How To Argue In Favour Of Death Penalty

One interesting aspect of the debate about the restoration of death penalty is when the proponents are under heavy assault by research data backed by some eloquence that its deterrence is not proven by empirical facts they tend to recoil and make a compromised version such as it is only meant for very few segment of the population, for example, heinous criminals like drug traffickers.

Right from the outset, the bill has all the tone of barbarity no small thanks to the mainstream religion which spent no small effort to even paint the bill as mankind playing God. With the heavy tone of sentimentalist logics with strong backing from the international community, the bill is somewhat put on the defensive.

This is very unfortunate for the very reason that it does not encompass the overarching historical development and the restrictive analysis of the death penalty restoration.

Deterrence

First and foremost of this bill is centered on societal benefit chief of which is so-called deterrence. But how the investigative data really plays out?

When closely examined, we could find out that the investigation does not take into account multiplicity of factors and how equally powerful these as to the impact on the number of crimes as a result of the restoration of capital punishment.

The usual formulaic construal cited by studies can be expressed in the following expression,

Society A + No Death Penalty = Society A + Death Penalty

Hence, based on comparative data, if crimes committed on the left expression have almost the same number as the one on the right, we can obviously say it has no impact at all!

But life is stronger than simplistic views. Potential and full-blown criminals are not created equal.

Thus non-deterrence argumentation is built on poor science. Your statistical result is only as good as your presumption on the factors contributing criminality.

To make more room for an in-depth study, we can expand the factors that cause criminality. This is non-exhaustive but you may get the idea.

Heinous criminals such as drug traffickers who are doing their usual wares are virtually immune with or without capital punishment. If the goal is to make their perspective change, then imposing death penalty has no threatening effect on them and so the human rights’ proponents have a solid point that can’t be easily dismissed.

However, the dynamism of society allows us to consider another angle to zero in – the potential heinous criminals, the tributary to social offenders. In this new expansive study, it is helpful to do in depth study on those criminals who still pursue the life of crime even when the gallows is waiting for them if they get caught.

Let’s begin to consider their transformation,

[A,B,C, & D] – the factors that transform a criminal to become immune to any deterrence, whether its death, torture or otherwise

[E,F,G, & H] – the factors that transform a criminal to become vulnerable to any deterrence, whether its death, torture or otherwise

So the total crimes without deterrence is basically,

[A,B,C, & D] + [E,F,G, & H] = Total crimes

In view of the above, we could say that adding Death Penalty to the left parameters do not alter much the results if [A,B,C, & D] have the most dominant numbers in a locality or in the national sum.

Supposing the government vigorously addresses [A,B,C, & D] by providing socio-economic alternatives and at the same time imposes capital punishment, we can then be assured that the resulting deterrence is dependent on the leftover effects of a government drive, average criminals molded by [E,F,G, & H] for various reason graduated to full-blown monsters by opting out the government program and went to the road to perdition, and the remaining  crimes by perpetrators who are already virtually immune any form of deterrence.

Factors [A,B,C, & D] can include among others extreme poverty or severe exposure to a criminal environment. One retroactively trained to commit a crime can reach a point where it has no regard whether there exists a societal deterrence or not like a capital punishment.

In short, the multiplicity of factors is the stone where the arguments against deterrence run aground.

Sentimentalism

To the students in the school of thoughts, it is not hard for them to pinpoint why our reactions to capital punishment almost always allude to barbarism.

Apart from the fact that modern man thinks the old means of capital punishment belongs to where it is – the past, mankind actually faces a double whammy.

When the medieval thinking of natural and supernatural distinction put at odds with each other, the secularist upholds the former in a way that when it reaches its the strongest rational and empirical attacks, the proponents of supernatural view recedes into a moral and emotional domain as the new epistemic source to keep the faith.

So too one major church dogmatics shifted its center of gravity from objective to subjective partly because of the deadness of objectivity. The modern church movement is into this direction weighing more on the value of experience over the object of their belief.

When Freud came into the picture to categorize feelings and subsequently the post-modernistic worldview came in the second of the 20th century, all the subjective experience has finally sealed its fate as a major epistemic source.

When you have one major church movement heavily tapping into a subjective experience in the sectarian world and modern man tapping post-modernistic principles in the secular world, anyone who resurrects the old retributive system is in for a wild ride to defend his position.

The citation of reason by the anti-death penalty activists can be circumvented if the advocates know all too well the historical-intellectual contour — that it was because of sentimentalism undergirded by subjectivism, not an objective truth that often gets used as a justification of the human rights of a criminal.

Infinite regress

Subjectivism through and through introduces a lot of moral arbitrarities that cannot withstand the rigors of objective logic.

For example, if the right to life of the criminals in prison cells is to be preserved at all cost, what then its real value to any society like the Philippines? Who or what affirms that value, its value’s value, ad infinitum?

Any secularist should be reminded that unless it’s axiomatic or self-evident to all, or it is assured trajectory mankind will go into a downward spiral if they imposed the death penalty, then it’s a fallacious thinking through and through and therefore they can never say logic is on their side.

Social value and historical causalities

So here we go back to the first point, the capital punishment’s social value. We know for a fact that its deterrence is presupposed by the dominance of factors that affects behaviors.

We can proceed further assessing the fact that heinous criminals are costlier to maintain, including among others more stringent securities and personnel, if they live up to their old age. So what warrants the cost of their existence?

To be more humane

What if the cost of their preservation would save another poor life elsewhere by re-channeled budget? Society operates in one organic whole that historical causalities are tied up to one another, a saved expense on one can be used in another.

For a cash-strapped government, if P50,000 is the total money needed to preserve a life of one single heinous criminal up to his old age, and assuming the same amount of money would be able to help ten people out of poverty by financial and training assistance, which then is more valuable, the ten people deprived, or the one preserved? Or what if the P50k could save two poor people out of life-threatening risks?

In summary,

1. The death penalty can be a real deterrence if the factors affecting the transformation of potential heinous criminal is given parallel concern by the government. In this case, deterrence is shifted its center of gravity from will (heart) transformation to nature (personality) transformation.

2. The call for the abolition of death penalty is based heavily on sentimentalism, rather than cold logic and therefore irrational.

3. It may help a bit in solving the overpopulation of our prison cells particularly those that house heinous criminals.

4. It would solve the moral dilemma, “How far can we commit a crime that we put our lives at stake in exchange for it?”

5. If there is no capital punishment, the more heinous is the criminal act, the costlier it is for the government to preserve the inmate and the more it affects the overall economic impact in the society, where it appears he gets more by committing more.

The Ten Commandments For Duterte Supporters

  1. Don’t let your ego grow too big for others to easily hit

One major reason why a lot of people unfriended their Facebook contacts during the campaign period up until now is they let their ego grow too big and when challenged by others, they cannot bear the discomfort of losing their stand or seeing others as a bunch of egos squeezing him inside a small room!

A Duterte supporter must learn how to curtail the growth of his ego even if evidence has demonstrably shown his support of the president is proven right and the country is now on the right track. He needs to keep his ego in check even if for some time he is never proven wrong. Such a healthy approach will save him from a lot of trouble sooner or later.

He can do this either by distanciation and following where the evidence leads. The former means that he needs to extricate himself even from his loyalty to the president and assess the evidence where it leads every time he is presented with new facts. Not having a critical eye will only boost his ego build-up.

