Duterte makes Bato and Go look stupid

By Alex P. Vidal

“I have no idea why people want to watch puppets be the slightly meaner version of the weirdo holding them. It’s beyond my comprehension.”—Daniel Tosh

IF you are annoyed by the recent acrobatics and screenplays of Senators Bong Go and Bato Dela Rosa in the presidential race, it’s because their political patron, President Rodrigo Duterte, appears to be the one making them look stupid.

We can’t blame them if apparently they’re making a fool of themselves by presenting as presidential candidates today, and withdrawing thereafter.

Their acts don’t only mock the electoral system, they also degrade the standard of leadership in the country.

In chess, Mr. Duterte is using a two-pawn attack. They exist and are utilized only to be fed to the lions, not to be thrust into the pedestal as what many of their fanatics falsely think.

It’s their bad luck that they’ve been chosen from among Mr. Duterte’s coterie of clowns to dance naked in public with no regard to their dignities as members of the national legislature.

As we’ve been repeatedly saying here, they can’t say no to the emperor.

They just don’t have the guts, will, freedom, power, and self-respect to disobey the angry man who thinks he can badmouth any living thing on this planet who disagrees with him and still earn pogi points from his 16 million fans.


Mr. Duterte has been using these sitting ducks to launch a kamikaze attack against the opposition in a costly, virulent but unnecessary dogfight.

Because the president has succeeded in bringing them to the national office from virtual obscurity in Mindanao, the president thinks he holds their balls, thus they’re now known to be his “toy soldiers” ready to do his bidding and political comedy in any sitcom.

The quality of the electoral process has suffered an alarming and disquieting degradation ever since these Davao City politicians entered the country’s political scene and controlled the orchestra.

First, Senator Bato was caught with his pajama down when he was forced to terminate his presidential candidacy after proclaiming to the world he was “serious” about it when asked by reporters why he filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for president in the eleventh hour.

And now it’s Go’s turn to be thrown under the bus.

Caught in the middle of a potentially catastrophic cold war between father and daughter, Go had obliged to dance like Salome thinking he would be officially considered to be a vice-presidential bet if Sara Duteret-Carpio opted for the presidency on Mr. Duterte’s behest and intercession.

When the transaction nosedived and the daughter filed her COC for vice president under Bongbong Marcos, Go had to be dispatched as a “presidential candidate” to “shake and rattle” the Marcos-Sara tandem.

When everything else failed and Sara decided to stick with Marcos, Go now suddenly found himself in the pigsty.


My decision to have a COVID-19 booster shot two weeks ago and a flu shot on November 12, or two weeks later, was timely.

At that time Omicron variant wasn’t yet an international scandal.

As soon as I emerged from the Walgreens after a flu shot on Monday morning, New York City health officials issued a new mask advisory, strongly recommending all residents—regardless of vaccination status—to wear masks in all public indoor settings ahead of expected cases of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

“Today, I am also issuing a Commissioners’ advisory strongly recommending that all New Yorkers wear a mask at all times, when indoors and in a public setting, like at the grocery, in building lobbies, offices and retail stores,” Health Commissioner Dr. David Chokshi said. “This includes those who are vaccinated and those who have had COVID-19. Higher quality masks can offer additional protection, and masks are still required for everyone in public transit, health care settings, schools and congregate settings.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mayor-elect Eric Adams, and New York Governor Kathy Hochul addressed concerns over the new variant, first discovered in southern Africa.

City officials said scientists have yet to confirm any cases of omicron in New York City, but they anticipate cases of the newest variant to begin popping up.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo.—Ed)