Do Filipinos need iron-fisted leadership?

Filipinos do not know what they want. In 1986, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos took to the streets to rally against the late strongman, former President Ferdinand Marcos. The three-day protest eventually led to the ousting of the so-called “dictator” and alleged human rights violator. Twenty five years later, Filipinos from the Mindanao region of Davao are lauding the Duterte family for their style of leadership that is reminiscent of the Marcos years. They love the Duterte Mayors particularly former Mayor who is now the Vice Mayor to his daughter Sara, gun-toting Rodrigo for their Wild-West-style no-nonsense leadership.

Most Filipinos from Davao or the Davaoeños are quite aware of the hired mercenaries — what they dub the “Davao Death Squads” (DDS) — and are even proud to say that the phantom team is largely responsible for keeping the peace and the order in their beloved city. They say that since the people cannot rely on the justice system, these death squads at least keep the criminals off the streets, which in turn makes it safer for regular people to walk about. Full disclosure: these are all based on anecdotal statements and not on an official study.

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Most vocal Davaoeños would readily admit that the improvised system works for them. One commentator even asked the question, “If an iron-fisted Machiavellian approach is preferable to enforce peace & order, are you saying that [we were] better off not having the Edsa revolution in the first place?” Indeed, ruling Filipinos with an iron fist seems more effective than the softly-softly approach that has been used since Marcos left. I even received a lot of hostility from Duterte supporters for my article criticizing Mayor Sara’s use of violence to get her way. So, I thought, hmmm…there must be something that people from other regions in the Philippines are missing

The evidence, in fact, seems to speaks for itself. The Department of Tourism awarded Davao the distinction of being the “Most Livable City in the Philippines in 2008” and, according to reports, the Foreign Direct Investment Magazine had even highlighted Davao as “the 10th Asian City of the Future”. The importance of Davao as a regional trade hub is highlighted by its transport infrastructure. Davao’s airport is the busiest in Mindanao, and the city also boasts two government and nine private seaports. Construction of more roads and bridges is underway according to their website. Now that is something to think about.

As the fifth largest city in the Philippines, Davao’s economy has grown steadily in the last two decades. There is no shortage of investors in the city of 1.5 million and most people there attribute all this to the efforts of their beloved mayor whose efforts at cleaning up the city and introducing economic reforms, which include dismantling of protection for “infant industries” and the breakdown of industries with monopolistic or cartel tendencies, seem to have paid off. It’s been said that Davao contributed significantly to making the Philippines the world’s top exporter of papaya, mangosteen, and even flowers. The annual income of Davao City in 2010 is said to have reached 4 billion pesos, the richest city in the country outside of Metro Manila.

Should we clone Duterte?

So I now wonder: wouldn’t the rest of the Philippines be better off electing Rodrigo Duterte clones to their respective local governments to effect the same level of discipline we see in Davao? Just imagine if the image and likeness of “the man” together with his brand of “leadership” is put in place in every city in the country. The result might see the entire country being more than eligible for “The Most Livable Place on Earth” award. That scenario would be just short of amazing.

I guess all that is needed is for us to turn a blind eye to the activities of the hired mercenaries, which if the rumor is true, goes hand in hand with a Duterte-styled management. And if one commentator (an avid Duterte supporter) is correct, for as long as you are not a drug pusher or do not engage in criminal activities, you can be assured that you won’t get any visits from any “death squad” any time soon. In short, if we take the word of a Davaoeño who has for some time enjoyed relative peace and order, it’s all good. Apparently, even the human rights advocates have not been very vocal about their complaints either.

Who wouldn’t want a curfew on minors observed in the city? Under the Duterte rule, all business establishments, in particular bars and discos, would be mandated by a city ordinance to refrain from selling alcoholic drinks beyond 2:00 am. That would certainly reduce the number of casualties that result from public brawls and drink driving accidents.

The roads would be a lot safer too because motorists will be forced to observe road rules and regulations. Regular checkpoints in key parts of City and at the city boundaries will be in place round the clock to ensure strict implementation of traffic rules. And just like in Davao, motorcycle drivers with no helmets and motorists with defective lights will not be allowed to enter or drive in any city in Luzon and the Visayas.

The use of fireworks and other pyrotechnics, as well as smoking, would be strictly prohibited in the entire country. We will have more people with complete sets of fingers if illegal fireworks traditionally lit on New Year’s Eve are banned. Smoking will be banned too — even outdoors, if you are under a roof of any kind. Violators will be made to pay hefty fines, perform community service, serve jail time, or a combination of the three. President Noynoy Aquino will most likely be forced to quit smoking. And while we are at it, we can extend similar penalties to people who love singing in the wee hours of the morning.

