Duterte’s dangerous experiment: Vigilantism as state-sanctioned doctrine

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We all have bad experiences dealing with other people. Some of those experiences make us wish we could just take a gun and shoot whoever had caused those bad experiences. But we don’t because there are also consequences for doing so.

Perhaps in the case of the Philippines, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte and what he’s seemingly (on the surface) achieved for Davao prove that the benefits could potentially outweigh the consequences of vigilantism. For argument’s sake, let’s say Davao City is, indeed, a great city because of Duterte’s style. The question is: Will the same approach lead to the same results at a national level under a Duterte presidency?

That remains to be seen.

Here's a tip for you Mr Duterte: You need to load the gun first before you attempt to shoot it.
Here’s a tip for you Mr Duterte: You need to load the gun first before you attempt to shoot it.
Personally, I myself want to see the experiment that is Davao (supposedly the “4th safest place in the world”) scaled up to the national level. Thing is, toying with making vigilantism a state-sanctioned doctrine to achieve that is a pretty dangerous experiment. High risk and possibly high return, granted. No guts, no glory and all that. But with a rush to betting the future of “rule of law” in the Philippines on the Duterte presidency also comes the risk of catastrophic consequences in the event the power to summarily gun down suspected crooks fall onto the “wrong” hands (which does not necessarily imply it is right even when in the “right” hands to begin with).

Think of it this way. When you’re transporting an atomic bomb that could decisively end a war with one blast, you wouldn’t want a reckless sociopath piloting the plane. Rather you’d choose a pilot with a level head and a professional demeanor who could fly the bomber and drop its deadly payload on its target safely.

Key insight to note here is the way the soundness of the entire set-up rests entirely on a single pillar: Duterte’s wild-wild-West rule. In short, the vigilante-style justice system on a national scale proposed in Duterte’s campaign platform is flawed by design because Duterte himself is its potential single point of failure. Any engineer or risk management expert will tell you that supporting a critical capability (such as an entire nation’s law enforcement mechanism) with a system that can fail by yanking out a single component is absolutely unacceptable.

Yet, people will still argue that we need to take small steps before we can realise our grand vision of a just society within the framework of a modern and coherent approach to law enforcement and criminal justice. In saying that, they propose that one of those first steps is to apply this “temporary” solution of first resorting to vigilantism to restore that level of peace and order that seems to elude Filipinos.

Thing is, the jeepney too was once one of those “temporary” solutions to a lack of a coherent public transport system in the Philippines at the end of World War II. Well, guess what: To this day, the Philippines still lacks a coherent and modern public transport system. Where that modern system should have been, the jeepney still reigns as the country’s “King of the Road”. The promise of the long-term solution replacing the “temporary” solution never materialised. Today, the country’s jeepney infestation remains one of its biggest and most intractable social problems.

As Albert Einstein say…

You can’t solve a problem using the same thinking that created it.

If we think vigilantism is a great temporary solution for the Philippines’ galloping crime problem, think again. More specifically think again differently.

At 70 years of age, Duterte is an old fart pitching old idiotic ideas to the Philippines’ intellectually-challenged electorate. And all the bobotante voters are eating it all up. Temporary solutions just won’t cut it in an age where there is an abundance of technological tools to help us come up with the right thinking and, out of that, the right solutions.

The Philippines will never catch up with the truly great countries of the world if its people remain addicted to temporary short-term solutions. All it can do is keep from falling further behind.

The trouble with us is this addiction to smallness of thinking seems to be cultural in nature. Indeed, it all comes back to our heritage of smallness — our fondness for tingi-tingi effort over projects that involve grand visions…

Because we cannot unite for the large effort, even the small effort is increasingly beyond us. There is less to learn in our schools, but even this little is protested by our young as too hard. The falling line on the graph of effort is, alas, a recurring pattern in our history. Our artifacts but repeat a refrain of decline and fall, which wouldn’t be so sad if there had been a summit decline from, but the evidence is that we start small and end small without ever having scaled any peaks. Used only to the small effort, we are not, as a result, capable of the sustained effort and lose momentum fast. We have a term for it: ningas cogon.

