THE “COMMON SENSE” PANACHE OF THE INCOMING DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION-PART 2

 

 

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (“Pres. Rody”) speech at the inaugural held in Malacañang Palace at noon today (June 30, 2016) was terse, forthright and compelling. It actually centered in the core values of Pres. Rody’s advocacies against criminality, drugs and corruption. Indeed, it was a mere restatement of common sense aspirations of a sincere and unpretentious leader.

When Pres. Rody emerged as the front-runner in the Presidential race as the ballots were being canvassed, immediately after the May 9, 2016 election; critics virtually doused cold water on his suggested strategies to minimize if not totally eradicate criminality.

First among his suggested strategies was the imposition of curfew among minors especially the little children. Thence, Pres. Rody was labeled as a small town thinking executive as his capability to bring about the avowed change was belittled outright and thrashed as impossible to achieve.

But the unregimented reaction and the seemingly decentralized, in fact localized operations waged by police forces, which happened out of the blue, following the pronouncements by Pres. Rody against the drug menace and criminality, in general (even prior to his ascension as the nation’s leader); indicated the scare created not only among the drug personalities but among those rouge police officers, who patently appeared to be sort of “covering their tracks”. As of latest count, there has been 59 drug personalities who have been killed (mostly drug pushers, who were either resisting arrest or fighting it out via gunfight with police authorities) since the May 9, 2016 polls plus a swarm of drug-users-surrenderees. Thus, it has then clearly dawned that Pres. Rody has the capability to effect changes. For even though he has not as yet assumed office, the showing that he will force into his style of governance a strong political will, sort of pushed the previously lackadaisical police force into meaningful and fruitful action.

In a similar move, aimed at eradicating corruption at the BIR; incoming BIR Chief, Atty. Caesar Dulay, who has vowed to clean up the BIR,  spoke about suspending the implementation of LOAs (i.e. Letter of Authority). These LOAs which arm internal revenue agents with the authority to conduct investigations geared at determining whether a taxpayer has dutifully complied with the payment of tax liabilities, Atty. Dulay said actually breed corruption. The foregoing is so, as with the investigation conducted the taxpayer and the internal revenue agent would then be inveigled after a series of “negotiations” to come up with a tax paying deal patently detrimental to the government’s coffers .

But what is most riveting in the inaugural speech of Pres. Rody is his exhortation that would show the comprehensive panorama of the extent of his political and economic programs, in a quote which he attributed to US President Abraham Lincoln, which goes as follows:

“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

“You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

“You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.

“You cannot further brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred.”

Truly, Pres. Rody has championed a “common sense” espousal of realities that are easily discernible; plainly understandable and stripped of the bombast and prolixity of traditional politicians. It was a call for support and cooperation from the people that he has vowed to serve….a common leader’s aspiration and a very sensible one.

 

THE “COMMON SENSE” PANACHE OF THE INCOMING DUTERTE ADMINISTRATION-PART 1

duterte-common-sensecommon-sense

In my more than sixty-six years of living here in the Philippines, I never did experience the same level of expectation, anticipation and suspense as what is now being professed, felt and seen  on the eve of the inauguration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) which is set tomorrow, June 30, 2016 in Malacañang.

Even the menu which was planned out for the  ceremony became the subject of a seeming clothesline rumbling between the pro-Duterte and anti-Duterte myrmidons. Those who picture Pres. Rody as uncouth felt that serving mere “maruya” (i.e. some kind of “banana fritter”) and coconut juice during the affair is “unpresidential”. While those who ardently idolize  Pres. Rody would certainly aver that the “maruya” and coco juice combination is only fitting to pointedly foist Pres. Rody’s advocacy for simplicity and of shunning ostentatious gatherings embellished with sumptuous meals.

Eventually however, the menu was changed to some kind of a lentil soup with fish and a retinue of dessert featuring Davao’s famous durian tartlet.

And as the inaugural nears, I cannot help but ponder and focus on the emerging “common sense panache of the incoming Duterte Administration which now seems to have carved out the controlling hallmark of Pres. Rody’s style of governance.

