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POLITICS
Former PDI corres defends Duterte
Posted by Jani Arnaiz, Chief Editor on June 3, 2016, 5:33 pm

(By Chito Duterte, Former PDI corres)

President-elect Rodrigo "Rody" Duterte was not elected overwhelmingly because he was saintly, scholarly, well-mannered and soft-spoken.  All throughout the campaign, he showed his worst - in fact far worse than he really is.  He was so successful in portraying himself in such a negative light that many of his critics nearly laughed themselves to death thinking that the man was in such a pitiful state of self-destruction that he was the best campaigner against himself.

Subsequent events proved Duterte right - and his critics and haters wrong. They realized too late that far too many Filipinos were more concerned about the nation losing the war to crime, drugs and corruption than about good manners and fine conduct. The biggest proof of this is that he won overwhelmingly over the fair-haired boy and the poster girl of the establishment with plenty to spare.

He garnered a total of 16,601,997 votes, surpassing the 15,208,678 total given to outgoing President Benigno Aquino III who - in more ways than one - is the epitome of what Duterte's critics want from a president - soft-spoken, pious, conventional and predictable.

Smarting from their repudiation, the same institutions that campaigned very hard against him are now going hammer and tongs against Duterte even before he formally assumes office.

The hierarchy of the dominant Roman Catholic church, the mainstream media, the elite and their recruits who intend to follow in their mould are raising hell because Duterte continues to refuse to toe the line while he awaits his formal assumption into office.
They threaten him with anything within their power just to force him to capitulate - if not beg down on his knees for forgiveness. Nothing less would placate them.

They overlook (or perhaps conveniently disregard) the fact that Duterte never was and never will be held hostage more so succumb to intimidation. Converse with him, discuss with him and even argue with him - but never, never ever threaten him. As the man himself said repeatedly, he would rather lose the presidency than become a man that he is not.

Duterte needs no defenders. It does not take much to see that he can take care of himself. Will he be proven right, or will it turn out to be his undoing? Only God knows. For sure, future events will tell if his intransigence is good or bad for the country.

Filipinos have earned a reputation for resorting to extra-constitutional means to unseat unpopular presidents. Perhaps, that is what Duterte's critics have in mind while trying to whip up a storm over his unconventional - even bizarre - pronouncements and actions.
It should be pointed out that while majority of the Filipinos suffer as a consequence of incompetent, inept and corrupt leadership, the establishment laughs all the way to the bank.

While the average Filipino feels shortchanged by his own government, business has never been so good for the church, the media and the oligarchs. 

Duterte came out of nowhere saying he will be the equalizer in fighting crime, drugs and corruption. Some people want that, but they also want him to be prim and proper, docile and submissive. 

This early, the establishment is saying he does not deserve to be president because he does not conform to the norm. It matters little that he might just win the fight against crime, drugs and corruption.

This is not to force people to accept or tolerate Duterte's image and language. You cannot do that under a democracy - and even under a dictatorship as our experience showed us. 

For sure, Duterte himself has no intention of doing so. In fact, the man disdains publicity and loathes special treatment. All he wants is to be able to do his job and be accepted for who he is - warts and all. 

This is simply food for thought for those who think that taming Duterte is more important than fighting the scourge of crime, drugs and corruption.

There are those who say that 16,601,997 cannot be all right. No problem. In the same breath, those who voted somebody else cannot be all right too. If there is any group that wants Duterte to succeed, it is those who worked hard for his victory or at least voted for him.

A tyranny of the majority may not be pleasing to the ears. But tyranny of the minority is more scandalous.

So let Duterte be, as outgoing mayor, and as incoming president. Lest we forget, we are in a democracy.


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