COMMENTARY: Our problem is not just Duterte but the weakling opposition

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 07 March) — When Senator Salipada Pendatun attacked former President Marcos in a bombastic speech, Marcos rushed to Manila from Mindanao to immediately initiate damage-control measures to cushion the public impact of Pendatun’s tirades. Whenever Ninoy Aquino, Jose Diokno, Lorenzo Tanada, Jovy Salonga, Raul Manglapus opened their mouths, Marcos trembled.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s fortune is that we do not have this kind of opposition today.

Vice President Leni Robredo and Senators Franklin Drilon and Risa Hontiveros are actually good speakers and are also well educated and achievers academically. But their language is too soft enough so as to create a public impact and stir the multitudes.

Risa and Leni do not fight hard enough. Their stunning looks on TV are now losing their magnetic appeal because of their tamed and meek language.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman’s personality does not fit the boobtube politics. Seantor Sonny Trillanes is too politically amateur for Digong.

Human rights lawyer and former Senator Rene Saguisag is too sickly for Digong. Joker (former Senator Joker Arroyo) is dead. Miriam (former Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago), if still alive, may be supporting Digong by now.

Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. has been subdued by his aspirations for federalism and has been silenced.

Former Rep. Walden Bello has lost his platform, and now with unlikely allies.

Representatives Gary Alejano and Tom Villarin are political props unable to capture public imagination.

Senator Bam Aquino has inherited only the physical aura of Ninoy.

Senators Panfilo Lacson and Richard Gordon have their own Pandora closets.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel is not his father.

Bayan has lost its credibility.

Akbayan has shattered its social base, and cannot fight.

The labor movement is gasping for breath.

Former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III) is silent. HIs sister, Kris, is now struggling to be in the limelight.

The Supreme Court is more submissive now than the Supreme Court during the time of Marcos.

We have foolish and shameless members of Congress who are willing to give in to all that Digong wants.

The progressive forces are mere clanging cymbals and cannot be trusted for actual battles. Human rights groups are fighting in the comforts of conference halls.

The opposition cannot sway the multitudes and stir the hearts of people.

So Digong can say everything, true or false, because he knows that he has no effective fiscalizers. Thus, he can just say anything in wild abandon.

I will just wait for Bimby*.

*Bimby is Kris Aquino’s 10-year old son.

[MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Ben Sumog-oy is Action Officer of In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND) in General Santos City]