• Beyond bad words, or Deserving Duterte redux

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    IF I did not have concepts of human rights and violations, abuse and killings, in the back of my head, and I watched Rodrigo Duterte for the first time on November 30, I would think it refreshing how this man did his proclamation speech.

    It was all extemporaneous – even seemed to lack an outline really – and was without any of the motherhood statements and clichés that we’ve heard from the slew of presidential wanna-bes we’ve been faced with thus far.

    The speech was real and honest. Speaking like no other candidate before him, speaking of everything from his womanizing to his killings, revealing how he would converse with people on a regular basis, and cussing and cursing ‘til kingdom come.

    We keep complaining about spin, and how we don’t get a sense of who these candidates really are. And now faced with someone like Duterte, we don’t know what to do either.

    Issues first
    But maybe we start by deciding to listen, beyond the putanginas that were in that speech, and beyond the offense we might have taken against his rhetoric.

    Because for one thing, this proclamation speech spoke about the more important issues of nation more than any other proclamation across Grace Poe, Mar Roxas, and Jejomar Binay. Instead of talking about a platform of government that we all know does not work, i.e., Roxas’s matuwid na daan, and a proclamation that just sounded too good to be true and devoid of real concrete plans, i.e., Poe, and one that was pegged to Makati City that is, of course, already equated with corruption and dynasty allegations making it more difficult to believe, i.e., Binay, Duterte delivered a plan for the nation that to him would mean not being a part of the “exercise in inutility” that is the presidencies of the recent past.

    Beyond the cursing, Duterte actually spoke about solving the crisis of Mindanao, and that of the West Philippine Sea. He talked about the problems with the Pinoy Catholic Church and the need for family planning to solve over-population. He talked about the systemic problem of corruption in government. He talked about criminality and drugs as enemies, and the need to reclaim the streets for our citizens, especially our women.

    Ultimately he spoke about more issues, and spoke more concretely about what would happen once he is President than any of the other three presidential candidates. He also spoke with a very clear sense of history, and what exactly is happening on the ground, and how the more dominant, Manila-centric stand that we are all manipulated into believing, just does not – cannot – apply to the rest of the country. Especially not to Mindanao.

    He spoke about our history as a subjugated people, about colonialism and oppression, and it became clear in the course of the speech that it is continued subjugation that he is putting into question, and it is the struggle against it that he stands for.

    “Alam mo we were subjugated for 400 years, repressed, at tiniis natin ‘yun mga Pilipino. Then we were given to the Americans by the Treaty Of Paris when Spain lost the American-Spanish War. And we had another set of rulers. Masakit ‘yan. Masakit ‘yan. Maybe the younger generation might not have really felt the dimensions of being a subjugated people.”

    Mindanao, BBL, federalism
    Duterte gave a rundown of Philippine history and the Muslim question and provided a very clear sense of what it is that’s wrong with the Bangsamoro Basic Law and how it cannot succeed.

    “When the draft of the proposed BBL law was distributed in Mindanao… and I read it… sinabi ko sa sarili ko: hindi ito lulusot. Aside from the intrusions to the Constitution given the bigotry and idiosycracies of some people outside of Mindanao – the usual characterization of the Moro – huramentado, mainit ang ulo, palaaway, madumi – these are the bigotry [and]prejudice nila sa Moro.

    “So when I read the BBL, hindi talaga lulusot ‘to. And until now, if ever, if at all, it will be a watered down version of what is signed by the MILF and government. We have had several wars in Mindanao. Kung hindi tayo nagkakaintindihan, then Mindanao becomes the battleground.

    “You know ‘yung BBL takes care of the Moro sa Mindanao island. Now I give you a visual of what it is all about. If you look at the map of the Philippines. Yung right side is the East, your left is the West, papuntang Palawan doon sa Spratleys. Itong mga Maguindanao, Maranaw, Iranon, sub-tribes nila diyan, tapos ang Sama of Davao City, isang ano ito, Moro nation. Yung sa Westward, Zamboanga archipelago going down to Basilan and Jolo, yung mga Tausug, mga Yakan, yung mga sea gypsies, ibang grupo rin ‘yon. And they cannot mix. And we tried it before.”

    He then went on to talk about Nur Misuari, and how he continues to have an ace in the Tripoli Agreement which cannot be dismissed and ignored. He talked about the steoretypes against the Moro, the American handbooks on guns that talked about how the .45 calibre guns and bullets made specially for killing the Moros of Mindanao. He talked about how the Moros of Mindanao refused to work for the Americans, which kept the Americans from using the ancestral lands of Mindanao.

