Go forward with Duterte, or slide backward with the Liberal Party – Filipinos are left little choice

Of course, the “logically obsessed” would beg to disagree. They will contend that just because one criticizes Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, it doesn’t mean that they are “dilawan”, or siding with the Liberal Party (LP) – arguably the loudest voice in the opposition, or some people would like to say, the anti-Duterte camp. And vice versa: critics of the LP – a lot of them critics from the time of Duterte’s predecessor Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III, don’t necessarily support Duterte blindly.

The limitation here, however, is that perfectly logical arguments are made in vacuums – that is, they assume ideal settings where all sides not only all act perfectly rationally, but are perfectly and ideally organized and have well-defined stances.

When you take into consideration that, here in the Philippines, arguments become not only political, but personal in nature, it is expected that logic breaks down.

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The political reality of the opposition remains essentially unchanged, something I described in a previous article: The problem that plagues the opposition to this administration remains seemingly unchanged from previous ones. The many voices in the wilderness just cannot get along with each other, and put a greater cause above themselves.

Because the opposition is unable to come together, there is consequently no alternative vision for what the Philippines’ future state should be.

Say what you will about the Duterte administration. Just to give a few examples, its anti-drug campaign has not been bloodless, and is hobbled by undesirable elements within the police’s own ranks. His spokespersons and communications team have yet to prove that they are capable of handling their jobs; they are getting trounced not only by the hostile mainstream media, but by Mocha Uson as well. Last example is that some of his cabinet members have been, for lack of a better word, duds.

However the Duterte administration falls short of a few expectations, it does not seem so for lack of trying; the obstacle is a power structure (i.e., people, behaviors, and a long-established network of favor-exchanging) that is not only desperate to cling to what it thinks it’s entitled to, it also will take more than one presidential term to dismantle.

Gruesome and undesirable as some of the methods, and results, may appear, Duterte’s vision of a drug-free Philippines, and that of a people less dependent on external influences for validation, have proven to be worth getting behind. Change is rarely painless; it may not always be for the better at first, but it is something Filipinos have decided they want. It is up to them to make it work.

I mentioned above the lack of cohesion and unity among the many voices in the opposition. As a result, it has become, unfortunately, defined by the loudest – not necessarily the most deserving to be heard – voice in the room, the LP’s. This is also why Filipinos have little choice: if they insist on staying passive and non-committal, then the loudest will dominate and “make the decision” for them.

We must emphasize, however, that the commitment Filipinos need to make is not to a personality, but to a desired path, and to a willingness to make institutions work for them.

Let’s see what the opposition offers.

The LP offers the status quo. Or rather, more accurately, they are mostly constrained to declaring what things shouldn’t be; it apparently does not have a clear vision of a future Philippines. Even worse, more often than not, the “solutions” they offer are untested, idealistic, are nothing more than motherhood statements, and are seemingly more about satisfying their sensibilities, than they are about actually working. The biggest failure of the LP as part of the opposition, however, is that it has exhausted all its credibility, particularly because of a long 30-year period of no results, when it was among the dominant forces in the political landscape.

Time as we know it moves only forward. Thus, insisting on the status quo is equivalent to moving the Philippines backward. Socio-political inertia is the Duterte administration’s greatest enemy: a society at rest will remain at rest until an external force is strong enough to move it. The Duterte administration can only get things done by applying enough force that results in movement; the opposition merely has to apply enough resistance to make it look like Duterte is ineffective. The opposition simply has to not lose.

Both sides (pro- and anti-Duterte) will inevitably use and abuse the following quote: “All that it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.” For each of them, the other represents evil.

As much as we don’t want to reduce this to a choice for “the lesser evil”, it is inevitable.

One side is evil in the sense that it is willing to shake up the Filipinos’ pre-conceived notions and biases of what the Philippines can and should be. That same side is deemed evil, because it seems willing to accept human casualties to get what it wants, and because it is willing to sacrifice “entitlements” for yet-to-be-named long-term gains. The figurehead of this side is brusque, uncouth, incorrigible, and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, if you’re not used to him.

