Digong Duterte’s dissonance


WHILE his public confession that he has killed at least 1,700 “criminals” has not landed Davao City’s “The Punisher” in jail, one wonders how he can expect Filipinos to follow the Constitution by his example, with his extra-constitutional deeds?

Although Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte is said to be a vocal advocate of reproductive health and gender-sensitivity issues, the unrepentant womanizer disrespects women, treating them as sex objects, such as those who would settle for a P1,500 monthly allowance for room rent in exchange for occasional sex.

I cannot understand how activist groups like Gabriela could consider him an ideal presidential candidate who could represent gender-sensitivity issues, given the marked dissonance in many things he does.

After months of indecision, Duterte changed his mind into joining the 2016 presidential race because, he said, he believes that the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) ruling dismissing the disqualification case against Senator Grace Poe is unconstitutional.

From his statements in media interviews, I don’t think Duterte fully understood that the SET’s 5-4 voting on the Grace Poe case was not about her presidential bid, but about keeping her senatorial seat.

Five of Poe’s colleagues in the SET voted to allow her to keep her Senate seat, a position she can reclaim if she loses in her presidential bid. That is, if she manages to get a reversal of the decisions of two divisions of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to cancel her certificate of candidacy (CoC) for President.

The central issue in the SET case was her citizenship. Five senators voted in favor of her being a natural-born Filipino while the three Supreme Court justices and an opposition senator believed otherwise.

At the Comelec, the focal issue was her residency. She failed to meet the minimum 10-year residency requirement under the Constitution.

For Duterte, Grace Poe is an American – as simple as that. Being an American citizen, she is not qualified to be Philippine president. He said in one interview that he did not compute the number of years of her residency.

If Duterte believes that allowing Grace Poe to run for President is unconstitutional, where in the Constitution can he find a provision allowing him to kill criminals without due process? What provision gave him the idea that it is all right to keep more than one wife and several girlfriends?

The tone and language Duterte uses when he speaks make for good sound bites for media’s consumption. But we have yet to hear him speak at length and in substance about his platform of governance.

“I really hate crime. The only way to fight crime is to be a criminal,” he said before a cheering crowd of supporters a few days ago. “The reason people want me to run is because of what I did in Davao City. This much I can say. Crime has to go. Drugs must be stopped at all cost.” But how would he do it?

Aside from getting rid of crime and drugs, Duterte promised, too, that he would eliminate corruption in government, fix the bureaucracy and dissolve paramilitary units. How?

Would he kill the so-called big fish facing massive corruption charges for allegedly pocketing hundreds of millions of pesos in pork barrel funds? Would the long investigation and litigation processes at the Office of the Ombudsman, the Sandiganbayan and the courts be a thing of the past because criminals would just be killed?

I agree that the wheels of justice in the Philippines are grinding exceedingly slow. A simple libel case filed against me many years ago took almost 12 years to be decided. In that case, I was the only one accused because my two bosses had died while the case was in court. The prosecution presented only four witnesses on the defense side.

Given that pace, how long would cases like the 2009 Maguindanao massacre take, with 58 victims, 69 suspects, more than 150 witnesses and thousands of pieces of evidence?

Duterte also vowed to push amendments to the Constitution to allow a change in the form of government to a federal system. How would he make it work given that most of the country’s 81 provinces are controlled by political families?

The November 26-28 Duterte-commissioned survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showing the tough-talking mayor of Davao City leading the pack of presidential aspirants should make other contenders realize what people see in Duterte that they don’t have, instead of dismissing the result as biased.

It has become obvious that Duterte has managed to titillate the curiosity of the people who have been seeking radical changes in politics from the traditional way of showing only the good, sometimes exaggerated, traits of candidates.

Duterte comes across as a fearless, honest, frank and determined leader who delivers. He is amusing, but not when he cursed the revered Pope Francis over traffic congestion during his Manila visit last January. But people who were initially dismayed would easily forget that, and probably take a second look at him as a better alternative to the trapos.

It is expected that the Catholic Church would frown at Duterte’s popularity as a presidential candidate, and may even campaign against him. As Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said: “Vulgarity is corruption. When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people.”

But first things first: Duterte has to hurdle the disqualification case before the Comelec. Will the Comelec allow him to substitute for a candidate who had withdrawn from the race before he could be declared a nuisance and who erroneously filed his CoC as mayor of Pasay City?

