I could still remember the fallout from Manny Pacquiao’s calling members of the LGBT community who favor same-sex marriage “worse than animals.” Though he gave a half-hearted apology and Nike dumped him unceremoniously amid a backlash, the whole thing died down few weeks before his third fight with Timothy Bradley. And he looks poised to make it to the Senate even with his poor attendance record in the House of Representatives.
Nonetheless, the boxing world in general forgave Pacquiao and no prominent boxer even made a big deal of his anti-gay comments. Even Floyd Mayweather Jr., despite his leave-and-let-live comments on Pacquiao’s remarks, actually looked indifferent toward his fellow boxer’s anti-gay comments.
But Pacquiao’s incendiary “worse than animals” statement has been knocked out figuratively by the recent statement of Davao City Mayor and presidential candidate Rodrido Duterte that the mayor – he was obviously referring to himself – should have been first in raping a beautiful Australian missionary who was among those taken hostage in a prison in the city in August 1989.
So far the fallout from Duterte’s statement has been worse than what Pacquiao’s anti-gay remarks received. And this should not be a surprise because comparing the reputation of the presidential candidate and boxer is like comparing night and day, respectively.
Duterte’s incendiary remarks also demonstrates how the presidential campaign has also become an avenue for dishing out unsavory jokes, insulting, mud slinging, sloganeering and what have you, while remaining almost devoid of very intelligent discussion on how to solve the country’s gargantuan problems. Sorry, but saying criminality in the country can be solved in six months, and creating a certain number of jobs per year just isn’t intelligent at all.
At this point, have we heard any of the candidates discuss how to address massive unemployment and poverty in this country? Or how to create millions of quality jobs that will require attracting billions of dollars of foreign investments that in turn will require improving the country’s infrastructure that in turn will require addressing corruption in the bureaucracy that in turn will require political will? None!
Presidential or vice presidential candidates who appear on television for so-called “debates” have also resorted to ruining the reputation of their rivals and not volunteer to discuss intelligently issues like why the country could not attract the same level of foreign direct investments like Thailand (that attracts up to 10 times more compared to the Philippines), and how to make the Philippines 100-percent self-sufficient in rice (which could not be answered by simply saying more money should be given to the Department of Agriculture).
If Millennials witnessed how dignified the presidential and vice-presidential debates were in the previous national polls, they would surely vomit the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of today who offer nothing but rhetorics and sick jokes. Please enough of these! What Filipinos need are real plans and programs to solve our country’s gargantuan problems.
Perhaps the presidential and vice-presidential candidates who both won and lost in the past polls are cringing at how some (or most, depending on how you see it) of their counterparts are behaving or projecting themselves to the public.
Even Joseph Estrada during the campaign for the 1998 polls demonstrated statesmanship during the polls even if he was the butt of jokes because of the “Eraption” jokes that erupted a few years before 1998.
And speaking of jokes, why don’t the presidential and vice-presidential candidates just make fun of themselves during the campaign? Anyway, a number or most of them have made the campaign a joke at this point.