But this will be the most shocking rule for all Filipinos in Luzon and Visayas: Littering would be prohibited. I don’t know how Filipinos would be able to adjust to this. The death squad will be likely to have their hands full implementing this rule alone considering how most Filipinos can’t seem to kick their tossing habit. There will definitely be a mother of a withdrawal period as Filipinos quit cold turkey throwing their trash wherever they please.

Just think about it. For almost three decades, Filipinos have enjoyed their so-called freedom to lay waste over the entire country. Isn’t it time that someone with an iron fist instill discipline on all of us? Or are individual rights and civil liberties more important than a clean and safe environment? You decide what you want.

103 Replies to “Do Filipinos need iron-fisted leadership?”

  1. The bottom line was never about Freedom. It was always about prosperity. If the leader no matter how authoritarian or iron fisted is able to deliver on peace and prosperity to the most number of people, people really do learn to turn a blind eye to things like… say… freedom of speech and expression… even the right to assemble… Another case of which comes to mind is Singapore and Lee Kwan Yew.

      1. Hi Ilda,

        For me, I can only dream of PHL like Sing but to be honest, you cannot compare the two countries. Geographically, politically, Socially, Economically, probably in all aspects. PHL is an archipelago and for that it’s very hard to control. Sing is an island, formerly from Malaysia, and its easy to control. If ever there’s like Lee Kwan Yew in PHL he wouldn’t live that long.

  2. Did Marcos punch someone in front of the media? Is he that arrogant to throw tantrums publicly? Would he ever say that he doesn’t care to be disbarred?

    1. “Is he that arrogant to throw tantrums publicly?”

      throw tantrums? Clearly, you don’t know the whole story. Dude, it wasn’t just tantrums. Alam mo ba ang rason kung bakit niya ginawa yun? I’m not from Davao but I followed the sotry and I see a public official who is human. Nagagalit at naiirita rin. May time na nagagalit si former mayor Sara pero hindi niya naman sinusuntok yung kinagalitan niya. FYI, galing siya sa mga biktima nang baha at that time. Inuna niya muna ang mga nabahaan,but already asked the sheriff to give her JUST 2 hours to talk to tend to the victim of the flood then pupunta na siya sa area para kausapin ang mga squatters para lang masettle at mapagusapan ng mabuti ang sitwasyon. Yung mga tao hinintay lang si Mayor Sara dahil sabi nila kung alam nila kung saan sila marerelocate, aalis sila nang matiwasay. But what did the sheriff do, HINDI PINAGBIGYAN ANG MAYOR. So ayun, ang demolisyon nauwi sa sakitan na dapat sana ay naiwasan kung nagbigay lang ng kahit 2 oras yung sheriff. what’s 2 hours compared to Police officers and ordinary people getting hurt? San ang concern for the people diyan? San ang respeto sa Kapwa? So, ano na? Kawawa ang sheriff? Mali ni Mayor? Fine.

      That’s tantrums for you? Wow.

  3. While it is true that a lot of things reached its peak (excellent economic activity and acceptable peace & order atmosphere)during the Marcos-era, Filipinos just can’t tolerate iron-fisted style of leadership, otherwise risk to be toppled-down from power. I hope that a time will come when majority of us Filipinos will become ‘matured’ voters. Look at the current outcome of our country which has been managed by all those leaders that were elected by the unmatured ‘masses’ – pitiful indeed… We need to educate the masses that the best way to steer the country to prosperity is to vote a candidate with a proven public governance record, and not because he/she is from a prominent family or a popular media figure. Fellow Filipinos, it’s high time to be politically matured and be the ‘tiger’ of asia once again.

    1. It’s funny that a lot of Richard Gordon’s critics during the presidential campaign in 2010 were branding him a tyrant as well but he could actually bring better results than PNoy as evident in what he did to Subic.

      1. And it is strange to hear people now commenting how impressed they are with Gordon. But when you ask them if they voted for him, they say no.

        Kinda weird, right?

      2. Again, Subic is not the entire PHL you cannot equate SUBIC = to entire PHL. Gordon for sure can manage Subic. But how about the rest?

        If you are the President can do much in your 1st year? I doubt it, whoever will be on the President seat will suffer the same fate as is PNoy is experiencing now. Why? because you cannot satisfy Filipinos.

        1. If I were in PNoy’s shoes, I will surround myself with the best and the brightest staff to help me during my term. I will not have second thoughts replacing them if and when I find them incompetent.

          If I were in PNoy’s shoes, instead of focusing on how to exact vengeance on the past administration, I will focus on job creation to help build the economy and uplift the status of the poor quicker.