    “I’m just telling you the historical hurt,” Duterte said. Which of course could also only lead to PDP-Laban’s push for federalism, which now also makes more sense to me, not that I agree with it.

    Beyond the cursing
    In fact listening to Duterte beyond the cursing, he was actually making sense. He does not promise transparency, he talks about how he will rid government of corruption, how he will stop the enterprise of long processes that allow too many employees to get extra fees. Instead of promising no more corrupt officials, he promises to change the system that cradles corruption. He does not promise a better life, but promises one where we can all walk the streets, and no woman will be harassed in the big bad world.

    He is the only presidential candidate who has talked about America’s meddling in our affairs, especially in the way that we have insisted on multilateral talks with China instead of bilateral talks. “‘Yang South China Sea, we cannot go to war. I’d rather talk to them. Gusto kase ng Amerikano, pati itong Pilipino, multilateral. Eh the Chinese have been insisting on bilateral talks. And if it could mean peace, bakit marami pang drama. Sige tayong dalawa ang magusap.”

    He insists that Scarborough Shoal is our economic zone, and demands of China that they leave our fishermen alone.

    Of course, he also admits to having two families, and to loving four women. He admits to having P6 million pesos in savings, some from his father and the rest from his own savings as public official.

    He admits to killing kidnappers three months into being mayor of Davao City, “Pumorma pa ‘ko talaga, ‘yung parang Fernando Poe,” he said. “Tapos kinarga ko sila doon sa kotse nila. Binuksan ko ‘yung tangke. Sinunog ko. To show my brutality.”

    “Lahat tayo we have our dark side. We have our good deeds. But do not ever ever think that you monopolize evil in this country. Kung anong kaya mong gawin, kaya ko 10 times over. Kung kaya mong kainin yang tao sa harap ko, I can slash open your body and eat your heart in front of you. Kapital ko lang asin. Kakainin ko talaga ang bituka mo.”

    Yeah, we ask for honesty. Sometimes we get what we wish for.

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    16 Comments

    1. The statement here that said: “Mayor Duterte’s run for the presidency is also finished” is unrealistic. If I know, #Duterte is using all he got to make himself exposed in the media for free and here it goes.

      Roman Catholic in the Philippines don’t have a solid vote, unlike Iglesia ni Cristo and Jesus is Lord Movement who has a bloc voting capacity. JLM and INC are supporters to Duterte lol. I still remember the RC church constantly announce not to vote for Flavier because of his contraceptives initiative when he was the Sec of DOH, but yet he won as Senator (RIP for him).

      Duterte’s accomplishment in Davao is crystal clear. Duterte is the bearer of Federalism and most of the voting masses in Visayas and Mindanao prefered Federalism. Duterte is the only Presidential aspirant na paniniwalaan when it comes to crime busting and corruption.

      Lastly, Duterte’s supporters has a solid foundation and not affected with all intrigues or all sort of paninira from LP or supporters from Miriam and Binay…

    2. Scented Candle on

      He just shows the both side of him…there’s nothing wrong with it instead of concealing he tried to show both, how we do we know him if only one side is to be shown…My vote is for you Duterte Cayetano 2016 no matter what they say that is FINAL! Go go go :-)

    3. If Duterte is really tough as you say, why he did not engage the Ampatuans head on when they were starting showing abuses and arrogance in Davao City, like violating traffic laws (most common Ampatuan traffic violation is beating red light at intersection) and bringing of heavy firearms in the city. Instead Duterte befriended them like he befriended the NPA. He knows how to play it safe, that’s why he wont dare engage head on those that are as powerful as he is. There are a lot of questions that needed detailed answers from him, for example, how would he confront China in the west Phil. sea? What would he do to those illegal chinese fishermen caught in our ocean poaching endangered species? What would he do with the Iglesia ni Kristo? With the Catholic Church meddling in politics? How would he ease traffic at EDSA? Did somebody asked him of the worsening traffic in Davao City? Would he also impose speed limit to the entire Philippines patterned after Davao City, which means at EDSA, your speed limit will only be at max of 40 kph, and in national highways all over the country, it will be only be at max of 60 kph. Wouldnt it drag a tremendous slowdown to the economy? Media people, pls. ask the good mayor.

    4. Duterte(dodirty) made his own constitution. In his own words and admission, he killed thousand.

      Even criminals have the right to be heard their voice before the court. But duterte, no way.
      Second. We do not have capital punishment, but duterte has, put….ina, bakit wala, Ako,mayron..

