Rodrigo Duterte represents the revolution that was denied the Filipino

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Leading presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte is unstoppable. He does not only weather storms, he thrives in them. The latest witchhunt launched by disgruntled vice presidential candidate Antonio Trillanes (who consistently ranks near bottom in the many surveys taken so far) was a mere blip on his radar. Duterte’s fans remain adamant in their choice, and all this latest Trillanes stunt had achieved was to keep Duterte’s face trending on headline news.

All those who stand in Duterte’s way are now perceived by the vast voter base who have rallied behind him as the people who failed to deliver on their promise. Duterte’s detractors, for their part, remain baffled by this massive support. Duterte’s supports are, as one “thought leader” puts it, “not a fringe group of reactionary fanatics” as most “civil” Filipinos would like to believe. They are, “neighbors, friends, the old high school classmates who drive their children to school and post pictures of Jesus and Coach bag discounts.” In short, Duterte’s appeal to the Filipino public draws from a deeper need that transcends social class.

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Why are Filipino voters going for broke and betting on a Duterte presidency? Perhaps it is because there never has been any true revolution in the Philippines that had truly been won. The 1986 people power “revolution” was anything but. There was nothing revolutionary about it. It wasn’t even transformational. It was a fresh coat of paint applied to a termite-infested house.

Duterte’s revolution, to many Filipinos, comes across as real. In contrast to Cory Aquino’s, and subsequent presidents who followed her, sucking up to American dole-outs, Duterte spits out the teat that had, in all ironic glory, nourished Filipino “independence” since 1946. He stands apart from the tired and flaccid “decency” of the Philippines’ so-called “civil society” and the quaint politically-correct platitudes that pepper their campaign slogans and their “trending” Twitter discussions. To the nebulous “unity” espoused by the traditional guard of Imperial Manileno politics, Duterte proposes that the artificial country known as “the Philippines” be broken up into a loose federation of autonomous states where Muslims can be Muslims, Sagadas can be Sagadas, Cebuanos can be Cebuanos, and the Taga-Ilogs can be, well, the same apathetic mallrats they’ve always been.

This is where Duterte’s supporters are coming from. Duterte is different. He is unlike anything ever seen in Philippine politics. He is baffling to those who fail to cast an empathetic eye upon Duterte’s base of supporters. These are people who have as much a legitimate claim to “the mainstream” as those who have traditionally regarded themselves as “the mainstream”, the latter being those who wax nostalgic about their contribution to the 1986 “revolution” and who have, as a matter of routine, looked to those whe beg to differ to them as being outside of their “mainstream”.

In that fact alone lies the reason why it is pointless to demonise Duterte any further and why continuing to do so will merely make him more powerful and his supporters even more resolute in their choice. It has come to a point where everything the old “mainstream” has to say merely rings hollow to a jaded Filipino public. Duterte’s rise is the result of 30 years of unparalleled squandering of priceless political capital that saw its peak market value in 1986.

Duterte is the revolution denied Filipinos in 1986.

* * *

Epilogue:

The thing with referring to social media as a means to check the “mood” of Philippine society is that it is an inherently inbred source of information. We get information from people we opt into following. In that way we limit our exposure to information and opinion that is biased to our own preconceived notions.

That a once obscure mayor from Mindanao would rise to prominence right under the noses of Manila’s noisy clique of “civil society” Netizens attests to the poison social media “activism” can deliver if used unintelligently.

[Photo courtesy Daily Mail.]

42 Replies to “Rodrigo Duterte represents the revolution that was denied the Filipino”

  1. “In that fact alone lies the reason why it is pointless to demonise Duterte any further and why continuing to do so will merely make him more powerful and his supporters even more resolute in their choice”

    This. The people who demonise Digong all seem to come from your soft, “educated”, pampered classes (where Digong also enjoys a substantial lead) and are turning this into a class war. They will lose as the hardened, “uneducated”, neglected classes throw their votes onto this man.