The other side, quite simply, pretends to be clean, but actually isn’t. Its historical way of “solving problems” is pretending that they don’t exist. This side is interested in opposition, not to round out pro-citizen discussions, but because it is simply hungry for power.

Go forward with Duterte, or slide backward with the Liberal Party – Filipinos have indeed left themselves little choice.

32 Replies to “Go forward with Duterte, or slide backward with the Liberal Party – Filipinos are left little choice”

  1. The Philippines has serious problems, that is a result of mismanagement and ineffective leadership, for many years. The Aquino era; had brought, inefficient leadership and , moral bankruptcy to our country. Graft and corruption became pandemic…

    Our brains are being drained, year in and year out…OFW with brains, migrate to other countries, because, they cannot find good opportunities in our own country. Besides, these people, rarely want to serve in the government…this is the reason, we cannot find a few good men, to serve in the government.

    The opposition, has no political ideology. It cannot offer a good vision or good programs for our country’s future. What it offers is: More of the Same !

    Like Leni “the Bobo” Robredo, who is running around , like a pig in sexual heat; to become President. Does this woman have any managerial experience to manage the country ? Does she have any vision for the future of our country ?

    I believe, she just want to become a President, like Cory Aquino, the clueless housewife, who became President…

    We are tired of political zarzuelas…we are tired of these endless graft and corruption investigations. When will the people in the Congress and Senate do their real jobs ?

    The people in the opposition are the same people who participated in the : Pork Barrel Bribery, DAP, PDAF, election frauds in 2016 and other tremendous corruption, during their reign in power.

    The opposition (LP), or other kinds of opposition, have nothing to offer, except ineffective leadership and moral bankruptcy…

  2. the Motherland, Philippines, isn’t the one suffering. it’s the yellows and its LP army the one suffering. whatever they offers to the pilipinos is nothing but all lies to the mind of the people. it’s not leni who’s in a hurry but her Pied Piper for hacienda luisita to be save. that’s what they’re fighting for. what if one day the duterte administration ask the LP yellow army where are these millions of pesos given to them as bribes to impeach Corona? are they gonna be willing to return it to the people? they should.

  3. I am truly lost FallenAngel, when you say “go forward with Duterte”.
    What did he do so far to make the lives of 100 million Filippinos any better? What did he do that shows any directions forward? Personally, I dont see anything that shows he wants to go forward.

    Oh and pls dont mention the construction of roads, bridges etc.

      1. Tokwa,
        Based on my experiences here in GRP, I am afraid answering your question will lead to a new stand-off. The one stand-odd is “your forwardness, is my backwardness. I hear/read that phrase so often, that it even ends all normal conversations. While we all have the same wish for the Philippines to head to.

        Having said all that.

        Moving forward – initiated by a government/president – is done by facilitating laws, rules and regulations that favour ALL Filipinos. Or at least as many as possible. Till today, I havent seen that happen (yet). One of those laws could have been granting homosexuals civil wedding. But your Mr. Nice Guy (Duterte) has closed the door on that one. Or is that (too) liberal for your stomach?

        A government / president cant do that much to move an entire population forward. All she/he can do is make (new) laws, modernize laws, soften rules and regulations. Build new airports (or modernize them), ports, roads, bridges, tunnels, schools, hospitals etc (for as long as he/she has budget for all that).

        Only the individual can move forward by making good, smart decisions and not fucking up his/her own life. I only see the latter (fucking up ones own life) too often and no government is guilty of that.

        Finally, to kill some ‘rodents’ is not how to solve a problem.

        1. @Robert Haighton

          IMHO you’re contradicting yourself, you said “Moving forward – initiated by a government/president – is done by facilitating laws, rules and regulations that favour ALL Filipinos.”. And yet your example “One of those laws could have been granting homosexuals civil wedding.” does not affect ALL Filipinos.

          My question still remains, “In your opinion, what equates to moving forward?”.