  1. Always strive to look for quality of arguments rather than watching intently who appears to be winning in a debate

Cheer-leading and watching for somebody who may get an upper-hand between pro and anti-Duterte fans is for the immature. You better off focusing on the quality of their arguments rather than watching intently who gets the better of others. Over time, you get paid with more mature dividends in your journey as an intelligent supporter.

  1. Apologize when proven wrong

There is no sure-fire recipe for disaster because of bloated ego and skewed perception when you feel you’re invincible with your arguments and therefore you’re becoming less perceptive of others’ valid counter-argument.

If you can sense you made a mistake and then apologize, you avoid further embarrassment and retain your proper sensibility. At times when you’re in the wrong such as stating a wrong source or facts or misreading an article, just apologize. Having few mistakes here and there is good for your overall emotional and mental health, that you are still a human being and can learn from others. After all, they’re humans too and you can learn bits and pieces from them even those coming from different persuasion.

  1. Don’t try to become a baby-thrower

There’s a line that says right understanding requires knowing proper distinctions. For example, just because a known supporter of the president is recently throwing heavy criticisms of him as of late does not necessarily mean he already abandoned his support or doing it for the wrong reason, for constructive advice cannot be deemed negative at all.

A lot of people are just too quick to throw the baby with the bath. Spare the baby and ignore the bath.

  1. Prefer reading contrary opinions

Many scholars are reading their opponents and critics more than their followers for reason that they are the ones who will cause them to rethink and refine their position and hence create a headroom for more intellectual stimulation.

The problem with same-minded people is that their lack of critical eye doesn’t add up much to their journey of improving their ability to think deeply. As they say, iron sharpens iron.

  1. Perform due diligence on articles and their sources before posting them publicly

To save from embarrassment and moral consternation, strive to search thoroughly if your articles come from fake sites or misquoted statements from mainstream media. Learn as you go along how to develop your own personalize way of assessing veritable contents.

For legitimate sources, always try to capture the gist of the writer before reacting to save you from the trouble of comprehension issue.

Ten Commandments Summary
Ten Commandments Summary
  1. Learn language and historical contexts

One common problem with anti-Duterte is that they lack proper historical research before they give out their assessment of the president’s initiative. For example, his distancing from the United States in terms of preferential trade and military ties are met with waves of criticisms that are uneducated and uninformed. This could have been easily remedied by a simple historical study on treaties between the Philippines and its western counterpart since the time the Americans arrived on the Philippine soil.

Likewise, a Duterte supporter must be better informed when responding to criticisms — reading the historical data himself.

Learn also how to assess your mileage as there are fair chances others might be more intelligent or knowledgeable than you are and therefore you might be in a very precarious situation throwing less impressive arguments or facts.

  1. Consider it’s your moral duty to teach others as your motivation to respond

Never entertain the thought that you are motivated by fame (or fortune?) in winning others by your arguments. Just be reminded that as part of the global human community, you have a moral duty to teach, correct, admonish, reprimand people who are in the wrong but only do it ostensibly as a moral responsibility more than anything else.

  1. Learn to counter objections properly

Always strive to offer superior arguments or scholarship (i.e. more thorough) and refrain from burying your head in the sand. Deepen the engagement by broadening your knowledge.

Here are few of the examples you may reflect:

If they raised an issue of the vulgarity of the president’s mouth, instruct them that the Philippines suffers not from expletives but from another form of vulgarity much worse than the obscenity of the mouth – the vulgarity of the intellect commonly manifested among Duterte’s rabid critics. These are the people that instead of deepening a conversion, they choose instead a full stop punctuation to end it. This is downright vulgar and has no room for reasonable people.

If they raise the issue that the Philippine President cannot follow basic international protocol, instruct them that extraordinary men define their own epoch and not the converse. The president, therefore, should not be demanded that he needs to carve his presidency by the mandate of his epoch. On top of it, his bombastic responses are not unprovoked. He behaves courteously when facing a decent counterpart, one whose overall ethics cause suffering to Filipinos.

  1. Know if and when to hurl insult

Insults are a big no-no in debates or even in a discussion but in few cases, there is still a room for use. The reason is the will, the seat of man’s affection of choosing, sometimes detaches itself when suffers a heavy setback of counter insults after a prolonged scholarly (i.e. thorough) exchanges.

When you sense that you exhausted all avenues of showing proper response and empirical evidence but the opponent is still sticking to his usual vitriol, try to give him a little dose of his own medicine at the end. And no, it is reserved only to those who’re willing to hurl insult as well.

Of course, it doesn’t mean you need to condescend down to street-level personal insult but you may simply express it in some way such as replying sarcastically.

Here is a simple sarcastic statement issued after repeated attempt of providing solid arguments to the other side and yet chose to remain like a culvert, which rejects nothing.

“I am not sure if I pity you for ignoring valid arguments or pity myself for wasting so much my time convincing a person who is so predisposed to ignore facts.”

However, please take note that people who are so respectful but remains skeptical by your answer don’t deserve any iota of it.

Petition To Remove Cynthia Patag, Jim Paredes, and all Yellow Armies From Facebook and Twitter

In response to the initiative to silence Mocha Uson via Change.org, I implore all pro-Duterte supporters to support an initiative to remove all traces of Yellow Armies chief of them are Cynthia Patag, Jim Paredes, et. al.

1. These people are intellectually vulgar

They are influencing the Filipinos not to use their brains to deepen a conversation.

2. They are convincing their followers that crime and corruption-ridden government are much, much more preferable

This group of people is busy convincing their followers to fancy the fast administration and want all Filipinos to go back thereby inadvertently killing back the hopes of millions of Filipino children they gained via hard-fought campaign.

3. They want to dull the senses of Filipinos

To them, all the President Duterte could do is to the ruin of every Filipinos even though reports of his first 100 days say otherwise.

4. They promote psychological imbalance

They love to propose solutions that exist only in the minds and have no concrete existence such as curbing drugs without deaths or providing rehab centers without government budget.

5. They encourage treachery

All the badly interpreted news bits about the president, they amplify it to demonize the duly-elected leader of the land and spread the news all throughout the reading public all over the world.

6. They prefer criminals than law-abiding citizens

They tried all they can to portray the beleaguered senate witness Matobato as a knight in shining armour and even tried fund-raising to protect the self-confessed criminal, all in the name of their skewed perception of human rights.

7. They misled the public

The deliberately manipulate facts such as traffic and blame the president for a crime committed by the past presidents.

8. These people are guilty of ethnocentrism

They love to bring anything Western just to paint the current administration as bad as it can get.

Guns and Curses – Insights Into The President’s Uncouth Manner

The late senator Miriam Santiago amusingly recalled her first meeting with the then Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in Davao who just put his pistol on the table and started off the conversation, “Here’s mine. What’s yours?”. She said she was taken aback for never in her political life she held one for her safety.

During those tumultuous times in Davao, it’s not unusual to see the mayor holding a gun to protect himself as he was probably thinking better dead fighting than getting exterminated by enemies and not able to defend himself. Amazingly, he survived to tell his stories and, for good or bad reason, now unleashes the habit that seemingly nurtured during that survival period.

It’s perfectly understandable that a lot of people were turned off but many were able to shrug it off. Whether how you view the president’s seeming propensity for expletives when provoked by anger either by recall or inquiry, we can’t ignore the fact that it added some flavors into his leadership:

1. People don’t realize that vulgarity is not confined to the mouth alone

There can be no debate that the president is too uncouth for his position but many of his critics don’t realize that vulgarity can also manifest in one’s intelligence – that is, the use of full stop punctuation in expressing an opinion.

