Special Envoy to China Mon Tulfo believes President Rodrigo Duterte has turned into his predecessor despite his promise of becoming an entirely different leader.
In his September 9 column for the Manila Times, Tulfo expressed dismay with Duterte’s decision to appoint Gen. Camilo Cascolan as chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Cascolan, whom Tulfo described as a “friendly” cop, is set to retire in two months.
“It seems at times that President Digong has also become a pleaser rather than a stern leader. Some of the officials he has appointed to key positions have, unfortunately, turned out to be nincompoops or corrupt,” Tulfo mused.
He said Duterte was “no longer the person” he knew as Davao City mayor.
“When he was mayor, Digong didn’t care about what other people said about his unorthodox way of running the city, as long as it would benefit his entire constituency. Digong was never a pleaser when he was still mayor,” Tulfo explained.
He wondered if Duterte has other criteria for choosing top government officials apart from their link to Davao City, his hometown.
“It seems that President Digong is following in the footsteps of his much-criticized predecessor, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd who chose candidates for key positions based on three Ks — kabarilan, kaklase, kaibigan (shooting buddies, former classmates and friends),” Tulfo said.
Despite being critical of the President, Tulfo said he’s not “anti-Duterte.”
“A true friend tells you your mistakes as a matter of principle but doesn’t desert you,” he said.