‘Duterte is dismantling democracy. And he has to be stopped.’

    THE topic of the day is the recent denial of the ABS-CBN franchise application by the Den of – whoops I mean the House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises last Friday. With a vote of 70-11, with two abstentions, the House committee put an end to the circus that the committee hearings had become, with one clown after another parading their comedy skills or lack thereof.

    To everyone paying attention to those hearings who isn’t a Duterte Death Squad troll, the question remains: “Why?”

    For each accusation made, the media giant had an answer. Not only that: the relevant government agency with jurisdiction over the subject matter of the accusation had an answer as well. And their collective answers were clear as a summer’s night sky: ABS-CBN had committed no violations of law.

    Which I suppose accounts for the laughfest that is the report of the House Committee technical working group. I personally love how they tried to sound scholarly by citing some Supreme Court decisions at the beginning of their report – Supreme Court decisions that had absolutely nothing to do with any of the irrationale behind denying ABS-CBN its franchise. But hey, because The People overwhelmingly supported ABS-CBN’s franchise application, I suppose they were forced to make their illogic, well, “logical” to The People.

    It’s now a question of whether or not The People will buy it. From the looks of their continued attempts to justify their denial of the franchise, it seems the goods have yet to be sold.

    Let’s be honest here. We don’t have to think too deeply on this. The House of Representatives, led by a dense cueball, a rodent, and a host of amateur clowns, denied ABS-CBN their franchise because their Clown-in-Chief said so.

    Just this past Tuesday, President Duterte was all pride, saying “Ganun nila nilaro ang bayan ko. Kaya ako mamatay, mahulog ang eroplano, I am very happy. Alam mo bakit, without declaring martial law I dismantled the oligarchy that controlled the economy and the Filipino people.”

    In case you’re wondering, yes, Duterte just directly compared himself to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

    Moreover, it’s not as if Duterte isn’t assembling his own set of cronies and mail-order oligarchs that will control the economy and the Filipino people on his behalf.

    But then, I suppose he has to look like he “dismantled” something, so he can have some accomplishment to report in his upcoming State of the Nation Address. Otherwise, what else would he report? That we’re currently one of the top countries in the world in terms of COVID-19 infection rates? That our economic outlook is at its worst in decades? That our economy likely won’t recover any time soon? All because Duterte and his dog and pony show had no plans whatsoever to address and manage the pandemic and its effects? All because Duterte and his goons chose to focus their attention and efforts into passing a fundamentally flawed anti-terror law and into denying ABS-CBN its franchise?

    Going back, can you imagine the level of malice, the height of sociopath behavior needed to place the lives and livelihood of thousands in jeopardy, in the middle of a pandemic – all for the sake of optics? Not just of Duterte, but of every single glad-handing yes-person who voted in favor of what Duterte wants?

    This isn’t even the first time. Marawi sends its regards.

    Many people are now looking to 2022. Yes, that may be our best chance to correct our course. Assuming 2022 elections even take place. At this point I put nothing past this administration. But make no mistake, 2022 should have started back in 2016. It isn’t too late, but now we have a lot of lost time to make up for.

    Duterte is dismantling something. But he isn’t dismantling some imaginary oligarchy.
    Duterte is dismantling democracy. And he has to be stopped.