‘This is what I see: The President, though sometimes lucid and able to string together a group of five words or more to form a coherent thought, will continue to be completely and absolutely incompetent.’
I CAME across a Facebook post from a very “ahem” enthusiastic fan of President Duterte. It was wordy, repetitive, rather boring, and unapologietically long for what amounted to enough brown-nosing to give its readers leptospirosis. The problem is, a whole lot of what was written was, well, demonstrably false. Unsurprising, coming from someone in PCOO, but still, we deserve more for the taxpayer money that goes to their exorbitantly large salaries. So, to help him out, I’ve decided to fix his post for him.
You’re welcome, good sir.
When Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared his candidacy for the presidency after the almost-illegal-but-not-quite switcheroo act with Martin Diño, he was very candid and genuine. And by “candid and genuine” we actually mean vulgar to the point of sounding like your drunk kanto tambay uncle on the Saturday evening after he lost in sabong.
He was brazen enough to admit to amassing millions and spending it all on “happy happy,” and bold enough to say that his presidency will be bloody.
He often said, “Mahirap ka? Pu***g ina, magtiis ka sahirap” while always making excuses for his corruption-laden Cabinet. In other words, a comfortable life for him and his cronies at the expense of the Filipino masa. This is an all-encompassing vision that includes his mainland Chinese overlords.
I have watched and listened to enough of his speeches to know that if you hear one, you’ve heard them all. He is a narrator, if by “narrator” you mean to say that “brrrtbrrrt” is the height of compelling storytelling.
And we all know that in narration, the story has to actually make some damn sense. Here, government officials would force certain issues by taking everything Duterte says and spinning it to mean something else, often the exact opposite of what he clearly just said.
But as Foreign Affairs Secretary Locsin said on Twitter: “My daughter totally controls this Twitter thing which explains the sudden disappearance of my most piquant tweets. Children I tell you.”
THE DUTERTE BRAND
The first half of Duterte’s term was focused on killing Filipinos and instilling fear among the populace. No short-term/long-term thinking here. The Duterte brand is not complex. It is state-sponsored murder. And to an extent cronyism and virtual junta-making.
The Duterte brand essence: Kill, kill, kill.
All his promises to the Marcoses, fulfilled. All his promises to Xi Jinping, fulfilled. All his promises to Filipinos – to defend the West Philippine Sea, to eradicate drugs in 3-6 months, to give Filipinos a comfortable life, heck, to uphold and defend the Constitution – eh, not so much. Duterte doesn’t really care, we’re not his priority anyway.
Foreign policy heavily in favor of China was pursued for God knows what true purpose. This has made Filipinos very uncomfortable, more so now that another Filipino fishing boat was rammed by a Chinese vessel, this time with likely no survivors. To think that the crew of the Gem-Ver hasn’t even been compensated over what happened to their vessel at the hands of the Chinese.
THE FINAL 2 YEARS WITH COVID-19
This is the most challenging part. Any leader who has done well must outdo himself, but in Duterte’s case all he had to do was show up once a week, and he can’t even do that consistently.
So, this is the situation of the Philippines today.
The President, absent.
Economy, tanking, and about to get much worse, by this government’s own data and projections.
Foreign policy, backtracking, because the military dislikes faulty Chinese military wares.
Basic services, barely there, and only because the local governments at the provincial, city, municipal, and barangay levels have all stepped up despite shotgun neither-here-nor-there policy wishwashiness from Malacañang.
Trust and approval ratings, irrelevant, but someone felt the need to make optics more important than our inability to bring the COVID-19 infection rates down.
The Opposition, surprisingly enough, virtually non-existent, save for a few sane voices in the wilderness.
This is what I see: The President, though sometimes lucid and able to string together a group of five words or more to form a coherent thought, will continue to be completely and absolutely not up to par.
This is what I say, in the immortal words of Justin Bieber: You, President Duterte, and all your Duterte Death Squadders, can go love yourselves.
Happy 4 years, Mr. President.
Bumaba ka na.