Go to any exhibit of Philippine artifacts and the items that from our “cultural heritage” but confirm three theories about us, which should be stated again.

First: that the Filipino works best on small scale–tiny figurines, small pots, filigree work in gold or silver, decorative arabesques. The deduction here is that we feel adequate to the challenge of the small, but are cowed by the challenge of the big.

It is quite evident then that rampant crime is not really the problem. It is but a mere symptom of a deeper malaise that grips Philippine society. The real problem with the Philippines lies in the way Filipinos think. The only way Duterte’s precious vigilantism will cure that root cultural problem is if he points his thugs’ guns at stupid people — most specially the stupid people who support him.

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32 Comments on “Duterte’s dangerous experiment: Vigilantism as state-sanctioned doctrine”

  1. If the goal is a society motivated by rule of law, vigilantism can’t even be considered a first small step toward it. It’s not just the risks attendant in its implementation or the violation of due process; vigilantism disregards the very basic idea that justice in all of its forms cannot be reduced to mere utility or pragmatic desirability.

    More importantly, analyzing the consequences of vigilantism will tell us that it fails the difference principle of justice; since most offenders belong to classes C, D, and E, the burden of this policy will fall disproportionately on classes C, D, and E.

    The practical objections to Duterte-style governance are both important and wide-ranging, but we have to ask ourselves as a people: is this the best way to address the socio-economic-political inequality that is the root of all injustice?

    1. Exactly. And you managed to step back far enough from the minutiae of the issue to see the overarching point — that vigilantism should not even be considered an option. Not even a “temporary” one.

  2. In a hell-hole like PH, vigilantism by roaming hooded assassins is no different from a typical police operation. It’s just a different label done by guys wearing a different set of clothes.

    I had a police friend before who was getting depressed with his job – because when they went over to deal with criminal elements, the plans are already laid out with a predetermined outcome.

    If they decide that the outcome should be “elimination”, then that’s it. The “criminal” is dead after the operation. I don’t know how they get away with these, but I assume it’s easy for them to simply submit a police report that “there was a shootout” – kuno.

    Well, criminals killing criminals (in uniform or not) – when the dust settles and they’re all dead, maybe whoever remains can finally go on with their normal lives in peace and authentic law and order.

    For now, maybe we need to get used to behaving so as not to piss off Judge Dredd (a police officer with instant field judiciary powers).

    And just in case the urban legend called DDS is indeed true, I would try to keep a lid on unrestrained provocation of Duterte supporters – esp. if they can track your true identity.

    What if everyone who labeled them as “Tards” here gets included in their “for elimination” blacklist? Oh my, time time get on-board that Cebu Pacific flight on exile as another remittance-contributing OFW!

    1. @ ZAXX, if you aren’t on that plane already, there must be something wrong with you. The Philippines is a HELL-HOLE and you should leave immediately.

    2. @zaxx, therein lies the difference between a true politically-savvy statesman and a buffooon like Duterte. The earlier recognises that reality of police work you pointed out and is savvy enough to manage it without turning it into a political campaign spectacle the way Duterte is doing it today.

      I think it’s pretty much accepted that just about every government exec (from mayors all the way up to presidents) exercise a bit of extrajudicial liberties every now and then to “get things done”. Duterte just makes it like everything is all about that. Not classy, to say the least.

      You need to be a bit more well-rounded than that to be president of a country of 100 million. And also a bit less of a buffoon.

      1. @benign0. I doubt Duterte is even after being classy. I think he’s goofing around on purpose. The only way to win in PH given its demography is to act and think like Eat Bulaga clowns. His strategy seems to be working – getting free media campaign coverage with his every move.

        In a democracy, the president is like a mirror. He is but a reflection of the society that put him in power. Classy statesmen will only come to power when we as a society have evolved from Eat Bulaga entertainment spectators to info-hungry rocket scientists, which I think will take a bit longer unfortunately.

        GRP is like a small banca trying to pull and steer a Titanic. Hopefully, we can make a dent because based on the Creed -> “Words are alive!”

  3. Reading this was painful. Disjointed to the extreme, it seems that the ‘smallness in thinking’ that the author insists is gripping the country,holding it back (nah),is contagious?

