Why Ordinary Filipinos Love President Duterte?

By Vic Odarve

For almost three decades, the Philippines is struggling in pain over the crippling culture of corruption, illegal drug trades, and crimes that bankrupted an already poor country which appears impossible to remedy. They are very much tired of the sweet talking politicians who often promise heavens and earth for an exchange of government elected positions yet failed to perform. To many ordinary Filipinos, they are looking for a man who can give hope to leap the country to a better tomorrow. Duterte, whose unorthodox behaviour and outrageous statements are often highlighted in media forum, appeared to be their only hope to challenge and can deliver result!

     Thousands of OFW at the Dubai Airport

It is common knowledge that the country is mired by graft and corruption, illegal drug trades, and street criminals. There are rampant graft and corruptions in almost all government offices. Diversion of budgets, awarding of contracts, and various government transactions from ordinary people such as getting a medical card, passport, drivers licence, etc., take several weeks are among the few.  For several decades, the same political clans have dominated Filipino politics and businesses; worst, some of these oligarchs did not pay proper taxes amounting to significant billions of pesos. Illegal drugs are spiralling and out of control. The success of De Lima in politics and accumulation of wealth of the Espinosas in the province of Leyte were associated with the illegal drugs network.  The mayor of Ozamis city, despite the history of crime, had gained trust and admiration by the residents for sharing the loot from illegal drugs. For several decades, the elected presidents are always after popularity. They want to be seen in a good light and they don’t want to affect the relationships with the oligarchs who control the country’s economy.

    Poor neighborhood in Metro Manila

Unlike any sweet talking politicians, Duterte promises a change is definitely coming during his term. Ordinary Filipinos feel that Duterte will stand his ground when oligarchs try to influence him. That is, after a few months at Malacanang office and because of his political will, the government earned around P 6B from Lucio Tan from tax evasion, 1.7B w/o Tax from Mile Long Property, and 25B from Mighty Cigarettes.  Senator De Lima, once the most sought-after lawyers and powerful government officials, is now imprisoned for alleged involvement in illegal drugs. Several cabinet secretaries and government officers’ were fired out after found enriching themselves while holding a position. Such were the case of Peter Lavina, former National Irrigation Administration chief, Ismael Sueno, former interior secretary, and the several others. Nowadays, medical card, passport, business permits, etc., that takes several weeks before can be available within three days or less.  Enforcement agencies are more active in monitoring and in implementing rules; hence, drug lords and users are afraid of resulting to a safer environment.

Demonstrations and rallies are the same old songs as in past regimes

To many ordinary Filipinos, they are looking for a man who can give hope to leap the country to a better tomorrow. They feel that Duterte will not be swayed by the oligarchs for what is best for the Filipinos. His sincerity to fight graft and corruption rises investor confidence. People think they are now safer due to illegal drugs. Street crimes related to drugs are now reduced. Despite all the shortcomings of his unorthodox behaviour, ordinary Filipinos welcomed the development as shown by his high-performance rating. Although it provokes outrage in some quarters, most ordinary Filipinos are unfazed but love Duterte!

For several decades the past presidents have tried almost all possible strategies to improve our country but failed. Filipinos feel they have been voting for liars and cheaters and for political dynasties for too long. Because of the poor job opportunity at home, most able bodied Filipinos have to work abroad as OFW. The outrage in the American and European media over the extrajudicial killings or Duterte’s more inflammatory statements on the Catholic church about God still keep the Filipinos unfazed on their faith in his leadership. They believed that the time for a change has come. The Bible puts it;

1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 

2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 

3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 

6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 

7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 

8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV

 That is why the ordinary Filipinos love Duterte for the time to change has come.

