As 2018 rolls in, Duterte stays strong as his enemies fall by the wayside

As 2018 rolls in, Duterte stays strong as his enemies fall by the wayside

- in Opinion

Despite the best efforts of the Philippine Senate’s resident clown, Sonny Trillanes, President Rodrigo Duterte continues to enjoy the support of majority of Filipinos at the close of 2017.

In his defense, Trillanes – who famously predicted that Duterte’s favorability ratings would go down while he was being pummeled in an interview on BBC’s Hardtalk – did make very effort to destroy the President.

But in the end, Filipinos were smarter than his half-assed publicity stunts and empty threats. Proving once again that this one time failed coup plotter couldn’t plot himself out of a paper bag if his life depended on it.

Joining Trillanes in the losers column are his Liberal Party minions, Kiko Pangilinan, Bambam Aquino, Frank Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and the alleged vice president of the Philippines Leni Robredo. This basket of incompetents pulled out all the stops in 2017 – staged rallies, hired international PR experts, colluded with the media – all in an effort to discredit and destroy Duterte in the eyes of the Filipinos and the world.

But as the new years rolls in, we see Duterte holding the upper hand as the Liberal Party permanently fades into the dustbin of Philippine history. A once great party that has collapsed under the sheer weight of the dumbassery of its present crop of leaders.

Outside of politics, Duterte’s enemies in the mainstream media – particularly those who have been offended by his refusal to kowtow to them and their ‘wisdom’ – have doubled down by going after not just him, but also his supporters. All 16 million of them.

Leading this attack is formerly relevant media personality, Maria Ressa and her failed experimental blogsite, Rappler. Ressa, who had previously won awards for her ‘journalistic’ work, saw her credibility take a critical hit after she alleged that Duterte’s social media support was merely the work of trolls, bots, and paid operators.

Ressa’s beef with Duterte’s supporters started after they refused to accept her and her organization’s version of “the truth,” and when they insisted that they should also have a say in how the news about their country is told. As expected, this did not sit well with Ressa and the entrenched powers of corporate media who for decades manipulated the national agenda with their selective reporting.

In an ironic twist, Ressa’s herself proved her own irrelevancy with Rappler’s ill-advised online fund raising campaign, ostensibly in support of “free and fearless journalism” that raised only 13% of its Php 5 million goal (see photo below).

This is in stark contrast to similar crowd funding efforts by Duterte’s supporters – for the ouster of the alleged vice president, travel expenses, legal defense, etc – which typically and easily raised more than the targeted amount.

So as the past year slips quietly – thanks to a long overdue firecracker ban implemented by the Duterte administration – into the night, the Philippines sees itself on the cusp of a new and exciting year. A breakout year. A year where Duterte stands alone on the mountaintop, his enemies – and the enemies of the Filipino people – vanquished. 2018 will be a year of rebirth, where all great things will be possible.

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