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The first battle had been won. Now, we go to war.
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 30, 2016, 2:40 pm

By Chito Fuentes

For a while, it seemed like old times. The "Takbo" gang singing and Freddie Aguilar belting out his signature song before the big moment when the star of the show took the stage. And yes, the same goose bumps.
And then, reality sunk in. It was no longer "Takbo" but "Lupang Hinirang" before Freddie's turn came. And then the star walks in - no longer the candidate but now no less than the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines. Some dreams still do come true. 
It's only the beginning. It's by no means a pleasure cruise but war no less. It's no longer just his campaign but our journey. It is not just about winning an election. It's about a people finally getting their just due, about government rediscovering what it is for in the first place, about a nation no longer at war with itself.
It's a journey that he will not take alone, a quest that he cannot seek on his own, a war that he can never fight by himself.
But it can be done.
There are some who hate him, others who want him to fail. It is not so much because they loath him although that is to be expected from those who enriched themselves either in government or by mocking the laws and those who were supposed to govern but did not.
But, as the votes would show (they say it should be higher - but that is a different story), majority of Filipinos want President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to lead the country in the next six years.
If his inaugural speech is any indication, Pres. Duterte is serious about fixing government - and he made his first marching orders in that direction. It is not entirely earth-shaking considering its simplicity (“I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, from the submission to release.”) but then again, it might yet be considering that it will set the tone for public service under his watch.
Long before he decided to run, Duterte hinted that if given the chance, he would serve the country with common sense. During his inaugural, he gave a hint of that when he said "compliance with one department or agency, shall be accepted as sufficient for all.” That's common sense indeed.
And yet, the fact is, as the late Karen Carpenter once sang, "we've only just began". So many started strong and ended wrong. It's not so much about how we start but in how we end.
When he took his oath, Pres. Duterte solemnly swore to perform his duties to the best of his abilities. All those who came before him made the same declaration. 
While doing so, his left hand was on the Bible indicating his sincerity while declaring his oath. Again, all those who came before him did the same thing.
In six years, we will know whether his presidency is good or bad for the country. 
For now, suffice it to say that the first battle had been won. Now, we go to war.


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