          If I were in PNoy’s shoes I will work harder and spend less time socialising at night.

          Those are some of the things I will do differently, which is why I do not agree with you when you wrote that I will suffer the same fate as PNoy. No way.

      3. What you were saying is IDEAL, but we have to be realistic. This is not how our politics works, w/c is very dirty. I don’t need to elaborate it coz I know that you know what I meant.

        I’m not saying particular that anybody who will seat as President will suffer as PNoy but rather the same fate as all of the previous and future presidents. Because you cannot satisfy every single Filipino. “Damage if you do, damage if you don’t!”. Remember the phrase of Gat. Jose Rizal? – “Cancer of the society” this what is really happening in PHL.

        PHL problems is like a spider-web, it is entangled/connected to different strings/strands, and unless we Filipinos change our attitude for the better, then, GOODLUCK!

        1. @Allan

          Sorry to say this but your comment sounds a little bit defeatist to me. Just because something is hard it does not mean it cannot be done. And just because it is hard, Filipinos do not want to do it anymore.

          One of the reasons why politics become dirty is because people allow it to be. It is hard work to monitor what our public officials are doing. Unfortunately, being vigilant is the only way we can keep them on their toes and to make them do their job the way they promised they would during the campaign period.

          Like I said in my previous article:

          “To be sure, corruption and padrino systems exist everywhere. However, it is in the level or the extent with which it pervades in the society that makes a big difference. Obviously, the Philippines stand out because corruption and padrino systems can be found from the smallest organizations to the highest offices in the land. ”

          We need to get rid of this mentality that “it is part of our culture”, which is why it is hard to remove. Of course we can remove it, we just need to identify it and deal with it.

      4. The entire Gordon clan are corrupt they treat City of Olongapo and Subic base as their vassal estate nothing moves in Olongapo without their blessing and without U giving them kickbacks. If you cross them they have salvage team to deal with you. the entire police force are his private armies and enforcer. What the Filipinos need is not just regional warlord like him. You need someone that has the stomach to summarily executes, burn villages, poison water supplies, kill men women and children. build gulag throw those loser of society into a concentration camps and let them rot in there. It works for the American during the time of American occupation of the Philippines. Hopefully a great society with a purpose in life would emerge after summarily executing millions of parasitic human clones that thrives in that part of the world. Cultural revolution work for China after all. May be Philippines will be the next success story. * I’ll start with so called Filipino Intellectuals who has nothing better to do but complaints about the decadence of their own society and offer no viable alternative on how to make things better for themselves and their own country. Most bloggers on this site Get Real Post (Phillipines) are the real idiots I’m talking about.

        1. @Jeorgg

          Most bloggers on this site Get Real Post (Phillipines) are the real idiots I’m talking about.

          Please be specific about your claim. It is easy to say “idiots” but I find that most of those who use that word to decribe us turns out to be not very articulate in backing up their claim.

          Looking forward to your response. 😉

      1. I’m still waiting for the rabid PNoy supporters to own up to their mistake. So far, some are either in hiding or are still being defensive.

  4. Nice article. The lack of an efficient, fair judiciary is a core problem, for sure, suggesting an iron fist would be better, if his/her values were for the community instead of self. I still say flipping the bird at the media is too much like Ampatuan for my liking, and maybe the good Mayor could be a marvelous leader if he racheted down his hostility about 1,500 notches. Thin skin and power do not good bedfellows make, I fear.

    1. I dunno, on one hand this guy Rodrigo kinda endeared himself to me when the TIME article described the house and street he lived in as “modest.” How many Filipino politicians do you know live in modest homes? Bottom line is that his daughter Sara shouldn’t have punched the sheriff, and perhaps he and his son shouldn’t have given the media the bird.

    2. Thanks Joe. I think a lot of civilisations that progressed started out having tyrants for leaders. As long as they have a vision for the future things will move along instead of stagnate.

      What we have today are reactionary leaders instead of proactive ones. They do not try to avert crisis whatsoever.

      1. Hey, remember what Bongbong stated recently: the Philippines could have been like Singapore now if he was not ousted. Yeah, Marcos was a visionary, cut short due to his excessive abuses and by the people that surrounded him. PNoy’s vision is short-sighted though he is pro-masses. Perhaps we could clone the three: Marcos-Duterte-PNoy for a perfect blend of: Visionary-Terminator-Pro-masses type of leader?

