• The Duterte card


    “ON the table” was a graphic but alarming signal for the rest of the declared presidential candidates for 2016. On the night of the 21st of November, inCavite, Davao mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte made a statement that shook the political establishment, making himself available to the PDP Laban. Much needs to be done before he is acknowledged as an official candidate. As the race is on to remove Poe from the official ballot because of residency disqualification,to include Duterte as a substitute candidate for PDP Laban.

    The earlier reading of the SET votes (6-3) went astray with actual result at 5-4 votes with LP Senator Bam Aquino and NP Senator Pia Cayetano crossing over and joining the political bloc, rendering the decision totally a political one. Would the petitioner bring it to the Supreme Court or would that be allowed to rest the Senate victory and pursue the contentious residency issue? Most observers are saying why can’t Poe follow constitutional requirements? I leave that for the good Senator to respond to. Certainly the soundbytes of Duterte about having an “American President” come May 2016 echoes with serious ramifications.

    Observers watching the SET ruling were saying Poe will be DQd because of the muscle of LP. Apparently, they wouldn’t want to touch the midterm victory of the party. Imagine the topnotcher being booted out because of birth issues! That wouldn’t look good for LP, setting aside constitutional requirements to get Poe in their slate. Besides the foundling issue has been raised even if it has nothing to do with the presidency. Now, insiders in LP are claiming the residency challenge has more weight because it is documentary evidence. The ball is now with the Comelec and how it rules on the issue gives us a sense on how things are stacked up for 2016.

    The Duterte card has been played well. A non-candidate, Duterte is framing and controlling the debate since the last day of filing in October to the present. He has effectively contrasted himself from all the declared presidential candidates. Truly a strategist’s game, Duterte is playing his chess game like a master. He stood out on federalism, public order, service delivery, dealing with politics, politicians and Congress, Yolanda, illegal drugs, development, laglagbala and, lately even APEC preps. The man is not even a candidate and he has, from Mindanao, been calling out and heckling supposed national leaders.

    Some would view the Duterteserye as long and winded but these people are missing the point he is making. Duterte is effectively campaigning by maintaining himself in the eye of the storm. And his moves are not trite. Who would even imagine staging a chant in a Makati mall on a Sunday night? Signs of times indeed.

    So who is Duterte? Before he is boxed in as a human rights violator, Duterte is first and foremost a Mindanaoan, truly a unique position. Never have we had a candidate for the presidency from Mindanao. That would certainly consolidate the votes for the favorite son of the island. What is not known by majority of Filipinos is that Duterte was born in Maasin, Leyte to Vicente G. Duterte, who served as Governor of (the then-undivided) Davao, and Soledad Roa, a school teacher and a civic leader. Soledad “Soleng” Roa-Duterte served as Davao Provincial Governor from 1959 to 1965, was born in Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte. Lawyer Vicente, prior to being provincial governor of Davao, was once a mayor of Danao City in Cebu. The Duranos and the Almendras are said to be relatives of Digong.

    So Duterte is Davao, Agusan del Norte, Leyte and Cebu. He is Mindanao and Bisaya. And because of his no nonsense style of governing for the past 22 years, his brand is much welcomed in NCR and key cities in the country. In fact in an NCR survey (uncommissioned) by a businessman from Palawan last 18 October (day after the filing), the following were noted: 1) without Duterte, Poe (31%), Binay (30%), Roxas (12%) and Santiago (12%); 2) with Duterte, Duterte (33%), Binay (21%), Poe (13%), Roxas (7%), Sabio (6%), Santiago (6%). Duterte eats on everyone but the biggest loss came from Poe (at 18%), Binay (9%) and Roxas (5%). What does this mean? Whether campaign teams would acknowledge it, Duterte is the trump card in a loaded deck.

