SPECKS OF LIFE: The Trillanes’ Gambit

Chess is widely played the world over. Although soccer is the world’s most watched spectator sport and is the national pastime of three-fourths of the countries in the world, chess, is arguably the most challenging game there is today.

FYI, our own native-bred chess warrior, GM Wesley So (although now wearing the colors of the US Chess Federation), is now the world’s second highest rated player, behind current world champion Magnus Carlsen.

Thus, I can understand why our politicians are now applying tactical strategies that have relevance to weaving a mating threat on the opponent’s king.

If I may recall, in the James Bond film “From Russia With Love,” a Russian chess master was utilized by the world-wide criminal organization S.P.E.C.T.R.E. for his brilliant and creative mind.

Now, now, if you carefully observe how the political scenario is now evolving eight months into the Duterte administration, you might agree that aside from the grandstanding, there is this inimitable display of braggadocio and bravado that will put to shame all the combined James Bond feats.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes, for the second time, has accused the President of illegally amassing wealth and like a wounded tiger, roaringly challenged Duterte to reveal the “huge deposits” in his bank accounts.

In law, they say he who accuses must produce the evidence because on his shoulders lie the burden of proof.

Pres. Duterte, quite amusingly, mocked Trillanes, saying if the latter can find the billions, the former would readily step down from his Malacanang perch.

Trillanes, who placed embarrassingly last in the 2016 vice-presidential derby, announced to the world that he would also give up his senate seat if Duterte could show proof that he is a liar.

In this verbal exchange, notice that Trillanes exploited the fact that he was being widely covered by the tri-media. Considering that his allegations were merely a rehash and which were taken as pure hogwash by the man he was pointing his finger at, Trillanes pushed his luck farther.

He applied the Queen’s gambit, a seldom-used chess opening nowadays, offering a pawn for nothing. He was hoping that his chess opponent (Duterte) would bit the offer, and give Trillanes the chance to grab the initiative and seize power in the center, the main arena of combat in the 64-square game.

But the senator is just two and a half years away from ending his second six-year term in the Upper Chamber.  If Duterte and his boys can patiently endure his “yaw-yaw” here and there, like a pesky fly, he would soon be gone and hopefully forgotten come the 2019 midterm polls.

I bet you this is not the last time the public would hear from Trillanes. He appears to have been chosen, though unofficially, by the political opposition – thus overshadowing the weak VP Leni – as the man who could, like Brutus, fatally thrust that dagger on Duterte’s unguarded behind.

Many political pundits adhere to the oft-quoted cliché that you can’t beat City Hall, the Establishment for that matter. But Trillanes is a fool-hardy man who keeps on barking and barking, perhaps believing that a dog who barks towards the dark alley is the place where a bad man is hiding.

Unfortunately, the dog is only barking at a stray cat walking stealthily by. (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!