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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.

Would the Bisayans & Muslims Vote Solidly For Duterte?

Would the Bisdaks and Muslims vote solidly for Duterte? The chance they would is mentioned in a DurianDavao article that cited the sheer number of Bisayan-speaking and Muslim-speaking people would be enough to propel Rodrigo Duterte to the palace.

Perhaps, the quickest reaction to this assumption is: if the muslim, who once solidly voted for Poe as a make-believe hero, can no longer find a suitable replacement to their hero except maybe Grace to some degree, they might vote for someone whom they can easily identify with. The Bisyans likewise are many and if they choose one of their own, the chance of of a Bisaya as the next president is huge.

Here are the possibilities where Bisayans and Muslims would chose him:

1. Longing to have one of their own

The late Blas Ople kept on reiterating that it was a failure of leadership why no Mindanaons has ever reached the pinnacle of leadership position. Obviousy, it was the Philippine political system that did it all more than anything else as responsible and this translates to decades where no leaders from the south elected as president.

Title: Kadayawan Festival 2012 (Davao Based Category)
Owner: Ravemaster (*Enjoying the vacation trip!!!*)

The length of time where the people of the south expect prosperous country has developed in them an inner longing that one of their own may be given the chance as president of the country.

2. Friendly factor

Duterte is close to the Muslim. Even at the helm of the Ampatuans, Duterte was never distant to both leaders of whatever persuations. These group of people value friendship so highly so this alone can translate to solid votes. One word of the mouth maybe enough to advertise Rudy among the the Muslim settlers – “he is a real friend to us for many years already.”

3. Bisayan’s median behaviour

The temperaments of the Bisayans are somwwhat somewhere in between in terms of outward expressive behaviour. It is neither highly emotive nor rigid and therefore can easily strike balance in their political perspective. This is partly because of their language which has a median inflection and other factors such as culture and influence.

Hence it is easy for them to see why the strong message of Duterte against criminals does not equate to dictatorship nor to sheer lack of decency but to the strenght of political will. They see Rudy as someone they can bank on who will bulldoze the intricate labyrinth of crime and the influential people behind them

4. They may think the northern tribe has long lost its moral ascendancy to lead

People of the north has monopolized national leadership for over a century and the result is a disaster. Some people may think that it is a high time for people to take turns not to ruin their country but to put it back right on track. Imagine the supporters singing a mantra that someone from the south poses to threat to the people of the north in the upcoming presidency battle.

Title: MAYOR DUTERTE: MAGSISISI KAYO KUNG AKO ANG MAGIGING PRESIDENTE!
Owner: Mr. Thoughtskoto

7 Filipino Deadly Sins

1. Lust

More than 50 years since the infamous Quezon’s quote “I prefer Philippines run like hell by Filipinos”, inhabitants of the Philippine archipelago are still languishing in the abyss of political failure. While many people can point that politically Filipinos have shown some level of maturity and success in anti-corruption drive, the number of traditional politicians doing their business as usual still pretty much haven’t dwindled down.

This happens after two EDSA revolutions and more influx of ideas from overseas and foreign-trained Filipino students. The number of powerful political families were, are and will be the same faces every born Filipinos has to face all their lives.

Filipinos ask themselves where did we go wrong in many points of political history?

Bonifacio lusted revolution and fell short.

Joma Sison lusted communism but still languishing in exile not seeing the fruit of his labor.

Human rights advocate lusted after the humanist worldview and yet innocents die either of hunger or in the hands of criminals.

It can be safely assumed that the Filipinos have a knack of fool-hardly choosing a non-workable worldview and day-dreaming all their lives it may work at some point given a fair chance. Why Joma Sison can’t do a Confederate Robert Lee who after realising that pushing for another bloody war was futile? Lust. The insatiable lust that poisoned the whole mind and body of individual and but never find satisfaction with it.

2. Greed

Many students of political science wonder why many street parliamentarians turned politicians became no better than their counterpart trapo in the manner of how they handled government funds. Filipinos seems to be easily drawn into the greed of wealth and becoming what they once a reaction against. If you  can’t beat them, well, join them.

