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Let’s not be gullible

In the case of cocaine, it’s borrowing a certain kind of high where your decisions are altered. It’s a sign of a weak personality.

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Reports that US President Joe Biden had transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris while under anesthesia during a routine colonoscopy has affected our good friend Casmot.

In one of my visits to him in his humble abode in the metro, Casmot admitted that he is bothered sick by the development.

“Why is that,” we asked him.

“Who wouldn’t be?” he retorted. “Suppose it happens here in our country. What do you think can happen?”

We told him it’s a normal procedure once an elected leader goes under the knife or is put to sleep. Somebody has to be assigned to keep the ship of state going while the leader is in sedation.

“It’s to assure continuity, just in case something happens,” we told him. “Haven’t you been watching movies about succession in times of emergencies? There have been quite a few where the VP or the next in line is made to pledge under oath to continue dispensing the duties of the president.”

“There’s no problem. I know that,” he said.

“So, why then are you worried sick in case it happens here?”

“If it’s a natural cause, it’s alright with me, or for most Filipinos for that matter. But what if…”

“What if what,” we asked him.

An obviously bothered Casmot heaves a big sigh before replying: “I mean what if he may not be under sedation, but under the influence of some kind of drugs or high on something we don’t know?

How can he make proper decisions required of a chief executive?”

For a while, we got stymied. Casmot, as is his wont, is making some valid arguments again.

“I am not a lawyer, but I don’t think that’s under the realm of the succession law,” we told Casmot.

All these talks of a presidential aspirant using cocaine must have gotten into our friend that he seems unconvinced.

“There ought to be a law,” he blurted back. “First of all, you don’t offer your services if deep inside, you are a drug dependent. You are shortchanging the public that way.”

“He may have been a user once. For all we know he has kicked the habit,” we argued.

“It doesn’t matter, my friend,” Casmot warned us. “Being dependent on something like illegal drugs is a sign of weakness. How can you elect a leader like that?”

“So, you mean, the President is right in describing him as a ‘weak leader’?” we inquired.

“Precisely! It’s like drinking liquor. You can borrow guts to be able to do something you’re afraid to do. In the case of cocaine, it’s borrowing a certain kind of high where your decisions are altered.

It’s a sign of a weak personality,” our friend pointed out.

“I feel you, my friend,” we consoled Casmot. “But I certainly wish you could speak kinder words to him, being the son of a former president.”

“That’s another problem with this aspirant. All he talks about are the accomplishments of his father or what he has been advised when he was young. All the while, he has not really done anything worthwhile for the country, except to trick the young generation into believing that his father’s time was Utopia for every Filipino. Can we blame the President then for not supporting him in his candidacy?”

Casmot was inconsolable. We knew where he was coming from. He simply can’t understand why this heir of a hated strongman is now seemingly a breath away from Malacañang.

To appease our friend, we asked him what advice he could give to those about to fall for the machinations of the man.

Casmot gave one short reply.

“Let’s not be gullible.”

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