    He might not be the savior that people think of him but he is the “fuck you” to the Aquino government who pretend to be more decent than they are truly are.

    1. The fact that people are going from “i don’t know ’bout no corpses” to “I make the goddamn corpses and I’m proud to” represents a great step back, and is perhaps the terminal stage of social media poisoning.

      That’s not to disagree with the idea that Duterte and/or his campaign are very smartly tapping into all this frustration, of course. More like it plays into such desperation that people are willing to overlook the sins of past administrations (on the national and city level) to support him for something “different.”

      1. I agree. The problem with violent rhetoric is that it takes on a life of its own and runs away with itself. The Philippines is already a violent place, where petty squabbles are often settled with a gun or a bolo because people don’t have the social skills (or the backup of the law) to resolve things in other ways.

        While Duterte might be “real”, his glorification of strongman tactics is exactly what has kept South America in a perpetual state of misery and poverty.

        1. What’s also kept South America miserable and poor is massive corruption, which Duterte is also targeting to eliminate.

        2. Virtually every politician in countries not just in the Hispanosphere says they’ll do something about corruption, usually meaning that they’ll ensure the corruption benefits their own clique and to hell with anyone that doesn’t play along.

          It’s part of the game, of course.

        1. Really does our country need democracy now? Why not have a unified national ideology first so we look at freedom using the same coloed lens then let’s work on democracy. The faikure of EDSA I was not failure of attaining freedom from Marcos who tried ramming his New Society ideology down our constricted throats (the American hitmen made sure Marcos will fall). The problem was like rabid dogs fighting for the carcas of a downed prey we started biting each other …a sign of no unified ideology isn;t it? Meybe we should have swallowed the bitter pill being rammed down our throats then by Macoy or even relented to the Red Revolution of the CPP and turned communist …at leasr merom ideology that is unified

    2. Duterte for now has no win because the entire government agencies including the oligarch TV network joint venture to stop this poor mayor to keep Cory 1986 constitution intact. The small lady (central Bank) also join in the demolition squad and the poor BPI don’t know what to do. To be fair to both Aquino govt and duterte,they decide to wait the result after the election. In my assumption, the BPI is likely giving Duterte to win and keep that TRASH of trillanes later. That’s why this moron leaved BPI very early.For Trillanes is a game over,they cannot manipulate the bank statement like they did to corona.If Duterte win he has to find the mamalapaya missing fund, Yolanda fund that trillanes didn’t mined to investigate..Ops sorry folks, I forgot, trillanes is pnoy attack dog..Long live yellow oligarch

  2. Even if Duterte (or anyone else) has all the right answers… Even if he (or anyone else) is the leader that the Philippines needs to get out of whatever rut 30 years of “freedom” left us in… Even if he is elected by a landslide majority…

    … he won’t make an impact in Philippine society. I guarantee it.

    Why? Because even if he wins, all the losers will do their darndest to sabotage any progress he’ll make. They will use all of the influence and power they have (and Manileños have so much influence and power) to limit the influence and power of whoever wins. It’s a very Pinoy trait.

    Pinoys would rather see the Philippines burn and never thrive rather than see it blossom and grow… because of someone they dislike.

    They will make things difficult. They will stonewall all efforts. They will hang back, put their hands behind their heads and say “O. Ikaw pala ang gusto ng bayan. Sige, ikaw ang gumawa d’yan. Bakit kami tutulong e kinontra mo kami?”

    You will never see a defeated politician go to the winner and say “Boss, congrats. Pero ito pong plano ko, sigurado akong makikinabang ang lahat ng Pilipino. Kahit kayo na lang ang gumawa. Kahit hindi na ako ang gagawa. Basta magawa siya at matulungan ang bayan natin.”

    No, they will hold on to whatever help they could give and hold back, hoping that they can win the next election and then use that plan.