  4. Aside from climate change and other relevant questions, I think the most important question to ask Mr. Duterte is what does he think about gun control? If he wins, will we finally see the right to carry firearms written in our laws or the constitution? I am interested to know what he thinks about this because it seems, the way I understand his projected image, suppressing crimes regardless of the means is everyone’s obligation to him. I can be wrong because I also understand that in Davao City, carrying firearms except for the authorities is also prohibited. However, I’m afraid that the people may insist and pressure him to allow this right because vigilantism is what he is known for. To that extent, I think I’d rather invoke Pres. Marcos’s reason for requiring gun owners to surrender their arms because, knowing the current culture of Filipinos, gun ownership=chaos. So I really like to hear what is his stand on gun control or at least how is he going to discipline the country the way he did in Davao City.

    I share in the Filipinos search for solutions to better the Philippines. What I refuse to share is applying band-aid solution to a gunshot wound. Digong may have a point in his dirty harry-like approach to solving crimes but the next question is what do we do next? You don’t expect these criminals to just accept defeat and be gentlemen about it, right?

    Also, I remember one internet news (or article) where Mr. Duterte was quoted as saying something like human rights is only a western idea and not applicable in the Philppines (or Asia). I wonder how will he explain that to western leaders like fmr US president Jimmy Carter especially if he is asking for aid. I mean, yeah screw human rights if ignoring it for at least 6 years can do the country some good but can we really live with that? What if the vigilantes hit a wrong target?

    1. Personally, there are too many idiotic proposals to amend the Philippine Constitution without adding a clause that touches on firearms ownership in any degree. Just look at the US – an entire industry has spawned around the Second Amendment. As of now, PROGUN is not as militant as the US National Rifle Association, and I hope it stays that way.

      Oh, and yes, someone should remind our august Senate to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty.

      The article you are referring to is located at http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/691527/dutertes-secret-in-keeping-davao-city-phs-safest-kill-criminals. No justification was given by Mayor Duterte as to why rehabilitating criminals is worse than “just killing the idiots”.

      1. SO, by that rationale: If someone thinks Dueterte is an IDIOT (and HE IS !) someone like a Vigilante can just KILL THE IDOT ?

    2. @Vincent, the bigger question might be how much support from the Army Duterte could gain once he is in Manila.

      Winning an election may prove to be easier for Duterte compared to the task of creating all the right relationships once in office. If he is not liked by the other power brokers in Manila, all his initiatives will be blocked left and right. He may be even impeached within months of stepping into office — like Erap. With all the skeletons in his closet, he’ll be an easy case. And without the Army’s support, there is no way he can make good on his threats to abolish Congress if they don’t cooperate with him.

      He’ll be eaten alive in Manila if he does not shape up and shed his small-town mentality and start thinking big time on national scales.

      1. Oh yeah. That too.

        How many times has the AFP demonstrated that it will readily abandon its commander-in-chief everytime it thinks it is responding to the ‘will’ of the people. And when I say people, I mean the Archbishop of Manila, the CBCP, retired and elder politicians, members of the senate and house, some civil society groups, business clubs, etc.

  5. I just wonder, what do Duterte supporters really want? Could it be that what they really want is a seceded state from Manila that they could rule on their own?

  6. I’d just been to another article in this site flooded with rage. Funny but not surprising how this witty and equally important article received significantly less attention. Is it because the manner–the eloquence, clarity–and structure in which the ideas are presented scratched too few egos? This is the most decent, intellectually stimulating comments section I’ve browsed today. Nicely done, (Mr) benign0!

    On to the topic, the resort to radical methods such as vigilantism suggests a greater failure in the government’s duty to protect its people. Leadership skills unfortunately do not automatically proceed from patriotism, however great and noble. I understand the man’s love for his city and country but I do not agree with his reasoning.

    Drug addicts are not the root of social injustice. From a medical point of view, drug addiction is a mental illness that can possibly result from occult or undiagnosed organic or functional pathology. Relatively incapacitated, these people need professional help, not discrimination, not a death sentence. Not all drug addicts resort to crime. Not all criminals use drugs. Duterte’s argument is clearly skewed.