Instead of deepening a conversation, they want to end the discussion totally convinced that their cursory analysis is the final word and doesn’t need to be challenged. In the educated world, such act of superficiality is also vulgar, for it tries to undercut what could have been a proper engagement of the intellect.

So it raises a very valid question, which one is worse, the vulgarity of the president’s mouth which is marinated by righteous indignations, or vulgarity of intellect which is the lack of ability to deepen a conversation?

You bet!

2. His vulgarity seems to give others extra push to do the right thing

A few years ago, it’s hardly imaginable that a day would come the popular thoroughfares of Metro Manila and other places would look nice and clean. Enter President Digong and everything was turned upside down! The tough locals who couldn’t seem to care much about how to put their streets in order suddenly learned how to act like one. Why?

Well, the president’s outburst and curse by themselves demand obedience particularly those local executives who deemed too close to his main office. Who in his right mind would dare to challenge a volatile president for being the receiving end of his wrath?

The president’s curse is much like a call to a street fight, “Gusto mo, basagan tayo ng mukha?” To which the other would retort, “Ayoko! Basag na yong mukha mo!” President Duterte’s care-free attitude in handling his vocal imagery seems to add to the no-holds-barred and the aura of fear he already amassed as a strict disciplinarian of Davao city. 

It’s very ironic that those who refuse to resist the president’s injunction have skewed morals on what is good and what is right but nonetheless, the president is able to get his messages across and get the job done. Government officials may think twice that they cannot afford to lose their identity in any form of resistance.

Another group who had been used to ask for political favors in exchange for their campaign contributions may think twice for fear they may experience tongue-lashing. It would be the remotest possibility to think of such person like Lucio Tan or somebody else who may call the president to ease up his policies so as not to affect his business interest e.g. shelving the no-smoking ban for time being for it would surely affect the sale of cigarettes.

3. His unrefined persona most probably the reason why he is impervious to graft and corruption

There so much written criticism about the president manner of speech but they failed to grapple the fact that history provides us some insights into the type of persona that seems to be left standing amidst the national hysteria. For instance, Pulitzer-prize winner Roger Ebert had the womanizer Oskar Schindler as the only one German who was not paralyzed by the Nazi cruelty.

We can safely argue that it was Duterte’s persona that made him impervious to the common practice of politicians embracing the systemic graft and corruption. Other prim and proper politicians are either dancing with the corrupt system or just being inept for a fight for its eradication.

rodrigo-duterte-1

4. The elite is to be blamed for his rise

Of all the nosiest people who protested against the president’s cursing, the elite topped the list unmindful that they are the ones to blame. If all the presidents before Duterte were able to change the political and economic landscape of the country, the chance of having an uncouth leader, no matter how successful he is in his city, seems to be virtually nil.

In short, having a president who gives them discomfort is their undoing. Worse, they blame his supporters who were just too sick and tired of their ineptitude. Better is for them to realize that the president is their own version of Scourge of God, who came down to punish their political sins accumulated over the years.

5. Ironically, his cursing and seeming volatility inspire interest in learning history, which would otherwise somewhat impossible to do

Filipinos are reeling for the utter lack of sense of nationhood and that all changed when Duterte came into the picture. We discuss at length how he inspired indifferent Filipinos to study and to show strong interest in nationalistic pride here.

President Duterte – An Extra-Ordinary History Professor

Did you know that President Duterte is moonlighting for an extra job he’s not getting paid a single cent?

Among the remarkable achievements that should be included in the President’s first 100 days is his extraordinary ability to teach history very effectively to the overly indifferent Filipinos, who have been too unwilling to use their brains much more their critical eyes, in just a few months without overdoing it just like others who tried before him.

One lamented that during the Pacquiao-Marquez bout, Mexicans chanted ‘Mexico!, Mexico!’ and too proud of their heritage represented by their ring gladiator. In contrast, Filipinos shouted ‘Manny!, Manny!’ as if either they were virtually clueless of their sense of patriotism or just being too ashamed of their nationality.

What went wrong there? One writer describes that the problem with Filipinos is the obvious lack of ‘sense of country’. Day in and day out schoolchildren recite the national pledge and sing that national anthem and yet nothing much happening on their sense of patriotic duty.

rodrigo-duterte-a1To address the seeming lack of nationhood among Filipinos, several suggestions have been put forward. Few among them are the use of national language in teaching non-Filipino subjects and the labeling of Makabayan on social studies. Are these effective? We haven’t had any in-depth report or sensible indicator so far that we can sense the Filipinos are now becoming more attune to their national patrimony after those initiatives.

So the hope of developing a sense of nationhood seemed like a dream for those who wished it would ever happen. There’s so much indifference that it’s perfectly understandable that a lot of people abandoned all chance of redemption from the prevailing Filipino apathy towards their own history.

Not anymore! All changes suddenly, unexpectedly and mind-blowingly when the new guy on the block came to the fore!

1. Hinting the break-up of US-Philippine military and economic ties – nobody really cared much about the nitty-gritty details of Philippines trade volume with other countries until Duterte visited China and alluded the change of policy direction. The social media and the mainstream news channel were abuzz with the news with no small thanks for the scoops of his political pronouncement severing ties with the United States.

Both sides of supporters suddenly became awaken from their long slumbers and begin digging the disparity and the implication of the trade. Not to be outdone, CNN Philippines even created a video on the details of the possible loss of the country if it totally breaks up with the US while reporting also the possible $60 billion trade gain in the next 5 years if all goes well with the China agreements.

2. The alleged expletive towards President Obama – very few Filipinos would respond to the mesmerizing speeches of Lean Alejandro or Jovito Salonga or Ninoy Aquino and dig deep into their historical roots and rouse them to patriotism. But Duterte only needs few words and a single picture of Bud Dajo massacre to change all this lack of historical interest.

The national artists toiled day and night to write a masterpieces of inspiring novels and books; the street parliamentarians are even courting disaster with their protestations while aligning the people in the hinterlands just to push for nationalistic drive; opinion and veteran writers scooping the entire books of history and western ideas just to keep teaching the new generation of their historical heritage. Yet, all their efforts seem to fall on deep ears. But the president changed all that: one curse and one picture are his teaching material and it seems to work.rodrigo-duterte-2

3. The slighted curse on the Pope – no one among the present generation cared so much about how deeply the dominant religion of the country influence their perceptions to be as it may in a political and social arena. But that all could have changed if Duterte’s henchmen did not stifle the president to continue inconvenient truths against the Roman Catholic church.

What could have been an invigorating historical discovery of beliefs from all interested parties died down without even taking off. If winning the election was not really an issue to be concerned about, any inquisitive effort about the church could have been fruitful to anyone to learn deeply their religious history. It could have explained why the likes of Cynthia Patag, Vicky Gatchitorena or Jim Paredes are still lingering in their fantastic worlds and believe that everything in Duterte is bad even without the slightest of proofs.

After the early Christians reversed the process in the selection of church leaders, a separation of two classes emerged and shifted the original purpose of ministerium into magisterium, to their ruin, and the latter don’t need even verifiable facts of history to prove their ascendancy. If you had already existing two classes of people — the teachers in their magisterial rule and the churchgoers as listeners — and intermixes that with the Buddhist caste system brought by the Chinese to the Philippines, you get a super-deadly mixture of political and social apathy.

