Will we be fighting each other for the US, for China, or for the communist state?

25
FRANCISCO S. TATAD

FRANCISCO S. TATAD

I sometimes feel I am on the wrong side of history chafing at President Duterte’s diplomatic gaffes and vulgar insults against his perceived and proclaimed enemies. Despite his follies, DU30, I am told, continues to receive popular support from the masses, and opinion writers who criticize his vulgarities are in danger of losing their readers. A recent front-page article by Dr. Dante A. Ang, chairman emeritus of The Manila Times, suggests that the masa adores “Digong” precisely because of his vulgarities, not just in spite of them.

Dr. Ang’s insight is worth framing for posterity: “He possesses all the No-Nos of a respected leader. He is profane, vulgar, amoral. He does not have a clear path to economic deliverance. His campaign against drugs does not distinguish between the user and the pusher and the innocent bystander. Yet, despite all these negatives, people gravitate to him. They are all too willing to turn a blind eye to the alleged abuses and excesses. Why?”

The writer leaves it pretty much to the reader to conclude why. But right off, this apparent celebration of vulgarity and offensive manners is the clearest proof that something is terribly wrong with us as a people. We celebrate and applaud the odious and the execrable. We are entertained by what should offend us to the core. Once we have chosen someone to lead us, no matter how quickly he reduces himself into a much lower organism after that, we refuse to see that we have been deceived by our own illusions. We could no longer see him doing anything wrong, unless we were the direct and immediate victims of his offense.

DU30’s effect on our morals and manners
This happened under B.S. Aquino 3rd. It is happening under DU30. We expected change to come, and change has come. So what we thought was the worst government we ever had seems to be looking better than the present one. I am not talking here of the pivot to China, which should be pursued without trying to make an enemy of the US. I am simply talking of DU30’s direct and immediate impact upon our morals and manners as Filipinos. We could be loud and vulgar when we are drunk, otherwise we are normally well-mannered and pleasant to deal with. Yet in the last four months, there has been an obvious lowering of our standards of civility and decency everywhere, and we have ceased to be sensitive to the delicacy of certain words. Not to mention values.


In many places, including one health facility that offers excellent water therapy, I have lately noticed a sudden explosion of cuss words among millennials, which I never heard before. DU30’s notorious “putang ina” (whore of a mother), which he denies having used on Barack Obama, appears to have invaded the public square as the new argot to proclaim the notion of being male or gay. These vulgarities pollute the environment much more quickly than carbon emissions do, and should become the concern of our environmentalists.

An environmental issue
As Environment Secretary, Gina Lopez should perhaps initiate a move to prohibit, under a heavy fine, the use of vulgar and offensive language in public office and public places. This would help ensure a much cleaner environment at least in government. For precedent and model, I would refer her to Salt Lake City, Utah. In one of the famous shopping areas in that city, you will find a sign that reads, “This is private property. The use of offensive and vulgar language is forbidden, together with the consumption of alcoholic drinks and tobacco.” Or words to that effect.

DU30 should be the first one to welcome such a move. He has tried to cut his habit of exclaiming “putang ina” whenever excited, by promising God, during an alleged private conversation with the Lord at 30,000 feet altitude, on his way home from Japan, that he would stop using this cuss word. But he could not help himself when he learned recently that the US government had decided to deny the sale of 26,000 N-4 rifles to the Philippine National Police. So he cursed again.

No conversation with God—joke only
For the US, this was apparently one way of helping DU30 fast-track the implementation of his announced move to “separate” the Philippine militarily from the US, and buy more arms from China and Russia. But apparently he had forgotten his “separation” announcement, so instead of thanking the US State Department for its gratuitous help, he broke his promise to God not to curse anymore, and did it again by calling the US government “monkeys.” He had to explain by saying—exactly as I had suggested in an earlier column—that he never had a private conversation with God; that it was all a joke.

In apparent consideration of the sensibilities of believers, DU30 did not say whether or not he believed in God. With him having publicly cursed God at least once in the last four months, I can only hope he does not say that he had felt free to curse God because he did not believe in Him after all, so there was really no one to take offense. Except, of course, the overwhelming majority of his voters who believe in Him.

