Three fundamental weaknesses of the Duterte administration

Rodrigo-Duterte-and-Media

Around the time of its first 50 days, the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino, was beleaguered by the Mendoza hostage situation and its fallout. The incident resulted in the deaths of eight (8) Hong Kong tourists; BS Aquino never apologized for it.

The concepts of the “first 100 days”, and more recently, the “first 50 days” were seemingly coined by “political analysts” to give body to the first impression of a newly installed government. As they say, first impressions last.

For its first 50 days, the Duterte presidency has faced incessant criticism for its approach against the war on drugs. A Senate probe on the alleged extra-judicial killings (EJKs) that have supposedly been a result of the anti-drug drive had 2 sessions; whether the probe will resume at some future date remains unknown. The takeaway from the probe was that both the drug problem and the occurrence of EJKs had existed even before the current administration took office. Unfortunately for the presiding Senator, Leila de Lima, it inadvertently threw the spotlight on the lack of results during her time both as Commission of Human Rights (CHR) chair and Secretary of Justice, the latter taking place during BS Aquino’s term.

Now, even Duterte’s supporters will willingly agree that his presidency has been far from perfect. In the same breath, they appreciate – that’s putting it mildly – that he is going all-out in fulfilling the promises he made during his campaign.

The first 50 days gave us a glimpse into some of the inherent weaknesses of Duterte’s presidency. It would do his administration a lot of good to learn how to compensate for these as soon as possible.

1) The Duterte presidency lacks an organized public communication apparatus.

Put simply, the Duterte administration is awful at controlling the narrative.

To be fair, that mainstream media was ever going to have a peachy relationship with his government was a pipe dream. The biggest media outlets here in the Philippines have long been perceived to be biased towards BS Aquino and the party he is associated with, the Liberal Party (LP). It hasn’t helped that just before his term started, Duterte got into a controversy with media, as he called them out on corruption among their ranks.

One of Duterte’s own personal tendencies is to ramble and to go on “unscripted” tirades. The media has taken advantage of this, and yet, the Duterte administration has no choice but to deal with them; they are the most visible and pervasive means through which the public can know about the goings-on of the government. While television channel PTV-4 and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) have been designated as the direct means to inform the public, it has proven so far ineffective. Duterte has no press secretary; instead, official statements are released thru PCOO chair Martin Andanar and/or presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella. It doesn’t help, however, that some of Duterte’s cabinet members, like Presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo, apparently don’t know the meaning of restraint.

Perhaps Duterte doesn’t need a bloated communications team, complete with talking heads Peter-principled into their positions, but his own designated mouthpieces are not being as effective as they could be or should be yet. Unfortunately for them, neither the hostile press nor Duterte’s detractors will be willing to give them breathing room. Any mistake will be magnified and taken out of context; that is an undeniable certainty that will plague the Duterte administration for some time to come.

Included in the need for control of the narrative is the nature of the stories that foreign media write about the Philippines. As tempting as it is to blame foreign media outlets for being partisan, in this case overwhelmingly negative of the Duterte administration, the root cause of any perceived bias is the nature of the sources they have here. In an unfamiliar environment, foreign media will go for sources that are easy to obtain and those that make themselves known. Both these desirable traits are being monopolized by the loud rattling can that is the LP and their mouthpieces.

2) The nature of Duterte’s change is still apparently largely personality-based.

Even when he was still a candidate, I had the concern that Duterte’s brand of change would be personality-based. Observers have taken note of the Duterte effect, a phenomenon where the force of his image moves people to “clean up” when they normally won’t. Baka magalit si Duterte, lagot tayo. (Duterte might get angry, let’s not do wrong.)

Which raises a simple question: what will happen to all that force for change, once Duterte himself is no longer in a position to influence? Can anybody succeed him without compromising his “fear factor” and hardline stances on criminality and corruption?

The answer so far is no.

Filipinos are a people notorious for not appreciating and understanding why rule of law is necessary, much less upholding it. Empirical evidence – Davao’s own experience under Duterte – seems to point that they obey the law only when there is a certainty of getting punished. The catch is that a punishment anything less than death does not seem to deter the recalcitrant nature of Filipinos.