If Duterte questions the constitutionality of allowing Grace Poe to keep her Senate seat, as the SET had decided, how will he justify his actions that obviously defy constitutional provisions on the bill of rights and respect for human rights?

Duterte said he would change the Constitution, abolish Congress, and give more powers to the military and police. These are easier said than done. Perhaps that is why he said in another interview that a six-year term is not enough for a president to resolve all the problems of the Philippines, especially those issues pertaining to informal settlers.

“You must elect a President for at least 12 years. Six years is nothing… We should choose a President and he can plan and he can borrow [money]without losing it to graft and spend it for the correct purpose,” he said in an interview with radio dzMM.

Oh, isn’t that kinda scary? What would the Philippines be like with a Rodrigo Duterte as President and Bongbong Marcos as vice president?


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  1. Ang tanong kulang sa nagsulat..how can you solve the present situations (crimes, corruptions, drugs etc..)?.

    • Raul F. Borjal on

      How to solve?:

      1. Crimes – Criminality is often an offshoot of poverty. Only by giving people full employment that criminality will be minimized (not completely eradicated because it is an impossibility). But full economic development takes time. No one President can do it in 6 years. It will take “continuity”, building on the achievements of each and every President over decades.

      2. Corruption – We are talking here of big-time corruption. Vote only people with integrity into public office, people like PNoy. Here, the voters have the greatest responsubility. Again, it will take time to prosecute corrupt officials. It will be the job of each and every President. No one President can eliminate corruption all by himself.

      3. Drugs – If there are no users, there will be no pushers. Unless people stopped using illegal drugs, it will be a continuous fight against the drug menace. No President can stop the use of illegal drugs. Only the people can decide to stop using illegal drugs.

      So, stop looking for a magician for a President.

  2. Mabuti pang pumili ng presidente na katulad ni duterte na mayron nang ipinakita kaysa mga taong akalain mong santo pero yun pala mga demonyo at masahol pa ang ginagawa… sabi nga nila ang iyung kalinisan ay makikita mo sa ginawa mo sa kapwa… buti pa si duterte bati bahay ibinigay sa may sakit na may kanser? kayong mga bumatikos.. ano ginawa ninyo.. mayron nga rin bibliya pa nag ginamit na basihan nag tanong ginawa nyo ba yan sa inyong kapwa… o ginawa ring puhunan nawala na ang pakikipagkapwa… nagtaatnong lang?. mahiya kayo sana…Lord patawad…

  3. Panay kayabangan ang pinagsasabi ni Duterte. Wala namang magkagustong babae sa kanya kung hindi gagamitan ng pera, baril, position sa gobyerno, at pananakot. Sa 1700 na animoy pinatay niya, wala pa siyang sinabi na may pinatay siyang mataas ang tungkulin at mayaman. Kaya lang ni Duterte na patayin ang mga mahihirap, pero bigyan mo ng baril ang mga mahihirap at lalabanan nila ang mayabang na yan. Duterte is a graduate of San Beda but it is unfortunate for San Beda to have a graduate like him who cannot even speak straight English. Duterte has a hard time expressing himself except expletive words. Dapat lagyan nga ng sakit na kanser ang lalamunan niya para matuto. Ibasura ang suporta sa bastos na pamilyang Duterte.

    • Kaya ba patayin ni Duterte sila Enrile, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Napoles, Gloria Arroyo na nasa piitan (exept amoy lupa Enrile na pinalabas ng Supreme Court dahil nagtatae sa kulungan)..at iba pa na mga corrupt at mga criminals? Kung mapapatay nya kahit si Enrile muna, at isunod nya sila Imelda at Bongbong Marcos na mga criminal din nong panahon ng Diktador, then masusubukan talaga ang bunganga nya…kahit phanggang tohod ang dila nya…masyado mayabang si Duterte na isang Criminal din…

  4. in my opinion, people do not want Duterte, but our present politicians who care more of themselves than the poor, politicians who promised eradicate corruptions but failed miserably are the ones pushed the people to like him. No one among the presidential aspirants can take the people’s miserable decision of putting Duterte on power because for the most of the Filipinos it is better to have him a true wolf, than giving a chance of the same politicians who are wolves on the sheep’s clothing.

