PH faces political crisis without prayer, discernment – Rep. Ed Villanueva | Inquirer News

PH faces political crisis without prayer, discernment – Rep. Ed Villanueva

/ 01:35 AM January 30, 2024

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former President Rodrigo Duterte

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former President Rodrigo Duterte (FILE PHOTOS)

MANILA, Philippines — Cibac party-list Rep. Eduardo Villanueva, a televangelist-turned-lawmaker, warns Filipinos of a possible major political crisis if the country fails to pray and discern the reasoning behind camps of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and former president Rodrigo Duterte.

During the House session on Monday, Villanueva delivered a privilege speech to celebrate National Bible Day, which is celebrated every last Saturday of January, during which he touched on the elephant in the room — the recent exchanges between Marcos and Duterte.


Villanueva said he was not siding with either of the two, but he warned that if peace and reconciliation were not an option, the country might be led into a deluge of crises.


Constitutional crisis

“If the worsening political crisis cannot be stopped, that will lead to a constitutional crisis. This will lead our nation to utter destruction,” he said, speaking partly in Filipino.

“And I remember what former President [Rodrigo] Duterte said that if we could not stop this crisis he would dare the military and the PNP [Philippine National Police] to shut down the House of Representatives. I was a bit shocked. This is serious — Congress will be closed.”

“There is a threat looming. The Lord made me feel it. If God does not make an intervention in our country, we are headed for a tsunami. This is not a tsunami from the sea. It’s a  political-business-economic-social super typhoon that would eventually lead our country to nationwide chaos and anarchy. And all that we worked hard for in Congress for many years would even be suddenly destroyed in the twinkling of an eye,” Villanueva added.

He thus called on people to become peacemakers and return to the fold of God to avoid an impending political disaster.

“So my role now is to advance peacemaking, [and be a] peacemaker. Let’s not be overconfident because that may spark something that we don’t want to be sparked… That’s why I want to rally everyone, especially the members of the House of Representatives whom I respect, regardless of their religious affiliation or political persuasion. Let us be united and rally the Filipino nation for an orderly, good, and peaceful change,” Villanueva said.

“Our country is in crisis. You can ignore it, you can accept it, but it is a fact. It is a reality. Review the words of [former] President Digong [Rodrigo Duterte]  yesterday in Davao City. Also review the words of our president [Ferdinand Marcos Jr.], at the Luneta yesterday. Let us pray. Let us try to discern where the country is headed,” he added.


Two rallies

On Sunday, the camps of both Marcos and Duterte staged separate rallies: Marcos in Manila with the launch of his “Bagong Pilipinas” brand of governance, and Duterte in his hometown of Davao City for what appeared to be a protest against the push for Charter change.

Duterte accused Marcos of being in the watchlist of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for being a drug user, but the agency has maintained that the President was never a part of such lists.

Meanwhile, Duterte’s son, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, called on Marcos to resign if he did not have any love or aspirations for the country.

In response, President Marcos said the older Duterte’s statements must be caused by the fentanyl prescribed to him — a highly addictive drug that the ex-president admitted to taking for pain medications.

As early as 2023, there were speculations that the honeymoon period for the Uniteam — the campaign tandem of President Marcos and Duterte’s daughter, Vice President Sara Duterte — had waned after criticisms from both camps.

The issue started after Vice President Duterte claimed that Marcos’ cousin, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, was not a factor in her candidacy — despite the House leader being her campaign manager in 2022.

Vice President Duterte said this after the House, led by Romualdez, demoted Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, a former president, from senior deputy speaker to deputy speaker.

Then, during the budget season, the House ultimately decided to strip the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and the Department of Education (DepEd) — offices headed by Duterte — of their confidential fund requests.

The OVP asked for P500 million in confidential funds for 2024, while DepEd wanted P150 million. Both agencies’ secret funds were among the P1.23 billion such funds slashed by Congress.

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After that, former President Duterte called the House “the most rotten agency,” justifying why both OVP and DepEd would need their requested funds.

TAGS: Ed Villanueva, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Rodrigo Duterte

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