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The 6th Apparition

By Elson T. Elizaga
Published July 28, 2018. Updated Sunday, November 12, 2023. The oldest preserved version of this manuscript is in Mindanao Gold Star Daily. Recent 666 report: The Department of Education (DepEd) "originally wanted a P810.414-billion budget for 2023, but DBM only approved P666.25 billion." Vice president Sara Duterte is the secretary of DepEd. (ABS-CBN, September 14, 2022)

Jonathan Miller's "The Republic of Fear" was published by The Australian in May 28, 2018. It is an extract from his book Duterte Harry: Fire and Fury in the Philippines. Much of the article is familiar, as similar stories had been published. But there is one strange information that stands out: The predominance of the number 6.

Miller writes that Duterte was a former mayor of Davao City, which has a population of 1.6 million; that he was elected 16th president of the Philippines in May 2016.

“On election day, Duterte won 16.6 million votes, 6.6 million more than his closest rival … Within his first six months in office, more than 7000 people had been gunned down ….” [Rappler says "nearly 6,000", Al Jazeera "past 6,000", and The Guardian "more than 6,000 people were assassinated by law enforcement, paramilitaries and vigilantes since 1 July 2016 ...."]

Moreover, “The president used his allies in both houses to push legislation reintroducing ­capital punishment ... Duterte announced that he wanted to put ‘five or six’ prisoners to death every day for various ‘heinous crimes’ ….”

Miller also mentioned that Duterte compared himself to Adolf Hitler who had killed 6 million Jews. [Duterte later apologized.]

Absent in Miller’s article, however, is Duterte’s promise, made in February 2, 2016, to stop crime in three to six months. Duterte even said kill me if I fail to stop crime and corruption in 6 months in Jan. 2017. In Sept. 2016, Duterte admitted his failure, and said, “Just give me a little extension, maybe another six months." Miller’s article also doesn’t mention that six years is the term of a Philippine president.

The successive appearance of the number 6 is apparently unintentional and devoid of religious meaning. The favorite number of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos was 7. He had an Inner Seven of military officers and a yacht marked PT-777, but Duterte does not have an Inner Six or a plane marked 666.

Nevertheless, out of curiosity, I made an online research to see if the same number appears in news reports, outside Miller’s narrative.

1 In April 7, 2016, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused Duterte of having a secret deposit worth P211 million in the Julia Vargas branch of the Bank of Philippine Islands (BPI). The bank, however, released a note that showed Duterte's balance was only P17,666.98.

Unconvinced, and claiming to have found P2.4 billion of transactions in Duterte's alleged accounts, Trillanes filed a complaint before the Ombudsman. But the Ombudsman terminated the case in Nov. 2017. The following year, a disappointed Senator Leila de Lima filed Senate Resolution 666 to investigate the Ombudsman and the Anti-Money Laundering Council. "Duterte should never be exempted from investigation and accountability," de Lima said.

2 According to Trillanes, Duterte and his daughter Sara have one joint account in Banco de Oro in Davao and 16 in two BPI branches in Manila.

3 In May 2017, Duterte instructed his Cabinet secretaries to stop using the number 6 plates on their vehicles to prevent the secretaries, their relatives and guards from abusively acquiring right of way during heavy traffic. But Duterte didn't ban the use of other government protocol plates.

4 In May 16, 2017, 604 kilos of methamphetamine (shabu) arrived in Tondo, Manila. After three days it was seized by authorities. The value is P6.4 billion. Weeks later in a senate hearing, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV accused the president’s son Paolo Duterte of being involved in the shipment. Trillanes said Paolo has a dragon tattoo that supposedly proves he is a member of a drug triad.

5 In Dec. 2017, Paolo Duterte and his brother-in-law Manases Carpio lodged a P6.6-million 'damage suit' against Trillanes. In a 6-page complaint, Duterte and Carpio said Trillanes had accused them of conspiring with transportation and public works officials to extort money from Uber and other taxi firms. [Update: Paolo and Manases filed a libel case against Trillanes on Sept. 6, 2018.]

6 In the same month, Paolo Duterte’s daughter Isabelle held an opulent pre-debut photo session in Malacañang Palace. The prize of her red, glittering, couture gown is P600,000. News stories said she would turn 18. But a research by Raisa Robles on the Davao City government website revealed Isabelle’s birthday to be Jan. 26, 2002. So, she was 16 on Jan. 2018, unless the government record contains an error.

Isabelle wore three other gowns during the shooting, but the gown decked with red crystal petals generated much attention. Several news agencies -- Rappler, Quartz, Manila Times, Manila Today, New York Post, and The Straits Times -- describe the gown as "blood-red", an apparent allusion to the drug war.