  5. Only criminals, drug lords n dealers, corrupt officials, yellow group, and this administration ang takot ni duterte. Bakit Tita, may itinatago ka ba or paid barker of this admin kaya takot ka ky duterte. We want change, descipline, and live peacefully after all, ang ini eliminate ay mga crimnal na tao. kung may pinatay ang mga criminal or ang inefficiency/graft n corruption ng admin ni pinoy, did you condemn it in your column. We support duterte for president for change and peaceful and graft free philippines.

  6. Filipinos, you see what happen when there is no stopping of criminals in the streets. People will resort on voting a dictator like Duterte. What we need is more policemen in the streets. Policemen that are paid lots of salaries that they are afraid to lose their job. A judicial system that make decisions and not a prolong struggle in the courts. These two items must be address by the candidates than a dirty Harry in our streets.

  7. when he said he killed 1700, that was just a sarcastic remark aimed at the CHR , who ever since de lima and rosales was chair has not or could not file a single case against duterte..

  8. Mukhang bahagi ng CAMPAIGN STRATEGY ni DUTERTE ang pagiging BARUMBADO, pagiging BERDUGO, may sayad, sira-ulo, MANYAKIS at engot …

  9. Ang paniwala ni DUTERTE at kanyang SPIN, “gustong-gusto raw ng mga botante ang isang Presidenteng malapit ng dalhin sa mental hospital, sa MANDALUYONG (sa loob) at taong malapit ng ma-REHAB..”

    sa kanilang STUDY, “natutuwa at enjoy raw ang mahigit 20.0 million botanteng Pinoy sa KALOKOHAN at KABALIWAN” ni DUTERTE…………buguk…trahedya..

  10. It’s better to have a president like Duterte than have a president who will tell promises that they will never fulfill just to get the people’s votes…

    Ask PNoy to make true to his word na magpapasagasa sya sa tren if hindi matapos ang MRT/LRT.. then I will vote for Roxas..

  11. Now a days the leftist are aligning themselves with traitors and human rights violators gone is the real makabayan group.For today’s group of the latest makabayan group is as if your joining the mafia a band of undesirable citizens.

  12. I guess enough with the yellow… What happen after EDSA??? Did the yellow solve the problem of corruption ?? It’s worst giving our congressman and senators too much budget and keeping more in their pockets because of the yellow 1987 constitution.. Enough is enough with yellow ….DUTERTE and MARCOS 2016

  13. Hi Tita, you have to revalidate and update almost all your information.

    First, it was his life before and not anymore this time…. It was his story during those times when he was “sexually active”, can you condemn a man who did that? At least he never “rape” anybody and that was the will of both parties. Speaking of Womanizing, you must write an ARTICLE too whom we considered filipinos and a hero in the person of DR. JOSE RIZAL who surpass duterte in terms of womanizing. I love to hear to your story and we will see if what story we can get from RIZAL, a national hero?

    Second: you said: From his statements in media interviews, I don’t think Duterte fully understood that the SET’s 5-4 voting on the Grace Poe case was not about her presidential bid, but about keeping her senatorial seat..

    Unless you are “lawyer” nor “prosecutor”, you must understand the lines. It was not the issue of presidency but the “constitution” his pointing. You must continue the whole speech, explanation is just right there.

    Third: if Duterte believes that allowing Grace Poe to run for President is unconstitutional, where in the Constitution can he find a provision allowing him to kill criminals without due process?

    If you are not BIAS in your assessment, hearing his ADMISSION OF KILLING is constitutional.. if you disagree with me, consult your LAWYER, you are talking to A PROSECUTOR! There is DUE PROCESS and justificaiton of killing because they did not surrender, armed and resistance to the authority. Review criminal law and LGU – PNP function. (RA6975 Sec. 51. Read Criminal Code of the phlippines Chapter 1,Sec 12,13,14…)

    I see your STATEMENT LOTs OF “HOW’s” HE will give solution to country’s problem. I must point you to DAVAO city, who was his PRODUCT of good governance, a law abiding citizen, a child/women friendly city in the country, the most livable city in asia. and more….

    update your info. you must be wash brain of the so called “political agenda”.

    • You are right. you got a point. One thing i noticed with our writers nowadays, they are bias. I guess they haven’t been to Davao City. The residents could say, they are happy and thankful for what Davao City. I studied in Davao City in 1993, I have seen how Davao City drastically changed into a best place to live. I have been living most of life abroad and I went home every 3 months to monitor my business in Davao City. Every time I went home, I have seen new developments and people live safe and secure.