That partly explains why the Filipino elites since time immemorial, no matter the degree of ministerial service Duterte is bringing down to the poorest of the poor, they still prefer to linger in their magisterial dimension, unable to connect with facts and true sensibility to the downtrodden. Worse, the bishops, marinated in post-modernism, are too militant against the proposed death penalty – too ironic for the fact that political institution was first built to institute the retributive justice.

President Duterte moonlighting as Professor of History seems very effective in channeling information to his Filipino students who are now acting taking a Masters’ class and doing all their thesis without the professor wasting much time looking over their shoulder but just dishing out few of his out-of-the-box historical wand!

Teach Yourself Profiles Of Duterte’s Rabid Critics

One politically well-known Facebook user posted weeks ago that the only reason why others are not supportive of the Duterte administration is that they benefit from the corrupt practices and ineptness of the past administration. While there is some truth to this observation, we can tell from frequent engagement with Filipinos that there are also other reasons why people don’t like the president right from the outset.

During the campaign, we revealed some of the attributes why they didn’t root for Duterte. Times have changed and while we can see there are cross-over fans that jump over the fence to support the president, there are still plenty of those who still stick to their guns and without showing any signs of jumping the bandwagon any minute for the next six years.

  1. The historically ignorant. Historians of the past may roll in their graves if they had seen Justin Beiber being interviewed to give an opinion on the American politics or Philippine political pundits put too much effort in countering Agot Isidro’s ‘psychopath’ comment towards the Philippine head of state. How appropriate for the president to just shrug off the comments as it was her constitutional right to say anything.

     
    The president is just avoiding unnecessary effort in countering a baseless opinion that has no historical ramification. The actress can serve as the poster girl of the many critics online who should have spent reading their history books first before dissing out commentaries. It is just so improper and agonizingly painful watching people wasting their time in formulating a commentary they have no idea of the overarching historical context e.g. US-Philippine relations that agitate the president to speak against international relations with unfair provisions.

 

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  1. The intellectually arrogant. There is a downside when people read books or acquiesce to learning – they may stick to a possible point of view that is averse to proper sensibilities. That’s what happen to those well-trained journalists who after their cursory reading of the president’s messages, tend to can him into the perspective they’re are so inclined with.

     
    Standing on a particularly inflexible position may not entirely bad except that their position may end up worse than the person they’re criticizing or their arguments fell into fallacies – the kind of thing they like to charge the social media supporters of Duterte.Amado Doronilla, for example, wrote that Duterte’s call for transport emergency power is a prelude to a Martial Law.

     
    That kind of observation alone falls under historical fallacy, a formulaic construal of ‘if X then Y construct’. Randy David blamed the people for voting Duterte as they can’t wait for democracy to take its due course. Such argument is delving on ignorance for the length of time is not a guarantee that the psychological retroactive effect on drugs, crime and corruption is going in the positive direction.Now, it should be instructive to Duterte followers as well that they too may be tempted to rein in them the arrogance their opponents are getting into. It should teach them that even if their heart is on the right track, they too are not immune from this and knowing the possibility should make everyone aware of the peril of arrogance.

 

  1. The baby throwers. In the world of inquiry, there are people who are just too quick to throw the baby with the bath. Just because they’ve seen something so negative in the president’s manner of speaking, they would say that everything about him is all bad. They cannot, for one, see that not all those who appear goodie are of goodie. The Philippines has been reeling from the people in government who managed to appear nice in their appearance and manners but turned out to be having no business being in the government in the first place by their poor performance, lack of urgency or just plain corrupt.

 

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  1. The religiously naive. Few minutes after he started his campaign, it takes only a few words from Duterte to severe ties with the overly-sensitive people of faith. When he seemingly cursed the Pople, it galvanized the already widespread suspicion he is not a presidential material and just like that he probably lost tens of thousand of followers, if not millions. Some have probably recovered and start entertaining to admire the president for his action-oriented policy after he got elected but there are still people whose wound could not be healed after their religious infallible leader is seemingly attacked.

     
    At the time when the Pope was gaining praises worldwide, our president was going in the opposite direction hinted in his first campaign speeches the traffic issues while unleashing his untamed mouth in front of the national television. However, to those who are the true children of learning must have known how badly this feeling of discomfort stemmed from. The separation of the teaching church –which comprises the duality of an overly holy image of the prelates, and ministers, and the listening church — is likewise responsible in one way or another in introducing unnecessary divisions that permeate even in the political spectrum. If people only knew that this form of adulation left an indelible mark on social and political inequality, their reactions may not be too negative on the president who is undoing this demarcation lines.

 

  1. The political sloth. The manifold and exquisite handiwork of President Duterte’s administration are all for the people to see and yet many are too lazy to read and learn from these developments to make a better informed overall commentary of the president. The president’s achievement are vast and it would take some level of industry to track down if the current administration has achieved far more than its predecessors or already has achieved amazing feat far beyond the people’s expectations in just few months of his leadership.

 

  1. The confused. There are people who are simply confused about the ongoing debate that they blame others for their lack of understanding of Duterte’s policy, pronouncements or achievements that they instead believe simple delivery of messages is better. They may even resort to the line that ‘if you haven’t make it simple, you haven’t really understood it well.’ However, this presupposed that simple understanding is better or superior to a complex body of knowledge.

     
    Teddy Locsin and the president are trying to invite the people to think deeply and yet those who can’t do it resort to attacks. Better for people to instead take one bite at a time and learn rather than trumpeting to the whole wide world that unless they fully understand, for whatever reason, the president is deficient in many regards. In every controversy, it is not at all bad the president is inviting everyone to navigate the varying contours of his speeches for in doing so, people learn new things or improve their learning in the process.

 

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  1. The Platonic idealists. There are scenarios that only exist in the minds that have no corresponding concrete existence and yet critics would try to raise the possibility of achieving those kinds of reality. For example, there are people who can’t simply accept the number of deaths due to police raids and would like to picture out a utopian alternative that these deaths could have been avoided. Of course, police raids can be improved to minimize casualties but to aspire for an idealistic scenario is no better alternative for an abstract idea cannot claim superiority to concrete experience. Most human rights advocates fall on this criteria.

     
    In short, people who can’t make a distinction of a logical possibility and a logical feasibility must not waste people’s time reading their figment of imaginations.

 

  1. The radical skeptics. These are paranoid people who abandon all hope that there is someone who is impeccable or good enough to solve the problem of drugs and criminality and all information for him is either just for show, propaganda, or political manipulation. The problem here is not the absence of proofs the government can really deliver what it has promised before and after the election but these critics have dulled their senses to see anything in the positive direction. Anyone who can only see the negative commentaries about the president also falls into this category.

 

  1. The overly sentimental. A sad note on the president’s drive in  ending the rebellion resulted in rubbing sentimental value to some families, friends or comrades whose one or few members died as the result of the government’s protracted war with the insurgents. They’re like Colombians who are not amenable to the soft treatment of the rebels and who like to call for justice rather than reconciliation.

 

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  1. The simpletons. Some people who are obviously lacking language training and analytical skills joined the fray of discussions both sides of the fence. They simply are virtually clueless how to make proper distinctions or how to surgically analyze views. They assume that what they understood is what the president meant. In fact, almost all of the president’s controversy are due to these people’s lack of discerning skills.