One of Pres. Rody’s oft-repeated utterances is his absolute detestation to what he has referred to as all kinds of  oppression which weigh down upon the suffering poor Filipino people. Pres. Rody made public his disgust and repugnance to the long lines of Filipinos in most government offices seeking to get a copy of this and that. And as he took to task this matter, the case of the NSO where long lines of people abound almost every day just to get a copy of one’s birth certificate, Pres. Rody promised and announced that this has to stop. Pres. Rody said that he will issue an edict setting a 72-hour deadline to set a standard for the release of government issuances. As regards the NSO-issuances, the common perception that has formed in the minds of people is that these NSO-authenticated certificates have an effectivity/validity term  of 6 months ONLY.  Despite the NSO’s disavowal of this predominant perception that NSO-issued birth certificates only carry a 6-month validity period, the NSO seemed to have acted as an accessory to the demands of government offices too, such as the NBI, etc. to color-code their issuances just as, purportedly, to forestall the supposedly flagrant faking of those NSO certificates. And this color-coding eventually gave that undeniable perception that the NSO birth certificate has as short term validity.

In a masterful stroke however, Pres. Rody has announced that this practice of according short-term validity unto those government issuances particularly the oftenly needed NSO issuances, specifically the birth certificate (knowing fully well that birth dates are permanent as they do not change),   must stop and that all government offices have to follow his 72-hour rule. Thus, passports would now be renewed every 10 years and not just every 5 years. Driver’s licenses which now carry a 3-year validity; may have to be extended to 10 year-validity too. However, the idea of perpetually-valid driver’s licenses is also being considered to stop the long queues forming every month in the country’s LTO offices.

In a similar move, Pres. Rody lamented  the incredibly long period of waiting time for the SSS to process death claims of members. And to poignantly deliver his message, Pres. Rody injected his spiel with a jocular note, that at times, a death claim is released to a widow after that widow has already kicked the bucket. With this, Pres. Rody has insisted in including the processing of the SSS death claims (which invariably gets released after years of waiting) to his now famous 72-hour deadline which Pres. Rody proudly brags as having been very successful in Davao City’s bureaucracy.

In the field of secondary education, having publicly acknowledged that he went through high school matriculation reaping grades barely skimming upward the 75 passing mark,  Pres. Rody promised to delist from the high school curriculum the subject on TRIGONOMETRY. Frankly, I myself cannot understand why TRIGONOMETRY is being taught in high school when it really does not appear applicable to daily life in both social and business interactions of people. A lawyer-friend of mine, whom I naughtily suspect to have suffered a failing mark in TRIGONOMETRY in high-school, disgustingly remarked that: “MUKHANG SI DIGONG LANG ANG MAY “COMMON SENSE”, SYA LANG ANG NAKAKITA NA DAPAT TANGGALIN ANG TRIGONOMETRY SA HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM.” [English translation: “IT SEEMS ONLY DIGONG (an informal appellation ascribed on Pres. Rody) HAS THE COMMON SENSE TO PERCEIVE THAT TRIGONOMETRY MUST BE SCRAPPED OUT OF THE HIGH SCHOOL CURRICULUM.”]

Indeed, as has been repeatedly said, COMMON SENSE SEEMS UNCOMMONLY COMMON!

THE PSYCHE OF THE FILIPINO AND THE INCOMING DUTERTE PRESIDENCY

[Left panel shows President-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) with the seal of the President of the Republic of the Philippines shown in the background. At right panel is the photograph of the former Philippine strong-man, President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos (whom Pres. Rody acknowledged as the best President of the country), as he announced the declaration of martial law on September 21, 1972.]

I am a senior citizen who has lived in our beloved country for THREE (3) scores and almost SEVEN (7) years now. Based on my experience, I could doughtily assert that a Filipino leader who wants success in the country’s governance, ought to instill fear in the hearts and minds of the ordinary Filipino, to make things happen.

When martial law was imposed, and fear was instilled in the minds of the Filipino people, the first years thereof (except that a lot of my more militant and progressive friends would perhaps raise their hands in protest) was pleasant and delightful.

Though I participated in those unruly and violent demonstrations and rallies of the 70s, being a UP Diliman student myself (as in fact I was a participator in the 1971 Diliman Commune, except that in deference to my father’s edict for me not to enlist as a card-carrying member of either the KM or SDK), I never got fully brainwashed and/or indoctrinated in the ways of the left. The left then would laudatorily label their teachings under the jargon of being arising from NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC aspirations of the plebeian poor and not outright, as ideals of COMMUNISM.