It’s common sense, of course, that certain motivations do not work for everybody. Fear is one such motivation, and one that is applicable to Duterte’s administration. In this case, the fear is that of the getting punished by the long arm of the law. All it will take to undo a climate of fear is just one unafraid man. Pretty soon that lack of fear snowballs.

The puzzle remains unsolved: how do you get Filipinos to appreciate the need to emphasize rule of law in their society, all without excessive reliance on a forceful personality to do so? It is one that the Duterte administration is seemingly not inclined to offer an answer to yet.

3) Popular support for the Duterte administration has its limits.

Despite having a 91% approval rating, the Duterte administration is still at risk of getting toppled. The LP should be mightily aware by now, that popular sentiment is against them, in no small part due to the bungling incompetence when they were the dominant force. Consequently, Senator de Lima and current CHR head Chito Gascon have name-dropped the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the United Nations (UN) in the hopes of getting Duterte removed by international pressure.

Tempting as it is to brush off the threat of foreign intervention, we need to keep in mind that the UN and ICC are entities highly susceptible to being hijacked and politicized by vested interests within its member states. The LP is second-to-none when it comes to politicizing issues.

All this points to a glaring characteristic of Filipino society that serves as Duterte’s biggest obstacle: that popular support is rather useless unless it is backed up by influential forces, those among the powers that be. Why did, for example, former president Joseph Estrada get deposed by EDSA II despite winning the presidential elections? Why did Gloria Arroyo survive impeachment proceedings despite overwhelming calls from the public for her to resign (in no part influenced by, again, biased mainstream media)? Why is a Divorce bill still a far-away hope for Filipinos? Why is the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, pending in Congress, hardly discussed anymore?

Let me borrow a few words from Manila Times columnist Ben Kritz to put it succinctly:

The Philippine voters are not the droids you’re looking for, folks. It is an understandable offense to peoples’ idealism, but it is what it is: There are powerful influences that make things happen — or not — in this country, and they are where your energies should be directed.

During tropical storm Haiyan, the ambag-ambag bits-and-pieces donations, while being helpful for the ultimate cause of the victims, were without a massive, efficient, and effective infrastructure complex which the US military, in its own aid operations, possessed. In the same mold, the masa need to get it into their skulls that their tingi-tingi support for president Duterte is not enough. They need a more influential voice, a bigger megaphone, a more organized, efficient, and effective piece of infrastructure through which they can counter the influence of the Yellow media. Where that’s going to come from remains to be seen.

And no, making noise and spreading articles on numerous individual social media accounts does not really count.

Pointing out the weaknesses of the Duterte administration is, by no means, an indication that we want it to fail. Rather, those of us who are holding out hope for the Duterte administration want it to succeed where the Aquino administration, due to its own hubris, failed. If anything, the Duterte administration seems to show a capacity for a learning curve; what’s more important is that, as benign0 has pointed out, Duterte has shown that he listens to the people.

As media personality Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. has opined, we must not waste Duterte’s leadership, and perhaps the best chance of real change we’ve had in quite a long time. Part of taking advantage of this leadership is helping him realize where he needs to compensate. Our fate as a nation hinges on it.

[Photo courtesy: iRemit.com.au]

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About FallenAngel

А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. - But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.

52 Comments on “Three fundamental weaknesses of the Duterte administration”

  1. The Change is up to us…not Duterte. YellowTards are here to make mischief. They want the old Feudal Oligarchy and the Drug Mafia, to continue their work.

    The Media was used as a Propaganda Machine by Aquino. They were used to sell the Aquino’s heroism and sainthood. It was like Adolf Hitler, during the Nazi reign in Germany. The NAZI German media, became the propaganda machine of Hitler. This was the cause that, the Holocaust happened in Nazi Germany.

    The problems of our country are serious and too many. They were aggravated during the Aquino era. We, not Duterte, can only solve these problem. We, begin with informing the true situation to our fellow Filipinos. Then, we can have solutions to solve these problems. It is a Team Effort.

