Provocateur: Doing it the Duterte way

The thing about polarizing characters like Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is that they often conjure passionate emotions from people. Often in the most extreme, opposite ends of the spectrum. It’s either passionate disgust or fanatical adoration. But never dismissive indifference. Black or white, no gray areas.

But as with most polarizing topics, it is best to look at all possible perspectives in order to give a more rounded observation and rationalization of things to arrive at a more concrete frame of one’s opinions.


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

As countless articles have already pointed out, and not more than a few of them here in GRP, the man is a breath of fresh air in a stagnant political landscape populated by the same morons from different parties who act and move in a predictable pattern that people with an IQ of over 15 can consider very insulting to the intelligence. That these clowns continue to do the same depressing routine and still get elected to key positions and get paid ridiculous amounts of taxpayers’ money while jerking off make the indignity of it all the more painful.

Every election season, different cast, the same stupid rhetoric and impossible promises not grounded in reality.

Along comes a ‘Bisaya’ underdog from a non-Metro Manila territory challenging the big names in politics for the presidency. The audacity of the ambition alone is enough to stop everyone dead on their tracks. But the man himself is another story.

That Duterte’s notoriety in terms of the Davao Death squad and his candid statements about certain issues, especially on summary executions of supposed criminals without the benefit of proper legal procedures have left a sour taste in most political analysts and observers’ mouths. And significantly so: The implications of the sort of lawless, instant ‘justice’ that Duterte projects and vowed to enforce should he become in-charge of the whole country is more frightening than one cares to admit.

There is no denying that method may actually have worked on Davao, as what many Davaeños and visitors of the city have attested to in terms of general safety and order of the place. But even if we assume Duterte is an angel and has nothing but good intentions for everyone despite the shortcut version of delivering justice, Davao is arguably easier to monitor and manage compared to the rest of the country. A big factor for sure, when the mayor kept refusing and insisting that he was old and all he wanted to do was serve the city one last time and then retire. At least there, he had a relatively easier time monitoring not just the criminal activities of the place but also the behavior of his own enforcers.

Applying that method to a larger territory—an archipelago to boot—becomes a bit more problematic, especially when you remove safeguards like due process from the equation. What most people do not realize about that now-reviled concept—no small thanks to the incessant yapping of so-called human rights groups—is that it is there not to protect the guilty criminal. It is there to protect the average citizen from potential abuse of criminals in positions of power. Even a leader with the best of intentions cannot hope to monitor ALL of his underlings’ shenanigans when a free-for-all type of system is in play.

All a corrupt law enforcer/official has to do is point a finger at someone and it’s all downhill from there. Of course things like that are happening now. But with the kind of system Duterte is planning to enforce should he win the presidency, the ‘Wild West’ tag which many writers have fondly attached to his ruling style just might take a turn to the literal where people are forced to become outlaws just to fight for their rights. Paranoid? Sure. Doesn’t hurt to look at worst case scenarios in order to make preparations to adapt to potential possibilities and outcomes.

Having said all that and looking at the current crop of presidentiables, Duterte is still the one who looks like he can sit in that position and actually effect a semblance of change in sense that is the total opposite of the one the Philippines is currently subjected to. At least with the mayor, a tangible gauge for performance like Davao city—if we are to take the many testimonials of people who live and visited there—gives credibility to his intent in that people can actually see the results of his management in the LGU sector.

Contrast that output with the rest of the candidates who have nothing but piles upon piles of bullshit coming out of every orifice of their bodies with zero results to show for, and one can immediately understand why the brash mayor got hold of public sensibility with little or probably no effort at all. Even to the point of actually provoking his audience (that infamous speech that transformed just about everyone into prude, PC police) and employing reverse psychology to drive his point harder.

Politics is a dirty game and everyone in it is a player. The hard question is which one of these hopeful SOBs will you risk giving the rod to drive in your ass and hold it there for the next six years.

9 Replies to “Provocateur: Doing it the Duterte way”

  1. I don’t want to underestimate the man’s capacity. He does have something between the ears and looks like always a step ahead of everyone. Let’s see.

  2. I’m pretty sure he didn’t just base his alleged vigilante-brand of justice on mere pointing of fingers. He was definitely familiar with the city and its denizens, so there would be a very high probability that any criminal that (allegedly) have been executed by the DDS had actually deserved it.

    If he was placed in charge, I’ll bet he won’t be doing the same thing to the whole country. Aside from the fact that even a Duterte would shy away from the same methods given its potential inaccuracy at the national level, he hasn’t really incorporated crime-fighting into his actual campaign platform (so far). If you take a look at the plans he’s been laying out for the country since the day he announced his candidacy, they’ve been mostly about solving the traffic problem, adding more infrastructure, and (maybe) a change of policy towards China. No concrete plans on eliminating crime via his supposed outlaw methods aside from a couple of on-air threats (which he has been known to blurt out from time to time, anyway).

    1. well, except that he’d cussed about Pope Francis until a day later (exclude his apology to him) he’d told to the media that he was sexually abused by a priest when he was studied at Ateneo de Davao and he also said he’ll exposed it in a latter time on who’d abused him. And we all know that there’s a news about the sex scandal cases that is happening inside the Catholic Church but this one it was very old and I think this one was way older than our grandparents was born. Probably he just want to capture and imprisoned those Catholic priests who are convicted of rape/child molestation as a part of his “strategic” platform? But what about this so called “Pajero Bishops” way back 4 years ago or those Catholic priests who are convicted on CORRUPTION inside the church? CBCP should explain this issues to the public.

  3. I think this is why Duterte is an advocate of federalism. I don’t know why both media and social media (even some of his supporters) does not mention Duterte’s stance on federalism.

    1. the problem is that people are too busy counting his expletives than actually listening to his message. if only for federalism, i will vote for him. no need for bbl. with federalism, even other regions would benefit…zero tax for 25k and below income…inra…etc.

      as for the fear of a vigilante style justice, i heard an interview of prof. clarita carlos that given the structure of the bureaucracy, any president will not be able to do this. there are safeguards.

      in the meantime, abrasive though he is, the lawyer-thug is the only candidate with a solid track record and platform.

      yes, i am a dutertard.

      1. i’m a dutertard-manileno. if federalism won’t pass at least devolve further powers to LGUs (eg. economic/financial control) or go financial/economic federalism. hence, Constitutional Convention talaga yan. this is a very serious matter as in considering the cultural/historical/tribal/religious differences in Mindanao.

        About vigilantism hopefully IF he wins, he’ll go full legit this time around (just i commented before) since he has full control of the AFP/PNP/SAF and intelligence. remember this is not just 1 region (Davao City), this is an archipelago.

  4. Duterte is not…”a breath of fresh air”…he is a Foul Mouthed Murderous Lunatic, who happens to be a Mayor of Davao City.

    Duterte is there a “contrabida player” of the 2016 Presidential election “Political Zarzuela”. The “Political Zarzuela” is managed and directed by Aquino and Mar Roxas, with the political strategist of the Liberal Party, watching intently.

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.