The revolution and Duterte

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“In politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies, there are only permanent interests.”
–President John Fitzgerald Kennedy

FOR me, there are only three permanent interests – God, country and the people. Family and friends have always taken a backseat in my life. But it’s worth it and I have no regrets. Lost opportunities are occasions for learning and re-examining the relevance of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the drift of events in this country.

I have written and spoken a lot of Duterte, on the pages of the Manila Times and in some radio and TV programs as well as in forums, as a possible candidate for president of the Philippines. If he and his associates had read and heard them, they must view me as an enemy. It’s understandable. In the world of Philippine politics irrational partisanship is a given. But I don’t mind. They might as well know that I am a maverick. As a non-traditional participant in the politics of this land, I have a few personal friends. My friends are those on the level of the mind and of the heart in history, politics, literature and music.

My interest in Duterte is nothing personal. I don’t know him, I have not met him. But I want to know him because he appears to be a major factor in the minds of many voluble people maintaining that he is better than the rest of the presidential contenders in the task of moving the country forward. This is a very interesting and engaging point, and it is worth exploring in the national interest.


The man, the charisma
What I know of Duterte is what I read in the papers, see and hear in television and radio programs, in social media and the oral impressions of him of people in all walks of life in this country. To say the least, they numb the intellect and befuddle the perceptive mind of how hopeless the people have become that they would cling to the last straw, come what may. As they say it in colorful Tagalog, “Ang taong nagigipit, sa patalim kumakapit.” (A desperate individual clings even to a blade.) Among the traditional politicians, he appears to be the last straw.

There is no denying that the man has charisma. He attracts persons from all direction – Luzon Visayas and Mindanao. He cuts along all social lines. The people like his swagger, his expletives, and the open desire to eliminate criminals and crooked politicians. He gets applause everywhere. He is attractive to men of all kinds, including those who have identity problems like PNoy, Rene Almendras, Migs Zubiri and Chiz Escudero. He must be attractive to women as he is known to have a lot of women, especially, I presume, those who like the taste of Viagra and Cialis.

But the greatest attraction of Duterte is his constant theme of declaring a revolutionary government the moment he gets elected president as well as his determination to change the unitary system of a government to a federal system; from a presidential to a parliamentary system. The problem with this articulation is that he is trapped by his backward forward movement, giving the impression that he is indecisive in areas where he obviously appears to be unfamiliar. For a leader, that is fatal.

For president or revolutionary leader
According to a knowledgeable source from Davao City, Duterte is definitely running for president in December of this year through the process of substitution, as it is publicly bruited about. This seems perfectly logical, despite his denials. Why should he keep himself in the national public eye, if he is not interested in running for president? Why should he allow his picture to be placed side by side with Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a registered vice-presidential candidate, in many a tarpaulin banner, especially in Taguig City, the home base of the Cayetanos? Why does he sit with Senator Cayetano in a television advertisement saying that if he were running for president, he would chose Alan Peter as his vice-presidential candidate. Is this not too obvious? I am not a professional mind reader but there is a maxim in law which says, res ipsa loquitor – the thing speaks for itself.

While musing on this possibility of Duterte running for President definitely, I met former Congressman Jess Dureza of Davao City at the new Laguindingan Airport, in Misamis Oriental, which is the entry point to Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and the whole Northern Mindanao. It seemed like an accident of Fate, since Jess was waiting for his flight to Davao City while I was on my way back to Manila from Cagayan de Oro City. But in life, no meetings are accidental, all meetings are providential. And this is one of those providential meetings, especially because, as usual, our flights were delayed, because according to Cebu Pacific and PAL announcements, the delays were due to air traffic in Manila.

Since Jess and I have not seen each other for a long time, we had used the opportunity to exchange views on the national situation. Since Jess is a friend of Duterte, I asked him whether Duterte’s decision not to for president is final. He answered me with a Mona Lisa smile. I could understand Jess’ Mona Lisa smile, after all I have been informed that Duterte does not like anyone to make such announcements for him. Beside, this unending speculation on whether he runs or not is good media exposure for him, if he decides to run.