    Those YellowTards care only for themselves, and their political masters, who employ them ! This is the reason, they are here, to confuse us ! A Chorus Boys of YellowTards of Aquino and De Lima, admiring themselves of their intellectual bankruptcy !

      1. Guest:

        Figure it out yourself ! Don’t you have brains ? Or you are just one of the YellowTards, who blog nonsense !

    1. I agree. If we can only indefinetely remove all the yellowtards in this country. Feed them to sharks, they are all crap fodder. They have no value in life and should all be throw to jail for being traitor of this country.

    2. The Liberal Party is an oxymoron just by the name. Liberals, as understood globally, favor equality above all and seek to undermine any inequality present in a society. Why support the oligarchy when they are the root causes of the massive gap between rich and poor? If there is one thing the Liberal party is consistently good at, it is being a hypocrite in every one of their so-called ideologies.

      1. This is exactly correct. Anyone who defends elitist, corrupt politicians, who favor donors, is anything but liberal. These ‘liberals’ couldn’t care less about human beings; they pretend to.

  2. I generally agree with this assessment, but let me offer some additional perspective.

    People who have seen enough in the business and corporate world know that sometimes the most effective performers are the ones who do not think or operate in the conventional, linear fashion that we have been trained to believe is the “right way”.

    Recall how well-structured and well-oiled Noynoy Aquino’s organization seemed to be. He had all these Ivy Leaguers working in his administration. Yet the bureaucracy grew so bad under Noynoy that we could not even get license plates for our cars or ID cards for our driver’s licenses.

    Duterte, on the other hand, seems a lot less structured. But in 50 days, he, among other things, got rid of tanim-bala, rolled out the OFW one-stop shop, rolled out the 911 emergency hotline, reduced the processing time in several government offices, and brought the crime rate down by a significant percentage.

    Of course, his team is still a work in progress and I also hope they will address the administrative weaknesses you have pointed out, especially the communications group. (I think Martin Andanar is okay, he just needs to be supported by more people and maybe a senior strategist who can monitor the big picture while he looks after the day-to-day.)

    But I would like to note that Duterte’s unconventional way of doing things may not necessarily be a negative. Judging from his track record in Davao, his non-linear approach may really just be matter of management style. For instance, how many “unstructured” college drop-outs have we seen who became very successful businessmen, and how many “structured” valedictorians and PhDs have we seen who simply failed to take off in life outside the academe?

    What Duterte has going for him is his common-sense wisdom and bias for action. Typical example of his common sense thinking vs. yellowtard thinking:
    The other day, Lourdes Sereno made another public statement that the police should under no circumstances make arrests without warrants. Duterte corrected Sereno by saying that the police can make arrests when a crime is being committed in their presence. He said, “If there is a terrorist na hawak na ang granada, tatakbo ka pa ba sa korte para kumuha ng warrant?”

    Pak!

    So my point is, in the end, it is not the style of doing things, but the results that matter. I’ll take this streetsmart raging bull over the structured “disente” crowd any day, because he is practical and he gets things done.

    That said, I think it won’t hurt Duterte if he had more people like Sec. Art Tugade in his team—streetsmart na, structured pa.

    As for Duterte’s reforms being persona-based vs. institutionalized, I think there is no choice as of now. Given our current maturity level as a country, we are still a long way from being able to completely separate personality from principle. But there is consolation in knowing that at least our president today is not trying to paint every object in sight yellow, and not trying to name every road, school, building, airport, and holiday after his family to perpetuate their cult of personality.

    The shift to federalism and the current government’s focus on systemic change will help institutionalize reforms in the future. What do I mean by systemic change? Let’s take corruption as an example. Noynoy Aquino’s idea of fighting corruption was selective prosecution of his political enemies, to satisfy his thirst for vengeance. Duterte’s approach to fighting corruption is to clean up government agencies starting from the frontlines all the way to the heads, to make life smoother and more equitable for ordinary Filipinos. There lies the difference.