Teenagers in first world countries are not unlike Filipino teenagers. But once they join politics, instead of changing the world, it change them for the better. In contrast, the Filipino neophytes turned their teeny fantasy into the world of murky politics.

There was once a lady in the south who was chilling to death the moment she received the a handsome payout for approving a contract. After a year, she seemed to know how to widen her grin. So many politicians easily succumb to the power  and money.

The rotten system designed to ensure perpetuity of political dynasty will turn any kind-hearted mammal into ferocious beast in the city.

3. Sloth

Filipinos can take pride of spearheading the cause of bloodless revolutions. Jose Rizal pre-dated Gandhi or Mandela. EDSA revolution pre-dated Tiananmen Square. But there is one that limits the effectiveness of a successful cause – a virtue that has been popularise since the national hero’s writing that the Filipinos are indolent.

They can’t seem able to maintain the momentum they have gained from a successful revolution. It seems almost everybody has fallen asleep back again but only to awaken that the person they put inside the palace is no better than the one replaced. So much sleeping has allowed the monster of a leader emerge out of daylight.

4. Wrath

There’s always a room for righteous indignation and Filipinos are not in short supply. But no matter how angry they are, they prefer to maintain their sloth. Everybody is angry that the Philippines hasn’t progressed or that their leaders stole their money. But are they angry enough to make an effort? No, they are content of just being angry and being sloth at the same time.

5. Pride

This one vice Filipinos are not in short supply. In fact “Ang Galing Pinoy” just does that – top prop-up the ego of Filipinos that they are really that good and they should strive to show to the world that they are what the ad says they are. But upon closer examination, the ad only highlights the success of the minority while the majority wallowed in abject failure.

There inherently nothing wrong in showing pride of work or success. But if that success does not speak of the majority, then it is just an exception more than a rule.

Politicians exemplified the word positional pride has to offer. Convoys roam the streets of the Philippines as if someone really honourable has to pass. Is that the Filipinos reward from politicians who steal their money by being paraded how vain a political image is?

6. Envy

You will never cease to hear a story about Filipinos overseas when they saw someone showing off their latest buy, another would try to upend.  But the this kind of story is not exclusive to Filipinos who already have something in them. Envy thrives in the political arena and it can be the reason why there came out an issue about someone like Napoles where in fact it was just an internal infighting among them due to envy.

Napoles’ relatives tried to copy albeit disastrously her business model probably envious of the money she amassed without sweat and in the shortest time possible Envy may have driven in the discrepancy between the share of once FG Arroyo and Neri/Losada group. Envy flare up because they reasoned out that “dirty” money must be equally distributed among stakeholders.

Title: King Gluttony Full Body Update
Owner: fatfan0

7. Gluttony

It not hard to see so many politicians have pot bellies. This is to ensure that the people they serve will know very well where some of their monies go. Not just the politicians exercise this vice but even in the many Filipino parties, the serving size of food on the table ensures this vice can be satisfied at the very least.

No those are insignificant information. Day-in, day-out, year-in, year-out lechons and cakes flooded in many government offices as if there’s a birthday everyday. In fact, there’s actually birthday. Even godsons and god-daughters receives something for their birthday just because their ninongs and ninangs work in government offices. And it works wonders for many businesses!

Businesses flooded free-flowing food to ensure they would get want they want from the people who signed documents. There is a strong ties between the head and the belly. The bigger the flab, the easier for the brain to pick up a pen and sign a dotted line.

 

When Death Squad Fails – The Tagum City Experiment

New City Hall of TagumWhen news of extra-judicia killings happening in some cities such as Tagum and Cebu, rumours spread quickly that it is a copy-cat borrowed from the system proven in Davao. Some rumours went as far as the Mayors in their cities asked for a “solution” from Duterte what to do with the rise of crimes in their cities and the response was that the Davao Mayor handed them some form of blueprint of the dreaded Davao Death Squad.