    Unless Pinoys change from a grass-roots level, you can get the best leader there is and ever was… and it will mean diddly-squat.

    1. Pinoys would rather see the Philippines burn and never thrive rather than see it blossom and grow… because of someone they dislike.

      This.

      The Pinoy is happiest when he sees his neighbor miserable, even if that results in misery for himself.

    2. YOU ARE RIGHT THERE, GRYPHON !!!

      My Political Axiom Number 69 will always hold true forever:

      PAxiom#69: “WHAT GOOD IS A GOOD PRESIDENT IF 99.9999% OF FILIPINOS ARE NOT GOOD”

  3. Just recently Duterte was prohibited to hold a campaign speech on cities where the Mayors belong to LP group. And then there’s Trillanes doing his damnest to pick on Duterte after failing miserably in performing his job as a Senator. Unfortunately for them, they only get angry response as people understand that what they are doing is a demolition job against DU30. There’s even this teacher who said I will find out who are involved in preventing DU30 for campaigning [in her city] and I will not vote for them. lol

    1. Must investigate ,while trillanes was in jail and he spend almost 30 million in 2013 campaign. That should be raise the red flag
      Wake up ,what happening in tuwad na daan
      Tanga na naman ,hindi pa pala siya kasale sa SALN..

  4. Most if not all of those who are pro DU30 now do not know or refuse to believe that one man prevented what would have been chaos or a bloody civil war that Cory qnd Cardinal Sin were resigned to happen.

    Now the inevitable bloodshed is coming and let us see who blinks or cries like the then Joey Rufino.

  5. I’ve been hearing in some circles about a possible coup if DU30 wins. Well, I think we all knew why.

    Otherwise, say hello to a People’s Republic in 6 months. Should I start drawing pictures of JoMa and his buddies?

      1. Duterte is coming,few people like U cannot stop him..goodbye to cory 1986 constitution to enriched the oligarchy

      2. Wait, don’t tell me you don’t know that JoMa and Digong are best friends? It’s all over the news in the past years.

        Oh, and “shit for brains”? Really I thought people here despise ad hominem attacks?

    1. LOL. That reminded me of the traitor father. Isn’t that JoMa always looking forward to meeting with an Aquino? This yellowtards themselves will commence what to fear in their fear-mongering.

  6. Stubbornness does have its helpful features. You always know what you are going to be thinking tomorrow.

  7. I’d like to see Duterte in Heads-of-State functions to eat with his hands, fish booger from his nose and give dirty rape jokes laugh like a hyena.

    Hey, who cares! I want all the crooks swept under the rug! Problem is the crooks he swept to death are helpless, degenerate, poor ignorant FILIPINOS.

    Absolutely he cannot put a gun to Binay’s head and all PDAF crooks! Definitely not! He has to go thru long judicial arduous looney Filipino process before he can sentence them to death.

    What about the Chinese and Spanish traders and ex-colonists? DUTERTE SHOULD BUT HEADS tie a string to Philippine journalists balls why they couldn’t find anything on Chinese Traders and Spanish ex-colonist industrialist? Why Philippine Media are covering them up? Why only the nog-nog Filipnos are the ones thieving the country?

    I BET YA DUTERTE WILL PROTECT THE CHINESE AND THE SPANISH INDUSTRIALIST. Because they are the most HONEST people in the Philippines.

  8. Once Duterte becomes the president of the Democratic Republic of Philippine Islands he will have a constitution designed for him.

    As always every president of the Philippines wanted their own DESIGNER CONSTITUTION!

    There is nothing wrong with teh constitution. FILIPINOS becomes good upright law-abiding citizens whichever country they go … what ever form of government they are in and whatever constitution they have.

    FILIPINOS JUST HATE FILIPNIOS. IT IS DOG-EAT-DOG !!! No! NO! No! Not Dog-Eat-Dog because DOGS ARE WISER THAN THE FILIPINOS. IT IS EASIER TO TEACH AN OLD DOG NEW TRICKS THAN FILIPINOS OLD TRICKS.