    1. A Duterte leadership is indeed an exception, doubtless, even by international standards. We’ve gotten so used to “trapos” who set standards so low that even common sense strategies being applied now seem miraculous. It’s sickening that corruption and incompetence is the norm in the PH.
      His being divergent enables him to work around laws and principles without distorting them to make things happen, and that’s how you do real problem solving. Being unconventional naturally makes him aversive to structure. Nevertheless, he actually seems to have a strong sense of logic.
      The administration certainly needs improvement in the communications dep’t. A dominating yet sensible and systematic approach would be good.

    2. Your answer to salient points are way more constructive than the original piece.. At least now, we havea Chance of change.. Progress and change takes time, we will get there but for now as young as the new government is, one cannot say that those weaknesses pointed are really weaknesses, it’s too early to say that, give the new admin time, say even just a year, bcoz though controversies were faced everyday, the government does NOT lay there immobile, all branches are working day in and day out, progress is already being achieved by other departments, though not being reported in biased media. And these progress and small successes are brought about by eliminating corruption in the government, that itself is a great accomplishment already.

  3. Simply, an aggressive public relation campaign is what the new administration needs to keep winning the hearts and minds of the people to its side—and to keep the enemies at bay. No exception.

  4. “The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”—Sun Tzu (The Art of War)

  5. The sad thing is……

    MONEY MONEY MONEY and the YELLOW CULTS & OLIGARCHS will use it as much as they want after all they have RAPED THE COUNTRY for 30 years and have accumulated alot of it, they can hire YELLOW PAID CULTISTS to do the job for them…..

    YELLOW MEDIA to brainwash people….. etc. etc. means of Destroying their Opposition even the government.

    That’s why they kept a high percentage of Filipino’s poor or below average class cause they are easier to manipulate and use with just YELLOW MONEY…..

  6. rule of law at this time is not necessary. did the yellows apply the rule of law primarilly on human rights? NO. now they want the rule of law to protect themselves and their cohorts? the law now is what the people saw (picture of de lima partying with drug lords) and not the yellow and oligarchs law. see what they did to the Philippines, is there a rule of law there?

  7. No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.

  8. did the people buy the yellows on sale to impeach duterte? whatever duterte say the nation believed. people are fed up of the 87 constitution. it’s not a human rights constitution, but a constitution of destruction. the nation is looking forward for a new rule of law a human rights law. why don’t they impeached duterte, are they afraid they’ll be impeaching themselves?

    1. i can see it’s president duterte who’ll end up the Philippine Revolutions of greed and betrayal since the spanish regime.

  9. Nailed it! In point #1, may I also suggest to our new government to also develop authentic uplifting culture. Philippine culture is fncked. You see trash on local TV and film, hear the same on radio because they relate it to who the majority of Pinoys are and what they are like. The damaging and unhealthy norm (live for kilig, immorality, stupidity, illegality, corruption, dependency, poor service and products..) is everybody’s excuse.

    Korea’s late nationalist politician Kim Gu said (which is also a good reminder for powerful nations and our past government), “I want our nation to be the most beautiful in the world. By this I do not mean the most powerful nation. Because I have felt the pain of being invaded by another nation, I do not want my nation to invade others. It is sufficient that our wealth makes our lives abundant; it is sufficient that our strength is able to prevent foreign invasions. The only thing that I desire in infinite quantity is the power of a noble culture. This is because the power of culture both makes ourselves happy and gives happiness to others.” It’s for that reason why you’ll always see in Korean shows the beauty, strength, richness and goodness of their culture, country and people. And that’s what they really uphold, noble culture. I think it’s for that reason Pinoys love Korean shows. They see the beauty we don’t have here and they hope to have. Well, who don’t want to be great (and greatness isn’t only measured by power or wealth) but the norm in our country is to follow blindly, be selfish and mediocre. And without change in people, all our humble President’s effort to stir us to progress will keep on crumbling by the people’s usual rottenness. We must also work on developing our way of life. It can’t be done without prioritizing a department for culture and media that fights back the popular media that dumb down people and whose sole purpose is to oppose his government.

