The Digong rises on deep anti-Aquino, anti-Roxas sentiment


From the campaign spiels of Mr. Roxas, the leading members of the business community get the equivalent of opera’s Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, a political presentation so exhilarating to the business people that can’t help but treat Mr. Roxas like a rock star. Mr. Roxas is their true prophet, the wet dream of their quarterly earnings and speaking in the jargon that animates their daily conversation.

But as in many things blissful, there is always a rub. To the less gilded world outside, to ordinary Joes like my neighbors and I, Mr. Roxas’ spiels are largely nonsense. Concerned with only one thing – basic survival and specifics such as food, medicine and shelter – Davos and MBC talk is just useless blabber to us.

Because the ordinary Joes make up the majority of enthusiastic voters and Big Business is less than 1 percent of the total votes for President, the math is clear. Mr. Roxas is not even competitive in the presidential race. The tyranny of the struggling majority – the poor are now the tyrants to Mr. Roxas grand ambition – is clearly reflected in the nonstop presidential polling. Poll after poll reveals just at what stage of political doom is the presidential campaign of Mr. Roxas.

Mr. Roxas’ gloom and doom does not end with spiels that do not get traction with the common man, the specific constituencies singled out in The Sermon on the Mount: the weak and the meek, the oppressed and the persecuted. Moreover, the candidate whose platform consists of one phrase – kill the criminals – is the most competitive candidate, were we to base the ranking on polling aggregates. Digong Duterte, who wants to make “kill” the national verb, is rising as Mr. Roxas is being dragged down into the dustbin of political history.

Note the difference. Mr. Roxas sounds as an agent of growth and hope while Mr. Duterte is always talking about the bloody side of law and order.

How can a political arriviste like Digong Duterte completely eclipse the pedigreed (grandson of a former President, son of a senator) Mr. Roxas? The same guy who often mocks the Wharton training of Mr. Roxas and clearly eschews all forms of policy sophistication is now beating him soundly. He now calls Mr. Roxas and the LP, and this is not without irony, the “real threat to democracy.” Is there a rational explainer for that? There is, of course.

The number one explanation is this: voters just want a simple, down-to-earth platform. I will get rid of crime and corruption. You will be safe under my presidency. Give me six months and I will clear the crime lairs. Those are over-the-top promises, just like Bernie Sanders’ single payer health promise, but the tired and weary precisely love hearing such promises, even if these are impossible to meet.

The area with the most number of voters where The Digong (with his polling numbers, he deserves the big The) is very strong – Metro Manila – is a chaotic metropolis with chart-busting crime rates. Where the urban rail system that carries more than half a million passengers a day means a two-hour queue before one can get a ride, in coaches where a mass of humanity is packed like those Zamboanga-processed sardines. If the Aquino-Roxas government is not neglecting the urban rail system, it is discriminating against the other mode of mass transport – buses. In countries such as Singapore, the convoy of the discipline-oriented Prime Minister gives way to buses and his convoy does not get in the way of public transport.

Today, the access of the citizens to safe and comfortable forms of mass transport is now the fourth rail of democracy. And, from the sentiments of voters, that is within Digong’s promise to end all forms of chaos, including the one that impairs the mobility of citizens.

Voters are not only rejecting the Aquino-Roxas view that the urban gridlocks are a sign of progress. By favoring Digong, they reject the whole policy package of the ruling duo, even the obsession with GDP growth and credit upgrades. And the voters have a point. What good do nice charts bring to ordinary lives? It is true that the ruling duo has created a class of dollar billionaires now called “those-who-can-buy-a-small-country-rich.” But those below have not really felt the prosperity that has been wholly sucked up the truly rich.

It has been Digong Duterte who has portrayed himself as the antithesis of the ruling duo. This is the short and plausible explanation to his rise in the polls. The young Marcos has been steadily rising along with Digong and this props up further the solid argument that the 2016 voters just want to get rid of the Aquino-Roxas Bros.

Is it too late for the other competitors, Mr. Binay and Ms. Poe, to realize that voters are searching, desperately in fact, for the anti-Aquino-Roxas? Mr. Binay and Ms. Poe apparently have failed to fully grasp the aching of voters to elect a candidate with no ties to the governing regime. Digong Duterte cleverly filled that void with his show of zero reverence toward the present leadership, while Mr. Binay and Ms. Poe, rightly or wrongly, have been suspected of maintaining their ties with the regime. Why did Mr. Binay fail to present himself as the true oppositionist when all the wrecking efforts of the administration have been directed at him?

