Duterte and Poe: one promises radical change and the other represents the status quo

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If popularity surveys are to be believed, it is going to be a close race between Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Grace Poe for the Presidency.  Some people’s prediction that Poe’s popularity would surge after the Supreme Court decided to allow her to run did not come true. While she still maintains the lead against her rivals, Duterte’s popularity stats are closing in on her.

It probably has something to do with the fact that the Supreme Court’s supposed majority decision to reverse the Commission on Election’s disqualification cases against Poe is still in doubt. Some claim that there was no majority decision on the question of whether Poe is a natural-born citizen or not in the first place. To get a majority vote, eight justices out of 15 should rule in favour of Poe but only seven justices voted in her favour. However, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno overruled that claim by insisting that the seven justices already constitute a “majority”. Likewise, some say that Sereno ignored the fact that out of the 15 justices, only 12 participated in that particular question.

It’s either Sereno is not good in math or she’s just good at dismissing dissenting opinions. Either way, the Supreme Court’s decision has not resulted in the boost in numbers Poe and her supporters were hoping for.  If we were to be honest, the only reason she is popular is because of her father, the late actor Fernando Poe, Jr.  Unfortunately, using her father’s popularity is also turning a lot of voters off. Her use of Poe alone instead of her married name Llamanzares is already an insult to the voters. As a writer, I still get confused about which of her names I should use. I just stick to the shorter one anyway. But it is still annoying because I am conscious of the fact that that’s not the name she uses in official documents anymore and it makes one realise that she is being dishonest in using a popular name just to get an edge over her rivals.

During the second Presidential debates, Poe and Duterte were also the audience favourite. Poe came across as articulate and expressive at first but if one were to listen to what she said again very carefully after all the excitement had subsided, one would realise that her words did not have any substance. They were mostly motherhood statements. One example was when she was asked what she would do if she was woken at  four in the morning with the news that the Chinese have sunk two of the country’s navy ships. She replied by saying that she would rise up and not complain about the earliness of the hour. The audience probably gave her brownie points for being confident in providing a quick rebuttal even when her answer was not really a valid one.

Poe also showed her feisty side in her responses to her rivals Vice President Jejomar Binay and Liberal Party bet Mar Roxas who are both part of the current administration. Binay was even said to have been “hurt” by her bluntness considering Binay and Poe’s late father were close chums when FPJ was still alive. It is a good sign that she is not one to back down when it comes to criticising other public servants. However, it also highlights the fact that she still refuses to criticize President Benigno Simeon Aquino even when she openly blames some of the President’s cabinet members for their incompetence.

A lot of people have noticed that she has been very careful not speak ill of BS Aquino even when he is very protective of his staff and cabinet members including those who are useless at their jobs. They see this as a sign that Poe is already into patronage politics even before she wins the Presidency. This is the reason why some conspiracy theorists are saying Poe is BS Aquino’s spare tire. Meaning, if Poe wins over the President’s bet Roxas, BS Aquino is still safe from prosecution. That theory is on the assumption that the President has control over the justice system including the Supreme Court justices.  In the Philippines, that theory is not too far-fetched considering some justices were handpicked by the President and may have to return some “favours”.  Some of them are also a bit star-struck and could be beholden to popular names like Aquino and Poe. Why else would some of them declare Poe qualified to run and disqualify others in the past who did not meet the residency criteria like she did? Maybe it’s because they are not as telegenic as she is.

If the race comes down to a toss-up between Duterte and Poe, it will be like choosing between a suitor and a single mother. Duterte is like a suitor who can sweep his love interest off her feet by promising the moon and the stars without bothering to say how he will do it. It sounds romantic but the love interest also needs to be practical. People should be careful in falling for sweet nothings. Having said that, Duterte’s confident demeanour, especially in the way he says he can solve criminality within three to six months, probably turns a lot of people on – those who are sick of escalating crime rates in the country.  But still, there are people who are really interested in the details of how he is going to do it though. 

I suppose Duterte doesn’t want to reveal his secret plan so the crooks won’t get a chance to pre-empt his strike.  It’s up to the people if they will allow themselves to fall head over heels for Duterte just like what that old romantic line says “come what may”.  It is always tempting to let yourself go and trust in the man who looks like he can take care of you. You just have to be prepared for the consequences just in case he fails to deliver on his promise.

Poe, like a single mother, would have to rely on doing anything to survive even if it means selling her principles to the highest bidder. That’s what some people are saying of her when she accepted campaign funds from one of the Philippines’ most powerful businessman. She insist that she is not a puppet but as the old mafia saying goes “I do a favour for you, you do a favour for me”. That’s just how it works. In other words, only the gullible crowd would fall for her motherhood statements. 

