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.


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