Do nice guys finish last?
Not Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, it would seem, if we were to believe an analyst from the United Arab Emirates and a few Facebook users.
According to Dr. Rex Venard Bacarra of the American College of Dubai, the only way for the trash-talking Duterte to lose in the 2106 presidential elections is for him to be disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over some issues about his certificate of candidacy (COC).
Bacarra explained in an email why, among other reasons, the chief executive of the world’s largest city is likely to succeed President Benigno Aquino 3rd next year as leader of one of the world’s densely populated countries.
Duterte’s “Dirty Harry” style of leadership, he said, challenges “the notion of leadership worthiness.”
“In fact, who he is or what he brings–a promise of iron-fisted discipline and a controversial view of justice–antagonizes the pious, but herein also lies his charisma. Unmincing in his words and unflinching in his decisions, Davao became his credibility,” Bacarra noted.
Duterte enjoys the reputation of having cleared and “cleaned” the southern city of illegal drugs and their traffickers, dealers and pushers, as well as other criminals.
He is also said to have the respect of the Philippine Left and vice versa, as evidenced by the mayor reportedly allowing this year thousands of Marxists and ordinary people to mourn the death of a “famous” New People’s Army commander in a very public parade in Davao City.
Bacarra clarified that “past achievements do not condone present actions but this is precisely what makes [Duterte] enigmatic.”
“People cannot help but be fascinated by his transparency no matter how crass, because he delivers. Quick to admit about his indiscretions, not afraid to criticize even the Church, and pursued by whispers of human-rights violations, he is still met by loud cheers and enjoys a high voting percentage,” the political analyst said.
Apparently, his supporters could not care less about Duterte’s perceived excesses.
“This is an example of Nietzsche’s Transvaluation of values in the study of culture, wherein people’s sense of morality become muddled and overturned, because present and collective needs demand it. Majority has become so desperate that what used to be considered immoral can now be considered necessary and must be implemented,” Bacarra said.
His fearless forecast: “Barring disqualification, he [Duterte], might just win.”
But if the mayor gets disqualified, Filipinos” might just have a President as a result of an afterthought–Mar Roxas.”
Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd , ex-Interior chief, was anointed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who had to pay back the former Cabinet member for “sacrificing” his own presidential ambitions in 2010.
Bacarra was “circumspect about [Roxas’] capability to transcend this present leadership. “In hindsight, this “daang matuwid” or “rightful path” has nothing behind it but verbal hubris. Considered by some to be [self-righteous], even.”
He described Philippine politics as “extremely moralistic.”
It is so “[i]n the sense that majority of Filipinos gauge the worthiness [read: capability to lead] of a candidate based on the ‘goodness and badness’ of his or her character. The success, or failure, is based on perception–whether this perception reflects the actual or all smokes and mirrors is not the point–and the candidates themselves knowingly play their cards.”
Aquino is aware of the perception game, according to Bacarra.
And so, he said, when the honeymoon with voters dissipated because he was exposed as an indecisive and insensitive President, he began harping on “daang matuwid” as the be-all of what is now shaping up as his uneventful residency (six years) in Malacañang.
Vice President Binay, according to Bacarra, is “hounded by this moralistic specter [that also pursues Aquino].”
“Perceived as the most corrupt among the presidential lot, he now trails behind other candidates. I doubt he’ll be able to recover from this perception; and, even if he does, he faces disqualification [because of]corruption issues, with mounting evidence that will put his family to shame; and, him, most probably, behind bars,” the political analyst said.
Before Duterte entered the picture, Bacarra said, Grace Poe had been the “favorite” to become President.”
“The seeming genuineness of her ideals seems to find [its]way to the people’s heart, but the decision of the [Comelec’s Second Division] to disqualify her on oft-repeated grounds is a reality so stark it is impossible to avoid.”
Poe faces three other disqualification cases at the Comelec over the same citizenship and residency issues that she sailed through in a case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.
On Facebook, Michael said he was gambling on Duterte, the “best option” among the presidential candidates.
“While Duterte has a lot of ‘open’ skeletons and by no means come[s]with a lot of baggage, I still firmly think and believe that he is the most capable and best option of all,” he said.
Roxas, Michael said, “is nothing but an inept official. He is very weak and cannot hold [his]own. As the Filipino saying goes, “under the saya [skirt]” of his mother and connected to [Aquino’s] umbilical cord. He’s not simply able to connect [with]the general mass[es].”
Contradicting himself, however, he also described “Roxas’ competency as “5 times [above]the level of [Poe’s].”
“Her [Poe’s] experience record has not given [out]anything substantial to [be worth putting]on the presidential table, and that is very alarming especially when dealing with…global terrorism,” Michael said.
Apparently, this Facebook user was unaware that no one among the presidential candidates has had “experience” with battling global terrorism.
Michael, though, shared Bacarra’s view that Binay is damaged goods.
The Vice President’s “obvious plundering is nothing short of abhorrent. It is repugnant, to say the least!” he said.
Michael dismissed Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, another presidential wannabe, whose “health will be a risk not worth taking.”
Santiago has cancer but she has been saying it is not an issue where her nationwide barnstorming is concerned.
Ed, another Facebok user, said Duterte is the man of the hour “[i]n a situation [where criminality]is at a high rate, ISIS [is attacking with impunity], [the Philippines is involved in a dispute with China in the [West Philippine Sea], drugs [proliferate]and more…”
The Davao mayor, he added, has the “malasakit” [concern]and the will to do [good]for the people.”
Verano and Felisa Gil, two other Facebook users, agreed with Ed.
“It is not for our own that we hope and want [Duterte] to clean this country [up]but for our children,” Verano said.
Gil said, “Since Aquino became President, there has been no rule of law in our country. Maybe, we need to shake up the people so that they become aware of [the]lack [of rule of law]. As vulgar as Duterte’s words are, he does give people hope that, at last, lawlessness will not be tolerated anymore. All the complaints [against him]just [happen]on Facebook. No protests [against Duterte has]ever materialized. Hopefully, he can awaken the people to be active once again [in helping make the rule of law a fact].”