 

  1. The evil ones. It is not hard to pinpoint these people. Most of them have business interest that must have been affected by the Duterte presidency that they’re throwing everything including the kitchen sink just to remove the president from power.

Leni Robredo As President

In the event of the incumbent is no longer be able to govern for whatever reason, the Constitution mandates that the Vice President will take charge as the next-in-line President. This may not be a welcome possibility to the followers of the widely popular President Rodrigo Duterte but we can never discount the fact that Vice President may one day become the head of state. And, of course, in the next election, no matter how Leni would deny she has no plan to run, the fact that she accepted to run for vice presidency, that’s tantamount to the consideration she’s willing to take the highest leadership of the land any minute and insofar as the political landscape in the Philippines has been, changes in plans happen even in the last minute.

So we ask this question, how would Leni fare as the president of the republic? The usual answer given by her supporters is that even though she’s largely untested she will do good being a good person herself.

Others, supporters of the incumbent president may shudder at the thought of the resurgence of the Yellow army, largely responsible for turning the country into a virtual narco-state and where criminals feasted inside the national penitentiary not to mention the systemic corruption that had bled and dried the government’s coffers.

Her sober supporters may also seriously reconsider if it would be worth for the whole country and to the next generation to continue the call for the resignation of the president for one reason or another in much the same way as many dissatisfied citizens withholding the call for then-President Noynoy Aquino to resign for fear the second in command, then allegedly corrupt Vice President Jejomar Binay,  was no better than the sitting president.

Her positions on issues and programs for the past few months may be instructive of how she would govern hypothetically as a president.

  1. She assumes a conjectural fact is a fact. Barely over a month Robredo raised concerns over the spate of killings and she shared the same position with the human rights voices who are the most vocal against it unmindful of a couple of errors in her call. One, the Senate Hearings on EJK put the distinction of extra-judicial killings not even covering most of the so-called kills the media is piling up. Two, she demanded an end to it without due regard to the fact that if the criminals were the ones doing it, there’s is nothing the government can do for the dark work, who knows well of their victims, to stop eliminating their subjects who can point them to proper authorities. Had she resorted to seriously call for a proper investigation before issuing her statement, she might not have issued statements that insinuated the administration might have a hand of it.url-3
  1. She majored the minor. In some of her pronouncements, her sensing the good intentions of the administration is overshadowed by the fact that she only captures the vestiges of good governance by the way she launches her own concerns or downright criticisms. For example, she failed to grapple the deeper issues in the tension of US-Philippine relations when she protested the labeling of mendicants the Philippine-International aid relations. If Leni studied the historical ties between the US-Philippines alone — even her own province mate in Senator Raul Roco who voiced against VFA passage, she might have a firm grasp of the issues the Philippine President is standing on. Now, this is very critical to the positive relation between GRP and CPP-NPA/NDF negotiations going on. The rebels positions wanted to review all the unfair agreements the international powers have been doing to the country for ages and if Leni is not going deeper to study and recalculate her position on the disadvantageous relations, she may be dousing cold water to the thawing relations between the government and the rebels, a huge loss to the chance of ending the decades-old rebellion once and for all.
  1. She overlooked on the failure of his party-mates and blamed the administration instead. Her criticisms for Duterte for being unprepared for the rehabilitation is stabbing on realism by putting the blame of her predecessor, most of them identified with her, on the president. As a government official, she should know better that the budget for this year is already decided during the incumbency of the previous president and there’s no way Duterte can re-aligned the budget — without drug-related contingencies — for drug victims and pushers let alone made pronouncement on the scale of the trouble President Duterte has to face. She has shown no bravery to point the fingers on her campaign principals as the reason on the scale of the problem the present administration is facing.

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  1. Her identity is still with the enemies of the people. The Robredo’s under the headship of the late Jessie were able to shrug off being part of the traditional politicians by dissing out their benefactors who helped them to take off as local politicians. But Leni could not duplicate their fate in Naga – she still largely part of the Liberal Party composed of people who are not only inept, lack of urgency but embroidered in graft and corrupt practices so endemic in the systemic corruption going on for ages in the country. We can only expect that every Tom, Dick and Harry will jump at first sight if ever she gets the top position of the land. Leni seems to see no problem rubbing elbows with people are never known to deal the most pressing problem in the country. There’s is no indication she would severe ties with those responsible for creating the wide gap between the people who hold the power for a very long time and the people they are sworn to serve. At this point, a Leni is bleak with no signs she has the strong political will comparable to the incumbent president. So those who have feared the removal of Duterte will just reinstate those responsible for the lack of order in their community have a very strong argument to back their concerns.
  1. Her campaign benefactors will be all around her. There’s no denying she had heaps of campaign donors during the last May 2016 election and more often than not this is the perennial cause of political accommodation. How Leni would handle remains to be seen but the fact that she has not distanced herself from her own party responsible for leap-frogging her political career, it would be safe to argue she can’t easily turn back against the very people who bankrolled where she is now. Those campaign funds normally equate to sinecures unless she would show she’s not beholden to her principals but chances are she is leaning to that direction after accepting to be the standard VP candidate to run under Roxas.
  1. The sense of urgency is not visible in her. Leni’s spending most of her time abroad without the clear purpose what it does to her vice presidency to address the urgent needs of the people may spell bad notions on the way he picks her spots of policy and governance. President Rodrigo Duterte has demonstrated well how he conducted himself and succeeded in addressing problems that really matter most in the shortest possible time. We may not expect the same thing from a President Leni or we can safely assume every successful campaign the new president has started will just lose steam or will be discontinued due to the lack of a strong figurehead.
  1. She doesn’t have the luxury to be with highly effective government leaders who also can deliver on their own. President Duterte’s long duration as a local executive in Davao well-oriented him to many would-be subordinates who can really deliver. Does Leni have a ‘Bato’ or a Faeldon or a Piñol , highly-effective cabinets and yet untainted? We doubt she can have array of subordinates who can really mount the same way as Duterte even working under the auspices of legal system and still managed to launch an attack on crime, corruption, ineptness and poverty.
  1. She doesn’t have the proper aura of fear. Duterte exceptionally tapped his intense aura of fear to achieve his purpose. In fact, the number of surrenderees or the local officials cleaning their turf after heading his message is a testament that fear, when properly leverage, can effect good change. Softie image seems to achieve very little like the one shown by former President Aquino. A President Leni would just repeat an amiable image that is taken advantage already by officials who like to feast on the weak arms of the law and the presidency.

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In view of the above, the fight to remove Duterte seems to have a very diminishing returns. Up to this point, there’s no one among those in-line in power has the capacity to take over the fairly high standard of governance Duterte introduced into the Philippine political scene. True, the expletives will surely disappear, but at what costs? The future of the country at stake?

Duterte’s War

Barely the president has warmth the seat of the presidency and yet his critics, few supporters, and some political pundits are insinuating the beginning of an end of his administration. The bucks stop at him, they may say, as he’s the one the most to blame for all the trouble with the press both local and international. Some may even consider his seemingly wishy-washy decision is already a writing on the wall he may not survive in a year or so before his term expires.

The touting call of the president to seemingly challenge the US CIA to eliminate him once and for all did not help a bit to calm the nerves of many. Some quarters are already apprehensive that if the president is removed from power, it may pave the return of the drug syndicates in their locality and it will just resurrect the drug abusers and criminals threatening their communities. The gains they enjoy now cannot be just thrown away with a simple charge of lack of president’s diplomatic courtesy.

