Pinoys rooting for Rodrigo Duterte bought his promises of wiping out criminals in just six months to improve peace and order, dealing strongly with corruption and bringing in more changes, such as federalism.
But instead of bringing peace and security, the opposite can actually happen under a Duterte presidency. Duterte is actually exposing and subjecting many Filipinos to at least three major sources of violence, injuries and even deaths.
The biggest irony and tragedy in this very disturbing prospect is this: most of Duterte’s fans are unaware that they are being led by the nose and regarded as gullible and naïve by a clever and shrewd politician to a man-made disaster. Duterte’s supporters are unaware that they are being led into committing a mass political suicide – just like in World War II when the Japanese were led by their leaders into believing the path toward prosperity was through violence and war.
On corruption, Duterte’s supporters perhaps don’t realize that a plunder complaint filed against him at the Ombudsman’s Office is no longer based on mere accusation. The complaint on theft of taxpayers’ monies is now based on solid Commission on Audit (COA) findings on the questionable use of P708 million in taxpayers’ money for 11,000 contractual workers in Davao city.
On people’s clamor for major positive changes, Pinoys should ask just one blunt and simple question — is Duterte the right person to initiate changes with questions in his psychological and mental frame of mind as reflected in a respected psychologist’s findings.
And another vital food for thought – why are respected leaders in Philippine society averse to a Duterte presidency? They include President Benigno Aquino, senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Bishop Antonio Villegas, who heads the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines and ex-police chief and senator Panfilo Lacson.
What dark side do they see in Duterte’s leadership? And why do most Duterte supporters don’t seem to see this?
CYCLE OF VIOLENCE THAT WILL AFFECT MOST FILIPINOS
Duterte’s legion of fans were impressed by the Davao’s city mayor’s iron-fist pledge to get rid of as many criminals as possible to improve peace and order situation in most communities.
But based on recent pronouncements of Duterte and recent developments, the Davao city mayor will likely expose and subject most Filipinos to at least three major sources of violence – and his followers are likely unaware of this.
The looming cycle of violence and the worse backlash that it will unleash on the Filipino nation is reflected in the editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer which can be read via this web link — http://opinion.inquirer.net/94621/death-squad-culture
What are the three sources of violence that many Filipinos will likely be exposed to under a Duterte presidency? These are the following:
1] More violent face-offs between the police and criminals
2] Military uprising against a Duterte presidency.
3] Bolder attacks by NPA rebels on the armed forces
Police confrontations against criminals are likely to become bloodier and more violent under a Duterte presidency. Why? Simple. If criminals know that the police want them dead with little regard for legal niceties under a Duterte presidency, they will ensure they are fully armed all the time. To avoid being shot to death, criminals will likely shoot their way out of face-offs, firing indiscriminately even if innocent civilians are affected. With more violent and bloodier shootouts, more innocent civilians can get caught in crossfires – whether they happen in busy Pasay city rotonda or Quiapo or in a remote barangay in Negros. When bullets start flying, they don’t choose who their victims are.
Duterte has angered the military by openly showing his close ties with Jose Ma. Sison, who heads the Communist movement in the Philippines, and even offering a coalition with Sison’s group. The military has been fighting the Communists since 1969 and soldiers and policemen continue to be ambushed and killed by New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas. Senior military officers will, of course, be angered by their enemy – the Communists – being made part of the government while they continue with their armed struggle in line with their ultimate objective to take over the government and impose Communism in the country. Senator Antonio Trillanes, a former military officer, has warned against possible military coup against a Duterte presidency. He continues to enjoy support and close ties with his ex-colleagues in the military and certainly knows what he’s talking about.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer has reported on May 6 NPA units threatening to execute barangay officials in Samar if the latter don’t ensure their presidential candidate – presumably Duterte – win the election. Clearly, the mutual respect and admiration of Duterte and Sison for each other – which have been widely reported in the media — have emboldened the NPAs to get involved in this year’s election, and take bolder actions, such as purportedly issuing threats of execution on hapless barangay officials in Samar. If Communist guerrillas see that their leader (Sison) has close ties with Duterte, their political position will be strengthened and in the military arena, they are likely to be emboldened in their encounters with the armed forces.
POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE CHANGES?
All Filipinos, in the Philippines and overseas, clamor for positive changes. Despite numerous achievements of President Aquino’s administration, rising drug trafficking, bullet planting (tanim bala) scam at Manila’s airport, Manila’s dilapidated train system and other problems have made many people clamor for change.
But is Duterte really the best option to introduce positive and better changes to a country of 100 million considering his unstable, erratic and volatile state of mind as shown repeatedly by his verbal outbursts and actuations?
A psychological report prepared by Dr Natividad Dayan, former president of the International Council of Psychologists, concluded that Duterte was suffering from “anti-social narcissistic personality disorder,” a condition characterized by “gross indifference, insensitivity and self-centeredness, grandiose sense of self-entitlement and manipulative behaviors” and “pervasive tendency to demean, humiliate others and violate their rights and feelings.” She issued the report which served as basis for the annulment of Duterte’s marriage with his first wife.
Filipino voters should ask themselves this hard question and come up with a very frank answer – should this type of person described in Dayan’s report be trusted to lead the Philippines over the next six years if he is troubled psychologically and mentally?
