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OPINION
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Dear Mayor Duterte
Posted by Yel Cobile, IT Admin & Correspondent on March 26, 2016, 8:39 am

(By Juan Magdaraog)
My honest question to our possible next president.

Dear Mayor Duterte,

It pains me to write this letter since I thought once that you are the leader this country needed. You are the bitter pill we needed to swallow to cure us of the cancer embedded in our society.

Prior to your decision to run, I had hoped you would. When the deadline came and you did not file, it was a sad day. I thought we would miss out on a great leader that could set us straight.

A loophole in our election process allowed for a substitution even after the deadline passed. You took it and decided to run, a ray of hope, so I thought. Finally someone I can vote for because I wanted to not because you were the lesser evil.

You took away my choice once again. I heard your views about burying Marcos in the "Libingan ng mga Bayani". What?! I thought to myself. Maybe it was one of those things that was taken out of context. But then today I saw a video from Rappler. I think this was taken right after the second Presidential Debate. You reiterated wanting to bury the remains of the late President Marcos at the Libingan. You told the reporters that if elected you'd reveal the reasons why. No Mayor. I ask that you reveal it now. That's one factor why I and I think many other people would factor if we would like you to be our President.

You hinted that the reason was for unity. That we as a nation could not move forward if we are not united. One of the biggest things that divide us in your opinion is the burial of the late strongman. There are so many things wrong with this line of thinking.

The biggest thing that bothers me is that your whole platform, the flagship of your presidency should you win centers on ridding our country of corruption. Yet you want to bury the biggest symbol, if not the most corrupt person in our nation's history in the burial ground of heroes. A place where a lot of men and women who truly died as heroes to this country lie in rest. I bet you Mr. Mayor if those heroes could, they'd get up from their graves and rest somewhere else rather than share that hallowed ground with the likes of Mr. Marcos. I can't for the life of me understand that logic. The candidate who runs on fighting corruption, elevating the most corrupt person to the same level of a hero. You're doing a huge disservice to the real heroes of this nation.

In 30 years since the fall of Marcos. We thought we would have moved forward as nation and on to greater things. Sadly we have not. The reason we haven't is not because our nation is divided as to where Marcos should be buried. I don't even think that makes it to the top ten. The biggest reason is the culture of corruption that has been ingrained in our nation. That's thanks to Mr. Marcos. How is giving him a heroes burial going to unite our country?

You said that almost 100 percent of Ilocanos see Marcos as a hero. That may be true. But Ilocos is not the Philippines. It's not even a majority of the Philippines. So why give in to that? You are running for the President of the Philippines not Ilocos.

More than the accusations of extra judicial killing, womanizing, being crass, etc this is the thing I can't accept. I can't accept the contradiction. This leads me to believe that what others are saying is true. You are tough on criminals but only the small ones. The small time drug pushers, the rapists, the petty criminals. That's it.

I'm asking you Mr. Mayor do you have the balls to rid our country of corruption? Are you the tough leader this country sorely needs? Can you make the right decisions based on what is right not what is popular or what will get you the win? If you are then I suggest you change your stance on this matter. Maybe you can convince us that you are the right man for this job.

Some will say that Marcos did some good. Well so did Hitler and Saddam Hussein. You don't see Germany and Iraq elevating these men to heroes.

I respect my fellow Filipinos, the Ilocanos. In fact I see the good in their province. Vigan remains to be one of the places in my list of must see places before I die. I have good friends who are Ilocanos. So I will go as far as saying this. In the interest of moving forward. Erect a monument in Ilocos. Give Marcos a proper burial there. Use the province's money if you must, he is still after all the son of Ilocos. That's it though. Let's leave it at that and move forward as a nation.

The burial of Marcos whether in the Libingan or not shouldn't be a reason why we can't move forward as a nation. I can't take that reasoning.

You get rid of corruption not by killing the foot soldiers, it's by cutting of the head. The people that control corruption, the ones at the top. You don't rid corruption by revering one of its biggest symbols as a hero. You're just inspiring more people to reach his level. The message you're sending is it's okay to be corrupt just as long as you do it in great magnitude because after all is said and done you will still be buried as a hero.

So Mr. Mayor I hope this letter reaches you. I hope that you change your views on this. I have a lot of friends who are pinning their hopes on you as the answer to the nation's problems. They think you're the tough crime fighter. A real life Batman. Show them their faith in you is warranted. That you will bring criminals to their knees. Big or small. Make me believe your words. Make be believe your promises. Until you change your mind I can't for the life me believe you can end corruption if you're willing to put the nation's symbol of all that is wrong with our country right now on a pedestal.

Sincerely,
Juan


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