Unifying the nation » Manila Bulletin News



By Hector R. R. Villanueva

Hector R. R. Villanueva

“True reconciliation does not consist in merely forgetting the past.” — Nelson Mandela

A nation divided cannot endure.

Unless rectified early and collectively, that society can easily degenerate into chaos, acrimony and disorder.

Today, we are seeing a mounting political uncertainty, clashing policies, and nervous and petrified businessmen.

There is a growing disconnect between what President Rodrigo Roa Duterte would want to pursue, which is primarily his war against drug trafficking, and the increasing impatience of the people for economic growth, education, welfare and employment as there has been a surfeit of press releases, interviews, and elaborate plans of “build-build-build” which have been slow in coming.

Moreover, contrary to expectations, corruption, violence, and killings seem to have spiked in spite of President Duterte’s admonitions and anti-corruption thrust.

To start with, owing to President  Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s single minded obsession with drug trafficking, we have, on one hand, countless unsolved and unresolved disputes, contracts, cases, killings and investigations. On the other hand, this has led to an ineffectual Congress and blurring of national direction and purpose.

Thus, it is unhealthy and ominous when again: (1) a sitting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is being impeached; (2) there is lack of interest in pursuing the Mamasapano tragedy; (3) the decapitation, so to speak, of useful members of Duterte’s Cabinet; (4) the P6.4-billion shabu caper at the Bureau of Customs without anyone being indicted; (5) the man with the tattoo; (6) the rebellion in Mindanao continues; (7) and other unresolved issues.

First, it is a disservice to the nation and Filipino people when President Digong Duterte repeatedly threatens to step down on various issues when he was elected to serve the people for six years.

Truth to tell, no one is indispensable although the premature departure or removal of President Duterte means the return of the “yellows.”

Second, President Rodrigo “Digong” Roa Duterte must outgrow being the long-time mayor of Davao City. He cannot rest or hang his laurels or accomplishments as mayor since he is now a national leader and father of 105 million Filipinos.

Third, President Duterte must now let go of his shock and awe theatrics and vulgar diatribes if he wants to be an admired leader and patriarch rather than a matinee idol with an insatiable urge to be popular and lionized.

In other words, there are other less sensational issues and disputes that divide the nation that President  Rodrigo Roa Duterte should revisit such as, a peaceful co-existence with the Church; reconciliation with the United States with dignity and mutual respect; greater persuasive influence over Congress; less militarization of the bureaucracy; accelerated modernization of Philippine maritime capability more than air defenses; and a reputation for fair and swift justice.

You be the judge.

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