By Marcial Bonifacio
My friends and countrymen, with Congress’ proclamation of Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th president of the Philippines (clenching 16,601,997 votes), I wish to convey some of my concerns. I have posed them based on his proposals, actions, and what he has said publicly. Such issues should be sufficiently addressed before any of our kababayans give him our full support.
First and foremost, the president must protect and defend the Constitution and respect the rule of law. According to Article III, Sect. 1 of the Constitution, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws.” Duterte’s Davao Death Squad has executed over 1,000 alleged drug lords and murderers, all of whom were denied the fundamental right to due process. Duterte expresses no remorse and is even boastful he will continue that policy under his presidency.
He was even unapologetic for his daughter (Sara Duterte), who attacked and physically assaulted Davao City Sheriff Abe Andres a few years ago. Ironically, both Dutertes were attorneys, reinforcing the idiom that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Such uncivil acts are slippery slopes to more lawless behavior, are they not? How can we feel safe and certain that Duterte will not infringe on our own rights and liberty due to his thirst for criminal blood or impulsive temperament?
Second, several factors, including self-reliance and free enterprise, are essential to transforn the Philippines into a prosperous nation. Unfortunately, Duterte does not seem to promote any of those principles. On the contrary, he is a self-avowed socialist, who proposes to expand the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. That would only perpetuate what Sen. Dick Gordon said is “the attitude of mendicancy among our people, which we have had more than enough over the last four centuries or so.” I would add that such handouts (derived from hardworking taxpayers) would also prolong unemployment and encourage the systematic development of a welfare state.
Even more alarming is Duterte’s sympathy towards communists. That is apparent in his proposals to designate cabinet posts to communists, grant amnesty to NPA prisoners, and end the exile of Jose Sison, founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Duterte’s campaign manager, Leoncio Evasco Jr., was even a member of the NPA (New People’s Army).
Could Duterte himself be a communist? If not, then why is he negotiating with them and inviting them to join the national government? For someone known for his stringent form of justice (earning him the international reputation Time Magazine branded as “The Punisher”) even to the point of proposing the return of the death penalty by hanging, is it not inconsistent for him to be so lenient with terrorists who seek to overthrow our government?
My friends, I appreciate Duterte’s forthright oratory and maverick predisposition in opposing the oligarchy. Such can also be said of the American presidentiable Donald Trump, but I digress. Anyway, appealing rhetoric and opposition to the ruling class alone are insufficient in determining a suitable president. If they were sufficient, then it can be argued that Vladimir Lenin (Bolshevik leader of Russia), Fidel Castro (president of Cuba), and Robert Mugabe (president of Zimbabwe) should be heralded as great public servants. However, history indicates otherwise, and until my concerns are sufficiently addressed, I must deduce that Duterte will be no different.
Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz Let’s just watch and wait for the outcome of his leadership as The President. Give him the benefit of the doubts and consider his achievements in Davao City. May God save our Country and people for whatever consequence we may face for his actions and laws he will implement. I know he is capable to lead but my fear is his inconsistency and the people he has chosen for the cabinet position. Remember the past history my friend … the failures of great leaders lies on his men and the people whom they trusted. God have mercy.
Jocelle Rabulan Corpuz Kaibigan my apology … I choose to just be silent but be vigilant in observing and watchful for the outcome of the leadership of our new elect President. Praying he will acknowldege God above all and put my people’s welfare as well our Country first. God bless him and The Philippines.
Paul Farol My friend, I’ll give him enough rope to hang himself with.
But here’s the thing, on the other side of this thing are the yellowtards who have all but proven to be much, much worse than the people they replaced.
We hit Digong, the yellowtards get stronger. We are currently at an impasse.
As much as it pains me to say this, we have to make this presidency work.
If, despite our sincere efforts to help this presidency succeed and it fails, PDiggity will have no one to blame but himself.
Marcial Bonifacio Paul, I really don’t know which is worse. On the one hand, we have a president surrounded by politicians, who seem either corrupt or inept in dealing with our country’s age-old problems. On the other hand, we have another perfectly capable president-elect who may be able to finally resolve those issues. However, he would maintain peace and order by suppressing our people’s most fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. At least, Pres. Marcos did so under martial law.