Voters do not even understand “federalism” and I think that outside of the law and order thing, voters are clueless on the platform of Mr. Duterte. They just want to get rid of the regime and the Aquino-Roxas duo.


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  1. If crime is so widespread and Duterte is so radically anticrime, let’s not forget that criminals and their families also VOTE !

  2. The increase in the number of malls and cars is a pathetic indicator of economic growth. Only the rich (and the feeling rich) can afford these. With less than 30k DP for a car, who won’t be enticed to buy? Look at Singapore, the streets do not have as much car as we have in EDSA but they are way, way progressive than us.
    We have to import rice and other goods while we could have the capacity to produce our own. Unfortunately, the production of basic needs do not receive much help and support from the government. You lived your life outside the country so you don’t have any right to say that Ph is moving forward because you don’t have a bit of idea.

    • Elson Ogario on

      too many cars because the government gave an “Incentive Program for Car Manufacturers”. very wrong policy….

  3. My family and I agree that we need people who definitely and clearly will continue the “daang matuwid and not those who practice “Daang Baluktot at Madilim” or “Daang Magulo at Hindi Sumunod sa Batas. People should know and understand that big things start from small things. We cant just be in the higher level as if its magic as what other people think and believe. The current administration has set and accomplished the small things and its daang matuwid successor will surely continue to aim for the big things. So let us not be myopic but be more discerning and open-minded. Change is good and needed. But definitely, it should not be into unplanned results that amount to retrogression. Vote RoRo.

  4. JRT, dare to walk in slums of tondo or just find a bridge and you will not find trolls under but poor families, poor provinces such as leyte, samar etc. you are all books and stat.

  5. Rizal Sychitpin on

    The phenomenal huge rallies & volunteers for DUTERTE proved beyond any doubt that DUTERTE is people’s choice for president.
    DUTERTE will win by landslide!

  6. while the rise in economy can not be felt immediately but this economy will rest its consistent rise and stability on the bedrock of peace and order that beseech this country further after marcos has gone. i will vote for Duterte and marcos. Duterte might be able to deliver immediate peace and order stability- bloody or not, and solve other pressing problem directly affecting the daily lives of the people. Marcos will help duterte in the executive domain of running the country as he is competent on this matter being a former local executive of his home province. he knows better the ins and outs of executive governance than any of the other VP candidates especially that necro-politician, as Tiglao called her. This woman can not stand on her own merit to offer but thrives on the demerit of another acquired by accident of blood. She is like her boss, the traitor’s son, Aquino III who always speak ill against his opponents without really knowing if what he spew to vilify is true or not-crazy president.

  7. What most people do not realize is that it was demographics that is really propelling the Philippine economy and not this bullshit government that was installed in 2010. Kahit sinong itinalaga nung 2010, magiging masuwerte pagdating sa ekonomiya. It was despite of the stupidities of this present administration that the economy grew, the fact remains, only the rich grew richer in this present administration. Kayong mga nasa ibang bansa di ninyo alam ang araw araw na paghihirap na dinaranas ng mga naiwan sa bansa pgdating sa araw araw na ordinaryong gawain tulad ng trapik, ng krimen, ng pagtaas ng bilihin ngunit walang katumbas na pagtaas ng suweldo atbp.

    • i really do. knowing the struggle of daily life.. we deserve more than that.
      go for du30. to make things happen.

  8. It is not just about national strategy and policies. The economic model should be changed. They Keynesian model does not provide realistic economic foundation anymore. It just serves as a system for patronage politics and corruption.

    Yes they can project economic growth by using the indicators that ordinary citizens don’t understand. In fact, the economist themselves do not agree with each other.

    There is a joke in US, “Ask four economists and you will get four different answers. Five if one of them is a graduate of Harvard.”

  9. It is not just about national strategy and policies. The economic model should be changed. They Keynesian model does not provide realistic economic foundation anymore. It just serves as a system for patronage politics and corruption.

    Yes they can project economic growth by using the indicators that ordinary citizens don’t understand. In fact, the economist themselves do not agree with each other.

    There is a saying in US, “Ask four economists and you will get four different answers. Five if one of them is a graduate of Harvard.”

