News commentary by Raïssa Robles
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a shocking revelation just now, that all along he had only made up the foreign bank account of Senator Antonio Trillanes in Singapore’s DBS Bank.
He said on state television channel TV4: “‘Yung imbento ko na numero, putang ina, akin ‘yan, galing sa utak ko ‘yan.” (The number I invented, sonofabitch, that’s mine, that came from my mind.)
He then chortled that his scheme made Trillanes jump through the hoops—Kinopya niya ang inimbento ko, anak ng patuteng ka (He copied what I invented, the fool).”
The elaborate prank made his propaganda aide, Mocha Uson, clap with glee. She posted on her blog that Duterte had put one over Trillanes, that the senator had been had.
Duterte’s revelation ought to give us, Filipinos, much serious pause.
The least a public can expect their President to do is tell them the truth. This one just gleefully and obscenely boasted he had lied to the nation on a serious matter. That he had merely been play-acting and he had presented a made-up story which many – especially his followers – believed was true.
If the President could lie so blatantly like that, what else has he fabricated?
How about the drug war? Has he, perhaps, been lying all along about the need for it? And the statistics he’s used to support it? Have some innocent people needlessly died because of it?
If he tells us he’s telling the truth—how do we know? Maybe he’s lying again? Maybe he’ll come on TV a week later, chortling and saying he was just kidding, and he’d fooled everyone.
Earlier, he had said that when he was a Davao City prosecutor, he had “planted evidence”, which is the same as saying he made up something and offered it as a fact in a criminal case.
Listen to what he said then:
Has the President also been lying about the list of drug lords among mayors, governors and barangay captains? For instance, why has the President named only two congressmen on that so-called list?
Here is what people should think about: Why is Duterte allowed to get away with lying when lies like he’s delivered could have driven Noynoy Aquino, Gloria Arroyo or Joseph Estrada out of Malacanang Palace?
It’s as if many Filipinos have suspended their disbelief. It reminds me very much of the hypnotic effect that a budol-budol gang seems to have on its victims as they are robbed blind.