    This vigilante system, like political dynasties, is very much vulnerable to abuse. An innocent person with powerful enemies can be easily framed, given over to the death squads. When the State is unable to protect the rights of each citizen, regardless of criminal record, then she fails miserably in her duty to the people.

    A truly effective leader has a firm grasp on the nature of our problems, has a clear vision and realistic goals and practical, efficient methods, and is able to motivate his followers to work towards the goal. The character of a president must be one that inspires awe and respect. Strength is not necessarily brutality, and is displayed in self-control and discipline. The quality of leadership is not in the number of his followers–beware of charlatans–but in the sustainable dynamic community he has molded.

    When the dynasty of Duterte in Davao will come to an end, how long will the peace and security in his city last?

    By the way, that controversial Inquiry article about safest cities rankings cited Numbeo.com, a private company that mainly derives its figures from users. Crowd-sourced. They measure perception of personal security using questionnaires. The site however does not reveal more like sampling design, size, etc. On the other hand, The Economist among other major international publications used measurable outcomes and parameters to approximate a more comprehensive definition of security: that which includes infrastructure safety, environmental safety on top of personal safety. Interestingly, no Philippine city has made it to the top 10 of The Economist’s safest cities. Some figures had been taken out of context for whatever designs the author had.

    The Spectator
    Just keep swimming

    1. Thanks @Spectator. A true leader leaves a legacy that is deeply-embedded enough to outlive him or her. In the case of Duterte’s Davao, how well his city performs after the end of his dynasty remains to be seen.

      You can see, however, from the rabid nature of his supporters, that the cult following he created is indicative of how all that Davao is today rests disproportionately on the cult of personality he created and not on institutional strength.

  7. Duterte is a foul mouthed lunatic viagra poster boy. Duterte’s vigilante justice , may have worked in his enclave of Davao City. However, on national level, where he has to contend with several factors. I doubt, it could work.

    There are many problems in our country: insurgency; widespread corruption; unrestrained thievery on our national treasury; rapid growth of population; squatters rapidly taking over Metro Manila, and other cities; runaway inflation.

    These factors affect the peace and order , of the country. So, it is not just killing criminals. It is solving the root causes of criminality. Treating the symptoms, is not treating the illness. You have to understand the illness; get the right diagnosis; and apply the proper treatment…

    Vigilante Justice is not the solution to our problems.

  8. Look ,this guy ‘Roddy D’ is bad news! the reason Davao is the way it is is because the people are scared shit of this guy. He is basically a thug, an idiot. Kinda like Al Capone, not much in his skull but planty of bullets for anyone who disagrees with him. The country already has a bunch of criminals running the country so: Why would the people want a criminal who is willing to kill anyone who doesn’t do as he says to do OR get whacked?

    Elect this guy and you think your country sucks ass now? You will wish you had never been born if the country elects this thug.

  9. I think that there are certain crimes which the law cannot touch, and which therefore, to some extent, justify private revenge.

  10. The Philippines will need a true visionary leader with substance who can make Philippines wealthy and a better society just like Singapore’s former PM Lee Kuan Yew. He helped made Singapore one of the wealthiest countries in the world. So far I’ve not seen this unique quality from any of the presidential candidates. Benign0 have more sense than any of these candidates put together.

  11. I think there is consensus that vigilantism is of a very slippery slope. As usual, benignO argues this with academic clarity. I hope the blind fanatics of DU30 read it for they are jeopardizing the chances of their idol more than they realize it at the rate they are defending even his gaffes.

    What I would caution is to think of DU30 as some kind of a tomfool. We won’t be able to nuance things properly if we do. For one, to underestimate someone is a pitfall.

    If we are talking of a guy who does not know his ass from his elbow, there is only one, and that would be PNoy. I wouldn’t even rate Erap in the same category as this incompetent fool. Erap was far more intelligent than PNoy. He is totally unlike PNoy. Just compare the kind of cabinet secretaries that each of the two attracted; Angara vs Paquito Ochoa; Ben Diokno vs Abad; Orly Mercado vs Gasmin; Ping Lacson vs Purisima? And others, I just couldn’t recall now. I think Erap was smart. For one, he knows his Sun Tzu; recall he commissioned PR practitioners Reli German and Ike Gutierrez to come out with “Eraption”. He wanted the public to know he was stupid; gosh, this is classic in the Art of Warfare. Additionally, he had Angara as his ES. Erap must have realized he is just street smart, so he complemented himself with a deputy who is an intellectual — this is excellent management skill. ….Pinoy? He has Paquito Ochoa as his primus interpares. Sonamagan, that is already a major flaw in the set-up; a blind leading the blind.