Recently, a French paper published portraying the president as a serial killer. As the Philippine Senate already established the fact the extra-judicial killings are not the handiwork of the administration, it remains to be seen if the paper would recant or make a correction that their write-ups are based purely on the hearsays and just relying too much, too soon, on the news fed coming from correspondents or other pronouncements from known politician and local papers they have no means or interest of verifying its veracity under a legal definition.

French troopers under General Gouraud, with their machine guns amongst the ruins of a cathedral near the Marne, driving back the Germans. 1918. Central News Photo Service. (War Dept.) Exact Date Shot Unknown NARA FILE #: 165-WW-286-36 WAR & CONFLICT BOOK #: 619
(From Wiki)

With these developments, few things worth noting:

1. The international community largely presupposed that their local correspondents or sources are reliable

With the degree of seriousness of this charge like the president somewhat depicting a brutal monster by scouring his people of likely victims, it demands closer look into the issue how possibly their source is plainly mistaken or less reliable. The news of brutality of a certain kind can easily spread and it is very suspicious why the charge are coming from the same quarters who are the least victims – the press, the loyal followers of the previous administration and their loyal supporters.

It is just plainly absurd the majority as evident in the president’s approval rating are all praise of the president’s achievement which can easily be defended as a result of a strong drive against criminality within the bounds of legality. If the president would make it a pattern of terminating suspects to achieve his end, the scale cannot escape his prying subjects many of whom are more vibrant followers of political feeds than they used to be under the previous administration.

The intensity of interest in the common people should have detected this monstrosity and it is very ironic those who are not living under the auspices of the administration can instead sense better the deep trouble of an abusive regime in operation. The international news organizations that pride themselves in libertarian ideals cannot thrive in promoting a brand of journalism too reliant on unreliable feeds.

2. The Philippines role in a proxy war

An international relation expert just posted on his Facebook wall the chance the US, UN, and the International media are in cohorts to prop-up a proxy war, where the Philippines will be the battleground of interest among their close enemies in China and Russia. If this is true, then this explains a lot why checking the veracity of the news feed coming from the Philippines, no matter how outrageous it is, has to take a back seat as long as it serves their purpose.

Duterte is declaring a war against being lampooned as proxies in the world theater of war and every honest nationalist should instead rally on his back than siding with the foreign agencies that would like to promote themselves as the ultimate guardian of contemporary liberty.

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3. The “unknown” motive and external funding make sense

Apart from criminals, the next likely victim of Duterte’s relentless drive against criminality is the local media, which relies heavily on advertising income as the main factor of its viability for business existence. For months after the May presidential election, it is instructing that these media organizations for many years feasted on the online traffic might have somehow bear the brunt of loss after so many trolls and other legitimate pro-Duterte sites prop up like mushrooms, each of them slicing the budget related to Philippine political settings.

True their intriguing stories may cause citations and readership from these small websites and social pages but the number of user engagement is what counts. By comparing the internet traffic they got pre-Duterte era and the current ones they’re now regularly getting may indicate the huge decline in their source of bread and butter. Factoring also the number of people they have to hire to maintain their online presence comparable to bots and legitimate smaller competing sites who don’t normally have to fork huge amount of money for their overhead, the impact to their lifeline may be much higher than their acceptable loss.

Maria Ressa of Rapper issuing statement of getting back social media they once trudge can also mean the readership and profit they are losing on a daily basis after they failed to ride on Duterte bandwagon and aligning instead with the international advocates of human rights probably thinking they can dismantle contrary positions by the lofty pre-commitment to their presumed superior ideals.

So the question arises, what makes these local news organizations survive after their bloody loss of income from advertising? Some would day drug money but the intensity of the president’s drive against it may discourage them to consider funding their business existence from the dark world.

It is feasible that the international agencies are channeling hard curries to prevent these mainstream news online and print from closing shop. These benefactor countries and organizations may have truckloads of cash to spare for this kind of war and the fact that they believe they do it for the sake of contemporary libertt and human rights, the disbursement may not stir much conscience on their subordinates and donors.

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4. New dimension of war

In not so distant past, we’ve seen the wave of changes in the political arena transplanted by the power of social media. Places in the Middle East where libertarian freedom is seemingly impossible to germinate have succumbed to the power of the new formidable army. One authoritarian state fell after another like dominoes and the Western countries that had some hidden agenda capitalized riding on the tidal wave of freedom in the form of business opportunities.

Unfortunately, in the Philippines, the same thing can’t be said about the position of the Western World in the way they are fighting their presumed enemy of freedom chief of them the highest leader of the archipelago. Added to the fire in the bellies of many is some level of political maturity concocted from the long culture of discontent. The Western world instead ironically becoming on the wrong end of the war and the fact that they mishandled the Filipinos like a piece of rag, their perennial coverup of aids no longer can trick much the informed citizenry.

The painful reality is that they can instead count on the support of the uninformed, those who lack deeper understanding in history and every time they engage online for their support of their old benefactor, they easily lose in the debate for lacking a solid argument to support their position of being a lapdog of America.

The sooner the Western World realizes that they are banking on the low end of the debate, the better they can recalibrate their international policy with the Filipino leaders headed by no less than a veteran of psywar strategies

If they could win against their supposed enemy, the president of the country, for whatever means, they too would lack the right ascendancy repeating the same mistake when Cory was at the helm. Robredo maybe a good person but she has not shown enough how to continue the winning formula of the Duterte presidency. Her close ties with the Yellow Army put her in a very precarious position having spent a half a billion pesos in a campaign with which the campaign donors would jump at first sight to recoup their loss if Leni would reach the top.

And it maybe a short victory which may translate to nothing substantial. The powerful social warriors will not grant their hard-fought freedom to anybody else even if they may lose, God imgresforbid, their hero in Digong by propping up another. As long as the inclination of the voting public is toward democracy and election, any other hopeful that can be identified with ineptness much like President Noynoy will surely bite the dust in the next presidential election. Sarah or Bato, among others, may be considered as the next in line of the throne after Digong or after he runs out of luck to remain in power.

5. Money game

The US taking up the leadership in the fight against supposed enemies of freedom may have lost the strength of their resolve in their recent presidential candidates in Trump and Clinton, both of whom do not exemplify superior ideals and image of being a world leader to look up to. Worse, the next batch after then may even a little less further down the track. Take for instance Kanye West mentioning his intention to run 4 years later. With all the “good” things America has produced, it comes to the sordid fact that their head of state is not a true representation of unbridled freedom but a testament to the power of money.

It is an allusion to the power of money, which makes the suspicion that everybody bows down at the altar of the almighty dollar. And so ends their resolve they are promoting superior ideals but instead propagate the worrisome impact in the power of money.

Duterte’s Destiny

Not once but several times the president keeps on reiterating DESTINY as the real reason behind why he became the president of the republic. As Teddy Locsin, the Philippine ambassador to the UN, once quipped that we need to go deeper into understanding the president otherwise we will be missing the depth of his messages he wants to communicate, we will here try to analyse the manifold dimension and implication of the word to his governance and gain some insights into the overarching influence of it on his presidency.

There are presuppositions in which we can interpret his usage of the word such as the president maybe referring to the Idealist position of the Absolute or the materialistic fate, all of these are grounded on pantheistic word-view but the fact that the president keep on alluding to a personal God, these two possible interpretations should be taken out of the picture.

What are the influence and implication of DESTINY in the president’s style of governance?