      2. I think the presidential term limit automatically puts presidents in survival mode from Day One. If you look at the current structure, I think this more or less describes what goes on in the palace:

        Year 1: differentiation from previous admin — blame game
        Year 2: start to put own programs in place, if meron.
        Year 3 to 4: more or less the same as Year 1 if Year 2 gets screwed. In PNoy’s case, with the amount of trash coming from the previous admin, he’ll never run out of things to say.
        Year 5: Bahala na mode
        Year 6: Thank God at eleksyon na. It’s the next guy’s problem now.

        As for Marcos being a visionary and RP becoming a Singapore…let’s just file that idea under “pipe dreams,” shall we? It’s pointless to suggest what could’ve been done by a dead guy.

        1. Hi brianitus

          I can’t wait for PNoy’s second SONA. The site stats will go through the roof because my SONA article is on the first page of Google when you do a search. 😉

      3. Ilda,

        Good luck to all of us on the second SONA. Anyway, let’s just hope that it’ll be different than expected.


  5. Here’s a thought: It’s pretty hard to ignore obvious positive results in that city under the Duterte regime. But for all the “law and order” talk, how is it that squatters, who are after all ILLEGALLY occupying someone else’s property, were overlooked until the situation came to a violent head?

    Odd sort of selective application of authoritarianism, if you ask me.

  6. If there’s one thing we learned out of all this:

    If you want to bring back capital punishment in the Philippines, you make Davao your launchpad when campaigning… what with the over-all tolerance-slash-support of the Davao people for their beloved Death Squads, and the results it gets.

    1. You said it. Just think about all the wasted time people thought that the softly-softly approach would work on Pinoys. What a laugh! And to think that Duterte came into power in 1987 just a year after advocating for human rights went in vogue in the Philippines.

      1. would the Dutertes consider franchising their DeathSquads (TM) to the rest of the country? I know a few scumbags I’d like to introduce to them…like that priest on a news yesterday who raped a 17 year old girl. People like those won’t even be tried in court thanks to their connections.

      2. Oh ladies come on! The Brazilians already have their Death Squads called the Tropa de Elite – Elite Squad. They are considered heroes by Brazilians and even movies were made about their heroic work. They are considered the only unit that is not corrupted and yes they work outside the jurisdictional system. They cleaned up Rio for the World Cup and Olympic games and working now all over the country they are considered true heroes. Brasil’s economy is growing now at a rapid rate. Surprised anyone?
        this is the link for the movie trailer Elite Squad

        1. @Attila

          I just find it a bit silly that the local authorities even in Brazil cannot be trained to enforce the law themselves but have to rely on “professionals” to do their job instead. I think some people watch too many Batman movies.

        1. Ok. I have watched the video but sorry to say, it’s just glamorising thuggery. It looks cool on screen but not in real life.

  7. Looks like a lot of bozos here don’t like people making summary judgments about their beloved Duterte dynasty. But then that illustrates a funny irony, because people like the Dutertes are precisely the sort of people who are in the business of ROUTINELY making summary judgments on people and acting upon said judgment. Of course, Pinoys aren’t exactly the sort of folk who catch their fair share of the many ironies that routinely sail over their pointed heads. 😀

  8. Adolf Hitler of Nazi Germany, had turned around the German economy, during his early reign…He built “autobhans” (Superhighways). Hosted the 1936 Berlin Olympics, showing to the whole world, the Nazi regime’s accomplishments…There was the SS Nazi Death Head, Death Squads, to enforce law and order…and the will of the Nazi Party…
    Iron-fisted leadership, can go in a wrong turn, like Germany, Italy…and even,Militaristic Japan, had experienced in World War II. The ordinary people, had no recourse, but to: “Howl with the Wolves…” Oppositions were deciminated, on the reason of Law and Order, or progress…

    1. Read about the Brazilian way of how they cleaned up Rio with the use of the Elite Squad. Filipinos could learn from it. Hitler did not have to come back from his grave and neither Stalin who killed even more people than Hitler.
      You may want to watch a few movies abut what was there in Rio before and other cities in Brazil to understand the need for an Elite Squad.
      Try “Citi of Hope” first and if you need more suggestions just ask me nice and I will send you more.

  9. Yes, I believe so. We are traditionally a paternal society where the father is respected as head of the family. His word is authority and unquestionably final. Our basic government unit is the Barangay which is historically a social unit composed of more or less 200 families all related by blood and headed by a Datu. The Datu acts as the Head of the Barangay, and as a Father to all the families, his word is authority and respected by all.

    Looking at the Filipino today, specially the youth, to them the meaning of authority is “restriction” and their concept of civil liberty as equated to a democratic institution is as vague as their personal identity.