    1. Well, I don’t think Korea achieved that particular aspiration 🙂 Still, it’s an excellent goal to aim for, and it’s one that I think Filipinos would find incomprehensible today. Just look at the film of trash on the ground whereever you go.

      I think this ties in with the author’s comment about rule of law. A disturbing percentage of Filipinos will only behave if they’re literally threatened with death. I don’t think this is only cultural. I’ve noticed it usually comes packaged with a bizarre set of personality defects that are associated with psychopathy (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malignant_narcissism):

      a) inability to see others as thinking beings (see here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind); b) inability to anticipate or fear personal discomfort;
      c) impulsive behaviour with no fear of consequences;
      d) enjoyment or deliberate engineering of the failure/suffering of others

      As exhibit A for items (a) and (d), consider the research noting that Filipinos are notorious for posting offensive or distressing images on facebook:

      http://attorney.org.ph/legal-news/57-think-twice-when-posting-offensive-photos-on-facebook

      In all cultures, psychopathy confers certain evolutionary advantages, but this is offset by cultural features that slap down psychopaths (eventually) and keep their numbers to a manageable level.

      I can’t help wondering if, in a country like the Philippines, psychopathy is actively selected for, or at least not constrained. It may be that Duterte’s radical methods for dealing with this (in the short term) is the only one possible. But I agree that for long-term change, a “department for culture” might go a long way to ensuring psychopaths don’t pass on their faulty genes.

  10. First point – failing to control the narrative. I can’t imagine why in all the newsworthy things Duterte himself and his departmental secretaries have thrown our way, none of it has changed the narrative for you? The Narco-politicians, the LMNB issue, CPP peace talks, statements against foreign ambassador Goldberg, firm stance but not overly joyous celebration over the West PHL Sea issue, the Hacienda luisita lands from tadeco being returned to farmers, political prisoners freed, lambasting UN, getting in the nerves of miners, and striking at PhilWeb, irreverent SONA.

    All these, not all may be good, but I don’t see why you still think this admin (still at its infancy) is still not able to change the narrative. Duterte has stolen the limelight right after the night he won when he only accepted guests in DVO not Manila. He has changed the narrative even before he ran for office and you still don’t see it? Remember the “urong-sulong?”. If you haven’t seen how he changed the narrative in the news then, you will never understand or see it or our local media for that matter (or perhaps they choose not to understand as well).

    Foreign media will never truly understand how things are done here on a level the same as Filipinos. And I rather much believe that changing the narrative must not be his priority but telling us the truth no matter what happens. What good is changing the narrative if it’s not the truth?

    #justsaying

    1. [Revised]
      I’m not sure exactly what you’re “just saying”. Could you break it down in layman’s term so we can all understand?

    1. xelfi,

      That’s what I thought he said on his last paragraph but I wasn’t sure. What I had been suggesting all along is an aggressive publicity campaign from the current administration. Not to take away from the truth of what Duterte is doing to stop the illegal drugs industry, but to reveal the truth about the Yellow Party and the Chinese, and what they’ve done to destroy the political and economic infrastructure of this country instead.

      You see, everyone’s attention is on one political asshole versus another, and that only scratches the surface of the public’s opinion because the topic has been mundane in the public’s mind for a very long time.

      Instead, the current administration should focus on the other “real players” in these stupid sagas that have been going on in the Philippines: the assholes (businesses) that are raping the country and corrupting (bribing) our politicians.

      This is the topic that Duterte has started to pry open when he talked about “contractural” and business violations in his previous media conference, but didn’t, because of all the other bullshit topics that’s distracting him: illegal drugs and their protectors in the Senate—the latter being more complicated because of its vast network.

      Aeta

  11. I just saw the two anti-drug public service announcements (PSAs) of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) directed by Brillante Mendoza and my reaction is . . . I hope this is the last artistic collaboration of Martin Andanar and Brillante Mendoza that we will see for the next 12 months.

    The two videos are more suited for screening at international film festivals rather than as PSAs to be aired on Philippine mass media.