I hope and pray, together with all those who have not entirely given up on DU30, that he would finally be able to control his temper and his mouth. That has become his main problem and he should exert every effort to deal with it. If he cannot stop his cursing, he should perhaps do what Erap Estrada did about his own inadequacies. He made fun of his own booboos, and used his follies to disarm his critics. Erap manufactured jokes at his own expense, and called them “Eraptions.”

Laughing at one’s follies
Ousted in 2001, and convicted of bribery later, he served a sentence, but was finally pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Erap made a joke of this sorry turn of events by saying that true to his habit of never finishing anything, he didn’t finish his schooling because he became an actor and a politician, then he didn’t finish his presidency because they took it away from him, and he finally decided not to finish his jail sentence. Many are still laughing at Erap’s jokes.

Some observers thought DU30 could have started laughing at himself, like Erap, when he was in China, had he announced that he had adopted a Chinese name—Poh Tang Nah. In Japan, he could have told the press that he had adopted “Nakamura” (able to curse) as his nom de guerre. At his probable encounter with Obama in Peru this month, he is advised to try and assure the outgoing US President that he never said “puta ang ina mo” (your mother is a whore); all he said was “puti ang ina mo” (your mother is white). If Obama laughs with him, then the world would be laughing with them both. It is a win.

If there’s no chance he could stop cursing foreign heads of state, international institutions and functionaries who disagree with him, he could perhaps issue an executive order, or ask his rubber stamp Congress to enact a law, saying that whenever the head of state uses “putang ina” in his speeches, it should be understood simply as an expression of disbelief or surprise, and not as a profanity intended to malign anybody’s mother or any particular individual. Any foreigner who takes the phrase differently would be automatically declared persona non grata.

Finally, the Cabinet should exert every effort to convince Oxford, Cambridge, Webster, Merriam or any reputable dictionary to enter “putang ina” as a new word in the English language, to mean “an expression of disbelief or surprise,” in the same manner that “Imeldific” and “kilig” have entered the English language. If this were done, then DU30 could spend his entire watch spreading “putang ina” around the world without any serious adverse consequences. He might even get himself nominated for the “Gusi Peace Prize,” whose streamers now form the backdrop of the People Power monument on EDSA.

The real threat —rising racism
But our real problem is no longer just DU30’s foul and pugnacious words. His rabid anti-Americanism has apparently energized every pro-DU30 thug everywhere not only to repeat his vulgar epithets but also to enforce their borrowed anti-Americanism with the necessary muscle. An old friend on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., a lawyer, has written to express this concern. Small-town thugs could fan the slightest hint of anti-Americanism just for kicks or to satisfy some personal grudges.

My friend reports that a few days ago, a lady constituent of Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, an old colleague in the international pro-life and pro-family movement, sought the latter’s help on behalf of her parents in Mindanao, who had reportedly been arrested and jailed for running an orphanage. Her mother is a naturalized American and her father an American missionary. The reported charges are “problematic,” writes my friend, “and their legal situation is in limbo.”

I am sure the office of Chris Smith would be looking deep into this case in the coming days. At the same time, I have received a report about a group of rowdy characters recently quoting the President and harassing an innocent American pedestrian in Pasay City, and asking him to go back to America. Like a deer caught in the headlights, the foreigner did not know what to do; other Filipinos at the scene came to the rescue.

This is a most dangerous element to introduce into Philippine society. Racism has no support among Filipinos. At a time when the Jews were being persecuted by the Nazis, and many countries in Europe were closing their doors to the Jewish refugees, we opened our doors and our homes to these refugees. After the Vietnam War, we set up facilities in Bataan for the boat people coming from Vietnam on the way to the United States. Thus, it is not uncommon to meet a Vietnamese-American in New York or in Washington, D.C. who could not forget their experience of Philippine hospitality in Bataan.

Any kind of anti-Americanism among Filipinos is bound to show up in their dealing with other white-skinned nationalities. For Filipinos tend to regard every white colored foreigner as American, to the amusement and, sometimes, discomfort of other races. In the 1970s when the first Soviet correspondents for Tass and Pravda came to Manila, their only complaint was that whenever they visited places outside Manila, they were royally treated by the locals, who uniformly called them “Joe.” A reversal of that warm pro-Americanism would likely affect other white-colored nationals, too.

