IS RODRIGO DUTERTE A THREAT TO PHILIPPINE DEMOCRACY?

 

Pix-Duterte-w-gun

Rodrigo Duterte’s political star  continues to shine bright, boosted by his vow to use an iron fist to fight criminality and corruption, just like what he did in Davao city. But how accurate and valid are his claims? Have OFWs and other Duterte fans checked the validity of his claims?

In her Nov. 28 column at http://opinion.inquirer.net/90692/talking-about-the-next-president, respected economist and political analyst Winnie Monsod revealed that claims of Davao city being the world’s 9th safest city were inaccurate and even deceiving. Why? Because the website which gave Davao the accolade of one of the world’s safest cities is virtually uknown and uses a defective method in its selection of cities or individuals to be cited for accomplishments.

And in a story published by www.philstar.com on Nov. 27, Leni Robredo, Liberal Party vice presidential candidate, explained that fighting criminality and delivering needed services to people have been done successfully in Naga city in Bicol under his late husband Jesse Robredo – without the need to resort to Duterte’s iron-fisted approach.  Google search Jesse Robredo & United Nations award to see that Naga is the most successful and most well governed city across the Philippines – not Davao.

In the case of Naga city under the late Jesse Robredo, it was cited by the United Nations and regional institutions for public governance and effective delivery of needed services to the people — thus making this city the single most successful across the Philippines, not Davao, even as law and order was also ensured without the need to use Duterte’s strong arm and even fascist methods.

Click the web link below to read about Leni Robredo’s statement — http://www.philstar.com/video-features/2015/11/27/1526575/robredo-we-got-same-results-naga-without-duterte-style-leadership

While Duterte has won legions of fans, his pronouncements below during a recent interview with www.rappler.com raise very disturbing and worrying questions:

1] He declared he’ll become a DICTATOR if he doesn’t achieve his goals in the first six months to one year of his presidency

2] He’ll close down Congress – the law-making branch of government — if it obstructs his work as president

3] He personally killed at least three people in the course of his fight against criminality

Equally disturbing, if not more disturbing, was his misguided decision to curse on Nov. 30 Pope Francis whose visit to the Philippines in January caused massive traffic jams, inconveniencing Duterte who got caught in traffic while on his way to the airport. After cursing the Pope, he said Pope Francis should go home so he won’t cause any more traffic mess in Manila.

That he disrespected Pope Francis, easily one of the world’s kindest and most respected men across the world, reflects the type of character and upbringing that Duterte has. Cursing in a public speech in his official proclamation as presidential candidate by PDP Laban also smacks of disrespect to the Filipino people who watched video clips of the event.

His disclosure also on Nov. 30 being responsible for burning alive and killing several kidnappers, of course, enhances his macho or tough image against criminality. But if he himself is capable of such brutality, even to criminals, what is to stop him from unleashing this violent streak to those accused of crimes, specially the poor, but not yet proven beyond doubt of what they are accused of?

It’s always ideal to have reduced criminality and corruption — as what Duterte is openly advocating. But why will Filipinos get a DICTATOR — like Duterte — to get this done? Why not get a democratic leader instead to do this job?

Has the peace and order situation in the Philippines become utterly hopeless, prompting scores to have a DICTATOR as new leader to succeed President Benigno Aquino whose government has accomplished much despite its failings and omissions?

Do Duterte fans really understand the very serious implications of having a DICTATOR as supreme leader of the land? It appears that many Pinoys, specially Duterte fans, may have forgotten the horrors of the Marcos dictatorship between Sept. 11, 1972 and Feb. 1986. This can easily be checked in Wikipedia in Google. Again, typing in Google “Dictatorships & Wikipedia” will inform OFWs and other Pinoys what dictators do across the world.

What’s the worst-case scenarios that can happen under a Duterte dictatorship? Let’s not be coy or pa-cute pa. Let’s call a spade a spade. He’ll likely declare himself a dictator to fix what he says are very serious problems in our country. So, what will he likely do?

First, he’ll close down Congress, saying lawmakers are obstructing his proposed changes. Who will then take over in formulating laws? It’s Duterte and his men because he’s a dictator, remember? What will jobless congressmen and senators do? Run to the Supreme Court for help.

Second, Duterte may ignore the Supreme Court even if it rules in favor of Congress. Or he may even close it down. He’s a dictator, remember? Check the last few remaining dictators around the world, i.e. North Korea and Zimbabwe in Africa. Dictators don’t care to listen to their people. Dictators listen to themselves most of the time. Dictators do and get what they want – with the support of the army. Genuine people’s interests? Sorry, they only come second to the dictator’s own interests.

How will democracy- and freedom-loving Pinoys take another dictatorship? Most probably, they’ll resist and take up arms. They’ll engage in a guerrilla war and aim for another Edsa-type revolution to try and bring back democracy. So, a Duterte government will have another insurgency problem in addition to the NPAs, Muslim separatists, Abu Sayyaf, etc etc.

Closing down Congress will certainly bring a major political crisis. Muzzling or closing down the Supreme Court will cause a major judicial crisis.  Having a dictator for president who declared on Nov. 30 burning to death several kidnappers will horrify leaders of the US, Japan, UK, France and many other countries that the Philippines trade with. Will our trade partners continue doing business with the Philippines and help us in times of major calamities? Most likely, they won’t.

So, overseas Pinoys and all other Pinoys need to really think hard. Critically and seriously. Do we really want to thrash DEMOCRACY that we’re enjoying immensely now? Or do we want to bring back DICTATORSHIP with all its attendant evils?

 

 

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