President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

They said I should give him a chance to show what he is capable of. Why should I, when he has never given the same chance to those slain in his war on drugs to prove themselves innocent of any wrongdoing? Nevermind that justice is supposed to work the other way around. That anyone is considered innocent until proven guilty. That the tenet applies not only to you, but to everyone. That this is not an idea open to interpretation. It is simply about what is right and what is wrong.

They said I should see through his words and focus instead on the intent of those words. Why should I, when his words are meant only to insult, demean, and reduce anyone on the receiving end as that of a lesser opponent, shutting the door for any chance of a meaningful exchange of ideas? Why should I, when his words have only sown hatred and shame among his fellow Filipinos?

They said I should see the humanity in him, his humility, and his genuine love for the country. Why should I, when he has failed to see the humanity in the victims of his war on drugs? The poor and the defenseless. The forgotten and the forsaken.

They said that war brings with it innocent deaths, that it’s an unavoidable consequence. Why should I, when there are other ways to fight this war? Ways that are bloodless and have been proven to bring more lasting results.

They said the Philippines has long suffered over the centuries. That he is the only leader and the last chance of the country to finally set things right. Why should I, when the change that was promised comes with a heavy cost? That it will be paid with blood, both of the guilty and the innocent. That it will mean the disregard for humanity. That it will require us to become monsters ourselves. That we will emerge from all of these not as better, enlightened citizens, but as deformed, grotesque versions of ourselves.

They said he has already done so much in so little time, all revolutionary and all never done before. Why should I, when I’ve seen leaders across history and all over the world move heaven and earth to bring about revolutionary changes to their own countries but with little consideration for the realities of the time, only to bring more misery and suffering in the end? Why should I, when I see from him decisions that are arbitrary, uninspired, and quickly unravel the moment they are ranged against facts?

They said I should just wait and see. That I should stay positive. Why should I, when I see so many wrongs and so few reasons to hope? When street justice has become the norm. When friends and family have celebrated the spilling of the blood of their own countrymen.

Support the President if you must, and if you if you feel that you should. We are still a democracy, after all. But never count me in. Ever. I’ve seen enough. And I’ve come to the conclusion that enough is enough.

Like what you read? Give Gerry Cacanindin a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.