      Madam Katrina with all due respect, I respect your opinion, but praising a killer man is praising the devil. If you believe in the Bible and if you are a Christian, don’t praise the devil but rebuke the devil and he will flee from us.

      Maliban lang kung love mo siya….!

    5. The first two commenters had misread the column. There’s a fine difference between endorsing or praising a candidate as a whole (here: Duterte himself) and saying that some of the things that he has said make sense, although not entirely (here: what Duterte has said).

      Stuart-Santiago is not valorizing nor praising Duterte. It’s just that she’s calling attention to how some of the things that he had said make sense and would make sense, regardless of who had said it.

      The meaning of the ending is clear, if one considers the beginning of the column. Stuart-Santiago is not praising Duterte’s honesty. She’s claiming that so many people have clamored for a candidate that’s honest and now that we have someone so forthright (to say the least) as Duterte, his honesty (which we thought before would be a virtue) turned out to be horrifying.

      To put it in very simple terms: now that we got we had wanted, do we still want what we had wished for?

    6. Another Manila Times writer who like Adaza has no intellectual honesty and is so scared to say Duterte does not deserve to be president of our republic.

      Nakakahiya, Manila Times!!!!

    7. QDecember 3, 2015 at 5:32 am
      Duterte looks and sounds like a megalomaniac killer boasting the murder in his own hands a number of criminals making himself a criminal for being a law enforcer, judge and executioner. Duterte appears like a mentally deranged obsessed leader who enjoys his city’s applauding citizen for his braggadocio, and behavioral abnormalities in treating lawbreakers in trying to be an iron-fisted Mayor in eliminating lawless elements. His cursing, cussing public speeches on issues not at all related to Presidential solutions of the nation’s educational, social , economic and corruption problems is becoming as a unbecoming presidential model behavior, not proper for a head of state. Duterte is just another “street-brawler” and organized crime mob leader who feast on liquidating and taking down criminal-suspects who had not been found guilty by the court of law, yet already sentenced to die by Duterte’s law of the jungle.
      Duterte is not a prudent and rational administrator of the economic, educational and social upliftment of the society he administer like Davao City. Then how can he be a prudent and judicious leader of the entire nation when he only excel and boast is his capacity for extra-judicial liquidation of suspected criminals.
      Duterte could be an effective President only in Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia where warring tribal factions kill each other to rule the other.
      Duterte either run as President in those countries or in Africa!
      I am aghast on your generosity of giving a space in your column which almost idolized him instead of warning th electorate of his unpresidentaible character and manners!

      • you’re not the only one with that response… and Duterte knows how much you and some others abhor his style. all he says to you is “DON’T VOTE FOR ME!.”

        at least he gave you an honest picture of who he is. who among the other presidential candidates can be that honest?

      • Whenever Duterte talks, you have 2 things to bear in mind. If he said it in jest to let people laugh, don’t take it seriously it is just a playful joke, his way of entertaining his audience. But it he said it with a sort of determination and will power, he really meant it, and this is his word that you have to watch and take seriously…However, it takes familiarity on Duterte’s style of speaking for one to determine which is which..In the audience during his proclamation,he joked and cussed. Those who laughed about his alleged cussing of the pope had already familiarity on Duterte’s style of speaking, those who seemed aghast need to know more..

    8. About the massacre ? Tough guy is scared by the gangsters like the ampatuans and also you the journalists.

      • at the time of the massacre attributed to the Ampatuans Duterte was a Mayor of Davao city – not the president of the Philippines. Is it his duty to do something about it?

        The Ampatuans have a high regard for Duterte and his city and they will never do anything that will arouse Duterte’s ire in Davao.

        please review your geography first before exposing your ignorance. peace.

      • uu nga noh?
        wlang ginawa si digong sa ampatuan massacre..
        wla rin nmang ginawa ang mayor ng ezperanza, tacurong, gensan, digos, cebu, taguig, valenzuela, etc..
        bat ang mga governors hndi mo na rin isali sa walang ginawa..
        haay naku..
        davao ay 200 plus kms sa sharif aguak.. sa tingin mo cya pa rin mayor dun.?

        for ur info, pag pumapasok ampatuan sa davao, deposit nila long arms nila sa chkpoint. ang side arms hndi pde ipa deposit, pag gun ban lng.. pag may nka lusot na long arms, edi nka lusot…
        ang side arms nila ay pra sa defense nila kasi nasa politika sila..

        regarding sa wang wang..
        sa lahat ng politika na nakita ko, si digong lng ang nkita ko na hndi nag wang2..
        sa nkita ko lng haah..