Let me commence with a disclosure. I am an ageing Benedictine Brat—Elementary ’48; HS ’52—SBC/CSVP; AA ’54; AB/Law School dropout ’58. An irreverent San Beda boy. So is Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, (LLB ’72). We are fellow alumni. But I am not voting for him.
He lost me when he called the Pope a ‘sonofabitch’ and lied to justify it; when he declared he will honor the memory of the dictator Marcos; when he bragged “I will destroy the Church.” “….this religion is not so sacred.” Worse yet, in his “iron-clad discipline” (as media labels it) approach to Davao City’s peace and order, he personally executed helpless petty criminals already in his custody. He has publicly bragged about it. He has taken the law into his own hands. A hundred times. And he played God! A hundred times.
Let me interrupt myself and share with you what I believe apropos when speaking of an individual with an uncontrollable itch for violence and with unwashed blood on his hands. Uncle Kung (Fu Cius, that is) has a bon mot (that’s French for a clever witticism) for ‘Digong’ or for ‘Duts,’ whichever you prefer as the Punisher-Executioner-Presidentiable’s pet name. Let me paraphrase Uncle Kung:
“It is only when a mosquito lands on Duterte’s testicles, that will he learn how to deal with a problem without resorting to violence….” (unless he wishes to be remembered as psycho sado-masochist!)
A conscience-guided Christian upbringing cannot find sense and sobriety in abiding by an individual of questionable character and values with a megalomaniacal view of human rights. Would not rewarding him with the power and authority of the country’s Chief Magistracy be sheer insanity? But if much of vox populi, intelligently or unintelligently, summon Duterte and crown him, who are we to bitch!
Prevailing trends display very prominently that Duterte now enjoys a popularity polling surge placing him much ahead of all his rivals in the Presidential race. As surveys go, Duterte cannot be dismissed as a fluke. Make no mistake about it, his standing and his persona are real. And so are the numbers who believe that Duterte is the desired messiah of change. For now, let us accept that poll as gospel. Imagine a President Duterte looming large in our future. Should we then be scared? Be afraid, be very afraid?
READ: Duterte is top choice for president: SWS
ARE PINOYS ATTRACTED TO QUICK FIXES?
Is this knee-jerk reaction yet another manifestation of the Filipino attraction to and propensity for quick fixes and instant gratification? There is no doubt that it is a reflection of widespread frustration and anger at government’s inadequacies and failures, currently the urban railway system and street, vehicular and population congestion in Metro Manila, successfully stoked by continued vociferous naysaying, ill-wishing, faultfinding, crabbing, namecalling and unkind ad hominems.
The on-going mean spiritedness of the anti-Aquino geniuses obscures the reality that while a myriad of monumental errors of judgment have indeed impeded a more desirable pace of progress in the country, on balance, it will remain a fact that the economy and society will have fared much better by June 30, 2016 than it did six years earlier. You can take that to the bank. Need we recite the roster of high personages languishing in detention? How is that for starters in the fight against big time larceny in government?
Sobriety reigning, the ills and pain we all complain about and are heir to did not just begin to happen after June of 2010, nor did its symptoms appear only with the ascendancy or as a consequence of President Aquino. The malaise, the bumps, the widening income disparities, recurring poverty, infrastructure deficiencies, graft and corruption, miscarriages of justice, a deteriorated peace and order situation, boils, calluses and warts of Philippine society are all so deep-seated that one administration battling the odds can never be sufficient. A steady hand steering with consistency and continuity is existential requirement if the seeds already sown are to blossom.
The penchant for a quick fix and instant gratification evidently clouds the fact that the totality of our society’s malaise has long, long ago been spawned, mostly in tragic tandem with the evisceration of the nation’s moral fiber, by a dictatorship whose exemplar Duterte now wants to venerate as a hallmark of his proposed administration.
At least, the arduous, still error-prone “Daang Matuwid” accepts and espouses a long-term corrective gestation. That is serious contemplation with both feet on the ground. Sober. Avowedly, reform will take multi-terms of like-minded administrations of aspirational thrusts to accomplish its national goals. At least a generation and they have only just began! (Of the ravages wrought by Marcos, Ninoy would say: “Two generations ‘yan ‘padre!)
On the ‘outre’ extreme, the Dutertists are ‘high’ on immediate change by one man, a redeemer, within one term, a term of office about which even Duterte himself expressed doubt if he can finish. (He suffers both from Buerger’s disease and an undiagnosed esophageal deterioration.) Now, that is delusional, with heads up high beyond the clouds in la-la land!
(BTW, did Duterte not say that if he were to run for President, it would be to “save the Republic” or was it because he cannot accept to have an “American” as President of the Philippines when the Senate Electoral Tribunal declared ex-American Grace Poe qualified to run!)
SIMILAR SURGE: DONALD TRUMP
Meanwhile, across the Pacific pond in America a similar surge in popularity is being bestowed upon a similarly situated atrocious persona--Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Donald’s ululating adoring flock are peopled by ill-wishers, naysayers and haters who cannot see a morsel of good and beneficence in President Obama. Haven’t we noticed that the cheering squad of “Duts” call for augmentation upon the local perennially belly-aching malcontents--ill-wishers, naysayers and haters--who cannot see anything good and beneficent in poor PNoy. But that’s OK by me. If the pox doesn’t get them, karma surely will. Poooof! My hex just went out!
I propose that we just enjoy this joust of opinions thus elevating and enhancing the quality of our discourse. Leave the violence to Duterte. And a word of caring concern for the revered Pinoy diaspora, the quintessential Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), if you want the Motherland to be the laughing stock of the world, vote Duterte for President.
When disaster strikes, a President Duterte can always say: “I told you so!” So did I.
In ending today’s amusement, let me express my debt of gratitude to senior blogger Alan Robles (award-winning Raissa’s ‘hubby’) for discovering a new word and sharing it earlier, elsewhere. The word is now a contribution to the Pinoy blogging community’s erudition. Alan cited a word of Greek provenance that is relevant to Philippine political currency. Would it not be impressive to be able to refer to the leader of a country as one afflicted with a “coprolalia?” Alan did. It means obsessive/excessive use of obscene and filthy language. Compulsive profanity.
Perhaps it will not be Duterte’s announced self-imposed penalty that he will mete upon himself every time he speaks so foully that may finally re-educate the Mayor. This may just do it. You see, the Greek root word of ‘copro’ is “feces.” Human excrement. Imagine, a country’s President--celebrated for his habitual ‘oral defecation!’ Imagine, our President Duterte, a coprolaliac!
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(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog/opinion piece are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN.)
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.