 

 

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Duterte’s Iron-fisted Rule

             By Vic Odarve

Simply, there are those who criticized and appreciated this brand of leadership. Supporters consider this style as strong and decisive leadership…an effective response to rising number of street crimes, illegal drug trade, and rampant corruptions. While on the opposite flank, critics claimed that the authoritarian rule is a recipe to a dictatorship form of governance. But whether we like it or not, historian reminds us that the iron-fisted rule has its positive as well as negative impact. So, who would like the iron-fisted rule by Duterte?

Duterte as one of the world’s strongman

Supporters of the president consider the Philippines as a sick man in Asia. This country needs to be overhauled. Graft and corruptions blanketed any government transactions, bureaucracy in most government posts, and monopoly in some of our businesses are rampant in almost all sectors of our society. Worst, politicians and some government officials are involved in drug trade. The Philippines is becoming a trans-shipment point for the global illegal drug trade, where a high number of approximately 1.8 million are drug users.  Majority of the people live in poverty coupled with a poor peace and order situation. Hence, they consider Duterte’s fisted rule style as an effective response.

People who also supported this governance are really fed up with the sweet talking politicians. They also think that the previous presidents have turned a blind eye to these problems. In a country where politicians attain a position of authority after the election, they tend to be blinded by power and intoxicated by the perks and privileges attached to the position. Typical examples are the recent issue of the diversion of P10.6 billion fund for PhilHealth intended for the benefits of senior citizens for CY 2015 to the DOH. To most senior citizens, it is a heinous act three times cruel than the Dengvaxia fiasco. It is an act that is utterly heartless and insensitive to the condition of our senior citizens. Lately, Duterte replaces PhilHealth chief mired in travel and leadership issues.  COA flagged Dela Serna for spending P627, 000 for travels and hotels in 2017 despite Phil health’s loss of P8.92 billion. In addition, there were several government heads that were fired and replaced due to ineffective in office. Hence, these citizens favor the iron-fisted rule.

              Leading oppositions

On the other hand, critics claimed that this type of leadership is killing democracy. It is a dictator in the making.The war on illegal drugs which they described as brutal has claimed lives of thousands, mostly urban-poor dwellers. The suspects were killed rather than jailed, sometimes with very little supporting evidence of their involvement in the drug trade…alleged crimes against humanity according to ICC. Allegations of planted evidence are rife so it is not surprising that there is growing concern that the war on drugs may be used as a political tool. That is what happened to Ozamis city mayor Parojinog and Leyte’s Espinosa. Then there were tax evasion cases; the Mighty cigarettes, Lucio Tan, and other oligarchs who run big businesses. Human rights, leftists, and some religious groups described Duterte as a dictator. Even the leaders of the Catholic Church joined the condemnation. They sponsor rallies decrying the death of democracy.

 With all these condemnations and rhetoric from the various critics and well supported by the opposition, one thing is clear… the president is gaining support from the people. “Except in September 2017, Pres. Duterte’s net trust rating has been excellent since he became President,” SWS said. The First Quarter 2018 Social Weather Survey, conducted from March 23-27, 2018, found 70% of adult Filipinos satisfied, 17% undecided, and 14% dissatisfied.

       A picture of unbecoming a statesman

But when it comes to his behavior, people come to terms and agreement that the president lacks refinement in his attire and his manners. His English is colorful and far from cultured. He talks without carefully considering the consequences. He tends to over-talk and has a big mouth. In his visit to South Korea, he kissed an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) on the lips – a move that drew cheers from the audience but disgust from some netizens… manner which many folks don’t like.

This country has been ruled for a long time by people with their own interests at heart, not to mention pocketing government money into their own pockets. It is the failure of democracy. It is a nation broken by failed democratic policies, mismanagement, and corruption. The people have spoken, and this is their last cards. The majority have shown that iron-fisted rule offers the alternative towards the fulfillment of their aspirations for better life. It is a painful process but must be done.

Control Your Big Mouth, Please!