  4. Robert, you’re really lost. how could you make a better living if these mices and rats inside your house shitting all over your food, and inside your closets. you got to exterminate them first for a better living free of all those bacterias they’re proliferating.

  5. Go forward with Duterte? Wherever he takes the Philippines it will only last for 6 years. 6 years is not enough time to disassemble and rebuild the national psyche. Who cares if he literally builds roads if the people don’t have the foresight to maintain them after he is gone? He may trim the hedges but any gains made will require the next man in office to remain tending that garden. It’s very easy to be fatalistic and pessimistic about the political and cultural situation in this country but that’s only because the national consciousness is not very conscious. Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America really grasps the American psyche which is why that country works. Slowly though, as the culture is reshaped because of the demographic shift, that American mindset will also change. How can it not? The root source of the Philippines’ problem IS culture and I think sadly the only way at all is to go backward by going forward with the current mindset which I don’t see changing anytime soon.


  6. His trying to change the system into a federal-parliamentary form of governance and doing away with the 60-40 ownership restriction, isn’t that moving forward for you Robert Haighton? Why do you put too much focus on same-sex marriage which only benefit a few people when there are more other cogent issues which can alleviate majority of the Filipinos, is it because you’re one of those who can benefit from it?

    1. Dom,
      Will I personally benefit from a legal same-sex marriage in PH? To be honest, no. For the simple reason that I am not gay. And besides that, and even as heterosexual – I dont even need to marry (in my own country) to have a fullfilling and wholesome, happy life.
      Allowing LG people in the Philippines to have a legal wedding sends out a much deeper message. With all criticism Duterte claimed (against the RC church amongst one of them) he can finally send a message that he is moving forward and that he is looking outside the box.

      So far I didnt read anything that he started to change the political system (federal parliament) and the 60/40 ownership restrictions.

      I may benefit from the latter (60/40 rule) – when that is changed. But I only – probably – will benefit from it when I will build or buy my own house in PH. I dont really see it as a benefit to build or buy my own house in PH with all natural calamities (typhoons, landslides, earth quakes etc).

      He is now what – 9 months in charge? What has he achieved till this day? All he can write on his resume is that he killed 7,000 ‘rodents’. Not really something to call ‘going forward’ and not something to be really proud of.

  7. Filipinos fail, because everyone here attacks people that do not do their will or believe the way they do. Example, you want someone to think about changing to your political party or way of thinking. You do not start the conversation with a insult. This example is being seen in America right now and it is destroying the country. Right and left constantly attack each other. 25% are on the right and 25% percent on the left and now we have 50% of the people that are no longer in the political process. The lowest number of percentages people showed up to vote in the presidential elections since the Vietnam war. The Philippines is headed in this directions. Nearly everyday I hear someone say the famous saying in Tagalog “That is just the way it is ” or our government is and will always be “corrupt” It becomes the responsibility of every person to try and fix something small or big in this country according to his or her own belief. The last election, a family member ask me what I thought about the people running for election , before voting. I told her it was not my business as I was not a Philippine resident yet. She would later tell me that she voted just as her church told her to, and not the way she wanted. The orginal qoute does rang true here ““The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
    ― Edmund Burke ; but do not forget a equal quote that ” Sometimes good guys gotta do bad things to make the bad guys pay.”

  8. Robert Haighton,

    Duterte is only citing the present law on same-sex marriage and he’s not going oppose if someone amends it. A lot of the LGBT community supports him and getting hitched with the same sex is the least of their concern.

    Maybe you haven’t read or heard anything regarding constitutional change because you’re mostly reading into the government destabilizers propaganda machine. A google will do that it is moving now. Were it not for the several investigations in aid of destruction and grandstanding by the idiot in the legislature, they would have done a lot of work now crafting laws. So why blame Duterte if his detractors are too busy undermining him through senseless investigations that prevents the legislative body to work when it is not their role to convict or clear an accused? You really think these idiot destabilizers like Trillanes and Delima were being patriotic by asking for too many investigation when the proper forum was to file a case in the court of law? Why they didn’t file a case before when Duterte has not assumed office yet? If you really think nothing has been happening or moving then why do I read news like this – http://www.manilatimes.net/arroyo-eyed-head-cha-cha-body/318307/

    You dare ask what has been done in the 9 months Duterte is in office and yet so blind he actually has done more compared to the previous administration’s 6 years already like for example the FOI which never materialized with BS Aquino incompetence.

