[OPINION | NEWSPOINT] From incapacity to absurdity
President Duterte's incapacity has passed into the realm of the ridiculous: it needs no proving, yet his regime is allowed to not just fumble on but destroy every legacy of decency that stands in its way.
His health already an issue when he assumed office two years ago, Duterte did not help at all toward resolving it by admitting he was on fentanyl, a potent opioid for pain. And his steadfast refusal to reveal the illness causing the pain only inspired speculation and gossip. President Duterte's incapacity has passed into the realm of the ridiculous: it needs no proving, yet his regime is allowed to not just fumble on but destroy every legacy of decency that stands in its way.
Lately, the controversy has raged with a new and sustained intensity, because, for all his fondness of public appearances and speech-making, he has been less and less seen or heard. His absence was most conspicuous during the recent typhoons and floods that brought devastation to many parts of the archipelago.
Talk went around that he had been too ill to be on his feet long enough to fulfill even the minimum gesture expected of him at a time like this – show himself, in at least his most benign, if he can't bring himself to be more agreeable. That's why the rumor caught on that he had gone into a coma – no lesser excuse was acceptable in the circumstances. But, with their implausible and farcical excuses, his apologists only made things worse for him.
According to his valet, Bong Go, he would have been out appraising the situation from a helicopter if – surprise! – the skies had not been fouled up by the weather. Go's goof sent the coma rumor flying thicker. Ridiculed for an unintended joke, Go struck back with an intended one. But humor is obviously not his strong suit; he could only dish it out in its lowest form and, even so, it boomeranged on him.
Yes, the President was in a "kama," he said, compounding bad pun with bad judgment. He meant the President was in bed, in which case he could only have been – if not exactly comatose – sick just the same. And when Duterte reappeared he indeed showed reinforcing manifestations. The most pronounced of these was a deathly discoloration on his face – a deep shade of ash washing down one side of the face from the brow. It might pass for a birthmark, but not if it appeared so suddenly, where it had not been before, and in one's septuagenarian years.
This was a job for Super(mop)man!
Duterte's supreme sycophant Harry Roque, like Bong Go, tried to be dismissively funny, only to prove just as corny, tragically; he ended up ridiculing his own boss, blaming him for going out in public his face unretouched by talcum powder.
Deep in something truly execrable now, Duterte had to try to crawl out on his own. Dark as dark can be by the standards of our naturally dark-skinned race, he said he still likes sunning. A psychological case hair-triggered by narcissistic impulses, he's not easy to follow. Anyway, compulsively carrying on this way, he succeeded only in burying himself deeper in the hole of his regime’s own digging.
He had been taken off fentanyl, he said, so that he might be saved from irreversible addiction – or, as some doctors prognosticating from his facial shadow say, possibly because of kidney failure, a known collateral risk of fentanyl. In any case, off fentanyl now, he has to endure "perpetual pain" from spinal injuries he suffered in a motorcycle accident – pain that hits, he further let on, Intensity 7 on a scale of 10.
Surely the presidency is challenge enough for a normal, healthy person. But there's no need to imagine how it's been like with Duterte; a prodigious trail of death and destruction, corruption, and conspiracies follows him, and he's not even halfway through his term. One decision he made while supposedly off fentanyl and in Intensity 7 pain was to appoint Teresita de Castro chief justice. Duterte definitely needs an excuse for her.
Teresita de Castro, is the Cassius of the Supreme Court, who, out of envy and ambition, slew her own Caesar at the instigation of a god of his own delusions – Duterte himself. It’s now asked: What can she do in the 41 days remaining before her compulsory retirement?
Why, she only has to sit there to bring further ruin to the institution, if not to the cause of justice itself. For one thing, she’s now positioned strategically to influence the court – the “De Castro court," as she herself now refers to it, pompously and proprietarily – to favor Bongbong Marcos, the dictator’s son and Duterte’s preferred successor, in his electoral protest against Vice President Leni Robredo.
With de Castro's malignant efficiency, 41 days may in fact be too long. – Rappler.com