The Chief Political Analyst gets all worked up in his Manila Times piece today “Moreno’s past and Duterte’s present”. Antonio Contreras writes about how President Rodrigo Duterte “demeaned and diminished” Manila Mayor Isko Moreno by referring to his past as a sex movie starlet and his posing in provocative photos dressed only in his underwear.
What is more fundamentally galling and plain offensive, about all this is the manner in which the President had to resort to this level of sliming his political enemies. There is really something so bereft of reason for our public discourse to be polluted by a president who would descend to the level of slandering a perceived political enemy not on the basis of what he does as a public official, but on what he did for a living when he was younger.
You can sense his blood pressure at boiling point while writing the piece as you read it. I’ve often wondered how an academic like himself could lack consistently lack objectivity when it comes to analysis. He does claim he is a “political scientist”. As such, one should deal with the data at hand and not make his personal opinion the basis of his conclusion.
First, it was Isko who initiated the blind items against Inday Sara “Daughterte” and Duterte to begin with. This was part of the campaign to build up his public image prior to his formal declaration as a candidate for President. His tirades began after his State of the City address. He attended the inauguration of the Clark International Airport terminal that weekend and his presence was even acknowledged by the President. Is that indicative of malice on the part of the President? It is no secret that Isko was adopted as part of Duterte’s senatorial slate in 2016. He was included in the official party to the President’s visit to Japan. After the one-year ban on appointments expired, he found himself Chairman of NorthRail. When he couldn’t perform his functions at the Government Owned and Controlled Corporation (GOCC), he was promptly transferred to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as an Undersecretary. No secret also is that Isko had the blessings of the President to run against Joseph “Erap” Estrada even if it was his last term. Duterte doesn’t forget any slight. He plays the long game. He waits until the time is right to get even. Notice how not one member of Erap’s family won in 2019 despite Duterte and Daughterte endorsing the father and the two brothers.
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You wonder why Contreras drags Mocha Uson into the picture. Uson is not running for President. Her appointment is political. Like it or not, it is Presidential prerogative at play there. Mocha’s previous career as a sex advice columnist and vlogger isn’t the issue. If this were the case then Contreras should make a toe-to-toe comparison for objectivity. We all know politics is theater as well. What of Isko making Manila, God first as his slogan? Isn’t that a bit hypocritical for someone who has a penchant for gambling? It’s an open secret that Isko frequented the Solaire casino even before he became Mayor. There are also the cases which have been filed against him for graft and corruption on the matter of ghost employees.
Contreras appears bent on focusing on the President’s sexual proclivities. But don’t we all have the same? The frailes had affairs with nuns and lay women (no pun intended) there. You have the high-society scandal of Paco Ortigas being accused by his estranged wife of having an affair with her best friend and banging their househelp at the same time. Erap’s extended family is an open secret. Chavit Singson beat up the boyfriend of his mistress and allegedly hit his penis with a hammer repeatedly. Kris Aquino has had affairs with Philip Salvador and Joey Marquez and publicly flogged both after she was done with them. Contreras himself has a predilection for good-looking men whom he praises to high heavens such as Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar and Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla. Now he’s defending another one in the person of Isko. Isn’t it about time that the Chief Political Analyst looked at himself in the mirror and maybe, just maybe, come to terms with his own sexuality?
Let’s face it, our politicians are human beings. As such, they have their own sexual preference and proclivities. Each of us have our own. We can’t hold them to a higher standard than ours. The origin of Duterte’s tirade against Isko is political, not sexual. Isko asked for it. He got what was coming to him. That’s part of the rules of the political sandbox he’s playing in. The operative rule is one should be able to take as good as he gives it. The other is one should be responsible for the consequences of his actions. Contreras should also come clean about his sexuality if he wants to keep any semblance of his self-respect as a Chief Political Analyst.
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