How true it is we won’t have any proof or actual proof for such a suspicion is hard to come by knowing the secrecy of the hand-over if there’s any. At least, we could surmise that a similar solution was attempted regardless whether there was indeed a request and response going among local executives.

But the killings in one city for instance Tagum has not gone unnoticed by the human rights advocate. The video shows of a former liquidator confessing the crimes the city mayor had committed during his reign of terror in the city. Why such a whistle-blower came out from among the people involved? Davao had decades and we have yet to see someone confessing of doing the most horrendous act in the face of human rights activists and implicate the local executive.

1. Rey Uy is not a strongman

He doesn’t have the aura of fearsomeness among his constituents. He is mostly known of spearheading the transformation of Tagum into a bustling progressive city and won himself a Mayor of the year Award from the national government. But to lead crime-fighting stance, he seems to have none developed over the years. In short, Death Squad is not for people with weak image.

2. Money is not on the table

Except from being nice and having strong personal relationship, what is that one thing that can make people do for them with the least risk of them spilling out the beans? The quick answer is money. Davao has huge budget for intelligence a luxury Rey Uy never had so it is harder for him to contain and maintain loyalist among his circle of crime-busters.

3. He is not impeccable as Rudy Duterte

One thing that limits the replication of pragmatic death squad in Tagum city is the fact that the mayor himself is not an epitome of clean image. In order to achieve loyalty among his hitman, the mayor must portray a full crime-fighting image and not interested of using them as a political weapon of eliminating his political opponents.

Many people might had raised their eyebrows when he raised PNOY’s hand during the 2010 presidential election knowing well his dirty exploits. According to some, the Mayor is a lot like Marcos. He is alleged to have asked for certain stock percentage or profits from businesspeople wanting to run their operation in the city.

The hitman may have one reason to turn against him as he could not reconcile the purpose of extermination coming from an man who is not known for clean image.

4. Duterte may have the knack for it while others like Rey don’t

There is one big reason why some people became political strongmen – they simply have a knack for it. This is probably one area where Rey is in short supply.

Which Death Would You Prefer?

Perhaps the strongest objection humanist would raise against pragmatic leadership is that many people will surely die and that includes innocent people. Many prisoners in Muntinlupa who never have the resources to pay a lawyer will die under-represented in the court of justice. To their families who can no longer hope of parole in the future the agony maybe unbearable.

Other criminals who could have been rehabilitated should there is a proper program that could possibly transform them into useful individuals and gained parole eventually in the future may never have any option of mending their ways. They just go to the gallows and face the cruelty of death in the name of practical-isms.

If extra-judicial killings would surface in every cities across the country, the possibility that it would work as efficiently and effectively as in Davao may less likely to happen as it needs a strong local executive to implement the plan. The chance of collateral damage may be fairly high if this is the case.

However, this perspective tend to largely ignore the fact that criminals in and out of prison can easily pose threat to the innocents. The sooner a number of them gets eliminated, the faster the removal of threat most city dwellers and travellers face every day.

Many would raise the objection that death penalty is not deterrent to crimes and criminals do their thing even if there is a death penalty law. To some degree yes, but if the killings is more of a surety, then it can be safety argued it can be a serious deterrence against criminals doing their thing.

The fact that death row killings eliminate a significant number of convicted persons, their chance of bribing officials to go in and out is far less. The least also the threat they may pose to the general populace. This way, we could understand why many people would like to support the killings of criminals both extra-judicial and death row simply because the threat to the general population looms large.  In fact, it can render many to be inhibited in their actions to roam around their places of abode.

So many can’t accept the humanist argument that everybody has to pay the price for ensuing we will not kill one innocent. Humanist would always take side to the last innocent has the most inherent value if far more greater than the total threat the general population may face.

Whose death would you prefer, the death of criminals which possibly include the wrongly convicted, or the death the death of innocents falling prey to criminals in an out of prison?