  10. It is not just about national strategy and policies. The economic model should be changed. They Keynesian model does not provide realistic economic foundation anymore. It just serve as a system for patronage politics and corruption.

    Yes they can project economic growth by using the indicators that ordinary citizens don’t understand. In fact, the economist themselves do not agree with each other.

    There is a saying in US, “As four economists and you will get four different answers. Five if one of them is a graduate of Harvard.”

  11. JRT, what economic prosperity are you talking about? Have you seen entire families living in the streets? This government has not provided housing for them when their shanties were demolished in favor of condominium developers. Central bank reserves are high because public spending is low. This government would rather “save” than spend money on public services such as improvement of public hospitals and schools. They would rather engage in PPPs which only favor those who can pay. Government hospitals are being privatized to the point that the poor are turned away from emergency rooms because they do not have the capacity to pay. You mention malls and cars as a measure of prosperity – only the oligarchs are becoming more prosperous because they are the ones who own the malls and the banks who lend people the money to buy these cars at usurious rates.

  12. Edgar Hubero Locsin-Siscar on

    Mr. Ronquillo is biased and myopic. He sees only what he wants to see and writes what he only cares about. Instead of enlightening the general public and keeping the masses well-informed he proselytizes for people in favor of Digong who Mr. Ronquillo has idolized with a ‘THE’. Apparently, he is just one of those freelance who are out on a spree for ‘envelopemental’ journalism and enjoying higher rates from his present sponsor subject. He should present economic statistics and performance records to be more convincing as a responsible freelance writer.

  13. Alexander F. Pena on

    The mindset of the Filipinos now is “The Rich are getting Richer and The Poor is getting Poorer”. And we believe that no traditional politicians like the Roxases, Aquinos, Marcoses and the Estradas care about the poor. The Filipinos are tired of waiting for a leader that will give them a radical change…until Duterte, who comes from a city which is the envy of all the cities in the Philippines, where peace and order abides, where poor people are protected from criminals, where you can walk in the street in the middle of the night gadgets in hand knowing that there is no snatchers, holduppers that will prey on you, where quick and fast health emergency service (911 ambulances) are free of charge, where you will be taken care of in 3 days time if you apply for licenses and permits, where the markets and stalls are very clean, where the Taxi Drivers has only 2 sentences to say when you flag them ” Good Morning, Sir” and Where are we going?” I used to be from Manila and I never experience this kind of treatment, where the politicians never care for the poor. Now asked me if I will vote for Duterte? It will be a betrayal if I will not vote for him.

  14. The writer has forgotten to add Miriam or has he intentionally deleted Miriam on the list? Mirriam said the fight isn’t over yet and I agree with that. I just voted for her (absentee voter here). Miriam is the most qualified among the presidential candidates. I agree with the writer though that Duterte’s rise in surveys is tied up to being anti-Aquino where Mar is aligned. Poe and Binay have not clearly distanced themselves with Aquino; hence, they fell victim to the resentment of people.

  15. Moving forward yes , dati presyo ng bigas 18 per kilo , now it is 55 hehehe moving forward nga , the poor can not eat statistics. The country moves forward on paper. The only thing that has keep this country floating are the OFW’s. Yes of course roxas and aquino are clean. Kaya nga mag renew ka ng lisensiya isang taon na wala pa, license plate sa mga sasakyan dont exist ang sabi bahala ka muna gumawa. A train system na buwis buhay pag sumakay, an enourmos traffic na halos di na gumagalaw yes Mr. JRT umuwi ka kaya sa Pinas para maintindihan mo ung moving forward mo . Peto ingat ka baka malaglag bala ka di ka na makabalik sa ametija, or malaglagan ka ng isang sachet ng shabu sa naia ha. Paglabas mo ingat din sa taxi baka tutukan ka sa leeg or kung me kasama kang babae baka ma rape.

  16. It is already too late for the other candidates to change script and course in order to attract the electorate back to their campaigns. Duterte is already on a clearer and firmer trajectory to win the elections as the non-Aquino candidate. Poe, Roxas and Binay are grossly tainted by their association with a failed administration and the people are sick and tired of what has been happening these past six years. The so-called Daang Matuwid has turned into an incredible slogan of hypocritical governance unmatched in the history of this country. If any of Aquino’s proxies win we all know that we are in for worse in terms of plunder, misgovernance and a deteriorating country. We are better off in voting in a Duterte administration with which we can gamble on to change the country for the better and bring about true reform. WHAT HAVE WE GOT TO LOSE?