    Unfortunately, or fortunately, Erap was undone by his close friends, his unofficial family, but that would require a separate cover to discuss. On the other hand, just watch; PNoy will be undone by his official family. There are already leakages that he and Abad are now in the middle of a pissing match. If true, it isn’t a surprise; evil acts always divide, not unify. Question is: if DU30 is an Erap who has learned from his mistakes???

    PNoy tries hard to project himself as an intellectual and yet has been non-performing in any of the positions he has held to-date. Maybe he has not pocketed people’s money, but by golly, he is still corrupt by training and mentality for he thinks the treasury could be used on his personal whim. I would say PNoy is lucky that nothing has hit him of the magnitude similar to the 1997 Thai financial crisis and the 2008 economic meltdown.

    I shudder to think what would have happened if such hit us and PNoy was at the helm. Well, let him gloat over his “economic accomplishment”; his luck is our luck. Still, he looks the more stupid the more he gloats as people are already aware the bullish economy has nothing to do with him. He could not even name one economic policy that he could call his own except to attribute things to Daang Matuwid, which is of course a vacuous claim, or to own what was actually GMA’s initiatives, which of course fortifies the perception he is that stupid, for stupidity is wont to credit grabbing. Daang Matuwid has become so hypocritical, people are angry. Today, corruption is at its peak, even rivalling Martial Law years in impunity, that even old politicians like Maceda, Adaza, etc are shocked.

    PNoy built the boat that will ride through the stinking Pasig River straight to the Palace for the likes of DU30, as controversial as they may come. If it were not for the COMELEC still in the process of deciding whether DU30 could replace the already declared nuisance candidate, Diño, I would already venture to say that we are in fact looking in DU30 as the next occupant of Malacañang.

    We call our voters as bobotantes for they have ignored more qualified candidates in every election. But are they really? Let us look at the yellow era. FVR was the anti-thesis of Cory in terms of experience, among others, even if MDS, FVR’s closest rival, was also experienced, but she was still a woman like Cory. Next, Erap was the most anti-FVR, or against FVR who they perceived as too cunning for their taste; Erap said he was stupid. Then, they got tired of the naivety in Erap, so they voted an academic in GMA. FPJ said he was cheated, but the public could not go back to naivety so the dramatics of Susan Roces (her “not once, but twice”) didn’t resonate with the public, even if GMA herself lost her self-confidence because of Susan’s tirade. But, there is really something about our system that in the end, people also didn’t like the Machiavellian wiliness of GMA. We suppose the scandals during GMA was just too much.

    So, from frying pan to fire, we went; PNoy was elected, a very anti-GMA candidate, the anti-intellectual, the anti-academic, in his very persona. Thus, if we follow this wild swings in voting pattern, there is no one more anti-PNoy today in his very being than DU30. If that is the basis alone, you can see why DU30 is going to be the President.

    Of course, the wild swings just confirm that Filipinos vote with emotions alone. The golden mean, the middle of the road, is not in their vocabulary; they don’t want to complicate things, so things are not nuanced. But, how can they not be emotional when we have a country of 100 million, and yet, it is so amazing that decisions in the Palace almost practically impacts every individual in direct ways; people feel it almost instantaneously? Just think of Manila as the site for APEC as an example, or the kicking out of Sumitomo as the maintenance provider of MRT, as another, and we could have a long laundry list hereafter, not just during PNoy’s term.

    I hope they don’t go ahead with the scenario which is the fear of not a few where Mar Roxas will be the only candidate left standing to run. They could still eliminate DU30 by not accepting his COC; Poe, by finally deciding her DQ; Binay, by jailing him. We could of course already discount MDS because people just couldn’t believe one could have a remission from a stage-4 cancer. But by golly, if Mar is the only candidate, there will again be people power even if people have already decided some time ago that such exercise would not amount to anything since EDSA1 and EDSA2 have really brought nothing, but frustration.