Humanist may raise an objection that it is a false dichotomy and that there’s always alternative where the criminals will be rehabilitated and the innocent will be protected as well. They may cite the success of modern democracies to prove their point or cite their poster boy Jessie Robredo that it can be done without resorting to means already scorned by advanced societies.

But such find an alternative involves time and when it happens, the death of innocents may ever far greater than the death through pragmatic means.

Probable Reasons Why Duterte Is Not Running For Presidency

Time and again, the Mayor keeps on reiterating he is not running. He cites the following reasons:

1. He is not interested.
2. He has no money.
3. He has frail health at his age.

There can be other reasons as well why the mayor is hesitant to divulge to the media as it may possibly hurt either his image or his outstanding legacy. Or his reasoning others may find it hard to accept. So better stick with the 3 reasons and being a man of word, he never deviated much from his reasons every time asked why he wont run for the highest office of the land.

Other possible reasons:

1. His magic may be limited to a city.

We could theorise one reason why the mayor may have reservations – his magic formula may not work on a larger scale or he may face strong opposition that would put him as the person to be removed by right wing rebellion. Or fear that he may be put on a corner as a lame-duck leader where the people of influence like big businesses entrap and ensnare him. His leadership maybe overpowered by the people who have the means to do it.

2. Six years presidency may be too short to transform the whole country.

It took him more than a decade to transform Davao to what it is now and the 6 years limit of presidency or his age may not give him the needed time to transform the whole Philippine archipelago. As soon as people realise his magic wont work, they may start losing hope on him and any pragmatic attempt from him to reform society will only meet with further paranoia and opposition. There is not greater stumbling block to a presidency than constituents losing hope of their president.

3. He may be dealing with different beasts among his circles.

Bongbong spoke of his father as someone who did one person at a time to gain loyalty among his followers. In fact, he had Ver a rabid follower of him till the end of his reign. Dictatorship did not just happen overnight. Marcos seems to have a well thought out plan to deal each of his potential protege by the time he stepped into prolong despotic reign.

Dealing each beast takes patience and time. Duterte may not have them on his side once he in the corridor of power. Hence, his revolutionary plan may not work at all if he goes into the long way of gaining trust among his henchmen especially those in the military..

4. It is a ton harder to be a pragmatic president.

Each of his policies will be under finder lenses among the media and other interested parties – a scrutiny he was lucky he never had much in Davao. This is due perhaps to distance between imperial Manila and Davao. Or people up north doesn’t care really much if the local executive downstairs will play just outside the rule of law.

If Duterte is a Mayor of Manila, his moves might be scrutinise more than being just a mayor of a southern city.

5. He is uncomfortable working with the northern people.

While obviously he has no problem speaking in Tagalog, he is yet to learn the local linggo – language that make him tick with the proximate residents around the palace. Duterte has had a running TV program in Davao and it is helping him a lot in propagating his thoughts and opinions to the people he is sworn to serve. His vocal tone resonates well with the people. He is their mayor not only as a leader but someone they could easily relate with on their day to day lives.

If he goes to Manila, such a huge advantage may not be available to him.

 

For those of us who want him to run, we don’t have an illusion Rudy will fix all or most of countries woes. All he need to do is to redesign the system of government that it will become too hostile for people who have no business of being in politics. To get rid of the criminals can be his one of the legacy and to repeat what he said, ‘when people have peace and order, they will realise their full potential’.

Convincing Duterte to Run

In spite of legions of fans in social media and volunteers wishing him to run, the mayor has reiterated he is not keen on running for the highest office of the land citing his qualification, lack of money and ambition, and health. But his refusal to entertain such a idea does not seem to deter his fans. A friend of mine who is not a Davao resident wants to line-up to Comelec should Rudy declare his candidacy.

The latest news is that the mayor has started to show willingness to listen to the voice of the people. Whether this would translate to a 180-degree decision to run remains to be seen. Well- wishers can only hope that when a sizeable number of people want him to run, the mayor would just gladly obliged.