But if I were Duterte, I would not run for President. Why? Running for president is too chancy, if he really wants revolutionary changes in the system and in the lives of our people. The arguments against elections are irrefutable. First, elections are criminal activities for the candidates – buying votes, concealing hidden wealth in their SALN; concealing the real expenses in the election, using guns and goons, buying teachers and Comelec officials, among others; for the teachers and Comelec officials, police and military officers and men, allowing themselves to be bought to manipulate the election and election results. Second, cheating in the elections for the administration will be massive or whoever can buy the Comelec. Third, it is useless to spend much money for the election, if the results are not certain. Fourth, much less money is needed for a constitutional transition government which really means revolution. Fifth, why spend so much time and money for the inevitable to happen.

Why Duterte? It’s simply because he has the money and the apparatus as well as the popular support for now. By delaying the decision to head a revolution, he is wasting precious time and he could be overtaken by events.

What should Duterte do?
But Duterte could not mount a revolution by himself. Alone, without a band of brilliant like-minded souls who have the best intellectual equipment, unquestioned experience, vision, character and disciple, Duterte will be a disaster and embroiled in a quagmire like Vietnam after the death of President Ngo Dinh Diem. That is the slough of despond that must be avoided at all cost.

In plain and simple terms, he must form a council of fifteen of the best and the brightest in the country who could restructure and redefine our institutions, reorient and discipline our people, pursue a vision of the Philippines that equalizes opportunities for all, and develop by itself without dependence upon other countries. He should assign someone like Congressman Jess Dureza to find these fifteen people who could help him in the task of nation building, making the Filipino a king in his own land. They are not difficult to find, if you skin your eyes like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick

If not Duterte, who?
Nothing is ever exclusive in the task of revolutionary leadership in this country. There must be one in every million, therefore about a hundred, as I say it over and over again! In my analysis, I could count of a least two who could do better than Duterte in the task of revolutionary leadership. All you need to do is read between the lines and make the discovery of your life.

As Senator Johnny Ponce Enrile used to ask me every time I met him since we were together in the Parliament, “Oh Bono, how is the revolution going?” My answer now, “Johnny, the revolution is coming and it will hit your treasured institutions like a thief in the night.”

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45 Comments

  1. Mas mapapaganda ang at mapapaunlad ang Pilipinas kung sina Mayor Duterte at Sen. Cayetano ang magiging mga President at Vice-President, respectively, ng bansa.

  2. tapat matulungin maaasahan my paninindigan yan si Duterte siya ang aking napili pra sa presidente!!

  3. After his announcement in December, the administration still has 4 months to unleash their black propaganda. Nakahanda na yan last year pa!!!!

  4. Your permanent interest: God, country, people. You have considered your family and friend to have taken a backseat. And yet your family and friends are part of those you call people. So basically, they haven’t taken a backseat.

  5. What this country needs are leader with firm dignity and crucial thinking on decision making and I see that on Duterte and Cayetano. Though Duterte wasn’t really decided as of this time, yet I’m still hoping that he would accept the bet for presidency together with Sen. Alan as his vice. The people needs change. Real change.

  6. Venerando Desales on

    I think the most important skill a President should master is in decision making. One cannot decide efficiently if he has not a firm grasp of the issues as he will be confronted with diverse pieces of advice from his analysts. He should also be open minded and make a decision fast when all necessary pieces of information are in. President Kennedy’s performance during the Cuban crisis was admirable while President Nixon’s humility was, likewise, admirable. Vacillation is a sign of weakness while charisma is just ‘palabok.’ Brutality is a sign of inner fearfulness, take note of that.

  7. #DuterteCayetano alam namin n madming plano sila para sa kinabuksan ng bansa,pinpakita nila n kaya nila ang mga tungkulin nila,

  8. ang tandem ni duterte at cayetano ang kailangan ng bayan ito. kaya alam namin na tatakbo si duterte. tiwala lang tayo sakanya, tulad ng pag titiwala ni sen. alan. dito na mag uumpisa ang pagbabago.

  9. Isang malaking step to para bumangon ang Pilipinas sa kahirapan! Ito ang simula ng Pagbabago, Salamat sainyo Sen. Alan! #parasapagbabago #changeiscoming

  10. Erem Fernandez on

    I want duterte and cayetano to be the leader of this country. subok na sila pareho at maasahan talaga. sila ang iboboto ko at wala nang iba.

