Duterte—promises, expectations and fulfillment


“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too;”
– From IF by Rudyard Kipling

IF you judge Mayor Rody Duterte now as President, you are committing a very serious error as he is not yet President. He only assumes office on June 30. That is the time to start judging him, initially but not completely, since that is just the beginning.

Levels of judging Mayor Duterte
To be accurate on your judgment, you must judge him on four levels—as mayor of Davao City, as a presidential campaigner, as President-elect and, later, as President of the Philippines. On two levels—as mayor of Davao City and as presidential campaigner—no one should bother about these levels: the people have already rendered their judgment. In a democracy, the judgment of the people prevails. Vox populi, vox Dei—The voice of the people is the voice of God. Within the context of a democratic system, in an election—what the people want, they get. Just like the lines on Lola in a fabled song.

As President-elect
As President-elect, you must judge Mayor Duterte on his promises during the election campaign against the expectations of the people. They are either congruent or opposite each other. The congruency or differences are measured in terms of his words and actions as President-elect.

Promises: He promised the people a strong government. In words, he has successfully delivered on this. His initial statement that he will impose curfew and liquor ban in Metro Manila, for the young at certain hours, deserves congratulations. This should have been done a long time ago. This will make parents happy, most especially the mothers with wayward husbands. This will visibly reduce criminality in Metro Manila to the lowest levels.

On Pastor Quiboloy: Mayor Duterte’s statement that Pastor Quiboloy should not be complaining about not having been consulted on his choice of cabinet ministers is a correct decision for a leader with a political will. This is the realization of President Erap’s declaration that walang kaibigan, walang kamag-anak (no friends, no relatives) in his decision-making on appointments and all matters involving the country and his office as President. Of course, the rest is history—Erap miserably failed to observe his presidential promise. However, there is a whale of a difference between Mayor Duterte and Mayor Erap. Erap is a softie while Mayor Duterte is a man with an iron fist.

This Duterte reminder for Quiboloy should place all his friends in their proper places. If the President knows his onions, and Mayor Duterte gives the impression that he does, he should not be consulting anyone on appointments and policies. As mayor he knew what to do. As President, based on his experience on the micro level, he should do better.

Mayor Duterte, in publicly telling off Pastor Quiboloy in his belly-aching, must have been reminded of the established President Manuel Luis Quezon’s statement, saying: “My loyalty to my party ends where my loyalty to my country begins.” In effect, by way of resurrecting this Quezonian formula, he is telling Quiboloy, “My loyalty to my friends ends where my loyalty to my country begins.” Quiboloy and Duterte’s friends should learn a lesson from this presidential declaration.

On Bishop Oscar Cruz: I like this bishop. I like his intelligence and raw courage. This time, however, he and the Catholic Church deserve Mayor Duterte’s admonition. Duterte is telling the truth—the Catholic Church is one of the most hypocritical institutions in this country. It is all mouth and no delivery system. If the Catholic Church does not like the Mayor, they should have campaigned against him so he would not be elected President. Now it is too late in the day. They should be praying that Duterte does not get to be President. But that is also too late for now unless they mount a revolution. But who will follow them—the priests and the nuns? That’s a lot of nonsense.

It is about time someone tells the bishops and the Catholic Church to stop nitpicking because they all live in a glasshouse. The bishops and the Catholic Church were total failures in opposing Mayor Duterte in the elections. All they could do was issue a lame statement tending to oppose Duterte. They miserably failed, failed, failed, and absolutely failed.

Since they could not put up, they should shut up!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a Muslim or Iglesia ni Cristo or an evangelical of the El Shaddai or Jesus Is Lord variety. I am a devout Roman Catholic—by baptism, by loyalty and commitment. I have read more books of the Church than most priests combined—from St. Thomas to Gustavo Gutierrez, from Hans Kung to St. Augustine, from Thomas Merton to St. Thomas More. You might say that I am arrogant but there is nothing arrogant about telling the truth. Maybe you might say pedantic but there is nothing pedantic about the aristocracy of the mind.

On the Iglesia ni Duterte: May be the suggestion of Mayor Duterte came as a joke but there is a grain of truth in it. Almost all the churches in this country have their share of graft and corruption. There is hardly any exception. Skin most of the church leaders in this country and you will inevitably find a crook just like most of the traditional politicians.