Here are some of the strategies to convince him to run:

1. Calling him unpatriotic if he would not heed to people’s cry.  Ramon Tulfo maybe banking on the possibility that the mayor would respond to this call – by calling him a name he is not.

2. Perhaps, reminding the mayor that his ability to wade-through a crime-infested city does not just belong either to him or owed just to Davao city. Whatever talents a man has especially leadership kills is

3. Perhaps, fate would condemn any of his future plan or his comfort should he ultimately chose to retire and not heed to people’s voice.

4. A fan called him “swapang” for not willing his ability to other people outside Davao city.

5. The others can be pooling a number of donors to the cause which can be a pain since people may suspect the collected funds wont go into the campaign.

6. Run an online voting pool if many would chose him to run. If winning is secured in the online poll, then it may urge him to file for candidacy.

Davao Death Squad

The Duterte brand can hardly be spoken elsewhere without reference to the dreaded death squad. While residents would say it is only a means to a new beginning, the mayor can’t simply detach his attachment to this practice. The mayors tough stance against criminals and the stern warning of death against anyone does not help him improve his attached image to the dreaded group.

Should he run for president, you bet the first mudslinging issue that would be hurled agains him would be this practice. Perhaps, his opponents would say he is a psychopath or a trigger-happy leader such as the one recently thrown against him by a congressman.

Is the Mayor involved? Most people would answer in the affirmative. Common sense dictates that it’s hard to imagine that the city’s executive talking tough against criminals can be detached from his involvement in the said crime. Also, it’s hard to imagine that the execute who can effectively push for his anti-criminal policies cannot prevent such a extra-judicial  group from doing their job in the city. At the very least, he is already complicit with his pronouncement – Davao's biggest idol giving opening speech of Kadayawan 2014

“If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination.”

Students of contemporary law and morality will find this practice appalling. Why such law of the jungle still exists in modern society such as the one in Davao? The killings of criminals without given them a chance in court shudder the thought of many who are raised in a society where rule of law is the helm. But for many residents who seem to be beneficiaries of the decimation of criminals, they normally just shrug off the practice as essential.

Are the residents like a modern game players who are desensitise with the crime? Maybe. Maybe not. At the very least, you can sense that they can rationalise the practice as essential as a must-be for a society thriving out of a no-man’s land because of lawlessness. In the article about pragmatism, the end may somewhat justifies the means when the right ingredient are there – when people have meagre means to go through the long process of the law’s due process.

Criminals in a out of court drained cities’ resources that could have been better spent to other endeavours like infrastructure. Another aspect of the death squad, how was it able to become a very efficient and effective killing machine? That is, how it was able to do very minimal collateral damage and achieve elimination of mostly those social undesirables who push for drugs and other crimes threatening the welfare of the city dwellers? One police narrated that before there was any contract to kill certain individuals, there is a significant surveillance ensuring they are targeting the exact number of people who are really involve.

This far for from being  “bulong-system” used by the communist to eliminate prospective enemy sympathizers. Any targets have their due of being enlisted. Crime-fighting and intelligence budget in Davao is significant. This allows them to narrow down prospects and limit the damage they may inflict on wrong targets. This explains why the death squad get their job done.

With high accuracy, this limits the reaction of number of people who can mob and fight against the practices by protesting on the streets of Davao. So effective that the spate of killings in other cities such as Tagum or the few in Cebu are said to have been patterned after the ones done in Davao.

To a pragmatist, the killings are just one of its effective means elimating the cost and threat in the shortest time possible.

Pragmatism versus Humanism

Why Duterte’s Pragmatism[1] is Better Suited for the Philippines

BANANAA Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist once raised this question on his column, “Why is it that of all the trainings of good governance taught to many country’s leaders we still ended-up having only a handful of exemplary leaders such as Jessie Robredo?”

The short answer to this question is simple: when humanism is the underlying principle of political structure for a certain  nation whose level of political maturity is very low, the result would always be not unlike a lottery. You always get far more misses than hits.