Indeed, criminality was reduced by reason of the imposition of curfew and the widespread presence of the military in the streets. In fact, civilian-clad marshals were employed to insure that in every bus plying EDSA  then, there is at least one armed soldier who will guard the commuters to thwart the then prevalent pickpocket heists. Food sufficiency was achieved through the Green Revolution and the Masagana 99  as well as the Biyayang-Dagat programs.

Truly, the martial law era gave priority and accorded much of its thrust to the more tangible freedoms and rights (i.e. freedom from want and hunger, right to a livelihood, etc.) as against the supposedly-perceived amorphous and chimerical concepts (in the eyes of the holders of powers then) such as the freedoms of speech and of the press.

The streets especially in Metro-Manila were so neat, tidy and clean through the ubiquitous presence of the Metro aides. There was order too in the bus terminals as well as in jeepney loading stations, as commuters started to learn how to queue in an orderly manner. Simply stated, discipline was re-instilled in the minds of the Filipinos, as even the sporting of long hair was banned, making the barber shops’ businesses even more lucrative. What is more, wives and parents were ecstatic, as their husbands and children will all be neatly tucked in their beds at home just before the midnight curfew.

The martial law years also made remarkable leaps in the field of housing as in fact I worked for more than a decade in the Tondo Foreshore Urban Renewal Program from 1974 to 1986.

During my stint in that Tondo Foreshore project where homelots were sold and awarded to poor residents of Tondo Foreshore area at Php 95.00 per square meter, the poor people of Tondo Foreshore felt very much elated as the renewal program and the concomitant award of homelots which they can then call as their very own,  accorded them much dignity and self-esteem.

By way of a cursory aside, martial law has been pictured as a monstrous contrivance enacted by former Pres. Marcos which was then continuously covertly demonized with the help then by the militant, nay radical underground media, and the opportunistic oligarchs of the country. In truth, martial law derailed the aspirations of the leftist movement to triumph in the continuing psy-war scenario and eventually wrest control over the government’s political power. What could be stressed as the principal accomplishment of the Marcos era, was its monumental strides that it waged that kept the country totally shielded from a communists’ takeover. Those who would regard martial law as evil are usually those who are identified with the left and those others who feel so proud to be labeled as militant, radical, feisty and young turks, on the one hand. On the other hand, those politicians too who have felt that Marcos would perpetually reign supreme thereby depriving them the opportunity to rule themselves, have vilified martial law as depraved and iniquitous.

I would undoubtedly join President-elect Rody Duterte’s (“Pres. Rody”)  acknowledgment that Pres. Marcos was the best President that our country has ever had as he had grandly announced in one of his campaign spiels.

In a virtual redux, particularly on the matter of instilling fear in the hearts and minds of the Filipino people, I got re-affirmed on this issue by a good friend of mine. This good friend of mine and my next-door neighbor who exudes much more wisdom and maturity, categorically told me that he also steadfastly believes that fear must be instilled in the hearts and minds of the Filipino to instill discipline into their subconscious minds.

We, myself and my aforesaid friend, are in fact sharing in the commonality that the martial law experience   has given much affirmation to the perception that to instill discipline in the Filipino, fear must be fostered in their pugnacious minds.

Thus, in our trek towards a better and a favorably changed Philippine society, we, myself and my friend and next-door-neighbor, Jimmy Zambrano, are one and certain, in our common yearning and aspiration that Pres. Rody must wield an iron-hand and must sow terror against the few who are evil, so that the great majority will be able to live in peace and contentment in our beloved country, the Philippines.

Along this line therefore, the trek that should now be trod is towards the healing of the nation after that divisive electoral exercise and for us, to now wholeheartedly support our elected leader, Pres. Rody!

[In one of his campaign spiels too, Pres. Rody revealed that his father Vicente Duterte served in Pres. Marcos’s cabinet. Pres. Rody also mentioned in another media interviw that the reason why he has opted not to appoint Vice-President-elect Leni Robredo is thap Pres. Rody does not want to offend a friend, in the person of Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos.]

