De facto acting president? Anong hayop yan?

Muntik na ako mahulog sa upuan ko habang nagkakape sa Starbucks EDSA Shangrila nang mabasa ko itong sinulat ni Federico Pascual sa Philippine Star noong November 15, 2020.

Sabi ni Pascual, isang beteranong journalist na hinangaan ko noon, magpasalamat daw ang mga Filipino at nandun si Leni Robredo upang magampanan ang trabaho ng Commander-in-Chief sa gitna ng kalamidad na dulot ng bagyong Rolly at Ulysses.

Dahil daw hindi nagpapakita si Pangulong Duterte, minabuti daw ni Robredo na siya ang pumapel bilang Commander-in-Chief at nakipag coordinate sa Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) sa pagsagawa ng rescue and relief operations.

De facto acting President ang tawag ni Pascual kay Leni Robredo.

It does look as if the yellows are pushing hard on the idea that Filipinos should embrace Robredo as their President after their battery-draining efforts to make President Duterte look inutile. Their propaganda began as a #NasaanAngPangulo hashtag campaign to make it go trending on Twitter. It was followed with an almost endless stream of videos and photographs of Robredo pretending to be hard at work.

Akala nila, sapat na yun upang magka-isa ang mamamayang Filipino na pa-alisan na si President Duterte sa kanyang puwesto at papalitan ni Robredo.

But, as always, their brand of black propaganda always explodes on their faces.

There is no such thing as “de facto acting President”. It is not in the Constitution. It is not in the law. It’s either Robredo is (fake) vice president, or, as they are praying hard would happen, she succeeds to the Presidency if and when Duterte is permanently disabled by reasons of health, or worse, dies. And for as long as she is VP, all she can really do is watch things unfold.

By way of reminder, Robredo must understand she is not in the chain of command. The chain does not make a detour to bring her into the loop. The Armed Forces get their orders from the Secretary of National Defense in his role as the alter ego of their commander in chief. Robredo can tiktok all day as if she was giving out orders to the AFP, and nobody will even mind her. She looks like a woman who has lost her mind.

This campaign of deception and lies have only solidified the people’s support for President Duterte. I am sure that if a survey is conducted now, his 91% might go higher. These anti-Duterte forces are shooting their own feet. Baliktad ang lumalabas na epekto ng mga ginagawa nila.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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