One thing is for sure, while Duterte promises radical changes like the introduction of a federalized government, which could see the end of Imperial Manila dictating the terms for the different regions in the country, Poe will continue the status quo – with the ruling class comprising of few elites calling the shots in the country’s economy. No wonder Duterte is starting to become appealing to more voters.

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Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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25 Comments on "Duterte and Poe: one promises radical change and the other represents the status quo"

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William E Jackson
Guest
The problem here in the Philippines election is the same problem in the USA elections which leads to one question. Which person will do the least amount of harm to the country? The election here is just like the election in America, Duterte is Donald Trump and Poe is Hilary Clinton. Duterte response to the question that he asked Poe was to start using speedboat gun ships to destroy China’s warships. Trump talks about many ways to protect the USA also. Both of these men have yet to give any specific logical plan to deal with their respectives countries safety.… Read more »
JAKE RUBINSTEIN
Guest
NO Willie, not even close. It is quite amazing that people in the Failippines as well as the USA/West can not seem to figure out that the political class is controlled and that the people’s voices and needs and wants do not matter to the ‘Deep State’.The people seem unable to grasp the idea that what they want doen’t fuckin matter in the least, their vote OBVIOUSLY means nothing, and yet, they still think their voice is somehow being heard and listened to. Despite all evidence to the contrary, and for fuckin decades too. I do not want to get… Read more »
William E Jackson
Guest
No Jack you are wrong. here is perfect example for you and hopefully many Filipinos to learn from. Lubbock, Texas was a alcohol free county and the rich people would not even let voters have the right to vote to change the law. So a bunch of students started getting the poor people involved in voting and replacing the city council and the mayor. No matter what country you live in the poor people can always out vote the rich. Most countries the rich only account for 5% of the population. The students took the poor people to register to… Read more »
JAKE RUBINSTEIN
Guest
A non-sequitor, your entire argument. and it does not negate what I stated. IF you think elections accomplish anything, go waste your time voting. As an aside,or proof to the contrary ? Look at what Castro did, the people’s revolt, had an actual well planned armed revolt, and removed the traitors of the peopl, the Bautista Government….and have yet to be unseated what,60 years later? An election could never have had that same outcome in that country.The U.S. Mafia controlled Cuba.Up until Jan.1,1959 and its a fact. If Filipino’s fail to realize that their political class is controlled and not… Read more »
joeld
Guest

Poe: seems to be trying too hard winning the votes of the people, that is why she talks a lot to convince people to vote for her. Lots of talk, often nonsense.

Duterte: presented a very basic objective (maybe just tired of elaborating on platforms). Doesn’t care if he wins your vote or not.

Poe appears to be too eager to become president. Duterte seems to focus more on national issues.

That says a lot, for me at least.

Vheinne
Guest

I Agree with you bro.

998Toro007Hyden999.99
Guest
998Toro007Hyden999.99

It is a politicsl Zarzuela…we just wait and see. Political promises are like pie crust…they are made to be broken…if you accept campaign funds from someone; I don’t believe, he gave it for free. There ia a string attached to it.

ramon esguerra
Guest

I think they (Poe and Duterte) did well on that Presidential debate. And this debate shows that Our country doesn’t need the like of Binay in the position. Binay have thrown boiling water in his own pot, and will definitely falls on the 4th rank in the next survey.

mrericx
Guest

boiling water? He’d just bought documents ready to spill it to the debate but it didn’t worked it out for him, that’s because he’d violated the rule on the debate. And this is the guy who he thinks that HE is the law and not the law itself. Karma will bite on it, again on him.

Cedric The Saxon
Guest

At this point, anyone but Mar (or Poe—Abnoy’s Manchurian Candidate). You’d have to be an idiot or a masochist for wanting more of the same crap we have had for the past six years.

JAKE RUBINSTEIN
Guest

SIX YEARS???? Did you say ‘SIX YEARS’ ? How about the shit the people have been eating since 1965 ? What is that about then ?
Its more like 50 years, but hey…as Filipino’s say(?) ‘Whose counting, bahala Na?

Dick S. O'Rosary
Guest

You seem to forget that 1965-69 were very good years. Why do you think he got reelected? Oh yeah, that’s right. The polls were rigged.

I wish I could say that the 2010 polls were rigged and that the losses from Yolanda, 44 dead cops, bangsamoro, dead HK tourists, corruption everywhere, LRT, license plates, costly electricity etc…, were not our fault and shrug off responsibility. But the truth is, he really did win those elections.

