By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
When I was huffing and puffing past 2 Pm of February 18 trekking the snaking stairs of the new Hotel Le Duc in Dagupan City for its 5th floor's convention hall (I ain’t know there was an elevator there) for the press conference of colorful and tough talking Davao City’s Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, I bumped into a former colleague at the University who told me the mayor “spiced” his impromptu speech with the amused members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter with expletive's “p*tang In*” every time he cited a patent corruption issue bedeviling the government.
|PRESIDENTIAL TIMBER. The no-nonsense Davao City Mayor Rod Duterte posed|
with the tough talking members of Pangasinan media after he spoke last February 18
at the Rotary-Club of Dagupan City. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Aside from the male and female lawyers there, there were several retired generals who were mostly PMAyers, that North Cotabato's former Governor Manny Pinol introduced to me, prominent Manila lawyers including my political law professor and former President Gloria Arroyo's counsel Raul Lambino, Dante Jiminez and his Volunteers Against Crimes & Corruption (VACC), and the “sea” of members of the media where many of them patiently waited for Duterte at 11 Am for the 2 Pm press conference of that day.
“Parang ikaw pag nagsasalita, may spiced of swearing in between your emphatic statement,” my colleague at the academe ribbed me.
When I met Dagupan City’s Chief of Police Supt. Cris Abrahano at the parking ground of the hotel while he supervised his police manning the flow of the traffic for the mostly Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) of Duterte’s entourage and guests to conveniently egress to the national highway, he told me he has not yet heard Duterte’s speak.
Instead of citing to him the one liners of the no-nonsense mayor at the 5th floor, I rephrased to him, that amused him, the excerpts of the Q & A of the editorial board of the Graphic Magazine Special Edition on Duterte that former Governor Pinol, a town mate, gave me when I brought him the day before to Ruel Camba’s No. 1 radio commentary program at DWPR.
|IBP-P'SINAN. Davao City Mayor Rod Duterte explains to members of the|
Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Pangasinan Chapter how he would overhaul
the unabated corruption in the Philippines incase he becomes president of the
Republic. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Here’s how he would deal, I narrated to the 6-footer Cris, with the pathetic monthly pay of an Army or Police general:
“Most of our military officers get a salary that is not in keeping with dignity. Your term as general is six years, then go for three. I will pay you. You’re a general? Then you’ll get paid P500, 000 (monthly)”
He said this could happen because after his six months to one year running the country that would fail him under the “turtle snail and politicized” democratic process, he would close Congress.
“As such I have the money. I will even give you (general) extra, just to make you happy. But make no mistake. If you make a fool out of me, I will summon you and I will hurl you into the Pasig River”.
He cited too the shoe-string monthly salary of a rookie policeman who receives a measly P18, 000 a month. He said the sum could not sustain the tuition fees of his children that prompted him to immediately borrow money after he receives his pay.
He cited as example the Special Action Force (SAF) troopers who gallantly fight the rebels to death but thinking about what they would leave to their families when they die.
“Patrolman, I will give you P100,000 plus P20,000 extra for your extracurricular activities. Spend the money for your mistress for all I care. Your children’s education will be free from kindergarten to high school”.
But he warned:
“But if a general starts f*cking with me, I will shoot him right in his office!”
I relished too reading in that article how Davao City’s Dirty Harry would deal with the sabre-rattling Mainland China whose encroachment at Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) and substantial reclamation lately on Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef) has cause jittery to the Philippines and her South East Asean neighbours .
He said that his grandfather was a Chinese.
“Should China and the Philippines go to war, I will go to China alone, I will ask them stop their expansion and there will be no problems. But if you keep advancing, people will be fearful. What do you want? Shared exploration? That’s okay with me”.
“Exploration formula likes England, Germany, and Norway at the oil rich North Sea, hmm?” I asked myself and thinking.
Would not this cause Uncle Sam to be jittery, too, he- he- he, since its West Philippines Sea (or the free shipping lanes South China Sea) would become a bath tub of the Sinos?
Would the jealous American government, that wants a multilateral approached that includes the United Nations in solving the imbroglio at the Spratlys, be affronted and instigate instead a coup, just like what they did to arrested and assassinated then South Vietnam Prime Minister Ngo Dinh Diem and the violent overthrew of popularly elected Chile president Salvador Allende?
But Duterte was a fast drawer, he said if the Chinese are adamant not to be swayed on the exploration’s compromise he espouses on Philippines’ islets like Mischief Reef (that is 800 nautical miles from the nearest undisputed Chinese Hainan Island and just 135 nautical miles from the nearest southeast of Palawan Island and within the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and keeps threatening the Philippines, his “Revolutionary Government”, will do the following:
“You’re nearing our shores. That being the case I will slice Palawan in half- lengthwise. I will tell the Americans they can come here, build another Subic or Clark Airbase. Pay only the Filipinos $1000. They can create what they want to place all their missiles here, and then let’s fight. Whatever else can I do?”
He added he would also invite Australia whose been expressing some interest in Palawan.
“They can all have the coastal areas; they can build anything they like. What assures my country’s safety is my only interest here”.
Wow, that was what I was espousing in this column since time immemorial, bring back the U.S Bases, son of a gun, to deter the Chinese on its arbitrary land and water grabbing streak there!
As what the more than 3 million populated Pangasinenses would quip in the vernacular: “Araratan (“Attaboy or “That’s my boy” in English) Duterte!
(You can read my selected columns at http://mortzortigoza.blogspot.com and articles at Pangasinan News Aro. You can send comments too at firstname.lastname@example.org)