Rodrigo Duterte And The Pinoy Obsession With Messiah Figures

“There are no tyrants where there are no slaves.”

~Jose Rizal

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

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~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird as said by Atticus Finch

This is it ladies and gentlemen, you have forced my hand once again. Honestly, I was really hoping that the 2016 presidential election would be different from many of our previous elections considering all that has happened from 2010 to 2015. Unfortunately, with what I have seen so far, that seems to be quite far from the case. As a matter of fact, more likely than not, my worst fears are only going to be exceeded thanks to the fractured mindset and faulty logic inherent in the thinking of just about every typical Filipino.


Good Lord I am so tired of this but it seems no one seems to be paying attention anyway. Here, I wrote this not long ago but it seems no one really bothered to read all of it. In fact, if you look through the comments, one commenter seems to have missed the point entirely.


Look, let’s make this as clear as possible. I’m not bashing Rodrigo Duterte here, okay? To be perfectly honest, he is probably a better choice than that Mar Roxas clown, Jejomar “Asmodeus Incarnate” Binay or Grace Poe who wants to become a legendary blacksmith/demon slayer like her father. Unfortunately, much like our misguided interest in the Canadian prime minister, many of us are once again doing it for all the wrong reasons.

See, here’s what I’m seeing in some (but not all) of his supporters: They are all looking for someone who will solve all their problems for them instead of someone who will teach or guide them to solve their problems on their own. And, in the case of Duterte, with violence or at least the threat thereof. I mean really people?

I’m not saying the Philippines doesn’t need a leader like Duterte to bring about discipline. I am also not saying that he is a bad candidate as he seems to have a sense of humility unlike some of his political opponents in the up and coming elections. What I am saying is that if we’re going to choose him to be our president, let’s choose him because he will lead the country to progress and prosperity and not because he’s going to get rid of all our dirty laundry for us.

Unfortunately, again, so many of us miss the point entirely, especially Mr. Duterte’s more rabid supporters. Remember, it’s not really him I’m worried about but his often callous supporters, as pointed out here by Benign0. Indeed, while I also think that the Philippine justice system needs to be overhauled, let’s not forget the true meaning of justice.

Anyway, here are three of my big points on the matter:

Justice Is About “Balance” And Not Petty Vengeance

“Only criminals need fear Duterte!” so clamor the typical Duterte supporter as shown here by Paul Farol.

I can’t expound enough on how wrong the statement sounds to me. Here are some familiar and similar lines: “Only deviants need fear the Fuhrer’s men.” And: “Those loyal to the Republic need not fear Stalin’s wrath.”

Okay, here’s an idea: What if someone were to frame you of a crime? What if you were somehow implicated in a crime you have nothing to do with? Would you still say the same thing?

Yes, we like to talk tough about drug dealers and corrupt officials, but what if we were somehow implicated in their activities? Can you imagine yourself being taken away and never seeing your loved ones again just because someone got their information wrong?

That is the importance of “due process”. It’s so that authorities can be sure that they got the right person and not because they just think someone is guilty of a said crime.

Look, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t change our justice system. Indeed, it’s probably one of the things we really need to rewrite along with our constitution if we want our country to be a better place. However, I hope Mr. Duterte will improve our justice system by streamlining “due process” and not discarding it.

We Should Be Equally Responsible For What Happens

The thing is, it’s very likely that some people will vote for Duterte because they want him to take responsibility for their problems…

More likely than not, we will still be the same apathetic people who couldn’t care less about one another. Did your classmate get raped? Duterte and his men will take care of it, you don’t need to report it to anyone! Did your neighbor just get murdered? You don’t need to do anything as Duterte and his men will find the killers and execute them!

Again, similar to how some people saw President Aquino before his inauguration in 2010, people think that Mr. Duterte will be an instant solution for the problems of the Philippines instead of the man who’s supposed to guide us into becoming better people.

We Should Change Ourselves As Well

Suppose Mr. Duterte does become president, what then? Now I’d like to think that some of us will indeed change for the better. Unfortunately, it’s quite likely that a lot of us will still be the same apathetic citizens they’ve always been.

If Mr. Duterte becomes president and proves to be a good leader, I hope we take to our hearts what he was actually trying to achieve instead of simply relying on him to solve all our issues. If he does indeed bring about discipline, let us value that discipline and make it part of our lives so that we can at least share it with the next generation.

Indeed, as I stated in one of my previous articles, if we want real change for our country, let us start with ourselves!


10 Replies to “Rodrigo Duterte And The Pinoy Obsession With Messiah Figures”

  1. Ummm…so which candidate would be best suited for the Presidency, according to your criteria? Let me guess. Bongbong Marcos.

    Yes, let the guy from the family whom Lee Kuan Yew described as the family that “pillaged” the Philippines and whose “loot” has yet to be fully recovered…yes let that guy occupy the very post which his father wanted to sit for the rest of his life (even built a Mt Rushmore-like statue of his face…talk about ego-maniac).

    1. Are you sure you read the article? Because there’s nothing in it which talks about how Marcos Jr. is suited for the presidency.

      Rather, the article talks about self-discipline and economic progress which starts with one’s self.

  2. @Thaddeus
    Don’t get tired of writing, I’m sure it’s only
    in your thinking that you are “tired” of repeating things when it doesn’t take much energy for you to reword your ideas.
    Maybe you aren’t “tired” and it’s just part of the
    narrative of your article.
    Sometimes rewording what we say or write makes a big difference, resulting in new reactions and ideas. Each article gives different pieces to the puzzle.

    In any case, Keep on writing…

  3. Clearly, this just show how really lazy we can be. We just don’t like to think of the outcome of our actions. Let’s just leave EVERYTHING to the President to solve EVERYTHING. But I think it’s has also something to do with responsibility.

    Most people don’t like to take responsibility, worst they’re not even want to take responsibility for themselves. You offer a helping hand and now they want you to feed them, give them money, or just give them everything until you die.

    sigh* I guess we’re really fockedup…

  4. Any suspected person is presumed to be Guilty, until he/she can prove himself/herself to be innocent. By then, he/she will be dead, victim of Duterte’s vigilante justice system.

    Maybe Duterte has more Bark than bite. As he is looking for the highest office of the Presidency…after, he shall be elected, back to same old politics…

  5. So,there’s this friend I bumped in a drugstore days ago who keeps yapping the other day on how he wanted to see change in this country. After our meeting,he crossed the other side the road not using the pedestrian lane and revved up his noisy,open muffler,110 cc motorcycle and rode off without a helmet. Now,that’s pretty ironic and stupid.

  6. In the Failippines, the so-called messiah arrives when it is already too late. He/She arrives when doomsday has already struck

  7. his taking a swipe at Pope issue doesn’t sound like professionalism.
    although I myself don’t regard the pope as a spiritual leader, but this won’t mean to deter the standard of the rule.
    I was once suggesting that if the Roman Catholic church could not produce better Christians then they must go. padlock their churches or transform them into libraries to boost the people’s education.
    the crimes being committed and the corrupt practices of the officials are examples of rotten fruits being manufactured by this church, or I might say it’s worst than China for selling faked products.

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