Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to Filipinos in his bid for the presidency

The return of former Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte to the Philippines’ 2016 presidential election race says a lot about how little of a foothold real “democracy” has made in Philippine society. Democracy is not just about “freedom” and “elections”. It is also about justice and discipline. Duterte’s main value proposition to Filipino voters addresses those latter two key pillars of any just and truly free society and takes the bull by the horns by revolving around one thing: taking a tough approach to addressing rampant criminality in the Philippines.

This simple platform in combination with the clear track record of results he boasts in its application in Davao makes Duterte the only presidential candidate that presents what all the rest lack: (1) a strong track record of governance and administration, (2) a clear ralllying platform, and (3) the leadership attitude and chops to deliver.


Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Learn more

But does Duterte fit the mold of a true “democratic” leader?

The answer to that question should begin by first asking the more fundamental question.

Is democracy in the Philippines working for ordinary Filipinos as we are being led to believe?

Easy. Elections have proven to hardly ever matter to ordinary Filipinos. One would be hard-pressed to cite specifics around how one president or the other truly made a difference to the ordinary Filipino. But consider recent developments in that specific aspect of state governance that matters the most to Filipinos — law enforcement. Because the Philippines is an abject failure in that basic state function, it becomes easy to pitch alternatives — even though these may not necessarily be within the framework of the law. Even crooks and enemies of the state can now claim to be “anti-crime” champions. Indeed, two of the Philippines’ biggest jungle bandit groups have recently scored public relations points by “going after” the illegal drugs trade within their “territories”.

The terrorist Moro Islamic Liberation Front have, for their part, reportedly recently styled themselves an anti-drug crusader in Mindanao…

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has ordered its field commanders to engage in a campaign against illegal drugs in Maguindanao and other areas covered by a government-MILF ceasefire agreement, reported Sunday.

The central committee of the MILF, which signed a 2014 peace deal with the government, has adopted a resolution supporting the order aimed at combating drugs, particularly methamphetamine hydrochloride, or “shabu”.

The group has placed posters across Maguindanao warning that “illegal drug is the root of all evil.”

And, not to be outdone, the terror arm of the Communist Party of the Philippines, the New People’s Army (NPA), have also engaged in their own campaign to summarily gun down suspected drug traders in their “territories”. According to the same report, the NPA have recently “executed four suspected drug dealers as part of its separate campaign.” It is, however, interesting to note that the NPA have, themselves, been found to be large-scale cultivators of marijuana plantations in their areas own and have reportedly used proceeds from the trade in these illegal products to fund their terror operations.

What does all these say about criminal justice in the Philippines? Nothing other than what is glaringly obvious: that vigilante justice is becoming increasingly attractive to Filipinos.

A Rodrigo Duterte presidency will be the ultimate triumph of this sort of West-of-the-Pecos style of law and order. Backdropped against the failure of successive traditional Philippine governments to deliver on the promise of building a “just” society through lawful means, Duterte’s promise of swift express-lane justice resonates strongly amongst a crime-weary public. Its lack of any of the complications of due process which, ironically, makes Philippine justice hopelessly paralysed by its own checks-and-balances flies in the face of the tired and convoluted rhetoric of traditional presidential campaigns Filipino voters have tuned out from.

Indeed, six years of the blatant hypocrisy in the Daang Matuwid (“straight path”) sloganeering of the current administration under Philippine President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III may have been the final nail on the coffin of any pretense that the Philippines is a “just” society. There should be no surprise in the way Filipinos are now embracing a starkly real alternative to the farce of the so-called “democracy” we were led to believe was in effect since 1986. Even if we have, for decades, reminded ourselves “Never Again!”, Filipinos deserve a repeat of history. Perhaps the second try may be the charm.

10 Replies to “Rodrigo Duterte’s promise to Filipinos in his bid for the presidency”

  1. Good luck mr mayor, you will not be worse than the precession of losers presidents since so called independence. You offer some hope in a country of no hope.

    1. I’ll vote for you, Mayor D and change our country forever by:
      1. Change our constitution from unitary to federal-parliamentary type of gov’t.
      2. Eliminate corrupt officials & criminals by dumping them to Manila Bay and feed them to the hungry fishes there.
      3. Protect & strengthen our national defense against Commie China, terrorists & other insurgents.
      4. Teach us on how to use discipline on the roads and other public places.
      5. Unite our people through cultural assimilation & social integration just like in Singapore no matter what race, religion, language, gender, ideology & needs we have.
      6. Eliminate ogliarch type of economy in our country & expand our FDI here so that our economy will rise, poverty will be eliminate and creating more job opportunities here instead of working in abroad.
      7. Reducing tax rates & legalize FOI Bill so that the happy days of the corrupt officials will be over.
      8. Improve & change our educational system so that Filipinos will no longer be a BOBOTANTES when they’ll gonna vote on the next elections.

      1. 1. can be accomplished, but will take time.
        2. Not going to happen. I mean the Manila Bay part. But can be removed if they are prosecuted according to the laws on the books.
        3. China is too big for Philippines forces to deter. More equipment won’t be enough. Besides they have US as back up. Hey Joe, give me money.
        4. Umm….won’t work no matter how much you teach. Actually the teaching can come from the family home, and spare the government.
        5. Unity was suppose to work through a National language… that didn’t work. It is not feasible. Cultural assimilation? Social integration. How about zero tolerance exploitation?
        6. There is little incentive for the Oligarchs or gov’t to open the economy. The Pandoras box was open long ago, and can’t be shut anymore. At least not easily.
        7. I don’t know if legalizing the FOI will address the corruption of officials.
        8. They need to start them young. No more begging from schools, and pupils and their families should have to shoulder extra expenses. Limit non-essential field trips, and useless extra curricular activities. They still might vote a bobo.

        Here is my number 9….as a bonus. How about at a young age of say starting at 4 years old, children are taught in the family, in the churches, and the schools that bribery is wrong and is intolerable in the society? How about at a young age people are taught in the same venues that every human being has inalienable rights? And if the church refuses to give those moral directives, then they will lose their tax ememption. What do you think?

  2. One thing they don’t know about Duterte’s being popular to the people, it’s just to remind Marcos and his dictatorial rule. To vote for him is to bring back Marcos.

    because the people are tired of this no direction policy under this Yel-low-IQ Regime of Cory aka Noynoy aquino.

    sorry folks! that’s the way it is.

  3. The Philippine government cannot stop the crimes of drug dealing. So, the terrorists: MILF/ISIS/Al Queda and their counterpart: the NPA are taking over to impose anti drug campaign.

    This is how weak the government of that Idiot:Aquino is at present.

    I don’t have any good thing to look at, at Duterte’s Presidency. Our problems are more than Peace and Order…So, it will be more of the same…

  4. pano masusugpo yang drugs na yan eh yung mga mastermind nyan mga nakakulong at pinalalakad ang kanilang mga negosyo behind the walls of muntinlupa. pumunta na lang kayo sa sabungan at tingnan ninyo ang taya ng mga drug at jueteng kingpins.

    ang dapat dyan sa munti lagyan ng webcam na di pwedeng patayin at pwedeng tingnan ng kahit na sinong tao at ng publiko 24hrs a day ang bawat sulok para kahit na anong gawing suhol sa mga officials dyan di nila pwedeng palusutin ang mga celphones at iba pang mga bagay na ginagamit upang patakbuhin ang drug trade mula sa loob.

  5. He maybe a hardliner, but I question whether he has the economical savviness to turn this wretched country into a real Asian tiger. Lee Kuan Yu had both qualities and that is how Singapore became what it is today.

  6. Some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.