Duterte 2016: My President Is A Murderer, But This Is The Reason Why The Filipinos Voted For Him and The Reasons Why They Will Regret This Soon Enough
The Beginning, The Indios and the Modern Philippine Culture
To really understand the modern Philippine masses, we need to take a look at the nation’s history. Philippines has been one of those countries colonised by Spaniards and illuminated by their “modern ways.” Invading the lands of the indigenous tribes in the Philippines, the Spaniards came to civilize the land with Christianity and Spanish decorum.
Unfortunately for us, we were succumbed to becoming the “indios” of the land we owned. We have become the lowly farmers of the entire Philippine archipelago for 300 years. (I wrote about this in detail here). After the Spanish regime, we were passed on to the Japanese and then to the U.S., who gave us a seemingly fleeting sense of independence and freedom.
Knowing the deep scarring in our culture’s background, the Philippines had never fully embraced the identity of its native blood. The modern Philippine culture is extremely westernized nowadays and the debris of what we could call “our tradition” has only been on mainstream news only when it’s dearly “viral.” Otherwise, normal day Filipinos do not have access to expensive Filipino-inspired plays and shows. We do not even see our award-winning independent films on the silver screen, with the grave exception of General Luna.
Moving decades forward, the Philippines thrived as one of the top countries in Asia, until the Ferdinand Marcos reign. During Marcos’ presidency, the Philippines was buried in debt and corruption. Marcos also implemented a nationwide Martial Law that pushed the public to have a civilian call-to-arms to democracy, the Edsa Revolution.
Though it initially felt like a win, the Philippines is set for decades of new challenges, especially with first world countries moving up with technology while the Philippines is left to fixing its civil issues.
The Philippines then voted for a TV star to be the father of the nation. Joseph Ejercito Estrada, an action star, was announced the President of the Philippines in 1998. Unfortunately, he gambled the nation’s money down the drain and he was played by his witty, manipulative political advisors. So, the vice president stepped in — the first female president of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s almost 10-year reign left the Philippines in deep, deep economic bubble. Arroyo has been alleged for serious corruption crimes that are still unresolved until now. However, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is in a “special” jail in the Philippines at present.
By 2010, the Philippines has become fed up with all the empty promises of the politicians they have been trusting. Rigged election ballots were tantamount and it felt like there was no other way to change the country. Most Filipinos, at the time, were no longer enthused to voting since the corruption history has been so strong in the past. At the same time, the nation has developed a “lesser evil” mentality where they would just vote for the lesser corrupt candidate just so they suffer less.
And so we were left with this deep distrust and trauma for our government. No leader could ever change us and we’re stuck here forever.
Then, Duterte came…
The False Hope, Superman Saves Us All
With the historic discrimination and modern-day thieving politicians, Filipinos were left with very little faith when it comes to the government. Being a strong Catholic, Christian nation, the Philippines held onto religion to bind their values and to look for leadership.
Former president Benigno Aquino III was never really the President we were looking for. He was just the “lesser evil” at the time of the previous election. He looked nice and he seemed nice. At the same time, he promised us “Daang Matuwid” (Righteous Path) when it comes to leading the nation’s politics.
He was here and there, but he was never really a moving figure for the country. We survived a couple more years in his reign. The nation thrived because of the OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers), the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) and the remote work industry. We were having a somehow comfortable economic balance. But, very little changed.
The poverty line is still at its lows. The nation is still one of the most corrupt countries in the world. The Philippines has welcomed the BPO industry and majority of its millennial workers do not get the chance to finish college because of its attractive pay offers.
Why should I waste money on finishing college, when I could earn above average salary here?
If I finish my course, I would just be getting the bare minimum rate anyway.
So, when everyone heard about this unpopular mayor from the far-off city of Davao, everyone was impressed.
How come Davao is the only city in the Philippines to have a 911 service? How come Davao has clean streets where we look like trash here in Manila? How come Davao is considered as one of the most peaceful places on Earth?
CONCLUSION: Mayor Rodrigo Duterte must have been doing something right.
Duterte was the “Superman” everyone is looking for. The Filipino nation has been hoping for a strong leader who can keep his words and who will avoid corrupting the country’s resources.
Duterte was the answer. He was the key to finally changing the Philippines for the better…or so we thought.
