While millions of Filipinos hold their breaths for another round of the most stringent lockdown in the world due to this so-called “second” surge of the Coronavirus in the National Capital Region (NCR) and environs, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is seen in a photo taken by his loyal assistant, Senator Bong Go, blowing a small cake with a single candle. Go did not mince his words and described the birthday as “simple.” That’s what I admired about Duterte, says Go, his simplicity that is worthy of endless emulation. And then we see a medium-sized lechon there, with several other dishes fit for a king like Duterte.
Go must have thought that he again scored a goal, there. He’s always on spot-on, right on the jab, in previous occasions. This time, Go really blew it for his boss.
Unknown to Go, there is a hidden meaning there when he described Duterte as simple. You can only call or describe a person “simple” if you know more about him than the rest of humanity. And Go really knows Duterte, very well.
As Duterte’s special assistant for decades, Go knows more of Duterte than anybody, even probably Sara, or Honeylet and much so, Duterte’s formerly estranged wife, otherwise, Sara’s mom would have stayed with the man. Despite receiving tremendous flak from his colleagues in the Senate, Go seems unmindful of it and continues to be beside the president “come hell or high water.”
Go knows Duterte so much, the good senator probably knows how much Duterte now is really worth. Duterte must have now been worth billions. And for Go, billionaires like Duterte should have been partying like he hoped. No. The typical Duterte blew a solitary candle in a solitary cake.
Those two photos shared by Go in this Facebook account shows Duterte blowing one candle and the other, Duterte probably asking someone water or eat and there voila! A feast fit only for a King, that is Duterte.
While the rest of the Filipinos cringed over Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s announcement of another lockdown, while many worry about risking death thru poverty or death by hunger, here we see a President humble enough to blow a birthday candle and eat a 7,000 peso lechon.
Curiously, millions of Filipinos who lost their jobs must have been dying of envy or their tongues salivating when they saw those photos, especially the lechon, the morcons and other delectable delights arrayed before the King. He should have been partying, says Go. Yet, Duterte never did. As they say, those with billions can now sleep soundly during the night, never worrying about how and where to get the next meal.
Duterte, despite his advanced age, looks like thirty years younger. He’s not worried about our state of affairs, no. He believes the yarn his trumpet, Harry the Merry told the public— Duterte and this administration deserves nothing more than an excellent score for managing this pandemic. And then Harry caught the virus and thousands more got it the minute they read about the excellent score in the news.
You don’t see Duterte angry anymore or his face contorted to look like your version of Satanas, oh no. He’s a cool guy. Duterte does not worry that the World Bank blames his government for mishandling the economy, stands to contract even more due to this new ECQ because of lack of testing (Philippines only did 17 tests while the rest of ASEAN neighbors did several thousands more). Or that OWWA had already raised the red flag saying that the agency does not have the monies anymore to save returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) or that the rising numbers of jobless Filipinos are now turning to be one of the country’s greatest security threats.
Duterte is cool even though his defense secretary says more than 200 small naval Chinese ships sailed to the reefs within our Exclusive Economic zones ready to again erect their structures. His Foreign affairs secretary sent a strongly worded note verbale to his counterpart here, but, we never saw the same Duterte, who vowed to jetski himself towards those islands, ready to blast the intruders to smithereens. No. Duterte told everyone to just keep their calm while he summons the Chinese ambassador for tea in Malacanan. Duterte and the Chinese envoy must have enjoyed an early birthday bash inside the palace or must have spent time watching television showing thousands of Filipinos in hospitals or rushing there in historic droves. Of course, it was my resident tambay, Edong, who shared that with me confidentially only to learn later on that Edong eventually admitted himself to the nearest mental institution, where thousands of Filipino kids are, all naburyong due to the strict lockdowns. Napapagusapan naman yan, says Duterte who ordered the massive killings of his fellow addicted Filipinos, activists, Communists, priests, organizers of farmers and labor unions and even lawyers. And Duterte even urged us to line up as guinea pigs for some Pharma’s further research about their Covid 19 trials.
Duterte used to congratulate himself when he, an underachiever, passed the bar and became a president, besting his classmates who were talented, brilliant and bar topnotchers. No, Duterte goes about his business, never even mindful of the consequences of his ineptitude.