  17. Your column is true and so sad. From Billions of voters nationwide, not even 1/4 has access to social media. There are still majority out there who are not aware on the statistics (as likewise basis for 1st world countries growth & success) and they are the ones who can nail a sure winning votes. The leading Presidential candidate now hit the right tune and it’s now the challenge of the Admin and, sorry to say, the right-minded-people-for-growth like us how to counter this. As we dire for our country improvement (for the better), we are a part of it and let’s educate the masses in our own little way that the current statistics are the right gauge in our (country) progress’ dashboard. Machiavellianism, as the history has it, is not a good way of (drastic) change but by sane (though obviously, a slow one) economic advancement. After all, we can experience our end with sigh for relief that no shortcuts were done and our conscience as Christians is clear. Let’s pray for peaceful & sane economic progress!

  18. The phenomenon of the rise of Duterte is the same as Leni Robredo. People see thru the eyes of the candidates. However, this may change towards the election as more and more issues will be hurled to both. The problem with Digong is he is double minded and we all know what it means as Christians. He can not possibly tell people to behave when he himself could not control his bad mouth or even his womanizing. These are bad behaviors and are described as unethical especially when you are head of state. Hence, Filipinos need to think hard and decide who to both. Let’s not get our emotion dictate our decision. We are electing a President who will run our country like a captain of a ship that will stir as to the right direction or wrong direction and worst may hit an iceberg because he has little knowledge of the equipment, ocean and resources. My one cent of thought and advise.

  19. renato s. irlanda on

    it would be a wise move on the part of the other presidential candidates, ( Roxas, Binay, Poe, and Santiago) and their financiers and rah rah boys to announce their collective decision to pull out of the race and thereby salvage some of their funds and what little self respect they may still have!
    siding with BS Aquino has proven to be your “wrongest” decision in your worthless political careers!

  20. We are too tired of Change. Phl has a healthy economy now.Lets move on. My family is voting for ROXAS-ROBREDO!

    • Agree. From one of the millions of OFW who are happy to continue the Daang Matuwid. I am looking forward to more Senators, Congressmen, mayors, Governors and public officials to be investigated for excesses on their lifestyle, abuses, unethical behaviors, nepotism and plunder. Definitely I will vote for the RORO!!

    • Thr truth you don’t like change. Why are you so tired of change? Where is the change? Where is the healthy economy of this natiion? The econimic increase of graft and corruption, increase ofillegal drugs and expansion of shabu laboratory in the Bilibid Prison, to think that is the place of criminals prisoners and now everybody just feeling shock pretending they know nothing. Ano ba ang ginagawa ng mga tauhan ng gobyerno na inatasan na magbantay saBilibid Prison. My doubts is clear that they are making money and protect those drug lords because of greed of money to feed their family to live a high class image in the society na nakapandidiri out from dirty money. Wedon’tfeel the change in 30 years. We will not vote for Roxas & Robredo, Binay & GracePo. WE will standby to vote DUTERTE & CAYETANO ONLY.

    • Healthy economy????? Mr. Randy Reyes… Are you living here in the Philiines? Open your eyes… Look around! WAKE UP!

  21. We had the Yellow Brigade for 30 years from 1986 – 2016 . Only the Yellow supporters in Manila are in a better situation. The rest of the Filipinos particularly in the remote areas across the country are in a worst situation. So much for Daang Matuwid! Sila-sila pa rin! Walang pagbabago!

  22. Dr. Vic Sanchez on

    You don’t have to be afraid of a Duterte. You should be afraid of criminals Duterte wants to wipe out in the name of orderly and peaceful Filipino society.

    • Teddy Sevilla on

      I used to give Duterte the benefit of that doubt. For the sake of civility, let us leave it at that.

      My fear is the people who surround Duterte – the foul-mouthed, killing-is-good-and-godly hordes that he attracts. If he does become president, wont he replace a cohort of criminals with another?

      The difference is that this new breed of criminals will kill and rape in his name. These crowds obviously cannot distinguish between Digong’s playful and serious propositions. To be honest, I can’t also.

      Can Duterte control the national chaos and mayhem that he will unwittingly release if he becomes president?

