“STRAIGHT talker” is a frequent description of President Rodrigo Duterte. He is very transparent and says what’s in his heart, greatly endearing him to his millions of followers.
But then, if he’s a straight talker, why should he make oblique reference to Hitler like his spokesman claimed? Why can’t he just say that he hated Hitler and to hell with those who are comparing that butcher to him who has nothing but good intentions for his countrymen? He can’t be a straight talker and talk obliquely at the same time.
Well, maybe the spokesman got it all wrong. Malacanang should have consultants from among Davao’s media veterans to properly interpret or explain the President’s utterances while hewing close to his image.
But of course, the whole brouhaha about Hitler wouldn’t have happened if only he wasn’t quoted out of context by Filipino correspondents of Reuters. Imagine, the President merely said that if Germany had Hitler, the Philippines has (pointing to himself), and they immediately wrote that he was apparently comparing himself to Hitler!
This comparison naturally raised the blood pressure and body temperature of the millions of rabid Duterte supporters. This implied that there’s a state-sanctioned Death Squad like the Black Shirts of Nazi Germany and brainwashed citizens like the Hitler Youth who would beat up and send to prison all critics of Hitler.
The supporters of the President are never like those barely human, totally unthinking Hitler fanatics. Sure, they support him whatever he says or does, but they had never gone beyond mouthing foul language against those who disagree with them. They’re not to blame if they bristled with anger at the uncalled-for comparison of the beloved President with Hitler. Some justifiably wished the writers of Reuters would be sent to the gas chamber.
Thankfully, while there has been a lot of uneducated bashing of the President on his alleged comparing himself to Hitler, there’s no condemnation of his statement that he would love to slaughter 3 million drug pushers and users to keep Philippine society crime-free in the future. Indeed, who but the hypocrites and bleeding hearts wouldn’t want to have a crime-free society? The Philippines is so fortunate to have a President with a will strong enough to slaughter criminals. While Hitler tried to exterminate mainly innocent persons, the President’s main targets are those who normally rob, rape and kill while pursuing their vice. If they’re so foolhardy as to resist arrest or to fight back even when they are already in custody, then they deserve to be shot to death by our brave policemen who are risking their lives to make society safer.
After drug addicts, what?
But, what happens after the targeting of those in drug trafficking is done? Will there be extermination of drunks, wife-beaters, noisy revelers and ill-disciplined drivers next? I remember the poem written by a German pastor, Martin Niemoller, criticizing the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the purging of their targets, group after group.
Niemoller, who spent the last years of Nazi rule in a concentration camp, wrote: “First, they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Ah, but the administration may stop after slaughtering 3 million drug users and pushers. The President has made his war against crime the cornerstone of his governance, such that his foreign policy is dictated by another country’s reaction to it. A country that denounces how this war is being carried out ceases to be a friend, regardless of how often it has helped us in the past. So, with criminals slaughtered, the others can rest easy.
Unfortunately, there are still the misguided elements in society, encouraged by what Duterte loyalists call “bias media,” who seem intent on seeing the President fail. Fortunately, there are millions of Duterte followers who can intelligently discern what’s true and what’s not. What’s better, they’re willing to give hell to bearers of lies. And, how do they know what’s true? Simple, anything that praises the reform agenda of the beloved President.
Here’s the truth!
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre recently asked rhetorically: “ How can anybody try to oust a President who’s supported by 97 percent of the population?”
Aguirre was giving credence to a survey of a TV5 program showing 97 percent of participating text messagers approved of the President. Is this figure true? If it is, then I challenge all of them to boycott the television stations and newspapers that they describe as “bias media.” A loss of readership or viewership by 97 percent will certainly validate the TV5 survey.
There’s justice in the media, after all because there are reports favorable to the President that are sending his supporters to paroxysms of ecstasy. One of these quotes North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un as praising President Duterte’s war against drugs. This report, posted on Facebook, was shared by ecstatic Duterte followers 25.2k in two days.
Like our very popular President, Kim was criticized for violating human rights. Like our President, the equally popular Kim ignored foreign interference in how he governs North Korea.
Another report that Duterte fans consider true because they shared it 2.6k times, quoted actress Angelina Jolie as saying a Duterte is needed to stop the drug menace in the United States.
Oh yes, a Malacanang mouthpiece said that another problem with local media is their inability to recognize that the President is merely being sarcastic. I hope the President will avoid sarcasm as often as possible. Few Filipinos recognize or appreciate sarcasm. I should know.