    There are two challenges to a Duterte run for the presidency: organization and funding. And because he is now on the table, organization and funding of the rest will experience some hiccups or major overhaul. And that only means, 2016 is too fluid to call. One thing is sure, the best laid plans of putting several posts for the VP race for LP may have just been ambushed by the Duterte card. You just can’t double cross a Duterte.

    With the entry of Duterte, is democracy better served because we have more choices? Or will we see the most transactional campaign ever with Filipinos ending with mixed ticket? We have historically been doing that save for Arroyo-De Castro. Would the mixed ticket be a natural attrition or a last swing by a strong VP candidate ensuring hairline victory (plurality) at the presidential level? At the end, core votes matter and the one with a strong ground organization will win 2016.

    Gail Collins once said: “There’s always been that theory that if a candidate can’t run a decent campaign, he probably can’t run a decent presidency. That might be true, although sadly I must admit that running a brilliant campaign does not translate into running a brilliant White House,” or in our case, Malacañang.


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    1. Duterte is the only candidate na mayroong solido na plataporma,,hindi trapo style.
      Direct to the point yong programa at mga plano nya. for a change.
      The FEDERALISM really the first priority for Duterte supporters and peace and order.
      We are all for Duterte, the family,workmate, neighbors, friends, and I’m sure more to convince.

    2. In the beginning I chose Duterte, since he was not sure if he runs, I changed my mine and chose Santiago for president. And now finally Du30 declared he is running for the high office, again I turned around, abandoned Santiago, go back to my first choice Du30 who is from Davao, Agusan del Norte, Leyte and Cebu. That’s makes it a strong solid Visayas and Mindanao alone. There will be more voters for this tough talking character from Western Visayas, Luzon, and OFWs. A sure winner indeed.

    3. The most sensible according to my opinion is Mr, Duterte amongs the presidential candidates that is why I will campaign for his presidency to all my friends here in Colchester, England. Now, I see brighter future for us Filipinos already if……..Mr.DUTERTE Will be our PRESIDENT!

    4. If Duterte from the South as President
      The Vice President will be from the North


    5. Agueda Kahabagan on

      Wala pa akong tinanong sa Los Angeles at sa Canada na hindi Duterte ang sagot if asked sino ang iboboto nila sa pagka presidente ngayong 2016. Whether they are from Mindanao or Luzon or Visayas it doesn’t matter.

    6. Great analysis and thank you for making the Duterte supporters realized that we have a sure winner in the presidency. I hope the game changer will now start the new political system in this country. I hope trapos and those power hunger politicos will change their attitude and change for the better. We saw in Duterte the sincerity and humbleness. I just hope the administration and the rest of the candidate will play it fare. According to Mar Roxas the current government would like to offer and level the playing field. Then by all means all aspirants and planning to run in the higher office must resigned from their post. All senators and even congressmen must also resign as well as those in the other government position. That way we level the playing field during election. After election no more returning to their position. That is not fare right? We need to address this law which provides inequality to candidates during election. Hah, I challenge the batch of senators and congressmen if they really want to serve this country better change all the laws that were left open for corruption and inequality.

    7. Duterte is for Federalism. This reform proposal calls for empowering the regions by gradually giving them the appropriate autonomy that would give them the onus to set their own economic and political policies, allowing them to attract investments and make their own regions economically self-sufficient.

      But I hope that he also consider Liberalizing our economy and allow 100% Foreign-owned businesses and shift to Parliamentary system.

      These Three Points were originally totally separate reform proposals which, on each of their own merits, actually do help immensely to improve the Philippines. However, all three of them, when integrated and joined together, actually work synergistically to produce overall results that far exceed the sum of the results of each reform proposal.

      1.Economic Liberalization helps both Evolving Federalism and Parliamentarism:

      a) Economic Liberalization helps Evolving Federalism by creating economic opportunities that the Regions will benefit from when they decentralize/federalize.

      b) Economic Liberalization strengthens Parliamentarism by creating new emerging members of the rich elites, new members of the middle classes, from among the ordinary citizenry who can now provide alternative choices to the old oligarchy/warlord class during elections.