    The scenario is not far fetched; probably why there was an early beeline into the VP position, which really will be the focus if indeed said scenario plays out. In such a scenario, a win by Mar Roxas, even if he runs alone and unopposed, might just be declared null and void by public clamor. In such an event, the winning VP may have to move up even temporarily until matters are resolved, or they might just allow the same to go on in the presidency if untying the Gordian knot proves more problematic. Mar probably does not believe the scenario will end as badly, and that is probably why he is of incomprehensible arrogance.

    But really, another 6 years of Daang Matuwid? Mar must be out of his rockers? But, I think we could attempt to figure this out. There is more than meets the eye and the headline news. To wage a successful presidential campaign, one needs in 2016 10 to 15 billion Pesos by all estimates — 8 billion alone will already be needed to pay the thousands of watchers during election day and the period of vote counting. It is the same figure that DU30 quoted; maybe he is finally running as there is now a group willing to bankroll his candidacy. But, it has also to be the reason, it discourages the likes of Gibo, Gordon, Raffy Allunan, etc to even attempt to run for that office. Here, it should give us an idea how DU30 must have belabored his decision. His hesitancy reflects a thinking man, it cannot be the same hesitancy as that of PNoy for it is evident they are of opposite characters. One has shown an attitude towards being results-oriented; the other, towards theatrics in self-glorification, never mind if it amounts to no concrete result outside of himself. But, it is impressive how DU30 has used even his hesitancy as a PR offensive.

    Against that, the grapevine is thick with rumours that LP prepared a war chest of a 150 billion. Incredible, but it is not hard to believe — do not forget that smuggling today is at a trillion level by WB estimates; 150 billion is peanuts against that. At the same time, it is not just about preventing PNoy going to jail. What about Abad, Abaya, Alcala, Gazmin, PNP’s Purisima, Soliman, Roxas, the always drunk Ochoa, etc? They also need to avoid jail time. They are all that desperate. Period.

    On the other hand, let’s face it: they all must know Mar is a losing proposition in a relatively fair play. Mar must also know he will lose even in a dirty play. Obstinacy of LP can’t explain the whole thing; even their desperation cannot be the full explanation. Mar didn’t give up 2010 for nothing; he knew he couldn’t win the presidency then, and that is why he slid down to VP. I can’t believe a Wharton guy can’t intelligently read surveys — no matter how adulterated they are when presented for public consumption. So if he knew that in 2010, he must know it today. What I can believe is that he didn’t anticipate there would be a snake in the grass in terms of the underground workings of Noy-Bi in 2010 Consequently, I cannot believe he has not learned his lesson from this.

    Today, he sucks up to Daan Matuwid even when he was out of the loop in the Mamasapano operation. It baffles, but why? Well, simple. If he loses in the election this time, he might just take home a net of maybe a billion Pesos, maybe, more, by just sticking to Daang Matuwid, and PNoy, a narcissist, is a sucker of sycophants, or those pretending to be sycophants. Again, they have 150 billion to work with, remember. So if we absent morals, not bad for Mar, considering he is today sacrificing his reputation. Most likely, he is banking on the fact that Filipinos are so forgetful and forgiving, a case that would be, especially when he becomes a private citizen. There will also be more than enough to pay the most expensive lawyers who will defend him against his participation in the cutting off of Sumitomo from MRT and other such cases. I can see a guy intending to PERSONALLY win this time either way the election goes.

    Here is a guy who already knows by experience that there are so many unforeseen parameters when one aspires for the two top positions. So, he rolls his dice with his eyes closed for how else could we account his inflexibility in his narrative. I suppose he is saying to himself: no matter which side one takes, events could overtake any well laid plan because, for one, voters are so fickle and emotional. If such is not the case, then Mar has to be more stupid than PNoy, and I don’t know if Korina could be blamed for that. Hehehe. But, it is truly a pain to watch this Ivy League guy these days; he just looks like a unkempt prostitute in the sleaziest red light district.