  1. He is obviously discouraging those who think he has morbid desire for power

History provides us couple of reasons why people use violence in their dispensation of power: they use it to gain and to remain in power. When the president cites destiny as his reason of getting voted regardless of the fact of not having dreamed of it since childhood, he is trying to shut down the interpretation of the possibility of tinkering the use of force to perpetuate in his position. Regardless of his lack of taste of the presidency, God put him there to lead the country in times of great need.

It is very unfortunate that his critics are failing to decipher his message that when somebody cite the word, they instead rush to interpret it in a bad way such as the one in Rudyard Kipling White Man’s burden as the justification of the Western imperialism in the same way as the president is allegedly using destiny by employing EJK as the means to achieve his end.

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  1.  He will evince no rancour nor stripe if they would manage to remove him

If perchance he gets voted out either by impeachment, coup, sickness, or whatever means, he seemingly willing to accept the end of his presidency – no questions asked! This is too unlike the authoritarians in other times or places who use all the means just to avoid their eventual downfall. While we would expect there would be a colossal upheaval coming from his supporters if there’s a treachery, the president is acclimatizing them he is ready for any eventualities believing his end is etched in stone or written in the stars.

His followers should by now start to understand or accept that the president himself has no qualms about losing his grip of power for any minute and for whatever reason and like him, they should too must be willing to see the hand of destiny working out in their president’s political trajectory to prevent them from putting too much expectations that they can control much of the outcome of the future if they put so much effort into it.

Of course, this is not to discourage any of them from protesting against abuses coming from power-hungry individuals who threaten the president of his demise but they too should be willing to entertain the thought of having the president losing his grip of power when the hand of destiny prevent him any further.

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  1.  Destiny does not render his means to achieve his end superfluous

There are long suspicion that those who resort to accept destiny will no longer work out as much as they should to achieve their objective. The president seems have none of those distorted reasoning – he relentlessly work his way out of the difficulty in his government by using all the means afforded to him to achieve his objectives. Whatever destiny has in store for him, it never throttle him being too workaholic by working round the clock to ensure he will not fail the people who voted him in the first place.

The president may even come down as one of the most hard-working presidents of all time even though he’s a strong believer in destiny.

  1.  Destiny is his comfort

The president keeps on reiterating in his speeches that he does not blame any bit himself for any seeming political missteps he made in the past. Whatever decisions and actions he did in the past, they belong to where they are – the bygone era and destiny sealed their place in them. Thus, the president is losing no time mourning or agonizing about the past and therefore saving him all the energies in unnecessarily recalling those.

Does destiny make him foolhardy? It doesn’t seemed quite to be so as it has no effect on his flexibility – he is all too willing to ask for apology whenever he made a mistake.

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  1.  He is inviting others to delve into a complex interpretation of events

Destiny itself invokes deeper insights into life in general and politics in particular. When fate enters into a discussion, the heart, the source of will is given its due consideration with respect to the path an individual has to take. This provide a precise scrutiny on the level of discussion by not just resorting to the will of man the ultimate decisive factor on the outcome of things.

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Destiny maybe a dull thing and to many an excuse of their complacency but the president is inviting people to think along with other thinkers of history to consider factoring it into their interpretations of events. Hence the president is likewise giving the people something to feast for their thoughts to do critical analysis in another dimension – that the factors of things are not always what they seem to be.

The president may leave one more lasting legacy among Filipinos – he’s able to cause them to think critically!

Duterte’s Achievements In His First 100 Days

As the president is nearing the end of his so-called honeymoon period – though this is more of theory than in a real sense as he was fighting left and right with the supposed critics right from the get go – we will punctuate here the things that he so far achieved. While his distractors, chief of them are the media, have not receded any bit of their efforts in painting him as much as they can as bad as he can be and that he’s unworthy of the people’s support, the solid list of his achievements can speak for themselves.

  1. He restored HOPE

There can’t be any sweeter sounding word in the Duterte presidency other than the restoration of people’s real hope all in a span of a  just hundred days. Arguably, the people might have a sip of it right after the EDSA revolution only to hear an honest assessment a decade later in Yano’s song ‘Kumusta Na?’ highlighting that it was after all a bogus hope to the poorest of the poor. True, the political climate seems freer than it was during the Martial Law but the poor remains poor and they still wallow up in the cycle of poverty, crime, and oppression without any signs of getting away from their dire circumstances.

After hearing a suggestion of making lives better for any prospective foreign Filipino students, a Clemson University professor who’s into science funding retorted, “Just send your money there to help your relatives if you will. As to expecting hope of eventually uplifting the lives of every Filipinos, stop hoping. It will never happen.”

An old man in the South once begged the young ones, “Exhaust all means to study and find a job overseas after you finish school. Once there, never ever think of coming back!”

Those were the days before Duterte. Today, there is even a clear evidence that those who abandon all hopes have started getting themselves involved in politics and join the political observation and discussion. For a local executive who never held a national position but able to restore hope in barely a hundred days is no mean feat!

  1. He has successfully transitioned himself from a legendary local executive to a possibly iconic leader

Call it anything you want what he did in Davao to achieve the city’s economic achievement, peace, and order, among others, but there is no denying he was a very effective local executive, a fact that he was so hesitant before he ran for national office for the reservation that he may not be able to duplicate the same success nationwide. Duterte did not hide his propensity for a high-quality standard in governance being too meticulous in government transactions, police work, and government services and that somewhat prevented him in a long while to cast in the national lottery.

In just a few short months, Duterte was able to consolidate his forces and was able to drive home his advocacies and get them moving as fast as he can. His cabinet members are likewise upbeat about the tangible chance and they, like their chief executive, are also managed to perform really well in their respective departments.

The Philippines is an archipelago, a real challenge to any president who wants to push for a high standard of governance. The fact that local execs outside the domain of Luzon are still able to act like members of an orchestra where the Maestro, the chief executive, conduct in a harmonic symphony is a beauty to behold.

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  1. He has broken the divides

When you hear from the people in the northern tribe calling the president their “Tatay”, it symbolizes the breaking down of ethnic walls that permeate in the Filipino consciousness for a very long time. It is no secret that there is this suspicion floating around in the main capital that those who thrive outside the hegemony of Metro Manila are no better presidentiable and nor a good political material for national leadership.

Duterte’s manner of concern especially for the wretched captures the very fabric of every Filipino’s paternal affinity and just like a taxi driver in Davao who never lost hope when asked if he’s so worried his house was just burnt down in the fire and still managed to say, ‘The Mayor is there’.  Likewise, the Filipinos all over the archipelago can feel that if they happen to be oppressed or in a destitute state can tangibly comfort themselves, ‘The President is there’.

  1. He transposed being the man who can make the impossible possible on a more complex political landscape

Some Davaoenos have this to say about Duterte when reflecting the bad ole’ days of the 80’s, “He made the seemingly impossible task possible”.

During to election campaign, a lot of people suspected that the president could hardly make a dent in the Metropolitan Manila’s horrendous crime much more on a national scale since it is so ingrained in the social fabric where every strand of the power is into it,  too many tributaries, and he lacked the national experience to deal with it. But true to his Davao’s mantra that he can do the seemingly impossible possible, to echo Senator Cayetano’s speech inside the Senate hall, people feel generally safer now, a thing too hard to even entertained in our thoughts before his coming to power.

In fact, a lot of people in the countryside are worried what are the chances Duterte will get impeached or overthrown for they are worried that the new sense of order in their community will be fleeting and goes away when the president is removed.

