Defending Duterte from the barrage of criticisms hurled against him to improve his image is like teaching Stephen Curry how to improve his shooting from a three-point perimeter arc. From the outset, he doesn’t seem quite needing any of it.
His achievements alone can speak for themselves, and it doesn’t seem quite fair that anyone coming from a failed or less successful political background has something better to tell against the man no matter how conceptually sound his argument is.
A master strategist in dealing with critics, his brand of campaign leaves anyone confused whether such recent speech of his is really for his demise or for increasing his stock. For instance, in his sorting of his peccadillo after indirectly cursing the Pope out of his frustration about the monstrous traffic problem, he went on promising to pay off P1,000 for every cuss word. Now, every media man is given a new task – cuss counter or, at very least, cuss conscious!
When he faces the camera or speak on radio, everybody toes the line while he gets easily the centre stage and commanding the flow of discussion wherever direction he wants it to go. Rarely you will find him under siege with the wit of the interviewer but rather his overarching presence gets easily felt inside the whole room.
A master interrogator who was serving as fiscal for many years, he knows all too well which direction of the barrage of questions is heading. In fact, he once gave a tip to others what he is doing – “Don’t give all information at once so they cannot anticipate your next move.” Every word is calculated well-ahead – a testament to his family’s upbringing of mastering words to their advantage.
At one point, he was asked if he indeed paid the NPA rebels for the release of a Sheriff in Compostela Valley. He replied with a distinctive amplified voice, “Where do I get the money for it?” His vocal tone mimics that of Eddie Garcia, who was most memorable in his one-liners where old age seems to be his strength more than a handicap.
Not to be ignored is the fact that according to one columnist, it is hard to bring down a man who has demeaned himself for months preceding the campaign. Digong simply has no obvious weaknesses his opponents can easily capitalize. What others can see as an issue against him seems like it’s his plus points.
So what is the point then of writing about defense?
Well for one, in the online world today, a bad commentary can easily spread all too quickly and knowing the level of education and inclination of many, it can sweep the tide against him and influence those who have not yet made up their minds who to choose in the upcoming election.
This little book is intended to address some of the major issues that are already populating and polluting the online and offline world that coming from people who have different persuasions, affections, and political inclination.