    That Brillante Mendoza is an internationally acclaimed film director is beside the point. All that was needed here was a simple director of TV commercials and a simple, straightforward message. President Duterte’s campaign videos during the elections which were produced by unknown people were so much more effective than these two PSAs.

    The objective of these two PSAs was to discourage people from using or selling drugs. But this message somehow got buried in the over-dramatization of the family stories.

    It would have been better if the PSAs went straight to the point. Get a doctor to explain how shabu permanently damages the brain within a short period of use. Show testimonials of parents who had drug-crazed children, or relatives of people who were raped or killed by drug addicts. Show testimonials of drug pushers who went to jail or are permanently on the run because once you get caught up in the drug trade, you can’t get out.

    (You know who would be great at this? Mocha Uson. Her video interviews with Pres. Duterte, Sen. Koko Pimentel, and the recent one with a doctor who is starting a voluntary rehab project at a small hospital were excellent.)

    Using testimonials of real people would have been much more effective than using actors, and it would have been cheaper too. It would also have been more consistent with President Duterte’s no-frills, no-nonsense style.

    Some feedback and suggestions for PCO head Martin Andanar, who hopefully takes feedback constructively because he seems like a nice guy:

    1. Don’t waste too much time on creative/artistic expression or high production values. Just tell it like it is. President Duterte’s programs and messages do not need to be dressed up or sugarcoated. They resonate with the people precisely because they are focused on substance not form.

    2. Adopt President Duterte’s crowdsourcing approach. For instance, when President Duterte is not sure how people will react to a particular political appointee, he floats the person out first in the media then watches how the public will react. Sec. of Finance Carlos Dominguez also does a similar crowdsourcing approach. He conducted that workshop in Davao with top businessmen to gather their inputs and feel their pulse before coming up with his recommended programs and policies. I notice the DOF also now posts draft IRRs (implementing rules and regulations) on their website for people to comment on before the IRRs get finalized. This is a very smart way of making sure there is no public backlash, and accessing the wisdom of the public in order to improve one’s output. The PCO should do similar public consultations.

    3. Be more careful about managing expectations. Don’t talk things up too much, or drum up too much anticipation, or place too much emphasis on the high-profile people involved in your projects. Raising expectations almost always backfires.

    Final grade on these two PSAs: A for effort, C+ for output. As short films, they’re great, but as PSAs, I don’t think they work.

    But you can always do better next time, so don’t give up.

  12. Another foreign know-it-all has been misled about the war on drugs and is trying to make Leila de Lima look like a saint.

    Check out what “Aryeh Neier, President Emeritus of the Open Society Foundations and a founder of Human Rights Watch” wrote:

    “One prominent Philippine political figure, Leila de Lima, a senator and former justice minister, is already calling on the ICC to take action. Everyone around the world who is committed to due process and human rights should take up her plea. The fact that a popular head of state is trampling the rule of law in the Philippines makes a fast, decisive response all the more necessary.”
    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/philippines-duterte-drug-war-by-aryeh-neier-2016-09

    Has Neier set foot on the Philippines since Duterte became president? Is he aware of the investigation on De Lima’s links to the drug lords? What right does Neier have to insult our country and our President when he doesn’t even know the real situation here? Does he presume to know better than 91% of Filipinos what is good for their country?

    To all Filipinos reading this, if you have time, please go to the comments section on the link to Neier’s article above and educate this guy on what is really happening here. Explain to him that Leila de Lima is under investigation for coddling drug lords and she is trying to get attention from the international community precisely because no one in the Philippines believes her anymore.

    Neier needs to know that:

    – During Leila de Lima’s term as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the previous (Aquino) administration, the Bilibid national penitentiary, which was under her supervision, became the number one source of shabu (meth) in the Philippines.

    – It was also during De Lima’s term as DOJ secretary that the drug lords at Bilibid were able to turn their jail cells into luxury suites and do whatever they wanted, including hold lavish parties and concerts. She even attended their parties, and there are videos and pictures to prove this.

    – Leila de Lima had an intimate relationship with her driver whom witnesses have claimed was the fixer/middleman between the Bilibid drug lords and the prison guards and DOJ officials who accepted bribes so the drug lords could have free reign at the prison.