Take for example the list of leaders since Marcos. We have had:

Marcos (monstrously corrupt) -> Cory (so-so leadership, oligarch friendly) -> Ramos (hardworking but accused of corruption at some point) -> Erap  (juetengate, inveterate drinker -> Arroyo (small Marcos in manner of corruption) ->PNOY (at least wise in choosing team members)

From the flow of leadership above, it appears that the Philippines had more misses than hits, which is the expected results. In fact, had Cory not died before PNoy got elected, we surely had Erap back in the palace drinking until wee hours now!

The root cause mainly lies with the Philippine constitution which draw much of its inspiration from humanism, which from the outset simply does not work under Philippine settings. No more no less. Any person can run as long as he can read and write because according to humanistic precepts he had equal privilege to that of someone with a university degree. So bad of a qualification to run for the highest office of the land.

At least we had Jessie Robredo who according inquirer columnist exemplifies what good governance is and that  “doing this right can be done and with excellent results”. Sadly, Robredo prematurely died in an accident leaving again the country to run another batch of lottery so another Robredo would come out who may ride on traditional politics and used it as a vehicle to push for good governance. It is even arguable if Robredo magic can work in Metro Manila. If his DILG stint is any indication, the results he wanted to seems to have shown good results.

 Weakness of Humanism

1. It is inflexible.

No government laws and policies explicit or otherwise can be made without disregarding the inherent value of human beings. Says Pimentel during the abolition of death penalty, “We would not cut the man’s finger because it is inhuman. Why take one’s own life?” No matter how practical a policy or law is for as long as it does not meet the basic humanistic criteria, it is good as moot.

2. It is slow like expecting a lottery win after years of buying tickets.

Since it is inflexible as its core tenet of human inherent value is non-negotiable when formulating laws, it is therefore relies mainly on the possibility of lottery winnings — hoping that someone among the current crop of leaders would get voted into office or transform into exemplary leader.

Relying on chance it is therefore inherently slow. In fact very slow.

Too many good people has fought for the betterment of the country but ended-like Jose Rizal – without seeing a dawn break. For sure, we can hope that the next generation will continue the fight as it is natural for them to do so but how soon the country’s progress trickle down to the poorest of the poor?

3. It comes with a hefty price tag.

Amnesty International or international human rights organisation maybe singing to high heavens that death penalty was lifted in the country. But to many Filipinos who deemed too gullible for the implications of the abolition, it has to foot the bill of excess criminals filing-up daily.

Interviewed about the overcrowding of prison cells in MuntinLupa, Duterte quipped, “Magpatay ka lang ng sampu araw-araw, solved na yong problema!”.

That’s one of the many hefty price tags to pay for following the precepts of humanism. International organisations provide us the principle but they don’t send blank cheque so they can foot the bill. But there are greater implications in the political spectrum – loss of precious times. Filipinos has to wait for as long as it take when they can have a duly-elected official who may enact laws too hostile to corruption, crimes, etc.

You may wonder why there are so many criminals plying in most cities all over the country? That’s the heft price tag to pay of not eliminating them because we may trample human rights – the possibility of killing prisoners who may be innocent.

4. Needs a fertile ground to flourish.

Americans and other first world countries have no problem applying humanism. Their people are well-educated and have sizeable functional middle class both of which the Philippines don’t have. You applied humanism to people who level of maturity is very low, you end up scoundrel occupying the higher leadership position of the land. Just look at Philippine Congress.

5. Implicit assumption that it will make us better human beings.

Humanisms assumes it thrives on superior principles over anything else. Take for instance human rights principles: There can be no real freedom without the lofty consideration of the very basic value of human beings.

However, in practice this is not always the case. For instance, the people of Davao may had been subjected to the law of the jungle according to humanism but when they are closely examined, ironically, in many ways, they are far more humane than those people of other cities – no rorting out of taxi fares, disciplined to obey traffic laws, cleanliness on their streets, etc.

