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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.