    Maybe Neier needs to see the videos and pictures of De Lima with the drug lords so he will learn to analyze her motives first before jumping to her defense.

    The woman is unbelievable. She really is willing to destroy our country’s reputation just to save herself. It is almost as if she’s thinking, “If I’m going down, I’ll take the whole country down with me.”

  13. It is so distressing to know that the same people who already had ripped off the Filipinos of their basic needs doesn’t stop there, that she has to go further and destroy the image of the whole nation. It is not enough that she is being linked and accused of being the biggest drug lord cuddler! STOP kicking the Philippines to the ground. Be decent enough to spare us more dramas. Don’t let other countries see us as criminals, druggies and thieves. Filipinos don’t love you de Lima, we hate you ( or at least 90% does coz there are still those who believe in you that you can turn the table and LP will rise again) in

  14. as he mentioned one time …the Filipinos are not yet ready even if other people think we are ready… but we can identify who are these people…they belong to the higher strata in the society…the cleaning season of the Duterte administration is just a glimpse for the nation building, preparing the people the people for the change …look how he encouraged the importance of education and employment…education and employment are the necessary means for the preparation for a stable mind setting of the people …the more people get educated and have decent work…the better the mind sets in..thereby advance the natural thinking by not the usual mindset like i can live today why bother tomorrow but rather think more for the future…i believe he’s in the right track today,,,to be at the level of the common people same time balancing..applying practical approach in every problems encountered…understanding the different strata of the society…not the traditional type of politicians who stays in his throne after elected…the elites don’t understand this.., the unconventional and unstructured is more effective in understanding the societies problem…

  15. I think his cabinet seems to be quite genuinely productive. Duterte’s legacy will live on as the day DENR started hiring scientists.

    For all Duterte’s flounders and gaffes, his image still precedes him. “Baka magalit si Duterte.” or “Hindi na to pwede kasi si Duterte na nakaupo,” which is an amazing connection that the masses feel towards the highest seat of the land, one that will never even likely shake their hand or greet them on the street. (It’s their teleserye fairytale come true.)

    I don’t think he would be the leader of our times. My fear on Duterte’s war is it would recapitulate into a civil war with innocent civilians stuck in the middle and distrusting of any arrest. (Suspension of habeas corpus, anyone?) Any decent sociologist knows that crime solutions are curative and not punishing in nature. Heck, leading european jails have spas inside. They are being cured.

    Inasmuch as the argument: “Why the qualms on EJK today, when it’s been a regular happening since PNoy’s time?” is as valid as “What is the difference of Duterte’s total effect vs PNoy’s time? GMA’s time?” Magpapantay-pantay lang. (Or rather, magpapatay-patay lang.) It’s all different flavors but the same ice cream.

    1. I think his cabinet seems to be quite genuinely productive.

      I agree. I personally know one of them, and I can attest that he is an upstanding, incorruptible, and genuinely patriotic guy. There is a lot going on behind the scenes that the media and the public know nothing about. The reason they don’t know about it is simple: it’s BORING. It’s the mundane day-to-day workings of normal government.

      Why Duterte comes across as a mumbling, bumbling idiot is a mystery to me. Is it an act? Is he just a bit Asperger’s? I honestly don’t know what’s going on here, but whatever Duterte is, he does have at least one competent man in his cabinet who is getting the job done.

  16. I agree. Thank you for this observation.
    For Weakness #1, I suggest that key line agencies (DSWD, DENR, DOLE, DOH, PNP, AFP) should do their part at communicating their change agenda and how the citizens can participate in it.

    For Weakness #2, I suggest leveraging. Cabinet secretaries, Provincial Governors and Mayors should be change champions as well. President Duterte should move to co-create change with these leaders and not only the security sector.

    For Weakness #3, I suggest that line agencies and LGUs should leverage the popular support for the President by broadening peoples’ ownership of the change that the country is undergoing. Create their respective peoples’ councils and involve the masses in governance. Fully activate and expand the various local special bodies provided for under our Local Government Code.

