A cry for help

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A visibly tired President Rody Duterte told a surprised audience last Tuesday, out of the blue, about his intention to step down due to the daunting ordeal against crime, the drug menace and corruption.

Rody indicated his plan to step down and forego his remaining term which is still about four years after being elected in 2016.

Previously, Rody said he would give way to a younger leader once the Federal system of government is in place.

While giving a speech at Malacañang, Rody said he has grown weary of rooting out corrupt government officials.

“Guys, I want you to know that I am thinking of stepping down because I’m tired,” he said.

“I am not angry (with) anybody. My chase against graft and corruption seems to be endless and it has contaminated almost all government departments and offices.”

The exasperation came amid the recent mass termination of mostly his appointees in his crackdown on corrupt practices.

Rody’s frustration is based on the unending problems that hound him regularly as if finding himself beginning from where he started.

Rody is soliciting help not only from the officials he placed in government but also the people who continue to support him as leader. He had shown his earnest commitment to clean the government by removing the bad eggs even if they were his closest allies.

He expressed frustration that corruption and illegal drugs seemed to be getting worse despite his efforts as if being told that he is powerless against the syndicates in and out of government.

The message of Rody was clear: He cannot alone, even as President, eliminate the pervasive problems of corruption and the drug menace that even complement each other to make both insurmountable.

The recent shabu bust, for instance pointed to an entrenched syndicate in the Bureau of Customs (BoC) that defies whoever is running the agency and the level of commitment that Customs head brings.

In the V. Luna hospital axing of 20 officials, including military generals, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez expressed belief that the military brass appointed to the top hospital positions were eaten by the corrupt system.

The previous administration did little if not nothing against the deep problems confronting the nation.

In the drive against corruption, the only solution presented was selective justice that targeted only political opponents while allies are shielded.

Almost nothing was done by President Noynoy Aquino against the drug menace and absence of public order. The omission was clearly reflected in a thriving shabu industry inside the New Bilibid Prison and a crime wave that frightened Filipinos to stay inside their homes at nightfall.

His failure to respond whenever confronted with a difficult task resulted in the term “Noynoying.”

A sea change happened after Rody took over the presidency as Filipinos again enjoyed peace on the streets while powerful drug syndicates were deprived of their once lucrative trade.

The drop in the crime rate in Rody’s term is attributed to the reduction in drug addiction.

Rody at the start of his presidency gave a schedule which was meant to squeeze into six years his reform agenda that would culminate in a change to the Federal system of government before the end of his six-year term.

The firebrand leader who wanted things done according to plan may now be convinced that his timetable would be hard to realize due to a mixture of politics and the unyielding web of corruption in government.

Rody in declaring his intention to call it quits was his way of sending an appeal to his mass support that the war he had launched against the three-headed hydra of crime, narcotics and corruption can only be won through the effort of all.

The task is difficult and Rody can use some help.

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