    “Sa ikauunlad ng bayan, disiplina ang kailangan.” Was this not the slogan of the Bagong Lipunan under the Marcos Dictatorship? Truly, this is what we need for the governance of the Filipino: a Socialist System of government with the Military and the National Police controlled against human rights abuses. It could work well for us.

    1. @Ferdie

      Thanks for the bit of history. I think one of the issues of our generation is that we continue to see appalling behaviour from our so-called “leaders”. Which is also the reason why we cannot look up to them any more. Our leaders have to lead by example. It should be easy enough to do. It is just a matter putting the interest of the nation first before anything else. Sadly, we have PNoy showing us how to be arrogant and how to be vindictive. We have 5 more years of that, unfortunately.

    1. @Trosp

      I did see political will in Gordon and Bayani. I don’t see it in PNoy. Which is a shame because a lot of people look up to him. He could tell them to shape up and they might just do it. But he is too busy with his cars.

      And as I said before, “a weak leader in a country like the Philippines, which has weak institutions will tend to succumb to the world-renowned Filipino “padrino” system — a system that trumps any other system in place. Worse, such a leader will mask his weakness or understanding of the law by acting like he is above the law.” And that is precisely what I think happened to Ms Duterte.

    2. If you look at the scoresheet:

      Binay – became VP because of his Makati mayoral stint (that the Ayalas have developed)

      Erap – became Pres because of his San Juan mayoral stint (that the Ortigas have developed the Greenhills commercial centers)

      In both cases, these guys have done nothing to develop their fiefdoms on their own, they were just lucky that good commercial estate developers were in their area of jurisdiction.

      Compare with Gordon’s Subic and Bayani’s Marikina which was improved by their actual efforts. And these guys didnt get very far in the national elections.

      Why oh why, dear Filipino voters, whyyyy???

      1. Why? Because leaders like Gordon will make people work to make the country a safe and better place to live in. While leaders like PNoy tend to make people wait for someone to clean up their mess.

  10. I believe it is the innate and inherited Asian identity that is emerging from us that we still end up appreciating a more iron-fisted form of governance as compared to a soft one. Is it that most of us still converge to setting American hegemony on democracy and anti-authoritarianism/communism aside to the backwaters of our minds? Don’t you think so?

    Even I myself and other people whom I’ve asked prefer the idea of a Singapore-style governance or similar to that of the Davao Duterte father-daughter tandem’s. Even after deposing dictators, Koreans do strongly admit and appreciate how their previous leaders brought them to prosperity.

    1. @PHguy

      Yes. I tend to believe so too. Just like what I said in my previous blog Burma and the Philippines: struggling for democracy:

      Here’s an excerpt:

      “…democracy is not for everyone. After all, hasn’t it been proven time and time again that giving full democracy to a people without the accompanying discipline, specially in an immature society, can only result in epic failure?

      Just think about what happened to the Philippines after we were granted our so-called freedom after the so-called tyrant, the late former President Ferdinand Marcos was deposed in 1986. Freedom was just too much for a population with a majority of ill-educated star-struck ignoramuses.

      The situation was specially made worse in the Philippines by the fact that the country was without a leader who had vision or direction for its citizens but had plenty of an apathetic elite whose main goals in life were and still are, as the song goes, “to party like it’s 1999″. In short, the Philippines after Marcos was like a repressed child whose strict parents left for good. The child then ran amok and all hell broke loose.

      Unfortunately, the lack of discipline and lack of foresight of the average Filipino only cemented our position among the list of countries belonging to the basket case category.”

      1. I agree with you. The american type democracy was left to us in 1946 when filipinos were not mature enough to understand what democracy entailed. It’s a not a simple rule of majority. Democracy requires a high level of understanding of rights and obligations to make democracy works. For example, the rule of law cannot work when the legal system is corrupted. Pls see my comments below.

  11. Parang napapansin ko na rin. Simpleng batas like jaywalking, no-smoking area may naninigarilyo. no parking pero may Crosswind may wang2 pa, andaming basura naitapon sa ilog, etc. spoiled na ba talaga ang pinoy sa sobrang kalayaan?

    1. Maybe Pinoys should just allow things to come to a head. Let the Philippines reach its natural chaotic potential.

  12. Richard Gordon was a disciplinarian Mayor of Olongapo City and though he raised his voice for grave mistake he maintained his civility and never laid his hand to wrong-doers. The fear of many that Olongapo would sink unto the gutter after the pull-out of US military installations and the devastating Mt. Pinatubo eruption was proven otherwise, as he led Olongapo as a peaceful and prosperous city in western Luzon. Other known disciplinarian city mayors in the Philippines are the late Arsenio H. Lacson, Cesar Climaco and Edward Hagedorn who maintained their bearing even in time of extreme odds. I wonder if outside Davao City, the Dutertes can get elective position.

