Regarding the "tangled web" Stephen Monsanto wrote about ("The question of succession," Letters, 7/26/21), it really started on the day more than 16 million Filipinos were first deceived by a small-time mayor who became president of the entire archipelago with promises of better things to come, which he now admits are impossible to fulfill after almost 6 years in office.
President Duterte has been prone to making "palusot" ever since. But his even darker side was his profanity, which was evidenced by his total lack of respect for the leader of more than 1.2 billion Catholics around the world when he denounced Pope Francis as a "son of a bitch" for clogging up traffic and disrupting his presidential campaign due to that once-in-a-blue-moon papal visit in November 2015.
Anyone who might have thought Mr. Duterte would at least start minding his tongue once he got elected to the country's most exalted post got it all wrong. He has turned out to be the most incorrigibly foul-mouthed president this country has ever had. It's our misfortune that he speaks for all of us here and abroad.
This country prides itself in being the only "Christian" nation in Asia, with around 86 percent of the population being Roman Catholic. So, what, dear Lord, have the Filipinos done to deserve this miserable state of the nation's affairs? Well, for one thing, despite the unmitigated insult Mr. Duterte had hurled at Pope Francis, people still voted for him. The President later proved he had no problem calling their God "stupid."
As incredible as it may seem, Mr. Duterte is said to have bagged the highest "approval rating" (more than 90 percent!) in recent surveys, a record no president before him had even come close to obtaining. And given the convoluted "succession" Monsanto was talking about, Mr. Duterte's dynastic misrule may stay longer than anyone is expecting.
Evangelist-turned-party-list-representative Eddie Villanueva's fear that Mr. Duterte's unbridled "blasphemy" may "bring curses" to this country should give everyone pause, and time to ponder if the Duterte family is truly God's gift to the Filipino people. Will Hail Marys work for any opposition candidate?
JEREMIAS H. TOBIAS [email protected]
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