Marcial Bonifacio Dodong, I can only judge someone according to his track record. Perhaps Duterte seeks to revive the death penalty in order to deter current criminals and potential criminals, making the extra judicial killings obsolete. That would be a compromise I am willing to concede.
Joseph Hinds Marcial, I share some of your concerns, but it is far too soon to tell what President-elect Duterte is going to do. He seems to be something of a chess player and a gambler when it comes to politics, so his methodology may be a bit unorthodox. At least in his case, we can see the results he achieved in Davao City. He may very well have broken some eggs, but the omelet turned out well. The extra judicial killing presents something of a conundrum because the judicial system has become so corrupt that the syndicates, oligarchs and drug lords can buy their way out of trouble even in the face of damning proof of guilt. If the system of laws no longer works for justice, then is it really an injustice when other means are used? Likewise the acceptance of the communists at the cabinet level is a novel approach. The Philippines have had a running war with the CPP for almost 50 years and have still not succeeded in getting rid of them. Perhaps by including them in the political process at the cabinet level, their position as revolutionaries can be undermined and cause them to loose some of their appeal to their followers. They may also be more willing to disavow violence in order to retain their new found political relevance. Also, I not so sure that a little socialism in the Philippines would be a bad thing. I think it would be to the benefit of the average citizens to have the power company’s monopolies either opened to foreign competition or simply nationalized. It is ridiculous that electric rates in the Philippines are three times what they are in the USA and they still get hit with regular brown-outs. Let’s let DU30 have his chance. It’s not as if his predecessors have set the benchmark very high.
Marcial Bonifacio Joseph, your points are well taken. However, on the issue of dealing with the communists, I think that it would be better if Duterte implement his proposals to liberalize the economy and establish a Philippine federalist system. That would serve as the basis for a long-term plan to create jobs and promote competition, which would lower prices and provide better services.
Such a successful economy would crowd out the communists without appeasement or bloodshed. Offering them cabinet posts reminds me of Pres. Obama appointing Van Jones (member of the Communist Party) as “Green Czar.”
In terms of a little socialism in RP, I think that at least on a subsistence level as food and medical services, it is reasonable for the destitute. I also appreciate Duterte’s proposal to improve internet services:
Joseph Hinds You might be right about the communists, but Van Jones and his friends weren’t killing people on a regular basis so there is a considerable distinction between the two examples. An improving economy will help without a doubt, but it will take a while for that to reach fruition, so perhaps we can look at this as a stop-gap measure to quell the violence in the short term.
Jose Camano Paul Farol What’s wrong with you Farol? Who says that a journalist was silenced because he was a crook, or because he was crusading? Everytime Duterte silences small time “violator” of the law, he would claim the victim was a drug pusher or snatcher. Obviously u just have to believe Duterte’s word for it. Without a process, nobody knows that the victim was a real criminal or just someone whose face Duterte doesn’t like.
Thing is, I’ve met a lot of hao shao/acdc journos and I know their MOs. I also know of at least two who were involved in shady deals that were later assassinated by people they double crossed.
We can’t paint people angels and devils, it’s a much more complex situation that someone, from the outside, can comprehend.
Paul Farol And yes, I am interested to know of the cases where Digong had a reporter killed based on false accusations of being a druggie or drug dealer. If there is any evidence, I would gladly confront him with it.
I never liked Duterte, btw. In fact I gave him a good bashing all through out the campaign period and even before that.
Marcial Bonifacio Perci, to be fair to Duterte, he clarified that he was referring to the corrupt journalists who accepted bribes, only to later oppose the ones who gave them money. He does not advocate the murders, but he says they are to be expected from basically double crossing the ones paying the bribes.
Marcial Bonifacio However, his catcalling to the journalist Mariz Umali was certainly inappropriate and perhaps illegal. According to Davao City Ordinance No. 5004 (which he signed), whistling can be construed as sexual harassment.
