“I’m Free…It’s Done,”

john-gilbuena1DONALD Trump’s win in the United States presidential race, just like Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s victory in our own presidential contest, was unexpected.

A lot of Filipinos are worried because Trump’s win could lead to a number of closures of American owned call centers in Manila and Cebu and the deportation of undocumented Filipinos from the American mainland.

I just hope that Pres. Trump would go soft on Filipinos and reciprocate the friendly attitude of Pres. Duterte to him.

*** *** ***

Pres. Trump electoral victory and his friendliness towards Russia raised the hope of embattled Syrian President and Russian ally Bashar al-Assad. The Syrian leader believes that the US could now be an ally in the fight against terrorists in his war torn country.

*** *** ***

Whenever something unacceptable happens, I would either bike, run or swim long distances despite the excruciating, lung busting and heart damaging pain; until the unacceptable is accepted by my heart and soul.

Fresh from a deep gloom due to the recent death of my elder sister-friend Carol and the anger caused by the surreptitious burial of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, I decided to ride my bike from Urdaneta, Pangasinan to Burgos, Ilocos Norte, which is about 400 kilomters, to “de-stress” and contemplate about the recent events in my life. While generally alone in my four-day ride and as I de-stress, I met a skillful mountain biker from Vigan. We met in the coastal town of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur and rode together until Vigan City.

My ride north is punctuated with tense or blood curling moments as several times I was nearly sideswiped by reckless drivers speeding along the National Highway. Anyway, they did not stop me until I reached Cape Bojeador in Burgos town where I finally realized its time to stop. With a painful butt and a heavy backpack, I get off from my bike, knelt and tearfully shouted “I’m Free…It’s Done.” I prayed to God and thanked him for all his blessings.

I also would like to thank my younger sister Eden, nephew LK “Lake” Gilbuena, Ms. Maricar Mendoza-Gaspar, bike mechanics Ka Jonard of San Pedro City and Omar Bandong of Mangaldan, Pangasinan, the Paradiso Resort, and Rizalina Santiago-Ponce of Ponce Del Mar Beach Resort whose valuable support enabled me to accomplish what I did. Thank you.

My special thanks goes to an honest taxi driver who returned to me my P500 which was tucked between the two P100 bill I used to pay for my fare.

*** *** ***

Marcos Nov. 18 burial was decidedly rushed. It angered a lot of people but I guess it no longer matters whether the government is in cahoots or not with the Marcos family on their decision to surreptitiously bury the late dictator. It is obvious that there is a need to do the burial without fanfare because of the expected protest actions and the disruption it would bring to the funeral ceremony.

Nevertheless, Freeblance is of the opinion that Pres. Duterte knew of the plan to have Marcos buried on Nov. 18. This is actually the reason why he threatened to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus. The president knew that the move would ignite dissent and civil disobedience to could lead to his probable ouster.

Notice that the threat was timed with the announcement that the country had just become the fastest growing major Asian economy with a phenomenal GDP growth of 7.1% (higher than China’s 6.7%, Vietnam’s 6.4%, Indonesia’s 5%, and Malaysia’s 4.3%…India’s data is not yet available) during the year’s third quarter.

The announcement’s timing was obviously meant to quell any unfavorable attitude the people may have on Duterte and his administration because of Marcos’ sudden burial.

*** *** ***

Freeblance believes that the protest actions of anti-Marcos rallyists against the Duterte administration will be short lived because:

  • Duterte’s decolonization moves through the forging of alliance with China and Russia while maintaining tactical partnership with the US. The move has definitely appeased the leftist and other progressive sectors,

  • There is a lack of military support for a successful civilian-backed coup,

  • Duterte is popular

  • The people is supportive of Duterte’s anti-drug war; and

  • Duterte’s alliance with China and Russia deterred Washington, at least temporarily, from backing Duterte’s ouster.





* The opinion of the author is his alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

John Ambayec Gilbuena, Ll.B.
John Gilbuena is a journalism graduate from the University of Santo Tomas and a holder of a law degree from Adamson University. He is a veteran reporter of different Manila based newspaper and foreign news wire agencies. He is a triathlete and author of "Fourth World War: The Road to Damascus," a book about the rise of Muslim fundamentalist sects in Syria and Iraq.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.