                           By Vic Odarve

It is better to control your talkative mouth for your own safety, avoid embarrassments, and unwanted troubles. Too private and confidential information must not be divulged especially in public for safety reasons. Public speeches, whether done in private or public, must be spoken with care and control, avoiding ambiguous words with too many interpretations to various listeners. Unsolicited discussions, comments, and the information are done in a casual conversation or in the public forum must be controlled to avoid unpleasant reactions. Control your big mouth, please!

President Rody Duterte

Personal and family activities, as a rule, is more beneficial to keep private for safety reasons. An orchestrated highway robbery, daring daylight abductions, and assassinations of top officials are among the few results by not keeping them secret. Summer and Christmas vacations which usually involve travelling with a huge amount of money must not be posted on Facebook for these often give second thoughts to scoundrels and scalawags. Nowadays, unwanted incidents in one’s life due to careless revelation are on the rise. It is better to control your big mouth, please!

 Speaking engagements or speeches, whether done in private or public, must be spoken with care and control. That is, talking without thinking! If possible, avoid ambiguous words or jokes with too many interpretations for the audience, press corps, and other people of different races to understand. What is considered acceptable in one culture or language usage may be considered an insult to another. That is what happened to President Digong. In one of the interviews, he openly admitted that he killed three criminals while being a mayor in Davao city. The news amplified and grew rapidly like a wildfire! This prompted the U. N. High Commissioner for Human Rights to launch murder investigations into President Rodrigo Duterte. This also prompted the Magdalo group to file an impeachment against the president. Whether it is just a joke, an excitement or to give colour to an occasion, the speech destroys the credibility and backfire on his personality. As a result, the president has to argue with all his might to reason out and resorted to “bad mouthing” UN and other agencies on human rights who condemned him in both local and international media forums. His political adversaries even urge him to resign being a criminal. Control your big mouth, please!

Worst yet, unsolicited discussions, comments, and information in a casual conversation or during ambushed interviews or public forum sometimes draw various negative reactions from the audiences and the media. Last December when PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa announced that Duterte has allocated P100, 000 to P400, 000.00 for each top cop, it was greeted with joy. But a few days after, Christmas bonuses were cancelled. The reason might be that the Palace became discouraged due to his earlier announcement and due to the numerous queries cropped up. All these things brought an unpleasant atmosphere to his working environment.

Biblical story, too, reminds us that it is better to keep some of the things in our life unsaid. Abraham kept his mouth shut for the day he received the message to sacrifice Isaac until the final moments when the angel intervened.

Life is what we make it. Perhaps some intimate details in our lives are better left unsaid. Keep it from public knowledge! Even to our best friends! Or make second thoughts if we want to divulge! By keeping some vital information to ourselves is a safer option than risking ourselves to the outside world. We will soon realize that this world is much wider than just what we know to be our own.

Control your big mouth, please!

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.

Advise our President, Please!

                  By Vic Odarve

It is the president’s adviser role …to advise and make recommendations to the president on all crucial issues facing the nation’s policies. These people must be heavily involved in all policy areas and attuned to the needs of the president on the key issues. More so, advisers are responsible for his good image both in and out of the country’s spectrum; knew exactly the direction what the president wanted in our domestic and foreign policy. Advise our president, please!

Press briefing by the President

Press briefing by the President

Presidential speeches, whether done in local and international settings, must be reviewed and filtered so as not to create different interpretations from the media men, supporters, and foes; and distort the true meaning on what the president wants to project. Local and idiomatic expressions, which often the source of misunderstanding, if possible, must be controlled. Such was the case on the traffic woes that the president said by December people can travel just 5 minutes Cubao to Makati, condemnation of KAPA as fraud scheme,and his rape jokes during the press conference.

In like manner, presidential decisions both on domestic and international issues seemed to convey more questions than what the citizens are expecting. Whether politically motivated or not, the advisers must see to it that these decisions may not create chaos and confusions among the Filipinos. Such were the cases of Marcos burial, abrupt closing of the offices of the money investing schemes sprouting throughout the country, and our policy towards America, China, and ASEAN neighbors.