But it’s not anti-Americanism alone that’s being whipped up by DU30’s rhetoric against his perceived and proclaimed enemies. Among pro-American Filipinos, especially those who “love” America and things American more than Americans themselves do, DU30’s effort to play China against the US is also reported to be generating intense resentment, not only against him but also against the Chinese. This heightens the volatility and vulnerability of Philippine society. With anti-Americanism, anti-China feelings and anti-Dutertism on the rise, how long will it be before we see Filipinos fighting Filipinos in defense of the Americans or the Chinese or Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco’s vision of a resurgent North Korea-type communist state?

Wake up, shape up and talk to us, Mr. President.

fstatad@gmail.com

Share.
.
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

25 Comments

  1. Hatak pa more , Mr Tatad you had your chance to serve the people when you where in government, should have done your best to be loved by the people.
    The problem is that you are attacking somebody who was better than you in public service or in marketing himself so just stand in the corner and watch the guy do his job.
    Please also do not compare a lawyer to erap (please) erap didnt know how to defend himself thats why he was easily toppled, you guys had to do it for him.

  2. What a great article. The points you make are important for all Filipinos to consider. In business management schools you are taught that as the manager anything that you do or say is a permission slip to all those underneath you. if you act bad to a person then everybody else now has permission to do so. The fact that du30 has decided to be vulgar to the US President and tell the Americans to leave, to the EU to mind their own business that you are no longer needed we will align with Russia and China… sends the message directly to the streets that you are allowed to do the same. I am a business consultant in Los Angeles, I have now lost business to be setup in Manila and more so my desk is now with other firms reconsidering business sitting there… I consider this tragic, but have nothing to offer for reconsideration. One firm I deal with has been bringing in teachers from the Philippines to fill the shortage of such here in the US. Thousands (maybe more so than Nurses) were to have been offered good paying jobs here to teach. This is now an issue for many communities …. do I send my child to a school where the teacher could hate America???? Do I want my nurse at the hospital to hate me because I am American…. While 100% stupid … keep in mind that not all Americans are wise or educated. At least 49% think Trump is a good presidential candidate.

    American expats are returning (they get the message) immigration lawyers here are very busy processing applications for wives and children. Should these people be hurt at no fault of their own it will cause outrage. Many have reported their wives being called names and personally threatened. I pray for calm.. But make no mistake… Americans will hold du30 responsible.

    My question……. So where is all this support and who is doing all these surveys? My dialog (daily) directly with Filipinos in Manila, San Fernando, Cebu etc… I don’t find words of total devotion to du30. Who are conducting these surveys… Most dictators have their ministers of Propaganda… Pushing false messages to the press. du30 is a minority government… Be aware of misleading statistics and propaganda being feed to the newspapers about all this support.

    I read one article whereas the congress was considering giving special powers to du30 in times of emergency. Hitler was granted the exact same thing and arranged for the Reichstag to be burned (their parliament building) which lead to the nasi take over of all of the government. Google it.

    Personally, I feel very bad as a boy that I have watched grow into a wonderful wonderful young man will be graduating next year and I planed to be there. That trip has been canceled as I no longer feel secure. I never would have ever thought that would be the case.

    I hope this storm passes before it becomes a hurricane.

    Please keep up the honest and true reporting and writing.

  3. Dear friends I am saddened to know that the masses of today’s generation way back 15yrs. Idiot’s were increasingly alarming they becoming retrograde in all corners of our island by fact alone they teach high up to malacanang.
    A nightmare became reality but the real ghost of it is yet to come.

  4. NEWS FLASH: DUTERTE REPENTS AFTER LIGHTNING STRIKE

    MANILA (TP) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was struck by lightning today as he wandered alone on the grounds of the Presidential Palace in Manila. Duterte was rushed by ambulance to Manila Central Hospital after aides heard a loud “bang,” saw a blinding flash, and discovered him smoking and singed on a garden path. The president’s injuries are not life threatening, doctors said.

    “As God is my f-cking witness, I’m going to clean up my language for good this time!” Duterte vowed to reporters from a hospital bed, crossing himself.