    1. Hi Germi

      They don’t make leaders like they used to. Leaders with integrity are hard to come by. They are usually overshadowed by the mediocre ones because most Filipinos do not like electing leaders who make them do things.

  13. Like many Dabawenyos I don’t agree with Duterte’s style but I have to hand it to the guy for making Davao the way it is now: safe, progressive and very liveable. My childhood saw the peaceful city of the 50’s and 60’s destroyed in the 70’s and 80’s by violence and lawlessness from NPAs, Muslim secessionists and plain criminals. Businesses died and people got poorer and more displaced. I went to Manila for college and it always pained me to go home on vacation to see infrastructures decay, hear friends talk about the killings, and have my parents install heavy-duty double locks for all external and internal doors in our house.
    We needed an iron-fisted leadership in Davao because of its unique situation. Davao is lucky we have a Duterte and I wouldn’t want to see Davao go back to where it was.
    I challenge other leaders (especially national leaders) to use the appropriate style for their own areas of responsibility. Just show leadership for goodness’ sake!

    1. @Matina52

      I may know one of the ex-NPAs you are talking about. He is now a blogger and ironically, has become a shameless capitalist. 😉

      I’m glad to know that you do not agree with Duterte’s style. I don’t really think it is sustainable. It is so obvious that the existence of the squatters who act like they are above the law tells us that the city has a long way to go before we can call it progressive. It might actually be stuck in feudalism.

  14. The way I see it, Strictness is what most parents would use as a medicine in order to treat children of their undesired behavior.

    Perhaps, only those children who are proved to be capable of behaving themselves are the only ones who truly deserves to be free from the strictness their parents enforce.

    But be wary, strictness should just be a temporal means to address behavioral problems.

    Children must truly understand why such strictness is being enforced. Because if not, who would hold their leash if the parents are not living anymore?

  15. Cities and Municipalities like Subic, Cebu, Marikina, Davao etc. are good examples of good local governance and they are good reasons why we must give more autonomy to local governments to chart their own path. Centralized national government, whether under a dictatorship or a willy nilly leadership always have drastic negative results because all money went up to the top, causing massive corruption and misery.

    So the real issue here is not the Dirty Harry style of Duterte family (Honestly, I have a crush on Sarah. Tough but lovely lady :D) The real issue is to gove local governments and their constituents their freedom on how to manage their own economy and civil life.

    1. I would have agreed with you but Mike Rama isn’t the same as Tommy Osmena… He’s good but he’s not as good as Tommy.

    2. We already have local autonomy. The issue here is how enlightened the local leaders and how vigilant the people are to keep tab of what’s going on in the local government.

  16. Institutions of the EDSA-spawned democracy are still highly prone to subversion.

    Highly personalized caudilism like what the Dutertes have and the Marcoses had in place work as well as the person in power. Furthermore, there appears to be a lack of an effective check and balance that keeps them in line and improve the quality of governance.

    1. I think anyone who has been in power for too long tend to abuse it. The people need to speak up when they see something wrong. Otherwise, they will be partly responsible for the corruption committed by those in public office.

  17. Lee Kwan Yew’s Economics + Vladimir Putin’s Strict Approach to Oligarchs + Ferdie Marcos’ Guts = LEADERSHIP this country needs!

  18. Why don’t we just settle with federalism and let each ethnic groups settle their respective problems? Besides, that’ll be a good grounds for stronger political will to blossom since there’s a realistic social cohesion, AND Tagalog imperialism no more! (No offense to ethnic Tagalogs here, though) I’d love to sit back with my popcorn and watch the ball roll

    1. Tagalog here. But I agree 100%. Too much centralized power produces less responsible people. Time for the provinces to get a taste of autonomy (not just Mindanao) and see if they can handle it.

  19. A clean and safe environment in exchange for civil rights and liberties? Babalik na naman ba tayo sa Nazi Germany at sa Soviet Russia o sa baluktot na pamamahala ni Gaddafi at ni Ayatollah Khomeini? I thought natuto na tayo?

    1. Sorry, but whoever gave you the idea that I am actually endorsing or “glorifying” iron-fisted leadership is jumping to conclusions (again). I hope you can read the article once more and understand the context where it is coming from. Do not rely on “hearsay” in analysing someone’s work. You should realise that the article is actually questioning what kind of leadership Filipinos really want based on the events that happened in Davao.