Think of our own personal circumstances, whatever our stature in life, whether we are an OFW in Hong Kong or elsewhere, a fish vendor in Quinta market in Quiapo, a clerk in company, staff in a call center, a food attendant in Inasal, a bank employee, a supervisor along Ayala Avenue in Makati, or a senior manager in an IT or manufacturing corporation in the Philippines.
If you’re a working mother or a female OFW, will you entrust your one- or two-year old son or daughter to a maid who acts and talks strangely and out of the ordinary?
If you’re a supervisor or manager in a company, will you entrust a very important and sensitive task to an employee with an unstable state of mind?
And even if you’re hard-pressed for change in your life, will you tap the help of someone with an erratic and unstable mind and demeanor? Or will you opt for someone with a more stable frame of mind, mature and intelligent, and who can probably help us effectively?
Duterte has certainly captured the interest and support of many Filipinos with his Rambo-like and macho approach to dealing with criminality and corruption. But the biggest question here is if he is really the best choice to do the positive changes people are clamoring.
There are certainly other choices. They are not as macho as Duterte and not as entertaining a speaker like the Davao city mayor who makes people laugh with his mixture of vulgar and “killing-this-or-that” jokes. But they are equally capable, if not more capable, like Mar Roxas or Grace Poe.
Entrusting something very, very important in our life, like the welfare of our one-year child, should never, never be left with a person with an unstable, erratic and unpredictable mind. Can you imagine our one-year child being run over by a bus or jeepney on the street or breaking her arm or leg in an accident inside our house because of our wrong choice of domestic helper to look after something very vital in our life?
The same principle applies to our choice for the presidency. Yes, we should have changes for the better by all means. But should we gamble the lives and future of our loved ones over the next six years with someone with a psychologically and mentally unstable mind, like Duterte? Or are we better off with a less charismatic figure like Mar Roxas or Grace Poe, who both shown ample leadership qualities and are both untainted by graft and corruption?
GRAFT AND CORRUPTION
Anywhere and everywhere around the world, no right-thinking people will vote into office a leader accused of large-scale corruption. Large-scale theft of taxpayers’ monies certainly deprives citizens of that country essential and vital services, such as life-saving medicine for the poor, new schools and health clinics in typhoon-devastated areas and creation of jobs and food for the jobless and the hungry.
Many Duterte supporters have largely dismissed Trillanes’ allegations that Duterte may have hidden ill-gotten wealth in his hidden bank deposits in Metro Manila and 41 properties undeclared properties under his children’s name. But Trillanes has certainly scored major points. He has forced Duterte to admit the existence of his previously undeclared bank accounts in Metro Manila. Duterte has also refused to disclose the history of his bank transactions, raising more questions than answers and strengthening suspicions that there might be truth somehow to Trillanes’ allegation that about P2.4 billion passed through Duterte’s 17 joint bank accounts with daughter Sara between 2006 and 2015. Since he only receives a salary of P78,000 a month as Davao city mayor or only P936,000 or less than one million pesos a year, the sources of huge sums he might have in his hidden bank accounts will certainly be questioned.
But while Trillanes’ allegations on Duterte’s ill-gotten wealth will still take time to be verified if true or false, the Commission on Audit (COA) came up with solid findings last year on the P708 million spent by Duterte in 2014 on an unusually large 11,000 contract workers in Davao city. Duterte defended the use of a huge number of contractual workers in a very large city like Davao. But he failed to rebut or respond adequately to key questions by COA. Why were there no 11,000 names if the P708 million claim was made for their salaries? Why where there no signatures of all 11,000 contractual employees? Why were there no time cards by all 11,000 contractual workers which is standard practice in government and even in many private companies?
The COA report represents solid proof of financial malpractice in Davao city under Duterte’s watch. Another solid ground of corruption allegaions against Duterte is his own admission of receiving expensive gifts from his friend, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy who heads a Davao-religious group. Expensive cars and residential lots are among gifts that Duterte admitted receiving from Quiboloy — a direct violation of Republic Act 3019 or the anti-graft and corrupt practices law.
Trillanes has made the COA report basis for filing a plunder complaint against Duterte with the Office of the Ombudsman, a constitutional body independent of the three branches of the government, including the office of the president. Simply put, plunder is theft of taxpayers’ money in excess of P50 million. Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla are both under detention after the Sandiganbayan, the anti-graft court and another independent constitutional body, found sufficient evidence in support of the plunder complaints against the two senators. Former president Gloria Arroyo is also under detention because of a similar plunder complaint against her.
Duterte’s failure to explain why he spent P708 million in one year alone (2014) raises serious questions on his commitment and ability to tackle corruption. The questionable use of taxpayers’ money for an equally questionable number of casual workers has also prompted Trillanes to speculate if some of the monies intended for the 11,000 casual workers might have found their way into Duterte’s alleged P2.4 billion.
While many Duterte fans see him as a possible solution to corruption in the government, they seem oblivious to major accomplishments of the Aquino administration in this front. Big-time grafters, such as Arroyo, Estrada and Revilla, remain in detention for plunder. Aquino’s decision to appoint Conchita Carpio-Morales, a former Supreme Court judge, has proven to be an excellent choice in the strengthened fight against decades-old corruption in government.
Just two days before millions vote for a new president in the Philippines, Duterte enjoys momentum and a double-digit lead over Grace Poe and Mar Roxas.
But the question remains: will Filipinos commit mass political suicide by voting into office a mentally-unstable man like Duterte who will subject the people to more violence and a dark future? Or will Filipinos step back from the brink of man-made disaster by going for Mar Roxas or Grace Poe?