Both Excited and Terrified by Duterte’s Presidency

                                                           By Vic Odarve

Fed up with traditional politicians and driven for strong choice for a change by Duterte’s leadership, Filipinos are cautious for the coming years…both excited and terrified. People are excited to see a leader who can decide and execute the laws of the land effectively to curb drug abuses, bring corrupt government officials down to their knees, and improve the standard of living. But at the same time, these people are cautious, if not terrified, because of his governance style coupled by his character deficits, and hawkish foreign policies.  It is indeed terrifying and exciting!

President Rody Duterte

President Rody Duterte

 As known from his campaign trail which draws millions of his followers that gave him election victory, immediately after elected to office, he pounced down illegal drugs and gave an ultimatum to all drug lords, users, and pushers. After visiting China, Japan and other Asian countries, Duterte have brought investments to the country to propel our economy, and offer job opportunities to millions of jobless. He further cleaned up cronyism to his cabinet and other government posts, and even challenged the whole Energy Regulatory Board personnel to file their resignation due to corruption. These actions have been met with immense positivity from the population and signaled to the country that he was not only committed to his cause but also serious about cleansing government scalawags.

These kids have an illusion of better Philippines

These kids have an illusion of better Philippines

But not all are happy. As the wind changed its course from the traditional politics to unorthodox method, his governing style was saddled with his character deficits, and hawkish foreign policies which drew an ire from some of his supporters from both branches of the government. Some legislators believed that his foul mouth is wrecking the Philippine economy and scaring away investors; his conflicting statements on foreign policy is baffling lawmakers on what direction he is heading to. Further, repeated curses to US President Barack Obama, the United Nations and the European Union for questioning his tough anti-drugs crackdown affected our international relations. The ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, he called it “obviously wrong” and the way he treated the Marcos burial are among the few of his pronouncements that reveal his personality. Most people are terrified!

Food shortage due to El Nino

Food shortage due to El Nino

Though the future seems uncertain as he journeys on his presidential term to complete, there have been always a negative and positive reactions. Like a Newton’s law of motion, there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Duterte cannot do the job alone considering the various problems the country is facing. People believe that presidential advisers may brilliantly steer him into a success and to keep him on right track and away from doomsday leadership.

Despite of these uncertainties, people from all walks of life are drawn to him because they want a change and they are tired of all sweet-talking, fork-tongued politicians who are very religious and often promises reform but corrupt. We have demonstrated for the past 30 years that traditional leadership did not work.  That’s why Filipinos have to go abroad to find greener pasture. Can Duterte rise to the occasion and lead this nation to greatness again?  The answer is yours and the way events turned out people are both excited and terrified.

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