So I totally agree with Mayor Duterte, he should organize the Iglesia ni Duterte—meaning a government freed from graft and corruption and criminals of all kinds. If he does it, he will have critics like me joining him in droves. The country deserves nothing less.

On bringing his Davao City team to Malacañang: This is a laudable move. It is the team that succeeded in doing what was needed in Davao City. This is the micro level of governance. This was the experience as presented by his team that made the country admire him and led to an inevitable avalanche in the elections. Not to bring this team to Malacañang would be a crime. Nothing succeeds more than success. This team succeeded in Davao City and in the national campaign. It is interesting how they could succeed in a macro level environment.

Critic of Presidents
Don’t get me wrong, I have not suddenly become an admirer of Duterte simply because he got elected President. I am just a citizen observer who states what I think I see is right. Not that it makes any difference to him or the country. My opinion is of no importance to them; it is important to me and me alone since I want to document the events of my time. But it may be interesting to anyone who wants to probe what goes on in my mind by reading Fe B. Zamora’s essay on me titled “The Mysteries That Hound an Eternal Oppositionist, Then and Now,” published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept. 25, 2005, when the editors of that paper still knew the meaning of truth and fairness.

This is me. If you read me and my writings I must congratulate you for having excellent taste. If you don’t, I really don’t give a damn as Rhett Butler in the person of Clark Gable told Scarlett O’hara played by Vivien Leigh in Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With the Wind.”


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  1. Lorna L. Verano on

    You have not lost your bite, Bono! And I miss you in the political arena.

  2. DU30 will be a big brand name and can rival Nike, Adidas, and other foreign brands Hermes perhaps DU30 brand is sounding like a commercial venture with the stakeholders eyeing a quick payback period ( 6 years max ) and used the leveraged method of IRR to discount their investments (political contributions in cash or in kinds), for the ordinary layman it means bigger payback at the shortest time. Political receivables (political promises redeemable in time of accession) are not acceptable for discounting by the banks; ergo to be discounted from the National Treasury at sight. This is the business of election anywhere in the world….and DAVAO country is not immune to this; DU30 has to redeem with interest all that DAVAO has invested to his rise to presidency. My bold prediction DU30 presidency will be a cross-breed of FVR and JE.

  3. Another one of your great article-giving a good perspective in our incoming prez

  4. Rudi Miranda on

    Sharp wit, indeed! Only the imponderable can write: ‘Duterte — promises, expectations and fulfillment… Thank you!

  5. This time i salute you sir for being objective and humble enough to accept the will of the people. So far the incoming President has done mostly right in his decisions, let us support him especially the peace initiatives with muslim and NPA rebels. THis is the key that will bring progress for all and inclusivity.

  6. Pat Borlagdan on

    The success of any President do not depend on him alone. Proof to that is Duterte’s winning the presidential bid despite his lack of political machinery…WHY? …because as he said the Filipinos who believe in his candidacy is his machinery. Now that he is the soon to be President he must not forget history. Same Filipinos who voted for him must make available to him the people’s machinery to achieve the much needed change…In fact, every Filipino including those who didn’t vote for him, must now reconcile any doubt and give full support to Digong….God willing…this nation will be great!

  7. Thank you for your tact Mr Adaza. We need oppositionists in a time increasing opportunism. For instance, many lawn makers had suddenly switched to the other side of the legislative landscape.
    Who would prune any potential excesses and blind allegiance to a popular chief executive? Don’t rock the boat all the time. But neither leave the ship of state afloat aimlessly on the whim of the new and still to be proven captain. A motorboat is way out different from an ocean liner.

  8. tony de leon on

    kaya ako hindi na nagsisimba madalas. I just pray on my own. that’s why when a person says he or she is very religious that person normally will not be a good leader because his or her religious beliefs will interfere In his work a good example was Cory Aquino and now VP candidate Robredo. If she leave it all to god then that is a recipe for disaster as a leader or politician and he or she can be exploited happily by the CBCP.

  9. “It is about time someone tells the bishops and the Catholic Church to stop throwing stones because they all live in a glasshouse. The bishops and the Catholic Church were total failures in opposing Mayor Duterte in the elections. All they could do was issue a lame statement to oppose Duterte. They miserably failed, failed, failed, and absolutely failed.”
    Now, we have all the BALLS to tell the HYPOCRITE CATHOLICS about their arrogance, indecency and immorality since they cannot control our Dear Mayor unlike the previous Presidents of this God forsaken Catholic country!