JOLIET JAKE
Guest
The elections are rigged to produce the exact candidate that the people that run the country(the ones you never see) wins. R U in denial DICK? Realize that sometimes the people go along with what the real rulers want, and it makes things even easier to corrupt. IF YOU THINK YOU LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY ,YOU ARE CRACKED !and if you think that the governing class gives one good fuck about the people, wow are you lost. BUT HEY, who am I? Keep on deluding yourself and i will not even give a fiddlers farthing when I will not even… Read more »
martin
Guest

we already see the outcome of what pnoy said that he’ll continue what his parents started. why not try bongbong to continue what his dad’s dream for the Philippines maybe he’s right we’ll be like/better than singapore.

JAKE RUBINSTEIN
Guest

Anyone that thinks these two knuckle-heads are going to do anything but EXACTLY what they are told to do is just very naive. Perhaps ignorance of history is to blame ,BUT come on now, REALLY?

Filipino’s have not figured it out? Even after 50 fucking years?
OH WELL, might as well ‘Vote early, and vote often’..on election day and make sure they pay P500 for each time you vote….may be the biggest payday some of you see for the next 6 years,huh?

Alfred
Guest

I dont know about you guys, if it ever comes to 2 choices between Poe and Duterte, I would rather pick Duterte who has more experience in running our country. Yes, Davao City is far smaller than running us a whole, but would you rather pick Poe?

rein carnation
Guest

I will pick Binay or Duterte. Look at the pattern:
Marcos(competent), Cory(incompetent), FVR(competent), Erap(incompetent), GMA(competent),
PNoy(incompetent), __________(competent). Di kaya ng PH na magkaroon pa ng magkasunod na Incompetent na Presidente. Maawa naman tayo sa bayan natin !

ChinoF
Member

I’m not a believer of popularity surveys, but I would believe the majority does have the attitude implied by the results: they’re fed up with the Yellows and want anyone but the Yellow candidate. And this for the many fed up is the diametric opposite. What else than Marcos and Duterte.

Walter P. Komarnicki
Guest

Davao City is 224,000 ha while Singapore City is 719.1 sq km. Lee Kuan Yew, whose death anniversary was three days ago, is still widely revered as his nation’s founding father, due mainly to his unswerving sense of integrity and sense of equality and fairness.
If Mr Duterte can manage to achieve just a fraction of what Mr Yew did in 6 short years, he will have achieved a lasting and memorable legacy.
This may be the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the Philippines has to make that quantum leap, and jump start the nation into the big leagues.

JOLIET JAKE
Guest
Its too bad the guy is a Neanderthalic thug. To anyone who supports the way his daughter assaults and humiliates subordinates in the streets and gets away with it, to the murdering of pot-smoking cannabis sales-people to the outright statements of supporting extra-judicial murders as a way of dealing with people that he doesn’t like, just ask: What is there to like about the guy? The fact that he is an antiquated moron who if given power sez he will openly abuse it? If the rule of law is not followed he is willing to break the law to enforce… Read more »
Dick S.O'Rosary
Guest

Lol. You think he can really get away with that? I suggest you read our Constitution! Commissioned by the President’s own mother, protected by the President’s own lackeys at the Supreme Court for years and years to come. Even a “popular” President couldn’t change it.

Jorge Barba
Guest

Ilda, Duterte mentioned already some of the hints he would do. One, raid the munti, the criminal supply lab of Metro Manila. This would take 1 day at the very least, not 3-6 months.

The second is upgrade their salary. Once the police transforms from dysfunctional to career-driven, the results are very promising. Duterte has data it can work. Davao has the worst history of crime when he took power.

William E Jackson
Guest
Jake, I have noticed that you totally avoided the facts I presented to you about how poor people in democratic countries can take over society. It has been proven over and over again. I also noticed that you only state problems and never give a solution on how to fix things. I am starting to wonder, have you fallen victim to the crab mentality. Everyone can excuses and problems. The true people are the ones who try and fix the problems. If you hate it so much here, my question is simple. Why are you here? Wait let me guess;… Read more »
JOLIET JAKE
Guest
Coming to the end of another election season in the Failippines,WOWO, and the only candidates that were trotted out for the people to vote for are people from the same families that have been running the country since 1965. The fact that the country has been raped by its elected leaders and their handlers for over 50+ years doesn’t even enter the consciousness of the people is astounding. Filipino’s actually chow down on the ‘We offer something new,We will bring you change’ line that these very same families/people have been saying for the exact same 50+ years just mentioned and… Read more »
d_forsaken
Guest

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