Perhaps Duterte social media stalwarts Mocha Uson, Sass Rogando, Franco Mabanta and Thinking Pinoy have already put this question out there, so maybe I’m just echoing the suspicion that criminal syndicates are funding an attempt to oust President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
Having lost billions of pesos of income over the past several months, criminal syndicates are probably starving by now and becoming more desperate.
With the billions at their disposal, funding a negative PR campaign amounting to tens of millions or hundreds of millions a month would be a small sacrifice for getting their turf back.
But funding a negative PR campaign isn’t the only thing needed to oust President Duterte, they’ll also need to have an actual armed troops (or mercenaries) as well as high level political operators and a way to get the backing of the international community.
A friend who is a veteran political operator told me that the likes of Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Leila De Lima and Senator Antonio Trillanes would somehow figure in such an ouster plot.
He asked me to imagine, for instance, the following scenario:
Phase One: Crime syndicates begin killing people in their network of criminals and pin the blame on Duterte.
Phase Two: The killings form part of the statistics reported by news organizations with loyal adherents to the previous administration that protected the crime syndicates.
Phase Three: Accusations of Duterte committing mass murder leaks into US media and a well funded lobby is launched to condition Washington that in the event of popular unrest against Duterte, they should support Vice President Leni Robredo as the successor.
Phase Four: The likes of Trillanes or other military adventurists mount an armed bid to oust Duterte and unlike the previous “mutinies” staged by Trillanes, this one turns out to be bloody.
Phase Five: The lobbyists in Washington turn the screws and compel legislators to call for intervention to “restore order” in the Philippines, a lynch pin in US interests in Asia.
How it turns out in the end will be any one’s guess.
My friend speculates that as way to make a final stand, Duterte might set up a new seat of government in Mindanao and attempt to regain hold over the country from there. Or, he could declare that Mindanao would be breaking away from the Republic of the Philippines — leaving Luzon and parts of the Visayas to VP Leni Robredo.
But anyway… This is as much political speculation I can take these holidays and I’m bound for Quiapo in a few minutes to buy some ham.