    Obviously, what we are witnessing is politics at its dirtiest. It is probably at its lowest state ever in our history. What horrifies is to realize that there are actually human beings who are willing to drag a nation to its rock bottom. Maybe, they don’t believe there is a rock in the bottom that could actually hurt anybody in a fall. Maybe, they are so way up there, they could never envision themselves hitting a rock that could hurt badly.

    Or, have they just become so callous? Do they know that they have ushered in more poverty, or do they believe their own window-dressed economic figures, or their own lies? And yet, we thought GMA’s FG was already THE Mafia Don we had to reckon with in recent history and that the KKK was just a student council. It turns out they didn’t mind being called a student council for they didn’t have a vision for the country, but had a vision exclusive to themselves, and as we slowly unraveled their workings, it got scarier. There is more to uncover after 2016, but already, we are getting hints of a well-oiled syndicate in this KKK, which is really an insult to that group of Andres Bonifacio. In fact, it may just rival the Mexican drug cartel if we just had enough tool to uncover things like an FOI. Hyperbole? Maybe. But look at how they could take out Roxas and Abaya from the charges they filed against Vitangcol re MRT; it is selective justice, alright, but they are not shy about it being blatant.. See how they could ignore UN, just to have the propaganda on what they could do to somebody like GMA. Binay ignored the threat, so what did they do? Have the longest investigation by any legislative body in the world, haven’t they?

    And, DU30 would dare to go up against this unscrupulous group that knows no limit when it comes to its enemies? Or, is DU30 part of this group who is supposed to throw a monkey wrench at the rival camps? Maybe, we will know this after COMELEC decides his COC. So far, watching his speech during his proclamation, it is now hard to see how he could be part of the KKK for the monkey wrench that was thrown was against the very forces KKK/ LP had to defend. The speech reflected a self-confident individual; courageous, yet self deprecating; funny, yet substantial and passionate, extemperaneous, yet spelled out a platform; rough in the edges, yet not repulsive. Is his courage that of a reckless fool? That was hard to see in his speech. What was clear is that it would be a folly to underestimate this guy.

    Sure, he appears to have cursed Pope Francis, and there was a public outcry in a nation of 80% Catholic. But observe his reaction thereafter. He went to meet the Archbishop of Davao, and now he promises to donate a certain amount every time an expletive comes out of his mouth. Sonamagan, this guy listens, which is already a breath of fresh air after five years of obstinate deafness in the halls of power. On top of that, gosh, he is a quick thinker; he turns a disadvantage into an advantage like a Bruce Lee or a Jackie Chan in a street fight. On the other hand, I cannot see why Catholics would allow him to ruffle their feathers. If he was a heretic, he is small time. In the 2000 years of the Church, there have been far more divisive and pernicious heretics, and yet the Church is alive and kicking around the world.

    Of course, we hold back quite a bit now for here we go again, another womanizer, another Erap. He is not in control of his will, or his lust; so what else is he not in control of? Maybe, he admitted this in public as a defensive move, but let’s not be a hypocrites, gosh, Filipino males are in general womanizers, it is just a matter of degree. But, in his meeting with the bishop, this senior citizen shows a surprising amount of docility. Would it be something if because of the job pressure of a President, he might just end-up as a one-woman man? We could never tell, of course, but conversions have always been afforded only to docile humans. Okay, I am wildly speculating now, trying to be overly optimistic.

    But, no way is this guy an amateur. Sure, he is an unknown quantity, but I kind of heard FVR loves him. He was assigned by the old man a couple of times to do some covert operations in the past, and DU30 always delivered. If that is true, then he must also be respected by the likes of Almonte, de Villa, Ermita, and all the retired officers of the uniformed community. FVR remains the guiding light of the military and the police, and if indeed that respect is there, it must be because DU30 also has high regards of those in uniform, active or otherwise. In that regard, I don’t believe he will carry his vigilantism to Malacanang. His non-denial of his connection to a Davao Death Squad is all about braggadocio. It is a calculated risk, but it is part of a PR campaign, both as an offensive and a defensive move. Of course, we can never be sure about this — anything is possible in Philippine politics.