Firstly, Davao residents were fearful, then they became conformist, then appreciative, then exhibit proper pride that they have a workable political system not inferior but in many ways superior to others.

 Strength of Pragmatism

1. It is impatient

Pragmatism cannot wait until the Philippines win a lottery ticket – meaning effective leaders in most branches of government serendipitously get elected and in chorus do the right thing for the country. It can resortsto means that to most humanist appalling. Duterte threatening a rice smuggler in front of the senate maybe too bereft of decency – but in practical way, it does the job done.  Rodrigo Duterte was just implicitly telling the senators, “consider the stopping of rice smuggling in my city done.”

This explains why Davao already have 911 and well-disciplined residents while most of the country don’t. It simply cannot wait to apply what it deemed necessary. Time is of utmost importance.

Also, this explains the resurgence of the highly efficient and effective killing machine called Davao Death Squad because it cannot wait the Philippines to become prosperous and have enough funds to run prison houses.

The Mongols eliminated the assassins in one scoop whereas the CIA took more than 10 years to get rid of Bin Ladin. It seems in the modern society as it adheres to humanism, the problem to eliminate threat seems a lot harder than those people of the past.

2. It quickly evolves.

Unlike humanism, pragmatism has virtually nothing non-negotiable. Therefore, it accepts new ideas or new strategies to meet head on the new challenges that comes its way. Its adaptability owes to the fact that it leave virtually nothing to chance or lottery just to push for its own agenda of progress.

That’s why we have more confidence that pragmatism can easily meet head on the perennial problems like agrarian reform or business cartels, those who controlled rice, drugs, etc can be eradicated quickly and efficiently.

3. The outcome is virtually the same but on a much faster rate.

People under the claws of a pragmatic government are not less likely to exhibit less humane behaviour. As soon as a well-disciplined citizenry gaining momentum and see the values of the efforts to arrive the kind of society they have, they will forget the seeming monstrosity of the past. This is where humanism starts to thrive. People are now capable of listening when they have something to put on their table.

 Weakness of Pragmatism

1. Shun by international community

Pragmatic approach may not work well with international observers. In fact, if ala Davao Death Squad rolls all over  the country, the president may possibly face a charge of crime against humanity. But its likelihood can depend on the peace and order and economic results, it’s hard to foresee a leader being tried of crime of a progressive and well-satisfied populace.

Sri Lankan leaders ,whose people may not at all economically satisfied, so far did not face a proper charge of crime against humanity before the international court of justice in the way they eliminated the Tamil Tigers. Some would say their leader are so wise by giving out large concession to US and UK before they raided the Tigers so when the news of abuses broke out, their leaders seems somewhat parried the charges and the international community seems lacking seriousness in pressing charges.

To some degree, if the pragmatic elimination of criminals is as systematic as it was done in Davao, then perhaps the president may possibly get off the hook. People may likewise cite that the CIA operatives are killings all over he globe and no one dared them to the international court of justice with the charge of violating basic human rights.

2. Innocents can be eliminated 

After his exoneration, Dolphy Jr once said that there are many prisoners who are really innocent but because of financial standing, they can’t afford good lawyers to defend their cases. So under a pragmatic solution, hundreds or thousands will die just to do the “practical” thing.

This is where the strength of humanism thrives in debates. Most criminal defenders quote the dictum that “it is better to have a thousand guilty un-convicted than one innocent pay for crime he/she didn’t commit.” Of course, humanism is unwilling to cite that the thousand un-convicted will put another hundreds or thousand innocents who will fall prey to them if they’re scot-free.

[1] Pragmatism here borrows from  John Dewey or William James “one that works” principle but deviates with its close affinity to humanism. Somewhat it is a hybrid of CIA international policy to “exterminate with extreme prejudice and “one that works” principle.

The colourful mayor may use other term apart from pragmatism to describe his policy or he maybe uncomfortable with the term at all as it seem a blanket acceptance he his behind the spate of killings in the city. The choice is mainly to presuppose a political position so we can assert its contrast to humanistic principles.