The issue of “unity” under a Duterte presidency

A key insight during the recently concluded national elections emerged, and was pointed out by many on social media:

Filipinos will be divided on whom to vote for, but they all agree on whom to vote against.


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The candidate for president who was, tough luck for him/her, voted against was none other than Mar Roxas, the then anointed one of outgoing president Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino.

There was, of course, an issue with “unity” during BS Aquino’s term. The Philippines was basically divided into two camps: those who supported the Aquinos and the Yellow banner unconditionally, and everybody else. BS Aquino did everything he could to ignore, or silence his critics, but in the end, he did nothing but keep on giving them ammunition.

It seems that a similar sort of set-up will also be plaguing the administration of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte. One side consists of all the LP and Roxas supporters who, so far, scrutinize every move of his, and give off the impression that they can’t wait for him to fail, so that they can tell the rest of the Philippines, “I told you so.” Another side consists of all the die-hard Duterte supporters who will defend every action of his, and possibly fervently troll others who show skepticism.

If social media is any indication, there is a portion of the population who take a cautiously optimistic attitude towards the Duterte presidency, a “wait-and-see” attitude. These people are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until July 1, when his term as president officially starts.

For those who have been following news recently, Duterte has expressed how he feels about certain dominant institutions in the country. He has opined on the church, and media, for example, and expressed what he thinks is underlying hypocrisy on the part of these so-called institutions.

One would be tempted to think that Duterte is intentionally making everyone hate him on purpose. But to what end? One thing for sure is that more and more people dare talk about how media, for example, are unwilling to police their ranks when it comes to corruption. Or how media is seemingly rather selective in what it chooses to focus on. Or even, how it twists the words of the subjects they interview in order to cast them in less favorable lights.

Only time will tell what Duterte’s real underlying game plan is. You may regard him as either a deep-thinking strategist whose acerbic tongue is indecipherable to Tagalog-heads in Imperial Manila. Or you might probably brush him off as an egotistical, asal-kalye, tough talking buffoon, who really is just making things up as he goes along.

But maybe, just maybe, in order to unite Filipinos, the focus needs to be all on him.

12 Replies to “The issue of “unity” under a Duterte presidency”

  1. I do not believe that Filipinos can unite, under any President. We have been colonized by Spain , for more than 300 years; and by the Americans for half a century. Divide, Conquer, and Rule, were the strategy of the colonialists.

    Before the Spanish colonization, we were ruled by many kingdoms, many rulers, fighting each other. There was no strong local ruler, who unified the Philippines. This Collective Unconsciouness of Filipinos seeped deeply into the Filipino Psyche…unless, we all can change…there is no hope, for Filipinos to unite.

    Filipinos are not aggressive to right the wrongs in the country. Just look at the electoral fraud in the 2016 election. There is condemnation; however, there is no serious investigation of the fraudulent election. There is no serious action to punish the cheaters. So, we live and accept the vicious cycles of fraud and corruption ! Like when the Spaniards, were ruling us. They can do anything to us. We just accept it , as our fates.

    If we change, how we look at ourselves. Change our corrupted mindsets: they may be hope in us…

    1. 778Hyden007Toro9999.999,

      “I do not believe that Filipinos can unite, under any President.”

      That’s because Fliptards–in spite of centuries of westernization, exposure to people from other cultures, and seeing themselves as “world class” material because they’ve well-represented all over the world–are still inherently primitive in the way they think and live their lives.

      Today’s Fliptards are very much like their tribal ancestors who fought with each other for petty reasons, were drastically divided as tribes (a.k.a. “provinces” today), and can easily be swayed by more sophisticated culture and people.

      The lack of unity is the legacy of our “fucked up” people, that many of our fellow Fliptards are too ashamed to admit to themselves and to one another. Like I have always said, our people cannot fixed their problems as a nation unless they’re willing to admit to their own faults. I blame this lack of personal insight among our people on their heightened sense of aristocracy and overbearing selfishness.

      This is why the Failippines and the Fliptards are forever doomed to be “fucked up.”


  2. To FallenAngel:
    Conversely.. would you consider the 24million (or so) combined votes for Roxas, Binay and Santiago as 24million (or so) voters who reject Duterte.. who polled at 17million, (again, or so) votes? If so would you say, (can we say) that more people are against the President-elect than for him? I am not trying to ‘show you up’ here, as your piece was a straightforward analysis. I just like to present another perspective of the same set of facts.. which can really alter one’s perception of what went down last elections. From this perspective, clearly, Mr. Duterte, ready or not, has his work cut out for him.. and I could only wish him well.

    Sent from my iPad

    1. You’re absolutely right. Duterte didn’t even get the simple majority 50% + 1. His work is indeed cut out for him. The underlying question is, how is he going to approach the aftermath of the elections any differently from his predecessors?

      Yet, should it be all about him?

      1. It has never been about them.. the Presidents-elect. It has always been about us.. the electorate. It’s just that we never seem to have realized this.. ever.

        1. Fliptards will never realize–nor admit–their own faults because they are too arrogant and selfish.

  3. As long as majority of the filipinos are fed trash by the bias media then unity as a nation can never be achieved. Just look how many people judged Duterte because the media published a partial video clip of his interview complete with their own bias interpretations.

    Then again they could never misquote Pnoy, since his interviews are always proper papogi and often times empty. Sarap tsinelasin e.

    1. joeld,

      And the biggest trash Fliptards are fed by the bias media is the delusion of “Pinoy Pride” or “Proud to be a Filipino.”

      These stupid and useless slogans are nothing more than a brainwashing technique to make Fliptards feel good about themselves on their day-to-day struggle against poverty and corruption; and that their undying effort will eventually find the light at the end of the long, dark tunnel as long as they keep their prayers and hopes up.

      In the meantime, the Yellowtards laugh all the way to the bank at the gullibility of the Fliptards for enriching their well-designed feudalistic system with remittance monies from OFWS and expats, while the rest of the poorer sectors of the population fight amongst each other for what little opportunities left in the country.

      What a vicious cycle.


  4. Unity is something that should not be based solely on one person. Although nations are formed as individuals who ruled over vast lands as kingdoms before, I think this country is still on a transition phase of becoming a nation.

    The Philippines is situated smack dab in the center of the crescent of Asia that runs from Indonesia in the southeast, westward to Malaysia, Vietnam and neighbors, northward past China and on to the northeast where Korea and Japan complete the crescent.

    No nation in the world is better situated to prosper in an integrating global world. It is at the point of parabolic focus of the most dynamic region on earth.”

    It’s somewhat like the case of Singapore. First, its strategic location and natural harbor helped. It is at the mouth of the Malacca Strait, through which perhaps 40% of world maritime trade passes. It was an important trading post in the 14th century, and again from the 19th, when British diplomat Sir Stamford Raffles founded the modern city.

    Singapore’s population back then were a bunch of immigrants. But they somehow see their potential and work on their differences to build a great city that we see today. So what is the reason why the Philippines haven’t achieve much?

  5. The writer has practically written what is in my heart and mind. He game me no more room to say anything. Oh, well.

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