TO BE FEARED OR NOT TO BE FEARED – A HOBSON’S CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT RODY DUTERTE

[Left panel shows President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s photo juxtaposed with the quotation which reads as follows: “A LEADER MUST BE A TERROR TO THE FEW WHO ARE EVIL IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE LIVES AND WELL-BEING OF THE MANY WHO ARE GOOD.” At right panel is the portrait of Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli with his quote collocated to his right which reads: “IT IS BETTER TO BE FEARED THAN LOVED, IF YOU CANNOT BE BOTH.”]

Niccolo Machiavelli once said that: “It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.”

Perhaps, the foregoing has emerged as the apt catch-phrase, albeit the exemplar slogan of President-elect Rody Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) as he enters the threshold of his providential Presidency.

Some among those who portray Pres. Rody as uncouth and so plebeian in his ways, cannot accept the fact that with his 16 Million win as the new President of the Philippine Republic, Pres. Rody has  already earned the mandate of the people. By proving their point, these doubting thomases  would quickly do the calculation and would state with seeming confidence and pluck, that at 16 million votes, Pres. Rody does not yet possess the majority vote that would entitle him to arrogate power as the country’s chief executive. This perception is clearly not tenable as there is no constitutional provision that requires a majority vote to become President.

By way of laying the premise to some kind of parallelism, English historian Lord Acton (1834–1902), in his famous observation on power, concluded that: “great men are almost always pictured as bad men”; and, in identifying with a personality which is most apt to be put up as paragon of leadership in an Asian setting, it ought to be  Mao Tse Tung.

Mao Tse Tung was a romantic visionary who set himself with seemingly impossible goals. But, Mao had the necessary qualities of leadership, persistence, and ruthlessness to reach them. Mao was uncouth who lacked personal polish, even criticized as a dictator, and who was almost always vulgar in his choice of words, and (even in his declining years) overly enjoyed the company of women.

What Mao did which has brought her much closer to the hearts of the masses in Red China, was his dream and initial but crucial efforts to modernize China and his similar efforts to remove the elite in Chinese society.

On the other hand, Pres. Rody has vowed to modernize the Philippines with his determined push for a stronger and more robust steel industry. Though, he may be uncouth and vulgar, it is with a very essential cause. It is because Pres. Rody has pledged his life to fight crime and corruption as he had in fact earned the reputation of being a crime-buster especially when it comes to drugs and acts of fraud and debauchery in government and that he has similarly vowed to stop all kinds of oppression against the Filipino people.

And it could be Pres. Rody’s  perception that it is required, for him to achieve his committed goals to put up a fearful image to instill trepidation and dread among the criminal and malevolent elements of society.

Deepak Chopra, an Indian-American author and prominent advocate of the NEW AGE MOVEMENT, listed a number of positives when a leader goes tough and ruthless, and here is his list:  toughness provides sharper focus; the leader quickly knows who is an ally and who is an enemy;  intimidation can be used as a competitive tactic; if people fear you, they will respect you; weaker people will submit to the leader’s will; time is not wasted making friends as what counts are the results; the leader will be labeled as a winner; and the leader would not have guilty feelings  about hurting others, as it is war, after all.

Looking back, the elite of yesteryears was successful in bringing down the leadership of one of our national heroes whom the elite then felt as uncouth in the person of Andres Bonifacio. And the elite then was also triumphant in eradicating a national hero deemed as vulgar and ruthless, in the person of Antonio Luna.

Amidst this interplay of historical facets and the riveting electoral contest that has just passed, let us all now stop in prayer for Pres. Rody’s success. As his success will be the nation’s success. Let us all therefore supplicate God’s intervention and intercession for guidance and blessing that Pres. Rody’s unintended efforts to displace and unsettle the elite would not be taken to mean as a rebuff to those members of the elite who have remained to be cooperative, righteous and upright members of our society. With this, we would rightfully be giving hope and inspiration to the lowly members of our society who have identified with Pres. Rody (who invariably refers to himself as “trabajante sa gobyerno” aka “government worker”) as they feel oneness for their being similarly uncouth, unwashed, plebeian, and more so, for being proletarian.