President Duterte once quipped that if there’s a need to put in public view every nook and cranny of every official working inside a government office, he will do it just to ensure to have a clean government. For instance, BOC head Nicanor Faeldon was able to install CCTV’s so the public can check whether there is dirty money being exchanged in every government transaction. Of course, this is not a fool-proof solution but the brazen practice going on for years right in front of BOC desks has finally stopped.

  1. He is making significant inroads in capitalizing his political capital in negotiating with the rebels

The then Mayo Duterte negotiated well with Jalandoni to get rid of the grip of insurgents right in the heartland of Davao and for his long years as a local executive he managed to build strong ties with them that translate to releases of number of hostages, even those that were captured or held outside his domain in  Davao city. The mayor has become the virtual ‘go to’ person every time a family member of a police or military beg for a successful release of their loved ones.

While his critics were busy mounting their guns against him, Duterte’s henchmen have started working out with a peace agreement with the rebels that results initially in favorable steps towards the ending of rebellion. Their fast tracking of the negotiations put a light at the end of a long struggle that got derailed due to lack of trust between the negotiating panels, among others. The indefinite ceasefire going on between the government and the NPA’s signals a dawn of a new era that the other party may lay down their arms for good in exchange of viable concessions with the government such as land distribution as mentioned by the president.

There’s also parallel negotiations with the Muslim rebels and knowing the president’s blood a quarter Moro, his trust rating among them is fairly high. The chance of both sides achieving an agreeable concession may not seem farfetched as Duterte wants to give in anything feasible this early as long as it does not run contrary to the Philippine Constitution.

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New People’s Army
  1. He has proven persuasively he can operate under the legal framework

When President Duterte’s name was once floated as a viable presidential candidate a couple of years before the election, there was this jittery feeling of discomfort that while he’s known to be a very effective local executive and may have strong potential for an equally effective national leader, people can’t just dissociate the portrayal of him being someone who  stops at nothing just to achieve his political mandate and the fear of extra-judicial means brought shivers to the spine who contemplated what would he gonna do in his first days of office.

If there’s anything that is very comforting as a result of the Senate Hearing on extra-judicial killings, it is this huge sigh of relief that the president can just be as effective operating under the legal framework and therefore the intense fear of him using illegal means seems to be unfounded. His six months achievements would serve as a blueprint what would happen in the coming months or years and the fact that the number of crimes has gone down, we are getting more and more comforted that he can be as ever successful as we aspire him to be without going outside the bounds of the law.

  1. He has kept the brains of his loyal supporters

With all the seemingly outrageous political gaffes in the way the president has been channeling his point across particularly during a press conference, he still able to keep the brains that aided him to propagate and disseminate his core message of governance and policies, many of these in the online world. True passion is a very strong word in pushing for political advocacies and may achieve many things and the president has a huge supply of it but without the right people who can better communicate his ideas to his supporters, it will be crippled for its lack of communicability.

However, for some time now, the president enjoys supporters who don’t consider themselves fanatic but found him the persona who is going to dismantle the ills that are largely responsible for the misery of the Filipinos. National artist F. Sionel Jose, the long champion against Oligarchy, cannot hide his jubilation in his recent article and message regarding the president who now captures the leader he portrayed as someone who jumpstarts the revolutions for real change.

  1. He is able to keep his critics at bay

No other president in recent Philippine history during his honeymoon period has captured the ire of the press more than President Rodrigo Duterte. Left, right and center, the president and his communication  staff have to issue clarifications for statements that were seemed very damaging to the image of the president locally and overseas. To say that the media is biased against him is an understatement and just being generous. There is a fairly strong case that the media are being pushed to the edge in their hold in a Marxian Economy of Power.

While the tensions are high, it is safe to say that his enemies have achieved very little in demonizing him among his supporters – a testament correlated by the survey where the president enjoys fairly high approval ratings. True, the international community seems shaken but it’s naive to say that they will consider their interpretations of the mouth of the president as the ultimate policy of the administrations. We can hear Barack Obama who has accepted the mere fact that the president’s statements are born out of a bad habit more than anything else.

(Courtesy of Yahoo News)

 

  1. He won the hearts of some cross-over fans

The president’s new converts that join the administration’s bandwagon include among others veteran opinion writer Homobono Adaza and politically active Professor Contreras who both issued turnaround messages that the president is doing really well as chief executive even admitted having criticized him heavily during the campaign period. In fact, they won’t even stop to believe that Duterte can a great president of the republic.

Having recruited people over the fence who once launched strong suspicion on his capability is a testament he accomplished immensely what he really promised during the campaign period.

  1. He awesomely fulfilled many his election campaign promise in just a few months!

(This is a non-exhaustive list and may be updated)

– Free irrigation
– Executive FOI to discourage corruption
– One-stop shop for OFW
– 911 for emergency and 8888 for government complains
– Upgrade of military hospitals
– Better compensation of men in uniform
– Stricter implementation in weeding out ENDO practices and as a result DOLE just announced the regularization of 10,000+ workers
– Tanim-bala is a thing of the past
– Restored the confidence of people towards police authorities
– Reduction of crime to about 50%, people feel generally safer now
– A successful campaign against drugs – 90% reduction in drug supply, 700,000+ drug dependents surrendered
– Massive assistance to smallholder farmers and fisherfolks – farm machinery, fishing boats, etc
– Faster release of business permits
– Additional sack of rice for poor beneficiaries of 4P’s
– Metro Manila streets now look relatively clean
– Significant reduction of queuing time in applying for government documents and ID’s
– Largely crippled the notorious Abu Sayyaf group
– DAR is now more focused on agrarian implementation e.g. the distribution of the long overdue Hacienda Luisita to the farmers
– The immediate repatriation of stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia
– The mishandling of legit balikbayan boxes has been stopped
– The suspension of mining companies that abused the environment
– Removal of the illegal fishing pens in the Laguna Lake
– New buses plying from NAIA to many major hubs in nearby cities
– PNP/AFP are now doing the processing for fallen soldiers instead of families
– Increased allowance for Olympic delegates
– Affluent lifestyle and mockery of justice inside NBP have been finally stopped
– No VIP treatment of government officials at the airport
– Faster implementation of infra projects due to 24/7 work cycle
– Extended validity of government documents e.g. Passports, Driver License
– Stricter implementation of no-age limit to all job seekers
– Closure of online gambling
– OEC exemption for OFWs returning to the same employer
– Curfew hours for minors that resulted in reduction of juvenile crimes
– Released of many Abu Sayyaf hostages
– End of nightly disturbance as a result of Karaoke ban at 10:00 pm
– Deputation of Badjaos as Bantay Dagat
– Conversion of the Presidential Plane into an air ambulance

When President Duterte appeared on stage for his thanksgiving party in Davao Crocodile park, he marked one defining moment in Philippine history, “Corruption will soon stop. I have arrived!” Figuratively, this is akin to the arrival of President Kagame, the once leader of revolutionary Tutsis by the time they reached the Rwandan capital that put an end ultimately to the killings of their kind.

For ages, the hopes of every poor Filipinos were dashed to pieces and trampled upon by government leaders who seemed to have no business at all as government officials for they lacked the sense of urgency and ability to fight the monstrous problem of corruption that bleed the Filipinos vital services for them and they only have to look elsewhere on this planet to find relief.

The new era for the Filipinos has finally arrived!