True Colors, But We’re Loving Him Blindly
Pres. Duterte never really wanted to run as the president. Months before the election, he was already being interviewed for that possibility. However, social media moved his campaign way ahead of his final decision.
The people were chanting “Duterte.” Multiple users from Facebook and Twitter have raised their support to the local Mayor. Business men were seeing the opportunity to support a candidate that people already love.
Duterte basically had no other choice but to run with the majority of the Philippine public’s support.
During the first part of the campaign, everything that was good about Davao was published by the media. Everything was highlighted. There was a rehabilitation facility for drug users. There was an improved economic reform. The streets were reportedly safe. Duterte implemented strict curfews that ensured a high quality of safety for the people of Davao.
Duterte seemed like the man for the job.
It was simple. He get things done. He was bold. He was not afraid. He was not a “kiss-ass” to big companies and corporations.
We liked that. His candidness and unpolished demeanor showed the Filipinos a candidate that we can all relate to. That was Duterte.
Little did we know that Duterte was deeply Machiavellian in nature.
Weeks before he officially sat down as the president, Duterte already made bold claims about “cleaning” the Philippines of corruption and crime. He said that the would eradicate drug use in just 6 months.
In just the first two weeks of Duterte’s reign, massive onslaught of public killings were made. This was just after he made a speech in a slum region of Manila. He called out to the public and said that he would kill drug pushers.
Duterte’s intentions might be good, but his ways are off-track.
Duterte’s down-to-earth image might be approachable to the public, but it also gave everyone an over the top familiarity with the new president.
The public heeded his call to action. Kill drug pushers.
Please feel free to call us, the police, or DO IT YOURSELF IF YOU HAVE A GUNE — YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT.
— Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, Associated Press
Just after his national announcement, which also included death threats to journalists, vigilante killings like this one (below) appeared on multiple streets in Manila.
After the consequential murders, the UN has been alerted of this policy and there has already been an ongoing issue on how they are going to deal with the new president. Though Duterte reverted a public “trash-talk” to the UN, claiming the Philippines is well able to support itself outside of the organization, the battle moves forward.
However his impressive PR Team spins it, everything came from Duterte’s personal testimonies:
“I must admit, I have killed… Three months early on, I have killed about… three people (actual number not verified).”
— Pres. Rodrigo Duterte
John Oliver had a spot on response on the Philippine President.
“That’s not good. Not knowing how many people you’ve killed is like not knowing how many Vicodin you took. If you don’t know the exact number, the answer is way to f*ckin’ many.”
In a different incident, Oliver highlights the president’s comments about a female missionary raped in Davao years ago.
Commenting on the tragedy, Duterte did not pull back and said that he was “angry” about it, but he knows that the missionary was “beautiful.” However, he regrets he could have been the first (to rape the female missionary). When asked for a clarification if his statement was just an insensitive pun, Duterte said he was serious about it.
The Presidency is Not A Seat of Ego, It’s a Seat of Responsibility and Influence
The Filipinos loved him because he had allegedly caused “effective” change to the Philippines. The statistics were blindly covering the fact that he has a foul mouth and that HE IS A MURDERER.
The Philippines was first redefined from slavery when our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal offered his life to enlighten the country of our national problem. After Rizal, multiple battles were fought to free the Philippines from captors.
Though Duterte falsely represents the “masang Pilipino” (Filipino masses), he is forgetting that the role of the president is not an ordinary post.
IT BEARS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FATHERING A NATION AND REPRESENTING THE COUNTRY TO THE WORLD.
The president is not only expected to conduct commerce and international relations, but most importantly, THE PRESIDENT IS THE BEARER OFIMPACTFUL INFLUENCE; an icon that Filipinos, most especially the Filipino masses, can look up to.
They need to know that the country, as a whole is emerging and that we can change it not accomplished by demolishing lasting partnership with allies and blaming everyone else of the country’s failure.
Duterte should be the man of honor we can be proud of. Duterte should be the father who represents the deepest values of the Philippines and cursing, vilifying international partners, shouting rape intentions and threatening the public of murder does not help the country in any way.
It was love at first sight. Duterte was charming, approachable and down-to-earth. But, he will put the Philippines down to the ground if he keeps destroying us down.
Originally published at therevoluzionne.com.