THE FILIPINO SENSE OF HUMOR AND THE DUTERTE RAPE JOKE

[Left photo shows President-elect Rody Duterte in one of his campaign rallies stressing a point. Right photo shows a page of the DURIAN POST, a community newsletter being circulated in Davao City with its top-left portion showing an article entitled: “DAVAO CITY INCOME SEEN TO BREACH PH6-B IN 2014”] 

For over two decades,  President-elect Rody Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) reigned as Mayor of one of the richest cities of the Philippines in terms of the yearly revenue that seeps into its coffers. Shortly, after Pres. Rody assumed office as Mayor of Davao City in 2013, Davao City’s financial people prognosticated that the local government unit could almost breach its targeted Php 6 Billion mark in 2014 in terms of annual income. Admittedly, Davao City has emerged as the richest city in the whole of the archipelago outside of the Metro-Manila area.

But, despite the richness of the city which Pres. Rody has governed from being the most crime-ridden city in this part of the globe during the mid-1980s, to its current label as one of the safest cities in the whole world today, Pres. Rody has opted to stay in his modestly simple house stripped of the elegance and rococo of the rich and the famous.

In a Filipino setting, that kind of narration would ostensibly be considered as a joke. It would be deemed as a joke as it would seem that Filipinos, a predominant number I am sure, would espouse the customary belief that if you acquire political power, it must automatically translate to quick financial aggrandizement, meaning a majestic home and flashy cars, to boot.

I have heard a lot of my countrymen cracking that same old joke, in fact parodying a scenario where a soul is given the opportunity to land into some government posting that is usually perceived as a money-making post like the Customs or the Bureau of Internal Revenue; his kith and kin would simply be very angry at him if at the end of his posting, he would remain to be poor.

And he could eventually become the butt of jokes and the subject of a humiliating tirade from relatives and friends in the following fashion: “PUTANG INA MO, BINIGYAN KA NA NG PUWESTO SA GOBYERNO PARA KUMITA KA, HUNGHANG KA, DI KA PA NAGPAYAMAN![English translation: You, son of a bitch, you were given a government post with the opportunity to make money, but you FOOL; you ignored it, you could have been rich by now!] 

But that kind of perception (which may have unfortunately flourished due to the stark impoverishment of many Filipinos)  must now be made a thing of the past under Pres. Rody’s administration.

Truly indeed, the Filipino has a very strange, nay bizarre type of a sense of humor.

In the usual run of things, the men on the streets would almost always be sparked into boisterous laughter even if the joke would contain ribald connotations. In the Filipino lingo, this kind of a joke is labeled as a GREEN JOKE. And the ribaldry could be some talk on sexual matters in an amusingly rude or irreverent way or could even take the form of an ultra lewd, gross or lascivious joke complete with pornographic gestures. And in a Filipino setting, these are the kinds of jokes (i.e. GREEN JOKES) that sell to the Filipino audience more than anything else.

The foregoing serves as a backdrop to the now famous RAPE JOKE which earned Pres. Rody a lot of flak. Without however passing judgment as to whether that RAPE JOKE is unsavory or not, the thing is that it was delivered by Pres. Rody in a political campaign rally.

In a political campaign rally, which is mostly attended by the hoi polloi or the masses, those kinds of GREEN JOKES are the most applauded and the most awaited. The hoi polloi among the Filipinos would not be much interested in the campaign platforms, as they would usually yearn and look for entertainment. But the elite among the politicians would not dare be a purveyor of these kinds of jokes as it would be contemptible in a manner, as the same jokes would seem to be way out of the league of the ELITE.

But Pres. Rody is a man of the masses, he grew up with the poor people of the Visayan and Mindanao regions, and he has continuously assimilated himself daily and nightly with the men in the streets (in fact hearing the same type of GREEN JOKES in the nooks and crannies of the city) as he had in fact shunned the ways of the ELITE. Indeed, Pres. Rody truly knows the tastes of this aggrupation of people for the seemingly lowly type of JOKES (which however typify their way of life and aspirations) and that Pres. Rody wants to be identified with them in JOKE and in POKE.

THE RAMBUNCTIOUS LIFE OF PRESIDENT-ELECT RODY DUTERTE’S CHILDHOOD

 

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[Photo shows the teenage President-elect Rody Duterte (sporting a polo-shirt unbuttoned at the top) in his mysterious askance gaze with his gracious mother, the Late Soledad “Nanay Soleng” Roa Duterte, who seemed to look as though making out a hesitant smile.]

