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Manila Standard : You cannot fool all the people all the time

News & Interviews
30 November 2021

By Erwin Tulfo | Manila Standard

"Next they will say BBM is an alien."

It’s a shame how politicians make up stories just to besmirch the reputation of their rival candidates nearing election season.

Some fictitious claims are simply unbelievable that they tend to undermine the intelligence of the Filipino voters.

One alias “Tiburcio Marcos” is one of those nincompoops who petitioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to nullify the candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. (BBM) for President on the grounds that BBM is actually an “impostor.”

Tiburcio claims that he himself remains the only living son of the late President Marcos and the real BBM had died in 1975.

Huh? I told my barber I would not be surprised if some politician says BBM is actually a space alien, an extra-terrestrial.

Tiburcio should be reminded of an adage attributed to Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

A blind item pitched by President Duterte that a presidential candidate is into cocaine use has been a convenient bandwagon to jump on to level innuendos against BBM.

Senators Ping Lacson and Tito Sotto tandem stooped and took Digong’s bait for that all-important 15-minutes of fame, submitting to drug tests at the Philippine Drugs Enforcement Authority (PDEA), proving negative for cocaine.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and running mate Dr. Willie Ong followed suit to take the drug test at PDEA; they had negative results.

BBM in turn underwent drug-testing at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, yielding negative results even as BBM’s spokesman Atty. Vic Rodriguez said the presidential race frontrunner “does not feel alluded to” by the rumor.

In support of BBM, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio likewise tested negative to cocaine and other drugs in Davao City.

It’s nothing more than a shallow and pretentious “sour grapes” and it appears the only way to beat the BBM-Sara Uniteam is to discredit BBM and Inday Sara.

Left with no legitimate issue to raise against BBM, rival candidates and critics harp on BBM’s choice to get tested for cocaine use at a private hospital and not a government facility.

They are parroting one another in insisting that the drug test should have been done at PDEA or the Philippine National Police (PNP) crime laboratory.

And yet, the PDEA officials say that its mandate is to perform “forensic” drug testing, referring to drug laboratory procedures involving pending drug cases.

They clarified that routinary drug testing may be done by any reputable facility duly-accredited by the Department of Health (DOH).

Tell me, which of these presidential hopefuls would question the reputation and credibility of St. Luke’s Medical Center as an institution and the integrity of its drug test which is authorized by DOH?

To simply say without justification that such drug tests must be taken at PDEA or other government facilities only is pure hogwash.

These blabbermouths who parrot one another to earn their five-second TV soundbytes know that such drug tests done at St. Luke’s Medical Center are without question as valid and as reliable as those of PDEA.

Truth be told, the country’s private hospitals and medical facilities were a lot of help through the COVID-19 pandemic, as government hospital services under the corruption-ridden DOH were practically non-existent.

Note that the drug test result presented by presidential wannabe Manny Pacquiao was done by the Nevada Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) prior to his career-ending loss to Yordenis Ugas in August.

Both administration standard-bearer Sen. Bong Go and opposition stalwart Leni Robredo have also said they are ready to take a comprehensive drug test, “if necessary.”
Much ado about nothing?

The Comelec stressed that drug testing is no longer a requirement in submitting the certificate of candidacy (COC) like it used to be.

Almost 48,000 individuals and partylists are vying for some 18,000 positions up for grabs in the May 9, 2022 polls, of which 97 people want to become the next president.

How many of these presidential hopefuls are submitting to drug tests?

At least 28 individuals are running for vice president and 174 are vying for Senate seats.

How many more of them would jump on the “cocaine bandwagon” to make the news?