[Despite the rift between prominent Roman Catholic bishops in the Philippines and President-elect Rody Duterte; influential members of the clergy has expressed support and strong belief that President-elect Duterte is the Philippine’s man of the hour who will save and rid the country from criminality, corruption and the curse of the drug menace. Among these Church leaders are Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD, who is  a popular media personality and a distinguished academician in the person of Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ, current President of Ateneo de Davao.]

Last night, as I cruised through EDSA from a meeting with my clients at the Gloria Maris Restaurant, I happened to listen to a prayer being implored by Fr. Bel San Luis over the radio. Fr. San Luis is a member of the SVD, a radio personality and is also a columnist in a leading daily. Fr. San Luis was praying for President-elect Rody Duterte and was fervently wishing for his success. I believe this supplication of Fr. San Luis acknowledges the common perception that indeed President-elect Duterte will effect the needed change in our country. Truly, despite the fact that President-elect  Duterte has not yet assumed the post as President of the Republic of the Philippines, magnificent and remarkable changes have been spotted by laymen on the streets.

My watch-repairman friend was so ecstatic when he told me that the street where he lives in Cubao, Quezon City, Metro-Manila, Philippines; which has previously been the venue of pot sessions of unabashed drug users at night has become a thing of the past. Now, he said, he can lie in sleep at night without the usual fears haunting him, that his daughters who regularly do night-shift work would be harassed by those junkies and freaks.

My Daddy Max also recounted to me that the streets adjoining our ancestral home has now become deserted at night, a far cry from the usual scene with the nocturnal roaming kids would be cavorting in gay abandon up to midnight.

In a metro-wide operation the Philippine National Police, has since Pres. Duterte’s accumulation of a commanding lead in the elections, conducted regular operational missions/campaigns. These missions/campaigns are meant to rid the streets with liquor drinkers and minor children aptly labeled as OPLAN RODY (i.e. Rid the streets Of Drinkers and Youths). As has been customary in most places in the metropolis, minors would be playing in the streets through the night while their parents would either be quaffing liquor or wagering their bets on gambling tables in those dimly-lit barangay nooks and crannies.

In a TV interview, Incoming PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa cited that most drug lords have supposedly called out a virtual CLOSING OUT SALE, a bargain where all of their unlawful products were declared as “must go” items.

Days ago, in an apparent move to transfer bulks of seeming packages of TEA bags but which eventually turned out to be high-grade SHABU contraband, a van was abandoned in a district in Manila after checkpoints were set up in most streets of the metropolis.

In another raid, Php 1 Billion worth of LIQUID shabu was seized in a rented house located in an upscale subdivision in Angeles City, Province of Pampanga.

In truth, even if Pres. Rody Duterte would only be able to address this drug menace, it will be an auspicious development as our children and our children’s children could by then be freed from this horrible drug menace.

Most critics of President-elect Rody Duterte has labeled him as a small-town-thinking leader. But, a second-sober thought perception would show that those basic things such as curfew for minors, a stricter  liquor ban and an acknowledgement that a sense of discipline must be re-instilled in the minds of the citizenry, are the ones that would spell success in the country’s drive against criminality. And these basic things would also bring back civility, responsibility and decency in all of us.     But the main ingredient which would hopefully bring the much needed change in our country today is the paramount show of political will. Truly, after the Marcos era, no other President has wielded much political will and the hope of an enhanced and stern political will, appears to be beaming in the horizon with the coming Duterte Presidency.

As Ateneo de Davao’s President, Fr. Joel Tabora said, the common people, the multitude of Filipino masses, have seen in President-elect Duterte a special caring for the poor. In countless speeches, President-elect Duterte made clear that he is against all kinds of oppression against the hoi polloi. For which reason, I am sure Fr. Tabora is also praying for President-elect Duterte’s success.

Let us all give President-elect  Duterte the  chance to prove himself worthy of our mandate even just for a year. It is my steadfast belief, and shared I am sure by those 16 million people who voted for him, that he is the only living soul  who could bring real change to our country now. Let us all pray that President-elect Duterte would live long to make his dreams and aspirations for our country come true. Long live the Philippines! Long live President-elect Rody Duterte!


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