    Meteorologists were left groping for a scientific explanation of the bolt which came “straight out of a blue Manila sky,” as one put it. The president’s security team now insists he wear a rubber hat and shoes, and take other measures to insulate himself from Divine wrath. “Son of a bit-h if I wear that outfit!” Duterte exclaimed. “Who do those sons of whor-s think I am — a f-cking clown!?”

  5. Popularity is a fickle sentiment. It is not an inarguable measurement of permanence for any person.

    What is most regrettable for Filipinos, both in the Philippines and abroad, is the damage that Duterte and his syophants are doing to the image of what the Filipino psyche is in reality.

    Apart from what the law upholds there is such a thing called decorum, from the mundane to the more lofty strata in society. There is also such a thing called leadership by example.

    Regrettably once again, Duterte is a foul mouth, media attention grabber, circumloquitious and short sighted leader in practically everything he says and does.

  6. P.Du30 will be ousted by the military and by the majority if the peso and the stock market will continue to fall. His mouth and demeanor are just contributory factors. It’s the state of the economy that will cause his downfall.

  7. Good observation on what is going on in our country, very educational. May God have Mercy on our country, 5 more years of this administration, we just hope that Duterte, won’t destroy the good things that we have build in the country. We should learn from the countries of Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, that communism doesn’t work.

  8. You seem to be writing to expose every fault of DU30 whether it is little or big. You are writing to propose hypothetical future bad consequences of his actions. You have lost objectivity in your writings.

    Here’s what you should do. Take a breath, maybe even a few days off. Then become objective again. Do not look at everything DU30 is doing as the act of an enemy. Try to write about the good things and the not so good things in a balanced manner.

    Take the war on drugs. We are doing good so far. We have shrunk the market and are pressuring drug lords to leave the business. This is a war for the people’s safety. DU30 is the man leading that charge. Do not undermine the people’s leader of this war. Support him so that we all can succeed. The silencing of Espinosa is clearly the motive of the drug syndicate. That only shows how deeply the drug syndicate has corrupted people in government and in the police force.

  9. Bert O. Romero on

    Please continue shouting to high heavens the Emperor has no clothes. As you correctly observed , everyone seems to have been mesmerized or intimidated ( as in the case of the Catholic Church? )into defeaning silences ! Your voice maybe a voice in the wilderness now but in the end it is the one that will prevail. Truth takes its time to be embraced as such.

  10. That is the problem of having a leader such as Duterte. He is the one being imitated by majority of the Pilipino people specially the poor . It is clear the he cannot change. The expeession that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks is true” what can we do ? Wait for the next president after 6 years. Hoping that this president will not affect our day to day lives.

    • what makes him different to anybody else is his AUTHENTICITY. that is the reason why his popularity had not decline considerably so far. yes he is profane, vulgar, amoral etc..every negative traits you want to describe it. but the people like and think that is better than HYPOCRITES…

  11. the reason why he has popular support is because he hit the heart of the masses problems and dissatisfaction with the past administrations and majority of politicians in office and these grievances that he addressed and trying to eradicate is of course crime, Endo, this is a form of slavery by our own government in cahoots with the big companies., peace negotiations will all rebel groups except ASG. release of all political prisoners, the masses support the communist rebels because they are fighting for a cause similar to what the masses are experiencing and cannot much about it and this includes poverty, corruption etc., Duterte also known to hate corrupt officials and most of the cabinet members he appointed seem to be honest except now we have question is PNP chief Bato who went to vegas and watch manny fight. where did he get the transportation and hotel expenses? , this should be investigated., Duterte also hates the mining companies who destroy and abuse the environment with impunity because they bribe the governors, the rural folks like this move. lastly he highlighted the US abuses in philippine by intervention and some point exploitation although some of it not true but there were some abuses especially when US servicemen commit crime in the country usually they get away with it except the recent one because it was in media and public outcry. former or past administrations did not addressed or really did much in grass roots level the above problems, thats why he has support inspite of his vulgarities. its like who else will help the masses in leadership position can be relied or count on ? they have their man and that is Duterte and Im sure another figure in future who will do the same platform of filipino first interest before anything else will also have popular support. its not that complicated its just conviction the root cause of poverty in the country and culture and committment to solve and fight it and just by words but with action.