  11. Keep Calm. and Change is Coming. ang pagbabago ay nalalapit na. #DC2016 #Parasapagbabago #DuterteCayetano

  12. I still believe Digong will run this coming election 2016, surely he’ll win overwhelmingly. I believe in Digong in every way for me he is the best of all candidates. I’m also a believer in federal system form of government his advocacy where every province of this land would work for its progress & development, free from the clutches of emperial Manila. That’s the true revolution, a bloodless one. Filipinos who loves progress, let’s make this a reality. Vote Duterte/Cayetano. No to yellow shirts. Death to BBL.

  13. May election pa ba? I think there may be supervening events this year that will never allow the wholesale vote-buying and machine manipulation being engineered by the Liberal Party. I believe that there are still a lot of patriotic Filipinos who truly love our country and will never tolerate the rape of democracy.

  14. For a revolution to succeed it must have an ideology that will resonate with the people. You mentioned God, Country and People. That is the Filipino Ideology of Marcos: maka-Diyos, maka-Tao at maka-Bayan. Anything, be it a mere idea or a mega-project or just plain policy must first pass the test of maka-Diyos, maka-Tao at maka-Bayan. Anything that falls short must be discarded. Maka-Diyos, maka-Tao, maka-Bayan ba ang gabay ng 30 year Yellow regime na ito? You don’t have to answer that question.

  15. Sana matuloy na ang pagsasama nila sa eleksyon 2016…nararapat lang na makaranas naman tayu ng magandang pamamalakad ng bansa at makakamtan natin yun kay senator alan peter cayetano at mayor duterte.

  16. Kung kay mayor duterte walang duda mas magiging effective syang pangulo ng bansa lalo na kapag pinag usapan ang security ng bansa bilang presidente..at kung may dapat syang katandem bilang vp walang iba kundi si senator alan peter cayetano..ang pagiging makabayan nila mas nagiging mabuti at epektibo sa lahat..

  17. a leader indeed a perfectionist and revolutionist hes the man of hour mayor duterte with his companion a true leader known as a “matapang na solusyon mabilis na aksyon” hes sen. alan cayetano with this two i’m sure there is a big change,. a revolution to our country will come,..

  18. i will just say little for me nothing more nothing less duterte – cayetano for a big change,.

  19. ndi hadlang ang pera… para sa mga mamamayang pilipino kung deserving ka na maging pangulo nila… panalo ka… pilipinas na ang sumisigaw na sana tumakbo kayo mayor duterte… for a better change #DuterteCayetano2016!

  20. The author is just afraid of Duterte’s style of leadership because he will lose a lot of money under Duterte’s presidency.
    Why Duterte? Duterte is the only person who can unite all kinds of people in the country and make the revolutionary successful. Yang better kay Duterte kaya ba niyang ipa.unite ang mga PH military, NPA, Muslim, at mga Lumad? It’s time to produce a leader from Mindanao!
    itigil na natin ang magpauto nnmn sa mga taong walang alam kundi ang magnakaw

  21. Strategy! minsan sa politiko di mu naman kailangan magbitaw lang ng magbitaw ng pera para manalo! tulad ng ginagawa ni Duterte! just saying… pero kung papipiliin ako kung sino magandang ka tandem ni DUterte,pipiliin ko si Cayetano kasi pareho ang hangarin nila para sa pagbabago!

    • iboboto ko si cayetano kung ibabalik at aminin niya ang 50million suhol sa kanya noong corona impeachment trial… there is no other way

  22. If i given a chance to talk to Duterte,i will tell him that if he want to help Filipino people,he must run! he deserve to be a president! like Cayetano he also deserve to be a vice president! sila lang naman ang may advocacy na bago yung ibang mga kandidato halos luma na!

  23. The first step to fire a revolution is for Duterte to join the electoral processes and strongly declare he is running for president. The revolution will ignite once the smartmatic declared Digong is poor losser in the election.

  24. The can’t be anyone. Revolutionary government needs euphoria of the people and no other prospective can match Duterte in this department.

