Duterte vote is the voice of angry Filipinos: national artist


Francisco Sionil Jose and Rodrigo Duterte

MANILA – National artist for literature Francisco Sionil José on Wednesday weighed in on the sudden rise of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the presidential race.

In a Facebook post titled "Why Duterte," José said the Duterte vote is the voice of Filipinos angered by ''corruption at all levels of our society'' and lack of inclusive growth.

''If Duterte wins the election, his victory will be brought about by millions of Filipinos fed up with corruption at all levels of our society, and frustrated that the gains of the Aquino administration do not translate into their improved welfare and safety. The Duterte vote is the voice of angry Filipinos,'' he said.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on the campaign trail. Handout photo

José said Duterte ''may hasten the implosion which is already in progress,'' if he is not sucked into the rotten patronage system or assassinated.

''Minus the verbosity, Duterte represents radical change. If he is not sucked into the rotten patronage system as most of our politicians are, or assassinated, he may hasten the implosion which is already in progress, evident in the Duterte phenomenon itself and in the discrediting of so many of our institutions, from the Supreme Court to our churches to Congress,'' he said.

Duterte vows to restart peace talks with the CPP-NPA if he wins. Handout photo

Jose said the support of the Armed Forces for Duterte's plans will be a key factor if he is to succeed as president.

''How he enforces change will determine his success. In which case he must have the total support of our Armed Forces, just as Magsaysay did, if he is to destroy corruption, dismantle the oligarchy and the provincial warlords, resolve the Communist and Moro rebellions, and strengthen the Philippines' position against China,'' he said.

''For all its weaknesses, the Armed Forces is organized and disciplined, and is composed of patriotic and principled Filipinos. They will die for our poor country yet are often little appreciated by the people themselves. I have seen from the many times I have spoken with them that our Armed Forces have learned from its martial law experience. They can halt the disintegration of this nation."