Jeffry Dy Is catcalling again an issue jeez get real this bs had been there the whole time and in the Us i believe its legal whether this is legal or not this nonsense reporting has to move on and get on the real objectives at hand like whats in store for digong since many are still doubting him for being pro china and such and Can we be venezuela(again)on his federal form of gov as what bashers still installing in our minds???Well find out and also i may suggest to have all of transpo and public hubs free wifi to have convience of passengers and also for communication and I may say he had the guts to do so and i believe this has to end on this alleged pro commie since i voted for him and has the same accomplishments of what dick did in Subic.
Marcial Bonifacio Jeffry, I agree that the issues you raised are important, but if Duterte will not follow his own ordinance (which is fairly simple), how can we trust that he will respect and follow more serious laws? There is even talk of a potential Duterte dictatorship:
Jeffry Dy I don’t think so plus he’s Pro left therefore as such he may not be a patientlike dick does but he’s definitely a pro poor and he addresses his laws at hand since many are still criticized him again on this bs bias on media freedom and a former prosecutor(not a radical left)
Jeffry Dy also he joined edsa 1 right?if he’s pro makoy then he wouln’t rallied this dictatorship had it for so long it had to be arrested for having allies w npa which aquinos are also sided on and I’m just balanced on this matter so far only some unknown politicians and a card leaning leftist are in the gov so we can no longer see them rallying in the streets anymore since every presidents have a sona every year
Marcial Bonifacio Jeffry, I’m willing to give Duterte a chance. However, his leftist background and apparent coddling of communists makes me very suspicious. Also, I don’t consider policies which keep our kababayans dependent on government handouts “pro-poor”, unless you mean keeping them permanently poor. On the other hand, Sen. Gordon stresses job opportunities, which will raise people out of poverty. What can be more “pro-poor” than that?
Marcial Bonifacio On the issue of Duterte joining EDSA 1, perhaps he opposed the Marcos dictatorship because it did not conform to his own political ideology. After all, Pres. Marcos vehemently opposed the communists. Some even argue that he was the reason for the swelling of the NPA.
Also, many argue that the Marcos oligarchy was simply replaced with the Cory Aquino oligarchy. Therefore, Duterte’s participation in the first People Power Revolution doesn’t necessarily mean he opposes dictatorship; it only proves he opposed the Marcos dictatorship.
Duterte admitted he’s leftist but never been part of the Communist Party or rebel, and certainly don’t belong to NPA, NDF, etc. even if he has befriended them (Singson)Duterte also think solution to our insurgency problems (Communist or Moro) is largely political and not military or use of arms – 47 years of conflict with gunbattles proved that.
Communist/Moro arms struggles occurs when there’s a Very Big gap between RICH and POOR due to corruption and exploitation by the oligarch of the common Filipino – with only the rich getting richer while the poor gets poorer.
North Korea is the only remaining communist country.
Yes he values the lessons learned from former communist and socialist countries. But it doesn’t mean he will adopt a communist government.
Marcial Bonifacio On the issue of India’s growing population, the country is becoming increasingly prosperous. According to Forbes:
India is the world’s 4th largest IT start-up hub with more than 3,100 tech startups in the past year alone. It ranks second in worldwide food production. Its auto industry churns outs 22 million cars a year, making it one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers. It boasts a $600 billion retail market and is one of the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets.
RP is abundant in natural resources and an educated, English-speaking workforce. What it lacks are job opportunities and sufficient foreign direct investment. If Gordon were in Duterte’s presidential position, he would do precisely what he did in Subic Bay, which was all lawful and constitutional. He would also lift trade restrictions similar to India.
Jeffry Dy so by contrast du30 hasn’t have any clue on how to regulate trade restrictions and I had an Indian friend on fb who is critical of moodi because most of India’s tech he said was defective and also his Us trips as well http://www.dailyo.in/…/bjp-modi…/story/1/7763.html What i said was pro-poor because the poor themselves getting opportunities to see how he can handle things when he accomplished in Davao and many voted on him because of that even the tulfo bros the respectable tough talking journalist in media believes on his accomplishments too.Well I respect your opinion on not giving him a chance on this and thanks for having exchange of ideas in regards to du30 leadership you have yours i have my side and as such you make things balanced and constructive.