    With your statement that Duterte killed 7000, now I believe you’re hooked with the same false narrative provided by the crooked and you’re not in any way wants the same thing we sane Filipinos want the Philippines should head to as your reply to Tokwa.
    It is too easy to research but you choose to be stupid. Educate yourself and read this – http://www.manilatimes.net/rappler-misled-eu-human-rights-watch-cnn-time-bbc-world/318078/

  9. Tokwa,
    Whatever a government/administration/president does, it will never and can never be beneficial for ALL. At least not to the same extent.

    Let me give you an example:
    A president (or government) decides to lower the income tax rate. That seems beneficial for everybody, right? But it aint.
    You make 1 million in a tax year and I make 100,000 in a tax year. Before the new law is implemented we both paid 25% income tax. With the new law, we pay 15%. Who do you think benefits most? Right. You!

    How to make this more equal? The government will give everyone – lets say – 1000. That 1,000 has much more value for people with lower income than for people like you with your – said – income.
    Is this a hand-out from the government? No. With the new law the revenues for the government would be extremely lower (25 – 15). And so this has far more reaching consequences with what a government can do to invest in circumstances making lives of poor people better.

    In short, a government can invest in infrastructure to relief congestions. But a government is never the inspirator for a better society (as described by Benign0 in previous articles; a dysfunctional society). Only the individual can make its own dysfunctionality, functional again. And that functionality should, must and will lead to progress, improvement, prosperity and going forward.
    A government can only facilitate by investing in infrastructure and make better, modern laws.

    If you dont own a car, bike or whatever then you will never benefit from building a new bridge (for instance). But others will.

    1. @Robert Haighton

      Then your premise “Moving forward – initiated by a government/president – is done by facilitating laws, rules and regulations that favour ALL Filipinos.” is nothing but an impossible dream since you also said “Whatever a government/administration/president does, it will never and can never be beneficial for ALL. At least not to the same extent.”.

      Thus my question still remains, “In your opinion, what equates to moving forward?”.

      1. Tokwa,
        Moving forward for me means: having a better life today compared to yesterday. Being able to make and have choices in life.

        1. @Robert Haighton

          Then what makes you think that Filipinos don’t have a better life today compared to yesterday? And are not able to make and have choices in life?

  10. Dom, you own words reject your own belief. You cannot say Du30 is just following the law, then turn around and get mad when Delima and others questioning him not following the law with for examples the drug killings. Lying, being corrupt, and covering up has become normal in this administration. The problem by not following the law is it creates a slippery slope. People start to not remember what is right and what is wrong. Example these killings were okay. Here is the problem. The police have been giving full permission to be corrupt about killing people and no one cares about common sense. Look at some recent crime scenes of police killings. How can a person have tried to use a gun against the police when he was shot in the head first? Then the rest of his body was shot and the body is not in the original location of the kill. Brain matter is white and gray. Even the famous mayor killed in his jail cell was shot in his bed while he was sitting up and then his body was moved and then shot again. It is simple pure science. I would rather there be truth and honest with we are just killing people than to have the police department staging crime scenes and planting evidence, I worked in emergency medicine and was in the army. Most people do not lie down flat on their back and die after being shot. How is that nearly every police shootings has this in common, especially when the report says the person was running away and shooting. Philippines can used their own way to solve the problem, but be truthful about and stop justifying criminal actions under the law. Just say , I do not care about the law. We are going to kill all drug people. Then be truthful and a real man; when Delima and others question you about the killings and say, this is what I am doing to make our country better. Not a single country trust DU30 about his explanations about Delima because we have all seen the photos of these police killings and we all have taken basic science and physics classes. We all know the science and the stories do not match up 99% of the time, The world is not condemning your actions. We condemn that that you cannot be truthful about anything, then expect us to believe about Delima or Trill, really? We already see the evidence, Hell the same gun was used in different dead crime scenes, which means your police are not even smart enough to plant different evidence. We laugh at your government, because during Delima first congressional hearings, people used as evidence witness were in two different places in time in this country when they were meeting with Delima. That case was laughed off by public. Release a sex video, to get the general public against her. Make a case about drugs in prison using where get what the same crooked police control everything that purely by witness testimony., really?

