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Strange bedfellows

Alas, some of the vertigo-inducing actions of Rody Duterte’s administration have now been put in the spotlight and, one way or another, are being rectified. That’s the good news.

Bad news is that this is happening largely because of politics, no thanks to the 2025 midterm elections and the 2028 presidential race.

I say bad because in the Philippines, politics can change in the wink of an eye and therefore, policy changes that are motivated by politics may not really be sustainable; bad, too because to a certain extent those occupying the seats of power have a tendency to weaponize the law for their own vested interest.

It would have been better if accountability and justice were the primary motivations to correct misdeeds of past administrations, whether it’s the Duterte administration or that of others. That would have been a sign that our democratic society is finally maturing.

But of course this is the Philippines where, in reality, politics and politicking make the world go ’round; where yesterday’s enemies end up as BFFs; where progressive lawmakers and the ruling elite become strange bedfellows and where you can no longer recognize who the opposition is.

However, all these politically-motivated acts can be especially bad for Filipinos if our leaders end up being distracted and unable to focus on the more important things – from reviving the economy to addressing the crisis in education to fighting terrorists who are said to be behind the recent attacks in Marawi.

There’s the peace talks with the rebels, terminated by Duterte in 2017 or just a year into his administration. Irony of ironies, the administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. – whose father’s regime was the biggest reason why the communist insurgency in the Philippines strengthened decades ago – has agreed to resume the talks with New People’s Army (NPA), the military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.

And then there’s the investigation by the House committee on legislative franchises into potential violations of Sonshine Media Network International; some of its program hosts have been accused of red-tagging activists and even media organizations.

SMNI’s founder and honorary chairman is