      Please note that the title even ends with a question mark. It’s a bit disturbing that that blogger who wrote a scathing analysis of this little article of mine is going ballistic again about something he doesn’t even understand. He just wants some attention. Well he’s not going to get it from any GRP member this time.

      Give my regards to him anyway. 😉

    2. Of course. Kailangan nating magkaroon ng Imam Khomeini.

      I’d rather live in an “oppressive” country with massive armies, than see our country in shambles!

      >Babalik na naman ba tayo sa Nazi Germany at sa Soviet Russia

      >implying we shouldn’t

  20. There’s no such thing as ‘freedom to lay waste’. True freedom is the freedom to do good or be good (based on the Aristotelian eudaimonia. What you are talking about is pure anarchy, and it has no place in a civilized society.

  21. the problem with beneficient dictators is you are totally at the mercy of the dictator with no backup in case the dictator goes crazy, gets mad at you or makes an honest mistake.

    Just like the non criminal people who were killed by the davao death squad. The political killings like the journalists who criticized the davao city government, the salvaging victims who were a victim of mistaken identity, or like in the recent NAIA assasination of a mayor where a bystander (a baby) was killed by a stray bullet

  22. “The use of fireworks and other pyrotechnics, as well as smoking, would be strictly prohibited in the entire country.”

    I like that! Kada salubong ng New Year, World War na naman. Every year may World War. Kakainis. Also, I want smoking to be prohibited. Nakakainis kasi yung you are taking care of yourself to make yourself healthy at panay inom mo ng tsaa to decrease your allergic tendencies, pero eto yung mga taong kapre. Wala man lang pakialam if may mamamatay sa second-hand smoke.

    Isa pa, akala ko ba dapat earth friendly tayo? Why are people still smoking? Why are people still enjoying pyrotechnics? Uhm, ozone layer, anyone?

  23. Ano bang goal ng gobyerno? Gawing alipin ang tao sa pagbabayad ng buwis na sila ang nakikinabang dahil ang batas ay hindi kinakatakutan? O isang taong mahigpit sa mga kriminal para panatilihin ang pag-asa, ikakaunlad at tamang batas sa bayan? Im not idealistic pero we need iron-fisted leadership to maintain peace and order ng isang bansa. This is why we need the real politician like Duterte.

    1. as much as we want him to run for the presidency, the reality hits like home: duterte will not want to be president. but yeah, that’s the reason the people in the country are going crazy. no one is strong enough to reprimand us and let us see the consequences of the deficiencies.

  24. Honestly, im not with the marcoses our economy that time was very impressive. Ang tao takot sa batas and he can manage peace and order. Iyong mga mayayaman lang tinitira ni marcos sa dami ng kaso lalo na itong mga intsik. Compare sa freedom natin ngayon na sobrang hirap ang pamumuhay sa mga batas na puro pera ang hanap ng gobyerno. Na kumikitil sa buhay ng tao at nagiging sanhi ng pagiging KRIMINAL. Na ang batas ntin ngayon ay para nlng sa mayayaman. Ngayon sino ang hihigit kay Marcos? Kalayaan ba o DISIPLINA?

  25. Enforcement of law should be done by the legalized appointed organizations. Having said that if that organization/s is ineffective/corrupt then legalized action should be taken to make them effective. Being a citizen of USA living in California our system is far from perfect however, we have legal ways to change the problems that rise to the public’s attention. Vigilante organization/s only satisfy those who pays the most $$$

  26. For the skeptics out there, I invite you to come and visit Davao City and experience life here for yourselves. It’s not as flashy or busy as Metro Manila, on the contrary, it’s pretty laid back. And when you realize that, think about how Davao is part of war-torn Mindanao and yet have it’s people still live this way, then you could begin to understand why we love our mayor.

  27. If we cannot change our undisciplined ways, our tendency to corrupt and commit crimes,etc. through a long-shot cultural and values revolution, we better have an iron-fisted leader in this country. I believe that’s what Filipinos need -given the kind of mentality we have. The american-style democracy is not for us> We still have to push the Filipino thinking to a higher level to be able to adopt the true Lincolnian democracy. The Americans left us their brand of democracy when the Philippines and the Filipinos were not ready for ii and the elite Filipinos and politicians of that era exploited the situation to their own benefits. Filipinos never learned what is true democracy and our socially irresponsible elites and crafty,corrupt politicians lorded over until the tentacles of corruption and greed spread all over society, business and government. Now, even our last bastion of democracy which is the justice system is soooo corrupt. There is a caveat here, if our iron-fisted leader would turn out to be abusive and a tyrant, let’s do the Duterte way which is to eliminate him.