  11. actjax, you wrote too long. a picture of de lima with druglords partying means to the people a thousand words. the physics is in it.

  12. actjaxs3000, you wrote a lot of sentences but yet basically said nothing. You’re the one who is contradicting yourself and you’re only laughing at your own idiocy and not to our government or to anyone else..

    1. Dom, simple question is your constitution and law for everyone in this country or not? If you say yes then this includes your president and all the People of the Philippines. This means everyone including drug people should be arrested. Change the law to include the death penalty, for anything you want. you cannot want law and order for just a few people and not all and yes this includes Delima, drug users , child abusers, rapist and everyone else. After they are found guilty kill them if that is the law your country passes. The problem is right now, the president and people down to nearly everyone in the Philippines likes to pick and choose which law the person feels like following today and then gets mad when other people decide which law no to follow also,

  13. the Philippines cannot change its system to federalism right away or else the enemies of the state will walk away. it can only be change when the cleansing is done. the scenario right now is, the yellow dynasty as the respondent and their 87 yellow constitution the complainant. it was supposed to be used for their enemy but they’re now the enemy of the state.

  14. Tokwa,
    based on my experiences IN your country, based on conversations with Filipinos and based on laws, rules, regulations and the culture and religion in your country, Filipinos dont have choices.
    Therefore, it is hard (but still not impossible) to have a better life today compared to yesterday.

    How come that so many male Filippinos leave their GFs (behind) with kids? And why do those women (or girls) accept that? How come those girls/women dont learn from other people’s (girls/women) mistakes? Every time, I ask those girls/women why the BF left them. Without exception, they respond in unison “I dont know” followed by “he found a younger chick”. Both are NOT causes, it are effects.

    Choices? You wanna talk about choices? Come on, we are done within 1 minute. Especially if we compare your country/culture with my country/culture.

    What I really miss among Filipinos is to have ambition, to have a realistic plan.

    So choosing for Duterte as the only way for going forward: pls give me a break !

    1. @Robert Haighton

      You’re generalizing too much and most of your arguments have flaws.

      “based on my experiences IN your country, based on conversations with Filipinos and based on laws, rules, regulations and the culture and religion in your country, Filipinos dont have choices.”

      How come? Kindly provide an example.

      “Therefore, it is hard (but still not impossible) to have a better life today compared to yesterday.”

      IMHO it is still a choice, unfortunately it is only a hard choice.

      “How come that so many male Filippinos leave their GFs (behind) with kids? And why do those women (or girls) accept that?”

      IMHO it is usually because of stupidity, most of those women know before hand that the possibility of the guy leaving them is quite high, the guys is only after money, sex, or both. And yet they still pursue the relationship hoping that the guy will change for them, specially if they already have a child.

      “How come those girls/women dont learn from other people’s (girls/women) mistakes?”

      This is due to the reason that they think the outcome will be different for them, watching too much telenovela.

      “Every time, I ask those girls/women why the BF left them. Without exception, they respond in unison “I dont know” followed by “he found a younger chick”. Both are NOT causes, it are effects.”

      Most of them are in denial, they just don’t want to answer your question truthfully as they will only look stupid.

      “Choices? You wanna talk about choices? Come on, we are done within 1 minute.”

      What choices are you talking about?

      “Especially if we compare your country/culture with my country/culture.”

      Comparing your country’s culture (West) and my country’s culture (Asia) is quite stupid, as they are fundamentally different.