  17. Can you do better as a president? Is your personal life so perfect and streamlined you are confident enough to lead people to change? do you love the country so much you are willing to sacrifice, your personal interest, your properties, your life?

    If you become the president what will you do to solve crimes, drugs, corruption and promote unity in this country? Wait.. can you even handle responsibility?

    If yes. you may be the solution to this forsaken country. run for president. you can do better than troll.

    1. The solution to the Philippines’ problems does not lie in one man (or one troll), it lies in “all” Filipinos to set their false pride and individualism aside, and to come together as a nation. It’s a team effort and not a one man show, while the rest sit on the sidelines and watch.

  18. you are wrong! Many of us changed not because we are afraid of Digong and his punishment. We do better now because we want to be better Filipino! not like what “you” think filipinos are..

    1. What happens when “Digong” is gone (die of old age or illness, resign, doesn’t get re-elected, or assassinated)? Do you stop being “better Filipino” and go back to your old ways? You need to start thinking and behaving like one nation, instead of 7,000-plus islands, if you’re really serious of becoming better Filipinos.

        1. @QCK. Filipinos have been hoping and praying for a long time to no avail. What they need to do now is to collectively do what it takes to save their country from their own hands, by setting aside personal differences and learning to work together.

      1. I already did 22 years ago Marius, and have been doing better and better. there is always room for improvements may it be big or small and there are countless ways. Change starts from one’s self, then to others, then to all people. why did you assume that i did not want to change for the better before Duterte was elected? Did you somehow knew me?

        1. QCK: I didn’t mean you personally, I meant you collectively (Filipinos). My question was: how is it that Filipinos have been content to abuse each other and destroy their country until Duterte came along to threaten them with punishment? Clearly, it’s the only thing they respond to.

          It really irritates me when commentators here assume that I’m talking about EVERY SINGLE FILIPINO, as if they’re all the same. I do realize that people are all individuals. Some are good, some are bad. It’s just that you have far more bad people than good people.

        2. Same here marius. To them it feels like they’re being targeted personally even though that’s not the case. A lot of Pinoys don’t understand the meaning of generalization. It’s not an attack on all individuals rather it’s more like a description of the collective behavior of a group. Think of segments rather than the whole. If you think you think that you’re not part of that “segment” being criticized then there’s no need to overreact in such a defensive manner.

          Human beings are individuals, they’re not groups.

  19. Marius: some good, some bad.. now i have to agree with you on that one. i’m so sorry if you are irritated. if you want, you can stop concerning yourself about our country or better yet why not help those “some good people” here be heard.

    1. Or better yet why not help those “some good people” here be heard.

      Those people can’t be heard for the same reason I can’t be heard: Pinoys don’t want to listen. They think they know it all already, and they’ll shout down or kill anyone who thinks differently.

      I know several Filipinos who are smarter, nicer, and more proactive than I am. I like hanging out with them. We’re working on some interesting projects together. If it weren’t for them, the stupidity and malevolence I get from 80% of Filipinos would drive me to despair.

      Those nice, smart, proactive Filipinos make the exact same comments about their countrymen as I do here. They worry for the future of this country because there are so many Filipinos who enjoy watching the country fail.

      I never, ever give advice to Filipinos, and neither do the smart people I’m talking about. They know it will get them nowhere. Instead, we do a bit of show-and-tell: we build stuff that works, and if people want to come and see it and copy it, they can. Most Filipinos not only aren’t interested, they ridicule us and tell us we’re stupid because “this is the Philippines and that won’t work here”. However, it’s gratifying when 1 person in 20 gets interested in what we’re doing, and goes away to try the same thing himself.

      However, I’m more opinionated on GRP because the whole point of the site it to exchange opinions.

  20. There was one time when the Philippines became #1 in the whole of South East Asia. It’s not clear to me how the people did it during those times. Can it be replicated today? If yes then can it be sustained for the next generations to come?

    1. The Philippines is still #1 in South East Asia. Number 1 in graft and corruption because its aristocratic people refuse to work together to fix these problems as one nation.

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