    • Duterte at this point is all talk & bravado. If you will look beyond his statements and actions, some of which are urong-sulong, his style is to solve a problem fast by creating another problem which potentially can be graver and ultimately disastrous to our nation and economy.

      The plight of the poor will have more chances of being mitigated if not completely solved thru a growing and robust economy , which this administration is actively pushing, where there will be more developments and jobs. Add to this is the accomplishment of this administration via the RH LAW which is designed to control our very big population so economic gains can be distributed, for example via the 4Ps.

      This could not have been achieved if there wew no meaningful statistics & planning & political will by the Pnoy government. To just rely on the motherhood statements of Duterte is myopic and can result in chaos if he sits as president. Then we will have to blame ourselves again, especially those shortsighted voters, because its gonna be a deja Vu of the time Estrada replaced FRamos. Everything gone to waste repeating itself.

  23. “Voters do not even understand “federalism” and I think that outside of the law and order thing, voters are clueless on the platform of Mr. Duterte. They just want to get rid of the regime and the Aquino-Roxas duo.” – MRonquillo.

    Best and shortest explanation so far of the Duterte Magic!

  24. You hit it right where others missed, sir. True, Mr.Du30 may not be able to do it within the time frame he claims, but for him to be able to STOP THE TREND is good enough. We are fed-up!

    The GDP growth and credit upgrades may be true, but these only trickle down and barely felt by the great majority of Filipinos. They do not have these in their vocabularies, but food (medicine), clothing and shelter, instead.

    Considering the overall situation in the country today, it’s a “now-or-never” to have the direly-needed changes. The people have issues with the system which they want addressed pronto and, if the system has issues with Mr. Du30, these have to be addressed by him. It would be a case of “Vox populi vox Dei.”

    May God bless the Republic of the Philippines.

    • You do not understand statistics and trends so therefore you make this wild assumptions that the country is in dire need of change. Only the oppositions would think that way. Not in my case who have seen the changes in leadership six (6) times when my family are outside the country till now. I have observed that our country is moving fast towards economic prosperity. The rise in economy will not be felt immediately as indicated by IMF, WB and ADB. However, there are indicators that everyone can see. Good governance, rise in GDP, rise in Central Bank reserves, more cars in the street, more BFO, more malls, many PPP programs, rise in construction, etc. Of course in every change there are risks and opportunities. Definitely the current government know these and they are making changes thru the experience and qualification of Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo. They are not neophytes. The accusations hurled on them are lies and it’s crystal clear that these are black propaganda. Let’s go and maintain the momentum of economic prosperity for the benefit of our children. We do not want leaders who are known killers, corrupt, womanizers, bad mouth, liars, etc. VOTE FOR MAR AND LENI!

    • good governance? where have you been all these years, have you been sleeping? holy cow! read all newspapers , all editorials and opinions talk to the poor,maybe you will get educated.

    • We always saw on the T.V interview of Mr. Roxas he always give give bad comment to his/her fellow presidential candidates specifically to Mr. Duterte which it is not good. If we look the comparison between Mr. Roxas and Mr. Duterte about their achievement on their respective political carrer, I better choose Mr. Duterte why look the impovement of Davao City on his term as City Mayor. Try watch the news on T.V Patrol about the Filipino Chinese kidnapping I forgot the date its was pass few days. She was kidnapp at Quenzon City and the kindnapper called her family about the how much the ransom money. The victim request to the kidnapper that they will give the ransom money at Davao City the kidnapper aggree. The Davao City police has already an info about the said kidnapping case Mayor Duterte already order to Davao City Police whatever happen kill the kidnapper. Luckly the kidnap victim was resque and two out of the three of the kidnappers was kill one of them was at large Davao police continue searching. The big question why the victim choose Davao City as the Venue of her release to the kidnapper. She knew that she will resque safelly. Please Don’t Vote Mr. Roxas for President because of many cases one the Yolanda, second they MRT cases and alot more, He has many failure as DILG secretary on his term

    • Mr. JRT the rise of cars and the rise of malls are just side effects to what we have become an outsourcing country.

      Though this will stop as soon as there is an increase in wages as it will increase the operating costs of the BPO industry.

      These leaves out the farmers, the fishermen, and other industries where are food supposedly comes from instead we import these items from china. Do you see where i am going with this?