    It is PINOY-EAT-PINOY !!! In fact they protect the ex-colonists Spaniards and ex-trading pre-historic partners Chinese.

    FILIPNOS HATE FILIPINOS!

    1. Pinoy eats dogs…it is part of their cuisine: “pulutan”…Not: “beware of dog”, but : “dog, beware of man”….

      In the Philippines, it is man eats dog world…

  9. Mayor Duterte is like U.S. Republican Party front runner, Donald Trump. Opponents of Trump smeared him from “mud” to throwing the “kitchen sink”. Yet, Trump continue to win.

    Mayor Duterte’s opponents are using every means to pull him down. Instead of going down; he goes up…

    I think , this is the result of Filipinos, that are over promised by scamming politicians, who did not deliver or fulfilled their promises.

    A vote for Mayor Duterte, is a vote of frustrated Filipinos, on those in power , ever since…this is my opinion, not an endorsement…

    I ask every voter, to use your common sense, in choosing the next President. Throw the rascals out, who scammed us and the country! You know them…they are there, again asking for your votes!

    Do not fall for any “political zarzuelas”, that these scammers are putting, a show on the road…telling people:” this guy is corrupt”…in truth, they are more corrupt and rotten to the core…

  10. It should read : “A vote for Duterte , is a vote of frustrated Filipinos , against those in power, ever since”….corrected.

  11. In my own honest opinion, the EDSA Revolution in 1986 was a hijacked revolution. The oligarchy took advantage of the masses’ thirst for change. They were denied the true aim of that revolution.

    Well, maybe DU30 is that symbol of real revolution that Filipinos wanted. But we can only find that out in his presidency.

    That is, if he wins.

  12. Every move the other politicians make against Duterte is your typical by the numbers TRAPO 101 smear routine. Even THAT became predictable and tiresome. No wonder he seems immmune to anything because people have already accepted the reality that no Pinoy politician is “decent” or pristine as some proclaim themselves to be. Everyone is a scumbag, that’s why they chose a scumbag who knows he’s a scumbag than walking pile of turds wrapped tons upon tons of pretense. Most of all, this is the chance to say ‘fuck you’ to Noynoy – – – by electing someone as far away from his immediate reach as possible. Big gamble of course, maybe even idiotic. But no less idiotic than other choices who’d continue this abysmal administration’s incompetence and nationwide butt-banging to the people.

  13. To Benigno…
    ..”It has come to a point where everything the old “mainstream” had to say merely rings hollow to a jaded Filipino public”.. We get that. We also ‘get’ that the genius of Duterte lies mainly in his eschewing the line of the ‘old mainstream’ and, in his crafting of his own platform apart from them, because.. was he not, himself, part of the ‘new dispensation’ that Cory, then, was building? Was he not given his beginnings by being appointed OIC in Davao City by Cory? Distancing himself from the likes of fellow-OIC ‘sticky-fingers’ Jejomar Binay, and cultivating a ‘rebel’s persona’ complete with irreverence and an expletive-laced lexicon was a hallmark of his ‘street-smarts’. This, coupled with unorthodox methods in ridding Davao City (not all three Davao provinces), of drug pushers and other low-life, is Duterte’s ticket, now, to the Presidency. But.. is this enough? Is succeeding in getting rid of criminals in a big provincial city enough for the electorate to punch his ticket? I think that there are other matters.. many other matters.. that a President must contend with. These would include ‘foreign relations’, ‘trade and commerce’, ‘unemployment/job creation’, ‘education’, (I recall that he would abolish Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus).. and many other areas required of running a nation. Is the tough-talking, street-wise Duterte up to these?
    I submit that Duterte’s supporters.. and they are legion.. are so desperate for a change, that they are willing to ‘bet the farm’ on a wild and amorphous promise. I would advise.. “Beware of what you wish for. You might just get it.”

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