    • what’s the problem with bato watching manny at vegas..kung pera mo ang pinambayad nya, yun pwede mong sabihin problema nga

  12. Will we be fighting each other for the US, for China, or for the communist state? by SEc.Kit Tatad

    This is the worst opinion writing you have brought forth to the filipino people. You are promoting division among people of same filipino blood. How dare you create an imaginary conflict base on whether one like the USA or China. Who care about that. This is the same tactic that the Marcos administration used, the one you were a part of, DIVIDE AND CONQUER, to get his agenda thru. This a fight which all filipino would agree the complete elimination of graft and corruption which you still need to opined or at least be brave to list the Narcopoliticians destroying generations of filipino. This is a fight for the return to greatness of my Philippines and the increasing progress which all of the filipino awaiting for. It is pathetic that you would try to fool the filipino people.with this. Filipino are smart to see thru this. This will not work..

    Despite his follies, DU30, I am told, continues to receive popular support from the masses, and opinion writers who criticize his vulgarities are in danger of losing their readers.by Sec. Kit Tatad

    If you continue to spin the issues and create confusions on matter concerning the progress of my Philippines, your fear may come to fruition. I don’t want to lose you. I need your column to weigh issues about my Philippines.I like reading column from different pundits. It give me ideas of whether to return back to my Philippines or not. Now let us discuss Mr. DU30’s follies. The man, I must admit, is very smart. He caters to the common filipino who has nothing to do with the PC culture. He senses the most important wants filipino needs simple needs like law and order, family and sustenance. He is able to communicate that and get it thru with all the expletives and chauvinistic diatribes. No bull or spin. Compare to your former boss Marcos, he is a real statesman. He can spin issues and make you eat bull. As Mr. DU30 states ” Be like the American, they can smell bull and will call out a spin . I rather have the present vulgar than the former liar just like the dictator. Thank you

    • not worst opinion..better to describe it is NON SENSE article!!!the writer though very intelligent pero tatanga-tanga….

    • Thank you comrade for your thoughts. Appealing to the uneducated masses with little or nothing to loose using 1/2 cooked logic, no good reason and high on emotion is the modus operandi of the communist.

  13. Stop announcing your (PI) aligning to the chinks and the ruskies to the world as if anyone in the world cares. USA does not need you. period. Just get on with iit. Good riddeance.

  14. Yonkers,New York
    06 November 2016

    There appears no way Little Tyrant Rodrit=go Duterte, now a CONFIRMED Communist when, before his new Master Chinese President XI JINPING in his 18-21 October state visit to Beijing he vowed that “I’VE JUST REALIGNED MYSELF WITH YOUR IDEOLOGICAL FLOW”–meaning of course that he had just converted DEMOCRATIC Philippines to COMMUNISM, could ever be expected to change his psychotic mind about his having “separated” from the United States–psychotic because underlying his ANIMUS toward the United States is a personal pique or hurt when as Mayor of Davao City reportedly he applied for a VISA to go to the US, but was denied one because of his well-publicized long record of HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.

    Now that he is President he thinks he is now in a good position to retaliate against the United States; like the gorilla King Kong, you can imagine him beating his breasts and shouting triumphantly at the top of his voice, ‘VENGEANCE IS MINE!”

    MARIANO PATALINJUG
    patalinjugmar@gmail.com

  15. Totally blown away what i’m reading SIR, your post, I’m European, they call me Joe all the time, it makes me scared now to visit.

    • I would say this report maybe an isolated case ,Filipinos are hospitable and friendly to every foreigners that visit our country Pres Duterte would not condone such kind of treatment.

    • Steven, i am not for any defense of my country and only to clear the issues in this article by this biased writer and i don’t know why his editor don’t check the correctness of the content of his write ups or maybe the other way around is in cahoots with him. He is a former deep avid supporter of J.Binay who lost in the last Presidential election and in the process is exacting vengeance to this President by way of writing speculative conclusion always so that reader/s will be politically brainwashed as to the status of this country. If you are in doubt of what i am saying, can you please try to read his previous write ups/commentary way back before election time of May 2016 for your evaluation on him in this same newspaper.

    • don’t be brained washed by yellowish pips of our country…they do nothing good except to destroy the image of our country..