7 In July 10, 2018 Rappler published a news report called “Over 6,000 cops, 600 soldiers to secure 2018 SONA [State of the Nation Address].” On July 23, as scheduled, Duterte delivered his 16-page, cuss-free speech. According to ABS-CBN, it started around 5:20 pm and ended at 6:10 pm.

Beyond news, I tried to see other manifestations of 6 and related trivia. Some of these findings are alien. But they might be of interest to linguists, numerologists and Bible students.

Please don’t try these calculations at home:

8 The last presidential election was on May 9, 2016. It was the sixth sextennial election since 1986. Sextennial means “occurring once every six years”. So, Duterte is the 16th and the 6th sextennial president."

9 The date of the election can be written as 5-9-16, but this figure is debatable. The winter solstice, the “rebirth of the sun”, starts around Dec. 25, so if December is counted as the first month, like Sunday being first and not seventh, then May becomes 6th and May 9, 2016 would be 6-9-16.  We can safely remove 9 because it’s relative; in other parts of the world, day 9 is still 8. So, the birth of the 16th president is 6-16.

10 The Wikipedia entry on “Number of the Beast” presents a new finding:  “In most manuscripts of the New Testament and in English translations of the Bible, the number of the beast is 666. Papyrus 115 (which is the oldest preserved manuscript of the Revelation as of 2017), as well as other ancient sources like Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, give the Number of the Beast as 616 (χιϛ), not 666 ....”

" ... the oldest preserved manuscript of the Revelation ... give the Number of the Beast as 616 ..."

11 There were five apparitions in May 2016:  The first was Jesus, Joseph and Mary (Jejomar Binay), the second Manuel Roxas II, the third Mary Grace Poe, the fourth Antonio Trillanes IV, and the fifth Leila de Lima. (Miriam Santiago was never part of the equation.) Trillanes is Duterte’s nemesis, his opposite. The numerological evidence of this hypothesis is that if we put the Roman numeral IV in front of a mirror it becomes VI.

12 The word “Duterte” is often written by his supporters as “DU30”. The Indo-European root word dwo (two) has a variant du (double).  Double 30 is 60.

fist punch photo from pexabay13 Several news writers describe the now familiar Duterte gesture as the Duterte fist bump, or fist pump. But others call it the Duterte fist salute. It is a punch or, to distinguish it from the beverage, a fist punch. The arm is extended, so the gesture resembles the Nazi salute.

Duterte and his companions refrained from using this sign during their state visit to Israel in September 2018. There is also no record of him flashing it in other countries. It is a local, political symbol that appears to mean power, solidarity and aggression. Human rights advocates see it as representing "the brutalities of Duterte's drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives."

Emoji versions of this image show up in online political discussions in the Philippines, sometimes in sets of three.
emojis of fist punches

Original photo of fist has no 6. It is shared free in pixabay.com.

Detail from William Blake's "The number of the beast is 666." From commons.wikimedia.org.

What does the repetition of 6 mean? Nothing, I suppose. I have friends who excel in literature, law, and religious service and they support Duterte; they must know something the rest of us don’t. Before the 2016 election, not just 70 but "around 7,000 pastors under the G-12 network pledged support for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte." One of them, Leo Carlo Panlilio, senior pastor of the Destiny Church, compared Duterte to Nehemiah of the Old Testament. But not Messiah or God; apparently, these titles are reserved for Apollo Quiboloy.

How could thousands of servants of God be mistaken? Even Duterte’s sister Eleanor believes her brother is Godsend. Miller quotes her saying Rodrigo “is being used as a vehicle of the Holy Spirit”, and anyone who goes against him is “an emissary of Satan”. End


Nehemiah, from Wikipedia, copyright expiredNehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem

This picture is copied from Wikipedia, which contains a note: "Printed in the 'Standard Bible Story Readers' by Lillie A. Faris 1925. Published by the Standard Publishing company. Verified via here and here that the copyright was not renewed in 1952 or 1953 and so has expired."

Compare Duterte's Build, Build, Build Program.

  • Vice president Sara Duterte is accused of spending P125 million in confidential funds in 19 days. "The OVP spent the whole P125-million confidential fund given to the office in a span of just 19 days, from Dec. 13 to Dec. 31, 2022. This translates to P6,578,947.37 or almost P7 million per day,” Castro said in a statement." (Inquirer, August 29, 2023) France Castro is House Deputy Minority Leader.
  • Vice president Sara Duterte is the secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd). DepEd "originally wanted a P810.414-billion budget for 2023, but DBM only approved P666.25 billion." (ABS-CBN, September 14, 2022)
  • Trillanes: Bong Go and family amassed P6.6 billion of government contracts (Manila Bulletin, July 5, 2021)

600 Vote Counting Machines Malfunctioned


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