  10. arnel rollan on

    well said, in fairness and in truth. In terms of percentage, at present, i give DUTERTE a big 99.9 % with a heart.

  11. FaithandReason on

    Duterte’s way of thinking about the church and solutions to our problems is not something new. His thought pattern can be defined as pure ‘anthropocentrism’. Whereby he does not subject himself to a higher being or he wants to have autonomy of decisions subjective only to rationalistic humanism. All his decisions and proclamation are geared based on pure humanism. The disaster is the de-spiritualized and irreligious humanistic consciousness that he tries to sell to the masses. The people have placed too much hope in political and social reforms only to find that they are being deprived of our most precious possession our spiritual life. This is the real crises. If ‘humanism’ were right in declaring that man is born to be happy he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die his task on earth evidently must be more of spiritual in nature. We need to refute false prophets and the church has every right to rise on every occasion where our body and spiritual nature is not trampled upon. My source is Pope Francis’ Laudato Si and Alexander Szolzsenyicin Harvard speech.

    We know there are corrupt popes and bishops, but through all these years the church doctrine and teachings stays the same. It has always proclaimed the good news – that we have a loving Father. That is why the church will always proclaim and will never be silent to proclaim what Jesus Christ has taught his disciples about love, humility, charity, suffering, peace and joy. Presidents will come and go but the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church will forge on because truly this is the church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ by his body and blood, by His sacrifice.

    • The problem is when the church starts to meddle with the operation of the government and their justification is it is a spiritual obligation of the church to correct what is wrong. I am a born again Christian and my pastor did not endorse any candidate in the last election. The pastor knows there is a presidential election and he knows we are mature enough to choose. Not even an iota of endorsement while we have members that run in the last senatorial race.

  12. “if all men count with you, but none too much
    Or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch!”

  13. Philip S. Sanchez on

    It is quite an honor to be able to express my opinions in such an august national paper.

    Duterte, Duterte, Duterte. It seems that the Filipino people could not get enough of this peculiar personality. Presumptive president Digong’s acrobatic manner of hammering down his ideas surely mesmerized most of us, but let us be careful of what we wish for. There are always two sides of a coin — made of gold or copper.

    Duterte’s promises are promises. President Aquino’s promises six years ago were also promises; so were the words of Jose Abad Santos, who was a true patriot and Janet Napoles who also swore to tell the truth and nothing but the truth.

    This is a waiting game. Let us see if Duterte delivers. If he does not, then we are in for another six years roller coaster ride in Traditional Politics theme park.

  14. Yes Gov. Homobona Adaza, If I have the time I always read the editorials of this paper and your writings and I almost did not vote for Mayor Duterte 4 days before election when you wrote ” Our country cannot afford to have two Insane Presidents, It will be TRAGIC ” if my memory serves me right and if not correct me.
    It was Devine Intervention , as my nephew said as we and our family were diehard Duterte fan, when my son and family arrived from Singapore the night before election, May 8th Saturday. They were supposed to arrived home before eleven in the evening but one of their luggage came out of the conveyor almost last. Then he found out at home that the lock of one of their luggage was forced cut opened. Then my son said that this could not have happened in Singapore but at NAIA. They were lucky that the luggage belong to their baby and contain only baby bottles, used cloths and diapers.
    Then that night I decided that I will go back to m original choice, DUCAY, telling my wife and txt my friends and nephew why will I not vote for the candidate of ” DAAN MATUWID ” when a simple problem of BUKAS MALETA AND TANIM BALA, THEY COULD NOT SOLVED.
    I hope that our President-elect Duterte and appointed SDOTC Atty. Tugade will solve this simple problem when they assumed office HIGH NOON, JUNE 3O, 2O16.

    • Pnoy a weakling, cannot change General Manager Honrado because Honrado is his relative. He cannot terminate Police Purisima because Pnoy owe Purisima during the coup on Corazon. Pnoy is a messed up president, poor Mar Roxas, he took all the negatives of Pnoy. But with Mar, it will all be the same . Corruption, traffic, criminality. He will just follow Pnoy. From the start, I know Mar will not win.