In one of his talks delivered while the media people was still a welcome entity into his fold, President-elect Rody Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) admitted that he does not want to be adulated, kowtowed and fawned upon like a personality cult leader. Indeed, Pres. Rody would want to live through life, even now as the incoming President of the Philippines, as just a simple man. 

Pres. Rody was a run-of-the-mill playful and naughty elementary pupil and all through his high-school and college student days.

Born in the Year of the Rooster, on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Leyte where his family briefly resided; the family’s relocation ensued thereafter to the town of Danao in Cebu. In 1951, Pres. Rody’s family eventually resettled in Davao.

For Pres. Rody’s elementary education, he spent a year at the Laboon Elementary School in Maasin, Leyte. The rest of his elementary days were spent in Davao City as a pupil at the Sta. Ana Elementary School where he graduated in 1956.

As he would casually narrate during his campaign spiels, Pres. Rody would oft-repeatedly refer to his low marks in GOOD MANNERS AND RIGHT CONDUCT (“GMRC”). GMRC is actually part of the values education program in Philippine elementary schools and teachers are required to rate and/or grade pupils on the basis of their observable behavior. Indeed, Pres. Rody was then considered as a “problem child”, nay an adventurous child who was always out of their house, and who would endure beatings from his disciplinarian mother, the late Soledad Roa,  a school teacher.

Standing up to his “problem child” image, Pres. Rody was kicked out of the Ateneo de Davao High School for misconduct. By way of punishment, Pres. Rody was “exiled” upon the direction of his father, the then governor of the undivided Davao province, Gov. Vicente Duterte, to a far-flung high school at the Holy Cross High School in Digos, about 60 kilometers south of Davao  City.

Pres. Rody despite the beatings which he received and endured from his school teacher Mom, whom he endearingly refer to as Nanay Soleng, considers himself however as a Mama’s boy.

With his Mama’s boy insight, the mother-and-son kinship got so much etched in Pres. Rody’s subconscious mind that Pres. Rody keeps a memento of his mother, Nanay Soleng, and brings it every day to bed to induce sleep. This memento is an old ramie blanket given to Pres. Rody by Nanay Soleng when he was still a toddler. And Pres. Rody would bring it everywhere he goes and would mend and patch it up whenever it breaks apart.

As Pres. Rody went through some kind of a formal flying course, the 14-year old Pres. Rody, in one of his playful antics,  flew a small plane above his neighborhood without his parents’ knowledge.

Also, as he harbored bitter feelings then for having been castigated by the school dean in high school in front of his classmates, Pres. Rody flew the small plane too over his old high-school and threw a rock at the school’s roof. Days after however, he apologized to the school administration. Even in college, as Pres. Rody made clear that he is against all kinds of oppression, it has been bruited about that he shot a co-student who was bullying other studes at the San Beda Law School.

As a person who was born in the Year of the Rooster, Pres. Rody is considered as VERY OBSERVANT, HARDWORKING, RESOURCEFUL, COURAGEOUS and TALENTED.

Roosters are also talkative, frank, honest and loyal individuals. Roosters do not get sick very often as they tend to fight illness well. Even when they are ill, they recover their good health quickly. Also, roosters are a polygamous lot.

Indeed, roosters, as part of the FOWL species, would often sit on a high perch to serve as a lookout for his group (hence the term “rooster”). And the assigned rooster will sound a distinctive alarm call, if predators are nearby.

Pres. Rody has now sounded an alarm against the growing menace of drugs, criminality and corruption. And it is now up to us, who want our children to experience a NEW PHILIPPINES, to stand up to the challenge to support our soon to be ruling rambunctious and romantic ROOSTER.

LET’S NOT WASTE OUR ONE FINAL CHANCE

[Left photo shows the cover of the book entitled DEVELOPMENTAL DICTATORSHIP AND THE PARK CHUNG HEE ERA with the photograph of South Korea’s revered leader Park Chung Hee displayed at the bottom-left portion of the book cover. Top right photo shows Singapore’s venerable Lee Kuan Yew’s image  juxtaposed with his popular advice given the Philippine leadership in 1991: “THE PHILIPPINE NEEDS MORE OF DISCIPLINE THAN DEMOCRACY.” Bottom right photo shows President-elect Rody Duterte in a pensive mood, collocated with his public announcement: “I AM A DICTATOR, SO WHAT?”]