    An old man I know who claims he was a roommate of DU30, when latter was still boarding at YMCA while studying law in San Beda, couldn’t believe DU30 could be a thug. He knows DU30 as being gentle as a pussycat. Later visits to Davao, he found out that one of DU30’s closest friends is a guy by the name of Farago, who is really Sargeant Pitao, a battle tested Scout Ranger turned NPA. He is the leader of the dreaded Front 86 and the most wanted in Mindanao who has a substantial price over his head by the PNP. Unknown to many, top leaders of NPA live in mansions in city suburbs, and DU30 is known to visit Farago’s mansion periodically.

    What makes the story interesting is that DU30 is also quite close to a certain Benzar, the leader of the Sparrow Unit. What makes this unit unique is that it includes very unassuming females, whom they call as “Amazonas”, but are sharpshooters with a cal 45 and are very deadly lone assassins. But, Benzar had falling out with Farago, and my friend surmises that the DDS may just be a deadly rivalry to please a common friend, DU30, in the process cleaning the city of criminals that really was a headache to DU30 when he first became a Mayor. My friend does not know how much control DU30 has over these operations. He says he may not even have control over it, having known DU30 as a pussycat who could not hurt anybody.

    But, through the years, he has seen the transformation of DU30 into a rough character. Mindanao is teeming with all sort of private armies, ranging from that of political warlords to that of various rebels and bandits. The Ampatuans alone has a mansion in the city, and with their political clout at one point, they could run over a Mayor if he was weakling. How DU30 has managed to keep all these opposing forces at bay when they are within his city limits is a skill that could only come from a hard negotiating ability which in turn could only develop in a very hostile environment. My friend would never think of DU30 as a geek, but he will never think of the guy as dumb.

    That negotiating skill was obvious in the proclamation speech. Not only does DU30 shows an appreciation of history, at least the way he spins it to suit his purpose, he narrates it with gusto, never a second of dull moment The way he pauses for a minute, the way he takes deep breath, the way he stutters when needed, the way he tries to be clear when the issue is important, boy, DU30 is an orator. Even the cursing and his scratching of his head is for effect. If it were not for the topic, you would think you watching live a professional stand-up comedian.

    The reason I don’t want any candidate eliminated during the lead up to election is I want to see DU30 go through the ringer. MDS would certainly give him a run for his money during the debates. Poe may be a newbie, but she was a champion debater during her Assumption days, and she could offer unexpected rebuttals that could floor seasoned politicians. I want to see how far different DU30 is compared to Mar or Binay.

    With the entry of DU30, certainly the game has changed. But, let me be very clear, this is not endorsement of him. He is too much of an unpredictable entity. We don’t have yet a clear idea about his vision for the country, although his advocacy for federalism certainly gives him a discernable edge. But, is he what the country needs, one who manages by PR stunt, by shock and awe? Business and economics demand that we should be able to predict things even from more than a mile away, or even things a year, or more, ahead; could we do this with DU30? Shucks, I still wish a Gibo, a Gordon, or a Raffy Alunan was in the race. But, if DU30 says he will focus on agriculture, labor, climate change, and education, possibly in that order, then I think I will seriously consider supporting him.

  12. @ ADD This is an essay size comment and ,really….how many people do you think are going to read it? I did not, too long. Why not ask whoever runs this web-site to publish it as an article?

  13. All arguments so presupposed that the abstraction of all modern precepts of decency is paramount, even to a country whose criminals call the shots of many streets during the dark of the night.

    However, if fails to take notice that concrete experience, with stellar proofs are better.

    Digong may sound horrifying…but his motive for the killings is because he doesn’t want his community to be cast under the principle of lottery…when all the 5 pillars of justice are in chorus.

  14. Filipinos are afraid to try something new.
    Filipinos are afraid of taking risk.
    Filipinos are are selfish to sacrifice.
    Filipinos only think of themselves.

    Therefore, you deserve the hell hole.

  15. I almost hit the most point of your site

    is this site provided for demolation job to duterte? i wonder that most of your topic only duterte is being mention here inspite that we have four candidate for presidency this is the shameful way of filipino culture of crab mentality, jus for the expense of personal serving you are to sell your expertise in demolation

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