    Duterte has Davao as a massive bargaining chip. He can easily offer Joma his revolutions is passe because he could show Davao outranked many cities around the globe without resorting to armed revolution.

    Who else is better than him? On paper perhaps. You need empirical backing to claim that one.

  25. Duterte attracts persons from all direction, Luzon Visayas and Mindanao. He cuts along all social lines. The people like his swagger, his expletives, and the open desire to eliminate criminals and crooked politicians. He gets applause everywhere. He is attractive to men of all kinds. .Kaya nga supportado siya ni Sen. Alan. Silang Dalawa ang kailangan ng bansa

  26. Alam ko tatakbo c Digong hindi para sa sarili nya kundi para sa mga taong umaasa sakanya saan man parte ng bansa, alam nya n maramisyang pde magawa sa pagbabago ng ating mahal n bansa kaya hindi nya tayo bibiguin, kasama nya n ipagpapatuloy ang laban c Sen. Alan. para sa tunay na pagbabago
    #DC

    • tama ka diyan. alam ni duterte ginagawa niya. kaya suportahan natin silang dalawa ni sen. alan para sa pagbabago.

  27. this coming year we need a leader like Duterte as well as Cayetano. if Duterte want a change Cayetano too. this tandem will be great.

    • saturnino dechoso on

      Duterte Cayetano ang kailangan natin ngayon, sila ang daan tungo sa tunay na pagbabago, #DC2016

  28. i think Duterte will run. Late announcement will keep him from what grace and binay are undergoing right now. it will be late for those against him to dig up his closet. Or maybe he isn’t announcing yet so that when he does, fresh pa sa mga tao. Matunog na matunog pa sa media. But i don’t think he has not planned ahead the things to do when he become president like Bono Adaza mentioned above. Kung talagang tatakbo si Duterte, at manalo sya, nakaktakot ang talino nya at ng mga tao sa likod nya. Too brilliant that they can be fearsome.

  29. I do really think ang I am not loosing my grip on this. I will be clinging to this this the lastbstrand hoping that Duterte would run. Cayetano can win with or without him but can this country be changed by only Cayetano? He needs a partner who has a heart and guts to fight for what rightband just for the people. Batman and Superman i’d say. No need tp question the intelligence and bravery of Cayetano since we already know that he is really a man of action. He needs a president who will listen ang help hom to carry out his plans for this nation. Federalism of Duterte and Decentralization of Cayetano goes hand in hand. Duterte Cayetano

  30. Nowadays most of the Filipino wants a brave leader like Duterte maybe this is one of the factor why so many asking Duterte to run as president! like Sen. Cayetano he’s not giving up convincing Duterte to run with him,maybe because Cayetano knows that if Duterte run as president,it will help our country for better Change!

  31. Malakas talaga ang charisma ni Digong san parte man ng bansa, marami umaasa na tatakbo siya sa pagka pangulo at magkasama cla ni Sen. Alan para sa tunay na pagbabago ng bansa. isa silang dalawa s magandang tandem..
    #DC2016

  32. I do agree that Duterte will be running for the presidency not because he has the ambition to be the president but it is his moral obligation to his countrymen and God. He was chosen and there are no means of running away from his destiny just like story of Jonah. He can runaway from his destiny he has a choice but if God destined him to lead God will make a way. He will be the runningmate of Sen Alan Cayetano and together they will make the change radically we are hoping for. Duterte-Cayetano

  33. Baka kasi patrte ng plano ni Duterte na magpa suspense. Pero ang totoo, magtatambal talaga sila ni Kuya Alan sa 2016. Woooh!

    • Sana matuloy na iyan kasi kung hindi I declare Grace & Alan Peter 2016 for my Presidential bet na talaga, kahit pang no choice si Grace andon naman si Cayetano. But of course upon reading this article, another hopeful chance to change my mind if ever…coz still no end or period (.) sign for me once he files, my vote is obviously for Duterte Cayetano!

  34. adonis b. rocha on

    One of the person Bono Adaza could be referring to that is better than Digong Duterte in the task of revolutionary leadership is Panfilo ” Ping” Lacson for sure. The other perhaps is Gibo Teodoro. Both a well qualified and have the vigour, wisdom and political will to push the agenda.