Harvesting rice in Mayana- Beautiful scenery is the work of His Hands

The President’s life is not as beautiful as this scenery in Mayana

In almost all head of states like a president, a team of advisers plays an important role in their decisions. The president and advisers have to dance in tango…harmony in every step. The president growing problems in giving controversial statements and his decisions in some of our domestic issues can be addressed with advisers who knew well what the president’s wanted directions. On the other hand, the President is obligated to consult his advisers before making decisions.

Speeches, whether colorful, sarcastic or not or deemed inappropriate for public consumption, must be addressed; and decisions, whether politically motivated, payback after elections or not, must also be discussed with his advisers. But, if the President hesitates to hear the pieces of their advice and just follow his own instinct, multiple problems may crop up along his term… a huge problem for the presidential spokesperson. As we see it, this is the problem of the current administration.

Advise him, please! Before it is too late.

Vote for my Presidential Candidate,Please!

             By Vic Odarve

As the executive branch consists of several departments, a candidate for president must be an experienced leader who has a strong authority to manage and direct the activities; take quick action on problems facing the nation, such as corruption and hardened criminals, and must have a strong character to react smartly and cleverly under stressful conditions. Leadership experience, tough in fighting corruption and criminals, and strong character to hold up pressures attribute a great president. So, on this coming presidential derby on May, vote for my candidate, please!

Presidential candidates debate- Philippines politics

Presidential candidates debate- Philippines politics

A presidential candidate with considerable leadership experience can propel the direction on his decision intelligently on various issues; run the country with authority in harmony with other government branches, and understand to what extent are his duties and responsibilities.  He can rely not much on his advisers as with traditional politicians usually do; establish a reputation of not favoring the elite few. As a seasoned leader, he must be strong and decisive; widely seen as better able to handle the responsibilities of being commander in chief, and more often align with people views on important issues facing the country. His leadership experience counts!

A would be president must be a proven leader in fighting corruption and criminality which every leader always promises but failed significantly for the past several decades. With various syndicates on drugs and criminal elements eluding the justice system, a candidate must be tough, iron-fisted, and fear no one whether these persons are bigwigs and famous in the society. Likewise, he must have a  will and determination to bring corrupt government officials to justice irrespective of party’s affiliation. These corrupt public servants are known as the “looting machine” explain why this country is not rising. So, we need a tough president to address corruption, crime, and drug problems.

Campaign promises

Campaign promises

As the job requires decision-making both domestic and international issues, the position takes a special kind of person with a strong character… someone tough, smart, and driven. These attributes are necessary allowing him to implement laws and hold up the working situation in its order under the pressures of  various peppering problems plaguing the nation such as  the South China Sea, terrorist attack, secessionist, and economy. He may not be a gifted speaker like Hitler and Mussolini but could drum up support for his policies from congress and draw big followers from the common masses. He should promise to tear up the feudal lord system and make the country great again. He must have a strong backing from the nation’s minorities, and argue for realistic solutions to problems, rather than rhetoric, and above all, bring unity.

As the campaign period about to end with various trends shown in the surveys and social media who are on the top standing, the result may twist and turn  different comes the election day. Believe it or not, people are tired of criminals and corrupt public officials, weak and indecisive leaders, and traditional politicians with the same campaign promises since the beginning of the democratic elections. People need change; a leader who could chase and eliminate these perennial problems and display mature composure in the decision making while under pressures.

Duterte's banner

          Duterte’s banner

With proven background experience in curving criminality and drug problems, unblemished record in graft and corruption as public officials, spend less for election-related activity, and draw a large crowd during the campaign trail, he will be the next president of the Republic of the Philippines. He is not fighting for his own glory but to bring hope to the countless masses of people who are poor, hungry, oppressed, and without a future.

 Only one politician claimed to be… Mayor Duterte. Vote for my presidential candidate, please!