on Wednesday, May 15, the Inquirer bannered: “ADMIN BETS’ DOMINANCE SHOWS DUTERTE MAGIC.”

The story said President Duterte’s allies took nearly all of the 12 slots in the senatorial race.

In the early counting, only three in the Magic 12 were not identified totally with Mr. Duterte.

They were Grace Poe, Lito Lapid and Nancy Binay.

Poe was running second behind No. 1 Cynthia Villar, Lapid seventh and Binay 12th.

Duterte’s nine bets in the Top 12 included Villar (No. 1), Bong Go (No. 3), Pia Cayetano (No. 4), Bato dela Rosa (No. 5), Sonny Angara (No. 6), Imee Marcos (No. 8), Francis Tolentino (No. 9), Bong Revilla (No. 10) and Koko Pimentel (No. 11).

But even as Poe, Lapid and Binay are not absolutely Duterte allies, they belong to the Senate majority of the pro-Duterte bloc.

Comebacking Lapid will surely follow suit as he is with NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition), the party of Senate President Tito Sotto.

So what did the result of the election tell us?

That the almost 82-percent satisfaction rating of President Duterte was not a fluke.

That the President’s popularity is so overwhelming that almost everybody that he had endorsed won—except Mangudadatu.

In short, the result was also a vote of confidence to the three-year old Duterte administration.

But what was most glaring, hurtful even, was what happened to Otso Diretso: Zero. 

As of this writing (Friday, 17 May), not one from Otso Diretso was in the Magic 12. 

Not even Bam Aquino, whose drawing power in the past has suddenly waned so massively that he hovered from 13 and 14 as I was writing this.

Mar Roxas had a sob story more heart-melting:  He was way out of the winning circle—even beyond the Top 15.

Just proves that Roxas is now a political history after his resounding defeat in the 2016 presidential election.

Just goes to show that, whether we like it or not, Mr. Duterte has become the man of the hour—before and during the election.

For, even long before the first ballot was cast on May 13, the just-ended election was much-ballyhooed as an acid test of the Duterte administration.

That, should Duterte’s bets fall one by one by the wayside—like Bato and Bong Go—it’d be the people’s way of saying they object to his style of leadership.

But with Bong Go finishing, obviously, a strong No. 3, and Bato very rock-solid at No. 5, the people, indeed, overwhelmingly approve of Mr. Duterte’s brand of leading the nation.

There is no better proof of approval than the will of the people.

And, in parting, the Inquirer, in its May 15 issue, was damn right—as it used to be.

Here’s a glass to my former newspaper.

I had worked there 20 years, a time when, in those two decades that I was there, I feel so honored to say that my paper was then the bible of the nation (ahem!)—almost.

I beg for your indulgence. 

I only brag once in a decade.

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