      2. Evolving Federalism helps Economic Liberalization and Parliamentarism:

      a) Evolving Federalism helps Economic Liberalization by allowing each of the component autonomous regions or “newly federalized states” to compete against each other, such that each region offers attractive enticements such as lower taxes or tax holidays and other incentives to companies (both local businesses and foreign multinationals) to set up in their respective regions.

      b) Evolving Federalism helps Parliamentarism by focusing members of parliament who belong to constituencies to be aware of the common regional concerns as well as local concerns of their constituents and thus more vocally raise these issues in parliament, thus giving valuable feedback and input to the collective decision making that goes into policy-and-decision-making.

      3. Parliamentarism helps Economic Liberalization and Evolving Federalism:

      a) Parliamentarism obviously helps Economic Liberalization because parliamentarism creates better quality leaders (of much higher levels of competence and experience) than presidentialism, and thus, the quality of economic decision-making is better and there is more political will in ensuring that the other economic liberalization reforms that need to be done do indeed get done. Empirical evidence proves that Parliamentarism consistently produces more Economically Free economic systems than presidentialism, as shown in the Heritage Foundation’s EFI rankings where the top slots are dominated by Parliamentary Systems. The Parliamentary System’s “Shadow Cabinet” system of checks-and-balances also ensures greater transparency and less corruption, thus improving investor confidence.

      b) Parliamentarism helps Evolving Federalism because once you decentralize according to regions in order to eventually form Federalized States, each of the states will pattern their regional governments according to the parliamentary form of government, thus granting the same advantages of better accountability, greater efficiency, greater stability, greater flexibility, and faster implementation of policies to the regional governments, similar to how countries like India, Malaysia, Canada, Australia, Canada, Germany, etc are parliamentary at the national level but are also parliamentary at their component states (or “provincial”) levels.

    8. Looking at the brazen riding in tandem in Metro Manila, can a Duterte stop this carnage of these criminals ? It appears that these criminals are not scared and can kill at anytime and at any place. Who can stop these criminals ? Not Pinoy, obviously not Senator Poe with her mild manner actions, not a Binay that is only interested in enriching himself and not a Defensor who is sick. The only choice really is Mar Roxas or Rodrigo Duterte .

    9. Nice article and thought-provoking! In Philippines, not only that money “talks”, greed and ambition are the main driving wheels in the political arena. It is no wonder that corruption is ailing this country. In my opinion, the biggest threat in Dutertet’s candidacy is not so much with organization, but funding and class E or the “masa” voters psyche. Both the upper and lower echelons co-exists in symbiotic relationship. The upper strata holding financial power provides the source for vote-buying to the the class D voters which is very much a huge obstacle in every election. It is despicable, more so repugnant, to acknowledge the fact that intelligent voting only exists in the minority. It is almost an impossible task to sway the “psyche” of the class E voters. They operate on a completely different level. To them money equals vote for a candidate. They cannot comprehend beyond that. The big financial backers control their chosen candidates. Duterte has no political machinery and financial backing from the political dynasty clans supported by big businessmen because he doesn’t want the “utang na loob” which will just hinder his advocacies. There’s already an organizational movement initiated by a group in its infancy stages to kickoff a ‘systematic” approach to have a cohesive system of campaign for Duterte. It’s called FORD – Friends of Rody Duterte. Basically, supporters have to become members in every barangay, local, regional and various organizational levels (OFW, family clans, various organizational group designations in local townships, etc.) to have a better and general accounting of supporters.

      Sans vote-buying and elections being rigged (again due to “money” influence), I have high hopes that Duterte stands a tremendous chance to be the victor.

    10. What important now is HE will SURELY run not just might….and thanks for choosing Cayetano….Pia and Alan are my Senators list since then and now as Vice President, I know he is a good choice too!