  15. It appears that Mr. Duterte is hard working, and in the right direction to rebuild the country by trying to unite those who matters, and try to stamp out the real evils who are contributing to the problems and suffering of the lowly Filipinos.

    He is rough, but not a sanctimonious hypocrite – the basic character of a tough builder, who can plan, execute and follow thru to completion. He seems forthright and does not mind hardship, danger and a lot of sacrifice.

    He might have to be prudent, pragmatic, watch his back all the time. As a priority he may aim for real competence and efficiency in all government services, minimize corruption in the government and everywhere.

    Then deal with the real evils, the cartels, the oligarchs, the shady chinese, who have corrupted the whole government institutions.

    The comms media has a role to play. Instead of being liars and bullshitters for hire, it can help expose the real state of the country, the bad education, culture, attitude, incompetence, bad habits, bad economy, etc., and who the real culprits are- possibly all of us, to some extent, or in certain ways… Awareness and owning up is the first to correcting the mistakes, then do things right, the result will speak for itself, no need to sell bullshit, like the way the present economic growth bullshit is being shoved at our ******. (For example a 7% growth in 100-peso economy is only 7 pesos, while a 3% growth in a trilion-peso economy is 30 biliion pesos – so who is fooling us.)

    It is so bad now, any change could be better than nothing. So why not lend a hand for a change.

    • My advice to President Duterte, watch your temper, you have a tendency to say bad things when you get mad. Advice to all Filipinos, do not make Duterte get mad, you will be sorry. To the Catholic church, it is better to shut up , this guy is uncontrollable at times and the church will be annihilated in the long run. My advice to me, I better shut up because the readers will not believe what I write.

  16. People elected Duterte as president. Filipinos did not elect some priest to be bishops or cardinal. If Duterte makes good decision, that is a plus but if he mess up , the voters should suffer the consequence. What I know is Filipinos need a Duterte. Filipinos are messed up top to bottom. Do not blame the government, blame the corrupt Filipinos.

  17. Mark Laperal on

    Very well said. At least for now, the best that we can do is wait, look and listen if all his pronouncements during campaign period will happen. Thank you Mr. Daza for your very interesting and informative article.

  18. Iglesia Ni Duerte? I think he is being influenced by the powerful Iglesia Ni Cristo who technically run the whole Philippine System. the old INC run by Bro Felix and Bro Erano would never involved themselves in politics and the church matters is always a priority, but now the INC is no more, It is run by a very corrupt EVM-Santos Sangunnian that cares more about power and money. No need to the INC Philippine Arena when there are so many decapitated chapels and little barangay chapels that need assistance or repair. and many INC Members are so poor they give all they have to the Sangunnian and the INC EVM Sangunnian live in big mansions with fancy cars. Those of you in the Philippines knows this. they see INC Influence everywhere even the Aquino Government has to bow down to EVM. But our Lord God and Jesus Christ will never bow down to EVM. That is why there is a big internal civil war inside the INC and no longer united. We can all blame the EVM Sangunnian for all the recent INCs misfortunes. To all in the Philippine free press, If they can do that to ABS-CBN, they can do that to all News Agency they dont like. Stand up my fellow filipinos, the most corrupt organization is very organized and can clean anybody they want, they are above the law, they disguise themselves as a religion that makes Islamists look like angels. The newly established 2009 OneWithEVM Church are known to be very powerful and wealthy that they force all INC Members to believe that Jesus Christ is no longer Savior, It is EVM who is now the new Last Messenger and Savior of the INC. We INCDEFENDERS are loyal to the original established 1914 INC Church, with the original INC Logo, and we will fight this injustice and corruption until the end.

    • RTC is certainly not INC. The FA’s and disgruntled ex-members just now morphed into lowly detractors of the Church and never can they be called INCdefenders.

      You can just dream wallowing on all the setbacks your group is getting. The latest one, the falsification of documents your boss filed against the Church EM was already junked. Tables turned, it was actually your boss who forged land titles and documents. What else you got? Samson’s case? JUNKED! Menorca now a fugitive. Clear your thoughts and be reminded of the history of the Church. Walang sino man nagtatagumpay na kumakalaban dito. Not then, not now and never will there be one!

  19. “If the President knows his onions, and Mayor Duterte gives the impression that he does, he should not be consulting anyone on appointments and policies. As mayor he knew what to do.” <– Whatever happened to "two heads are better than one"?