A few months ago, everyone was posting twits and Facebook statuses wishing Rody Duterte would run for president. Despite people’s knowledge of how ‘strict’ he could be as a leader, majority still felt that this was what the Philippines needed. However, it seems as the tides have turned these past few days. After Duterte announced his candidacy, people got to know him a little bit more. He admitted to being a womanizer and somewhat cursed the pope during his interviews – actions which his former supporters refuse to accept.
However, one girl by the name of Bernice Pinol still continues to support her future president. Below, she lists 10 very intelligent reasons why she thinks Duterte should still win next year’s elections. Read her post below:
Why My Heart and Head Choose Rody Duterte by Bernice Pinol
Here comes the Duterte post some of you have been nagging me about. It took me over a month to move on from being #Dutertezoned that’s why I have been so quiet amidst the loud flooding of my newsfeed about the issue. Apparently, I needed that time to really think about what I was passionately advancing. Is supporting Duterte only a blind allegiance? A youthful idealism perhaps? I believe it is something that transcends both. It really is such a wonder why the millions who have been heartbroken last October 16 are still willing to give the Mayor a second chance in spite of the nauseating ride that was Duterteserye. What could be the reasons why up to now the support for a Duterte Presidency has not wavered? I have listed some of mine…
1. HE HAS A TRACK RECORD OF DELIVERING. When in doubt about Duterte, fly to Davao City. There you will see what an ideal local government looks like. Davao City is not only one of the most competitive LGUs in the country but is also one of the safest cities in the world. The peace and order enjoyed by Davaoeños is mainly attributed to the massive police visibility and the efficiency of its security system. Davao City has over 1,300 CCTV cameras that are powerful enough to zoom down to show a car’s plate number. It runs 24/7. You can also dial 911 at any time and you will be speedily attended to. I’m sure you have already heard about how disciplined the people in Davao are, the countless of local and international recognitions that its Local Government received and the public services enjoyed by the people for the past 20 years of Duterte leadership. It’s something that should be envied by the rest of the nation and speaks volumes of the kind of public servant Duterte is.
2. FEDERALISM IS THE BEST WAY TO GO. Whether we like it or not, there is something inherently problematic with the current system we have in status quo. This is a very long discussion worthy of a blog of its own, so I won’t talk about it as much here. Suffice it to say that it’s high time to switch to Federalism and a presidential candidate who passionately advocates this has my full support.
3. UNTAINTED BY CORRUPTION. Davao is recognized for being the most transparent LGU in the country. This is because it has always been the priority of Duterte that public officers under his supervision who commit any form of corruption would be held accountable. This is also one of his main thrusts in the presidential race, to rid the country of corruption. His modest lifestyle is also a far-cry from that of say, Binay who has Php 300 million in savings. Duterte only has Php 4 million as savings, lives in a very simple house in Davao and is not beholden to any businessman or corporation. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a leader who is not lured by money and personal interest. Corruption is such an endemic menace with far-reaching consequences that it’s mainly the reason why our government is miserable and our people impoverished. We need to radically address it by choosing a president who does not have a hint of corruption like Digong.
4. HOPE FOR THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR. One of Duterte’s main advocacies is the improvement of the Philippine agriculture. He proposes that the government should provide free irrigation services for the country’s rice farmers. “Agriculture does not only produce food but also creates jobs in the countryside. When there are jobs in the countryside, you decongest the urban centers and you also encourage the bright young Filipinos now working abroad away from their families to stay in the country.” He is for the greater government intervention in food production and the marketing of farmer’s produce outside the country. He believes that it is the government’s role to make food “available and affordable” for everyone.
5. DEATH PENALTY. This is a hotly debated issue and I respect those who are against it but we need the Death Penalty back in our country. I do believe in restorative justice but this should not be absolutely applied. Some are deserving of mercy, others are not. Even the Revised Penal Code is both restorative and punitive in nature. There are those who may be reformed but there will always be hardened criminals who will be incorrigible and deserving of the capital punishment. I am talking about those who commit heinous crimes like the rape of infants, acts of terrorism, kidnapping with homicide, drug pushing and the like. Blame it on the hundreds of criminal cases I have read in the past but I dare say that humans are naturally depraved and Filipinos need to fear the law again.
