President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

President Duterte has no one else to blame if he fails. And this early, he’s probably headed that way.

He cannot blame the ‘yellows’. The so-called yellow opposition is a spent force. The moment Duterte won the presidency, Liberal Party politicians, like rats in a sinking freighter, immediately jumped ship. The party was only alive so long as Aquino was President. After Noynoy, it reverted to its original self. An old, powerless, forgotten political party.

He cannot blame mainstream media. He won the presidency through the power of social media. Through his trolls and his online minions, he has successfully demonized and discredited traditional media outlets. One only has to read the comments in any legit news article and you’ll know people would rather lap up the kind of puke-inducing trash served by Mocha Uson than carefully written, insightful articles penned by trained journalists.

He cannot blame the US, the UN, or the EU. The major purveyors of Western ideals and morals have more pressing matters to attend to. The US is more preoccupied with Trump nowadays. The UN is busy with regional wars, potential nuclear conflicts, and refugee crises. The EU might cease to exist in a few years.

Duterte only has himself to blame.

He prided himself as being a force for change but never considered being a force for unity and nation building instead. Tatay Digong, he was called. But what kind of father would allow his children to fight amongst themselves, watch idly by and even relish the spectacle?

He portrayed himself as a man of action. Yet he has shown to be more talk and less walk. In the last five months, rather than actual accomplishments, his crassness and his foul mouth are what dominated the headlines. While there are ‘accomplishments’ his most rabid supporters copy-paste and share on social media like there is no tomorrow, most are projects from the past administration that are coming into completion just now. Others are mere paper pledges from his trip in China. His tangible accomplishments only seem to be the rise in EJK’s and turning the Philippines into an international joke and a pariah state.

He crafted an image of a foreign policy tactician. Yet he strained relations with our long-time friends and allies while kowtowing to a belligerent and untrustworthy China. He also tried to win over Russia which resulted in nothing more than a lukewarm response from Putin.

He rode on a populist, outsider platform to win the presidency. Yet he immediately revealed his ties with traditional politicians and the disgraced Marcoses, going over the edge in allowing the burial at the LNMB of the late dictator. The act only opened old wounds and disappointed many. While anti-Duterte Filipinos were in disarray the last few months, the burial only allowed scattered voices to find a common ground. The burial had now gone beyond the Marcoses. It is now a symbol of everything that is wrong with Duterte’s presidency, a clear example of the impunity and stupidity of his administration.

President Duterte had so much going for him when he took power. With the kind of mandate he wielded, it’s disheartening to watch day after day how he wasted countless opportunities to call on Filipinos to unite and be real partners for change. He was so bent on change, he somehow forgot that the kind of change Filipinos really wanted is a government that functions like a well-oiled, efficient machine. Not the one we have now. Dysfunctional and in total disarray.

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