The recent meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and the parents of Kian delos Santos, the 17 year old who was killed by policemen during an anti-illegal drug operation earlier this month illustrates why the Liberal Party’s continued attempt to remove Duterte from office will never succeed.
Prior to the meeting, Kian’s death was being used to rally opposition to Duterte and his war against the illegal drug trade. Several LP politicians, including Risa Hontiveros, Bambam Aquino, Sonny Trillanes, and even the alleged vice president Leni Robredo visited the teenagers wake and used to occasion to attack the President.
But despite devoting substantial resources in time, money, and effort to gain the trust of the Delos Santos family, it appears that Kian’s parents have chosen to put their faith in Duterte – the very person that the Liberal Party blames for their son’s death.
Looking at the events leading up to the meeting with Duterte, we can surmise that Saldy and Lorenza Delos Santos realized that they were merely being used by the Liberal Party to score political points.
Justice for Kian was never a priority, more than it was a convenient rallying cry. A fact thay was painfully obvious during that farcical senate inquiry which did nothing at all to bring us closer to the truth. Worse, it was even used by Frank Drilon to bully the resource persons and spread unfounded rumors.
This reversal of fortune for the LP, while unexpected, is unsurprising given the fact that Duterte has always been ten steps ahead of his opponents. This dates back to the time before he even announced his candidacy, and all throughout the campaign that swept him into Malacañan.
A year into his office, Duterte has remained the master tactician toying with a bunch of amateurs. This is what you get when you pit a true public servant, a local government official who is used to actually solving the problems of real people against cynical senators who only see people like Kian as opportunities to preen in front of the cameras, and criticize those who are actually doing something to improve the country.
Given this situation, it is a wonder why – and even how – people like Robredo, Drilon, Hontiveros, Aquino, Roxas, Pangilinan, and Trillanes can still believe that they are still relevant. Having lost the people’s mandate at the polls, they continue to bleed credibility at every instance. Whether it is in trying to manipulate the death of a teenager for political gain, or in manufacturing a false crisis that would allow them to seize power – these keystone kops of a political party is doomed to fail.