Dear Dabawenyo friends, we’re not voting for Duterte, but we don’t hate Davao City

Let me start by saying this: I hope that this election period ends soon — and it will be in a couple of months! I hate to see everyone calling each other names, loosing their character and ‘kill’ each other just for the sake of their presidential candidate. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I don’t care who wins this election. Whoever wins, he’s my president. But still, he’s not my savior and the savior of this nation. I will not be a fanatic. Sadly, this is seen, not just with Duterte supporters but with every candidates’ supporters.

Speaking of Duterte, one of those “i-hope-this-ends-soon” moments is when I would see my Dabawenyo friends accuse us for “hating” Davao City just because we’re not voting for and/or are campaigning against their Mayor.

No, please. I love Davao City and the city is has become. I heard so great of stories that I wish all of our cities will follow through. I’d love to visit Davao one of these days. It’s one of the Philippine cities that I’d love to see very soon — not because I wanted to check if what Duterte did and has been reporting is true or not, but because I’m a Filipino and I’m proud of our beauty. That’s why I also want to see Bohol soon and see the tarsiers for myself. Or Cebu and wanted to be toured by a friend to see the local sceneries.

Just because we’re not voting for Duterte and don’t believe in his leadership style doesn’t mean I hate Davao. I didn’t vote for Bayani Fernando last 2010 but it didn’t mean I thought Marikina is ugly — in fact, it was voted as the cleanest city in the Philippines, probably clearer than, well, Davao. Did I doubt what he did in Marikina? Not at all! I just thought that he’s not best fitted to be Vice-President back in 2010.

What I don’t want to see, though, is to use Davao City as the election campaign platform — worse, lie about it just for the sake of luring people to vote for Duterte.

So, is Davao City safe? I’d say, I believe my friends when they say it is! Yes.

Is Davao City the 4th safest city in the world? That’s a lie.

Is Davao City crime-free? Not at all. Less-crime perhaps, but not crime free. Would you really, honestly say it is when others are victims of — not just petty crimes, but — also big crimes like drug pushing and murders.

So when the Duterte campaign started using these lies to get votes, I cringe. When Duterte makes solving crime in the Philippines in 3 to 6 months as a campaign-promise, I shake my head in disbelief — because he claims to be a non-traditional politician (TraPo) but acts as one. Davao City is not the Philippines. What worked in Davao City will not work in the Philippines. The presidency is more than dealing with vendors, killing criminals and installing Christmas lights. It also involves jobs creation, luring investors to the country, dealing with foreign policies.

But these are just some of the reasons why we’re not voting for Duterte. Other reasons would be his lack of vision for the country, his extra-judicial killing stance, and for others (but does not include me) his lack of decency.

However we’re against Duterte’s candidacy, please don’t think that we’re insulting you and hating the city that you live in. As I always say, I always want to talk about facts. If we’ll be subjective, I’m out of here. I don’t have time to talk about what you feel and what I feel. You’re right about your feelings. But what you feel doesn’t make it right. What I feel doesn’t make my candidate right. So let’s not talk about our subjective feelings.

If I’m going to talk about what I feel is that I genuinely love that you like your city very much. Quite honestly, I also like that Marikina locals are proud of their city for being so clean, or Naga City locals loving theirs as well. I’m a Filipino. I love seeing our country grow. If you think I’m a Manilenyo — no I’m not. I’m a proud probinsyano myself. And I’m proud that my home town Jaen, Nueva Ecija, small town of farmers, has finally had their own 7-eleven store.

I admire your dedication to your candidate. I really do. And, while I admit that my mind is fixed at this point and will not be voting for him, I admit that he can very well become the next President of the country. And if that happens, you can count on me to support him.

I humbly ask you to also respect my decision not to support his candidacy now, detach our decision with our love for your city and finally, here hoping that you’ll also support the other candidates if ever they’ll become our next president.

Because at the end of the day, not Duterte nor Mar or Binay nor Grace Poe are our savior. Or this country’s savior. God is. And I trust that God, through his human agents, will do what he wills. He is sovereign. I only bow to one.

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