Sen. Ping Lacson made a peculiar choice of words in describing the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte so far.
For Lacson, anyone who might succeed the incumbent leader would be considered “boring.” His tweet, arguably in praise of the administration, cites some of Duterte’s hard-line decisions.
He made a tycoon pay his P6B unpaid dues sans court order; he made the Rufinos and Prietos vacate the Mile Long property; he made Mighty Corp pay P30B; he is closing the entire Boracay island; he reappoints every retiring PNP/AFP chief. Whoever succeeds him will be boring.
— PING LACSON (@iampinglacson) April 20, 2018
Lacson’s list: Between the lines
In September 2017, Duterte went after Philippine Airlines tycoon Lucio Tan for incurring around P7.3 billion debt for PAL’s unpaid navigational fees and other government liabilities.
In July 2017, the president accused the Rufino and Prieto families—who have run the Inquirer group of publications—of owing the government P8 billion worth of taxes over the Mile Long property. It was originally owned by the government. Duterte has also publicly denounced the coverage of the Inquirer.
In March 2017, Duterte ordered Mighty Corp to pay P3 billion for producing cigarettes with fake stamps to avoid paying taxes. In the end, the company paid P25 billion.
In April 2018, Duterte ordered Boracay Island to be closed for six months to undergo a rehabilitation following environmental concerns despite the apparent absence of a master plan and related issuances.
In the same month, he appointed retired AFP chief of staff Gen. Rey Guerrero to be the head of the Maritime Industrial Authority, adding to the growing number of former military top guns heading executive agencies.
The other side of a ‘non-boring’ government
While Lacson’s tweet was generally well-received, some who saw it took the chance to remind the senator of extrajudicial killings during Duterte’s term.
I’m pretty sure 20k EJKs’ families would rather be bored than grieving.
— Odie Villanueva (@MojoDivide) April 20, 2018
As of 2017, Human Rights Watch reported that more than 12,000 drug users and dealers have lost their lives without benefit of a trial. An additional estimate of 4,000 people have also died from police operations and attacks of “unidentified gunmen.”
Over these unexplained killings, Duterte and his top officials are facing possible proceedings for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court.
While Duterte has had an assertive stance on issues Lacson listed, many see his friendly policy toward China as a contrast, having refused to have diplomatic confrontations over the Asian giant’s island-building in Philippine-claimed waters in the South China Sea.
The successor definitely wont be boring if he/she will fight for our sovereignty!
— Sally_B ??♀️??♀️ (@iamsallyboi) April 20, 2018
“Duterte has seemingly upended the situation in the South China Sea with his rhetorical bluster and about-face on policy toward Beijing,” said analyst Gregory Poling, director of think tank project Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.