  28. what i see today is that we have too much democracy – free to speak whatever we want( most of the time without thinking of its long term effect), free to cross any streets(and not use designated pedestrian lanes), free to spit/pee everywhere, free to throw our wastes everywhere, free to stop on any part of street to load and unload, free to squat everywhere, free not to obey rules/laws. commit a crime and still free…..

    i believe what we need nowadays is discipline. i would go for a leader who will enforce discipline to us, who is not afraid to punish us when we do something wrong.

  29. Iron fist leadership only works for a little while. What the Filipino people need is a complete overhaul of their cultural values and way of life principles, that were based on aristocratic traditions and individualized (self-serving/kanya-kanya) principles, respectively.

    ‘The Philippines is corrupt because the people are corrupt; the people are corrupt because the culture is corrupt.’

  30. Good intentions can pave the way to hell. Considering human abusive tendencies, Duterte’s men can be more dangerous than the criminals if they are corrupted by power. Is Duterte able to manage his death squads all over the country? How will this work with due process and the justice system? Unfortunately, Philippines has come to a point where bitter pill is the only solution. Whether the country is able to cope it’s side effects, time will tell..

  31. Filipinos need discipline more than democracy.Corruption is a natural tendencies among us; embedded in our core values,handed down by our ancestors, mostly learned from our society’s very first institution—family.Its already in our system.Not unless we do psyche-overhauling as a person and as a nation, no iron-fist leadership is enough to effect change.Before,Duterte was indecisive to run because he knows these gigantic obstacles to get to the change he wanted to see (like Davao) .Transition phase is the most painful phase in a process.Now peeps, Duterte is gunning it,finally.The ball is now in our court.Be careful what we wish for, because it will be a bloody revolution.We will be fighting against our own enemy who are our own selves.We all have to tighten our seat belt .If we do really want to be “the flying tiger”, as what we falsely claimed we are & not the “sick man” in Asia– we are just a few blocks away from it.A country’s president can overhaul the system.But a system is only a system.Its the people running the system who are the true effectors of change.And, that’s us.

  32. This is a good article.

    Most of these rules/laws are implemented in the USA in many/most cities. There is a curfew, usually 10 pm, for kids under 18, if police catch you you get a ticket or jail. You can’t buy alcohol after 2am.
    You can’t litter.

    These are all basic rules of many societies.

    The problem in the PH is the enforcement. Tanods who sit/stand around all day in most barangays watching stuff happen have no authority.

    Civil service units/officers who sit/stand around all day in crowded areas have no authority.

    Security guards who stand in front of 90% of businesses have no authority.

    The government (and private businesses) are paying millions of Filipinos to stand around and watch like some type of authority, but they have very little authority to do anything.

    It would make much more sense to take that money and just hire more police who would ideally make the city/town…..more safe.

    But I do see many police just looking at their phone and not actually policing.
    That is a problem and should be addressed, but again….
    Many problems that people don’t want to solve.

    A strongman national leader is not solving these problems. It starts with a mayor like Duterte who changed the culture in a city. It has to start with mayors, but that can’t happen when the same family/clan mayors get elected for 30 years.

    The problem is families/clans who have no desire to change cultures in cities/towns. All they want to do is keep getting votes….

    Yet, the country just elected a Marcos……lol, who has had very little success and should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as Duterte.

    I don’t see the family/clan problem changing soon…

    1. @TimAng:

      “A strongman national leader is not solving these problems. It starts with a mayor like Duterte who changed the culture in a city. It has to start with mayors, but that can’t happen when the same family/clan mayors get elected for 30 years.

      The problem is families/clans who have no desire to change cultures in cities/towns. All they want to do is keep getting votes….

      Yet, the country just elected a Marcos……lol, who has had very little success and should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as Duterte.

      I don’t see the family/clan problem changing soon…”

      TimAng… this Marcos-hating, Duterte-worshipping dude is out of touch, out of time or maybe even out of his mind. He abhors “when the same family/clan mayors get elected for 30 years” but the Dutertes are lording it in Davao in tandem for both the mayoral and vice-mayoral positions since 1986, paradoxically, at the start, without the benefit of getting elected. Dictator Cory with her revolutionary powers replaced all dully elected leaders nationwide in 1986.

      He’s still in his “Duterte is a better leader than Marcos” mode. He’s still competing… does not believe in unity!

      He does not realize nor acknowledges that Marcos and Duterte are allies. The Marcoses supported Duterte in his bid for the Presidency. Duterte supported the laying of the remains of the former President Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

      Duterte’s term being the head of state of the country is over . Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is now the new President and his daughter Sara is now VP.

      For your sake, time to move on… Dutertard!

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