6. GENUINE CONCERN FOR THE OPPRESSED AND THE GOVERNMENT WORKERS. In his youth, Duterte is always one to fight for those who have been oppressed. At a time when a lot of government leaders were silent about the Lumad killings and abuses done to them, Duterte stepped in. He met with leaders of support groups that advocate the protection of indigenous communities from violence and protected the lumads from a lady solon who brought in military troops in her failed attempt to quell tribal dissent. Mayor Duterte also gives premium to the government employees who serve the country with very dismal pay. He says that the very first thing he will do as president is to drastically increase the salary of teachers, policemen and other government workers.
7. REBEL GROUPS LISTEN TO HIM. In 1988, Mayor Duterte was actually held hostage by the New People’s Army. From that time on to this day, he is very vocal about his belief that comprehensive talks with them should be continued in order to end the conflict. He is one of the very few leaders who have open communication lines with the MILF, MNLF and its many factions. This sets Duterte apart from other presidential hopefuls in that he does not condone rebellious or communist activities but also has the ability to negotiate with them and be listened to.
8. ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION ARE JUST THAT, ALLEGATIONS. This is what my law student friends persecute me for: the extrajudicial killings linked to Duterte. Although I do believe that death as a penalty for heinous crimes is just, I also believe that the killing be done within the confines of law. So yes, extrajudicial killing is wrong in all levels. And I will not justify nor defend someone who commits them. However, to say that Digong is violating due process in these extrajudicial killings is also tantamount to depriving him of the same. Duterte deserves due process too with regard to this issue. Isn’t it basic to the study of the Constitution that there is a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven? He even challenged Sec. Leila De Lima to produce hard evidence to prosecute him for these human rights violations but to this day, not one has been presented. But assuming arguendo that DDS is Duterte, I believe that this vigilantism will not thrive in the national scale. We have too many human rights lawyers, too strong of a civil society and too many “writs” to readily quell these extrajudicial killings. But then I still stick to my previous stance: We cannot impute a crime to Digong until it has been proven in the court of law. If you think he is a human rights violator, then I encourage you to file a case against him.
9. MARTIAL LAW IS AN IMAGINED FEAR. Even though the tough-talking Mayor is constantly saying on national television and in broadsheets how he is going to throw dead bodies of criminals in the Manila Bay, this to me remains a scare tactic and not enough to accuse the man of being the next Marcos. Martial Law under Rody is highly unlikely because 1) he is not corrupt, 2) he is not greedy for power, and 3) he believes in freedom of the press and even allows activism in his City. In one interview, Digong acknowledges the wrongs of the Marcos regime and promises that the same abuse of power will never happen under his watch.
10. HE WILL BE THE FIRST PRESIDENT FROM MINDANAO. This is the part where it becomes emotional on my end because I am from Mindanao. Now that I’m back in my hometown after being away for ten years, I now see how Manila-centric our government is and how the previous administrations have forsaken the South. This has to change. I believe that Duterte’s full comprehension of the Mindanao struggle will enable him to provide a lasting solution to the peace struggle which has confounded the best scholars and negotiators from Manila (not that we don’t appreciate the efforts made but I believe Duterte will do better). Essentially what I’m trying to say is that it’s about time that Mindanao is placed on the national agenda. And also, it’s about time that the Philippines would experience a kind of leadership that Mindanao takes much pride in.
So there, ten reasons why I will be very busy campaigning for Duterte while reviewing for the bar, haha! Make no mistake about it though, Duterte is flawed and some of his imperfections can be disconcerting. I don’t like his ways around women, the incessant use of invectives, and his opinions about certain issues that run counter to my personal convictions. However, when we speak of Presidency, these things fade in the background. The pros of choosing Duterte far outweigh the cons. Out of all the candidates, Duterte has the most experience in public service, the best track record and the most genuine care for the Filipino people. While the others keep throwing motherhood statements about how to change the country, Digong has a very concrete plan of action.
No, Duterte is not the answer to everything. No, he is not the superhero we have all been panting for. Let us not engage in that kind of silliness. Go beyond the hype and the appeal of Mayor Duterte. Do your homework as a voter and actually study him. And then you will find that he truly is worthy of your faith and ardent support. Mayor Duterte will not disappoint.
I love how Bernice shares her points. However, we are still all entitled to our own opinions. So allow us to ask you, in line with what Bernice shared above, what are your thoughts on Duterte being our next president?