OUR Columnist Rigoberto Tiglao asked a most pointed and relevant question in his column of April 25: “How could a Christian nation even make Duterte the leading presidential contender?”
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte boasts of having killed thousands of “bad” people. He proudly displays the morals of a monster, making a sick and cruel, disrespectful joke about the Australian lady Christian missionary who had been slain by rapists. And he makes stupid and unattainable claims of achieving great things within six months of assuming the presidency that he could not achieve in Davao City after running it for decades.
He has cursed – with a “putangina” – the Holy Father Pope Francis for causing him to suffer heavy traffic inconvenience last January. And he loves to use foul language, not only in his campaign sortie speeches but even on the air on radio and TV, claiming untruthfully that the use of dirty Tagalog and Cebuano words that mothers and teachers labor to keep their children from uttering is how men normally talk.
He has also paraded at least two of his mistresses before his audiences. And he proudly taunts other men for not being like him in managing to copulate with many women in addition to his wife.
Some fools have been taken in by his propaganda that with him as its mayor Davao City has been the cleanest, most orderly, crime-free and best-governed. The most superficial look at Davao will yield the truth, which gives the lie to his propaganda.
And he proudly says that he has killed, executed criminals, numbering more than 1,500, without bothering with the proper and legal processes.
He has by admission and behavior proved to be the worst kind of man who should become a public official. By his own admission of misdeeds and the inability to control his impulses, he should be the last man to be considered for any government office. Because of his lack of virtues (although he claims to be clean and uncorrupt), he should not even be considered for the position of office janitor (many of whom are among the most moral and virtuous Filipinos).
So what kind of people have we, Filipinos, become that a person like Rodrigo Duterte looks like he would be elected President of our Republic if the election were held today?
Mr. Tiglao has expounded on the paradox of how a Christian nation could have Duterte as the leading candidate for president. We think he made a mistake in accepting the premise that the Philippines is a “Christian nation.” Alas we Filipinos are not generally a Christian people. It is true that possibly 80 percent of all Filipinos are born in a Christian (mainly Catholic) family and get baptized into mainly the Catholic Faith, with the rest being baptized and enrolled in the various non-Catholic Christian denominations.
But how many of us really take the fundamental articles of the Christian Faith seriously? Roman Catholic attendance at ordinary Sunday Mass does not even quite reach 25 percent of total membership. Maybe members of the different Protestant sects are more faithful and diligent.
That should explain why the Philippine government is one of the most corrupt in the world.
It should therefore not surprise anyone to see that Rodrigo Duterte and his monstrous ways attract a great number of Filipinos.