At this early morning’s radio broadcast aired over DZMM, news anchor Gerry Baja revealed that based on an A1 intelligence report, the drug lords now serving time at the New Bilibid Prison have drawn up a plan to bank-roll the assassination of President-elect Rody Duterte (“Pres. Rody”) and Incoming PNP Chief Ronaldo Dela Rosa (“Chief Dela Rosa”).

In an apparent move to counter the marching order of Pres. Rody  which pegged a reward money of Php 5 Million for every head of a drug lord; the drug lords have reportedly upped the ante and had set a more attractive budget of Php 10 Million each for Pres. Rody’s and Chief Dela Rosa’s heads.

Indeed, not one among the past administrations has laid out such a concrete plan to fight the drug lords and the drug menace, except perhaps during Pres. Marcos’ time during martial law when Lim Seng, a former struggling restaurateur who turned into being a notorious drug lord, was executed via musketry witnessed by the Philippine citizenry in national TV.

There were even talks then that at one point in the 2004 elections that the country was almost put unto the brink of an abominable regime of narco-politics. It was good that it did not happen as the perceived narco-politician was not elected.

It is however my firm and steadfast belief, shared perhaps by his 16 million voters, that the Duterte Presidency is the country’s one final chance to make our nation great again. And this trek to greatness was first pursued by President Marcos; also, the country’s first trek to the seemingly elusive economic growth and prosperity.

It is an undeniable fact that the early years of Pres. Marcos’ martial law brought pleasant benefits such as instilling discipline into the minds of the citizenry, less criminality due to curfew and a tractable and urbane peace with the use of the army which dismantled criminal syndicates and all other forms of belligerency, among others.

It was lamentable however that the military hierarchy started to commit abuses thereafter and that Pres. Marcos’ deteriorating health put a toll on his resolve and competency to efficiently govern the country and the bureaucracy.

The era of the supposed return to democracy under the Cory Aquino regime however brought about a rambunctious press (as aptly described the the late Lee Kuan Yew)  which never however  contributed any to check the resurgence of corruption. What is worse,  the more unruly media people who felt that they would look more macho, and impressively bombastic, went to the extent of castigating and even scolding government personalities as well as police officers on air, in national radio or TV as though they are supreme. And this led to the breakdown of discipline among our citizenry, who in concert felt that if the likes of Ted Failon and the Tulfo brothers can dress-down a police officer on air, they can on their own, scold and even slap a lowly traffic aide.

What we need now is an era of “developmental dictatorship” and that I firmly and most sincerely believe, and perhaps the 16 million voters who elected him,  that Pres. Rody fits to a TEE, the label of a DEVELOPMENTAL DICTATOR. We ought not to be surprised for such a label as Pres. Rody himself, in his speeches before the polls, described his regime as veering into some kind of dictatorship.

Developmental dictatorship, in fact, served as the core concept which integrated the South Korean experience of extreme modernization under the authoritarian tutelage of Park Chung Hee. Under the South Korean experience of economic growth and prosperity, developmental dictatorship was simply defined as a regime implementing a powerful economic development policy.

I distinctly remember that in one of Pres. Rody’s talks during his electoral campaign, he was the only Presidential candidate who openly advocated the putting up of steel mills in the country, an industry  which has not been accorded topmost priority by past administrations. In fact, in an interview done by the country’s leading daily, the Philippine Star, Pres. Rody made this statement:

In any country that has progressed there has to be industrialization. To create jobs we must create factories, we have to build industries.We have to realize our long dream of having our own steel industry…the mother of all industries…the backbone of industrialization…It’s about time we have our own. ” – Duterte

Indeed, with the capacity of Pres. Rody to effect changes even before he has assumed the Presidency of this Republic, I truly believe that he is the Philippines’ man of the hour and that we must not lose this chance to bring back greatness to our country once again. LET US CONTINUOUSLY SUPPORT THE INCOMING DUTERTE PRESIDENCY THROUGH AND THROUGH!!!!