      Its time to change. Try something different, like Singapore. We know how it starts and what they have achieved. A little of discipline and sacrifice makes a difference.

      By the way, Davao City has one of the best water, like New Zealand. They preserve their water source diligently. Its like a virgin forest that never been touched.

    • Mario Gomez .Jr. on

      Daig pa ni duterte sna Binay at Marcos o sino man naging presidente ng Pilipinas.Si Binay at Marcos ay nagnakaw ng pera ng pilipinas pero maka kristiano sila dhil takot sila at naniniwala sa Diyos.Samantalang si Duterte ay isang bastos,babaero, lasinggero,mamamatay tao at hndi naniniwala sa Diyos.Ang pagiging babaero ay isa sa 10 commandments, “thou shall not commit adultery At ang pumatay ay nsa 10 commandments din,”thou shall not kill” Paano ntin gagawin isang presidente ang isang tao na sumusuway sa 2 sa 10 utos ng Diyos.At ang pagpatay ay kasalanan na walang katapatawaran.Dhil sabi nga ay khit anong gawin pagsisisi ay hindi mo na mabalik ang buhay ng tao.Sana ang mga pilipino ay mag isip ng mabuti at ilagay ang isang Presidente ng Pilipinas na sya ang maging magandang ehemplo sa lahat ng mga pilipino at yun may pananalig sa Diyos dahil ganyan tayong mga pilipino.

  14. william wallace on

    “The tone and language Duterte uses when he speaks make for good sound bites for media’s consumption. But we have yet to hear him speak at length and in substance about his platform of governance.” ……. Of course, because that’s what the media is showing. As early as June he has already been talking about specific plans. You just refused to watch, How many times have we seen already when he turned serious in speeches and explained his SPECIFIC platforms. You are biased and hilarious. Did you watch “Ikaw na ba?” with Karen Davila and co.? Didn’t he “speak at length and in substance about his platform of governance.”… most of the time only to be interrupted by the interviewers’ idiotic questions and comments. Its either you only pick on his cusses during his speeches, or you don’t know what youtube.com is or you don’t have a TV at home. This is the stupidest article I have read this week.

  15. Tita,
    Your opinion is not appealing to me—it’s not scary to vote for people who have proven their work like Duterte.Unlike Poe , her job performance will still be written –maybe poor or not.As for Mar Roxas, it’s been written , Failed and as for Binay..it’s capital “C” for Corruption..your fear is unfounded because you said you’re scared..I am scared too if the gov’t of incompetence , corruption, criminality will prosper.Two of my friends,;law abiding citizens died in the hands of criminals still out in the streets. If you will become a victim of criminals, you will not be scared to vote for Duterte because he protected Davao citizens from being killed and have a sense of peace and 911 rescue operations , similar with Canada and US..you want that??? and traffic too and improvement of our regions in Phils will develop…these should not scare you but motivate you to vote for the right person for progress –only the bad crooks should be scared…

    • E kung baliktarin natin.Kung halimbawa ay kapatid mo o anak mo ang pinatay ni duterte dhil sa drugs.Ano ang maramdaman mo.Pinatay na hndi man lng nabigyan ng pagkakataon sa korte na due process.Bakit ang kapatid mo ba o yun anak mo na drug pusher ay wala ng pag asang magbago?Dapat ang gawin ni Duterte ay ipakulong nya lhat ng nga drug pusher at druglords at yun mga corrupt na opisyal pero hndi nya dapat patayin.Maging kamay na bakal sya ng pagsunod sa pagpapatupad ng batas.Pero hndi sa pagpatay na kapwa nya pilipino.

  16. Did you ask what the country will be like if Cory, GMA and Boy Sayad were at the helm of government? If you did, you now know the answer: these three transformed the government into the biggest criminal syndicate in the world. If Duterte and Bongbong will violate the human rights of all lawbreakers why shouldn’t they be regarded as heroes? Only the lawbreakers especially of the yellow stripe fear Duterte and Bongbong, and Miriam.

    • This writer didn’t mention how congress was like these days.

      After the ouster of Pres.Marcos.. congress was the biggest source of corruption.. kaya hindi na makarating sa tao ang basic services..