      “What I really miss among Filipinos is to have ambition, to have a realistic plan.”

      For this you are right, IMHO one of the reason is that most Filipino men are spoiled too much.

      “So choosing for Duterte as the only way for going forward: pls give me a break !”

      Kindly avoid saying things I didn’t say, thank you.

  15. Failipinos in the Failippines always say in the end they only regret the choices they didn’t make but I really think Failipinos also regret the choices they were foolish enough to make.

  16. I don’t believe Filipinos have many choices in life, which is evidenced by the fact that one out of ten Filipinos work outside the country to make a living. I watch the Filipino channels and ads come on about money services to send money back home. This almost seems to be celebrated, when it should be an embarrassment.

  17. @Robert Haighton

    Never try to compare apples from oranges because they will never be same.

    You need to get out of your cocoon and put oneself in Filipinos shoes to understand them

    1. Don,
      for as long s you are NOT an alien from outer space, we (you and I) are humans. We both are human beings. So, your remark about oranges and apples, dont wash. We are humans and are driven by the same ambitions. We want the best. Personally, I cant help it that you are still in the survival mode (the lowest/bottom layer of Maslow’s pyramid). But you need not to be there (in that layer). If one has to come out of a cocoon, it are people in your country. You have to got to learn the concept of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking and behaving.
      But your culture wont and doesnt allow that.

      People like you should pull your head out of gods ass.

  18. @Robert Haighton

    We are not talking about type of creatures here we are talking about different cultures. It is obvious you are lost in the topic and personally attack me. Please stick to the topic and be humble. No one will be ever remember you when you continue this kind of arrogance.

    1. Don,
      I let myself get carried away in my previous comment.

      I am not here (planet earth) to be remembered by the masses. My ‘reward’ is my paycheck every month. Arrogant again? I am sorry but its the naked truth.

      Culture? Culture is something (wo)man made. So, what is made by (wo)man can be changed/altered (by man and woman). And yes I know what you are talking about when you use the C word. For me, its the same as using the victim card. I will never say: “if you dont like it, then leave the country.” Instead, I will say: “If you dont like it, change it.”
      In most cases when I pitch my country and its laws to Filipinos, all they can utter is : “wrong country”. No one ever said: “well lets wait a minute here, how come you (the country) have such progressive laws/culture. And we (the PH) have such conservative laws/culture?” You see/notice the difference in approach?

      In my country, there is not one culture. I am different compared to my 2 sisters. I am different compared to my best friends. How – for god;s sake – can a country evolve (= go forward) if the culture will remain/stay the same? That is impossible. And again, a culture is not changed by a president. A culture is changed by individuals (like you).
      So, you wanna change and move forward? Then do it. But dont wait for your president (regardless of who that president is).

      Now, here is my personal view/vision on the PH culture and all Filipinos (male and female).
      The overwhelming majority is too shit afraid to make changes in their own (private and personal) culture. And that is why, they need a president to do it for them. The really need a ‘leader’ bec the individuals cant do it themselves. For me the analogy is very clear when comparing that with religion. There is no criticism, so most will follow their (religious) leader (priest, pope, cardinal, church, bible).
      People will only change when their cue card is up provided for by a president or priest. And that is pitiful.

      So finally going back to the actual topic: following Duterte because that is the only way forward is a blatant lie. (For the reasons I gave you above).
      And before you think and/or will say, that I am a supporter of the PH liberal party or Robredo? No, I am not.

    2. Don,
      One other thing (or maybe two other things).
      Recently your president said he is against same-sex marriage. Did he say that as a president or as private person?
      No matter what, that was a chance to go forward. And yes I do know that same-sex marriage is not your biggest problem. But no matter how you look at it, it is a giant leap forward. But your president denied the PH to go that giant leap forward.
      So, that is again one argument against the title of this article

      A government must set the path to modernize its country to and by facilitate/facilitating all laws, rules and regulations for ALL its citizens and businesses.
      Why modernize? In modernization you will see the results of (economic) growth.

      Allow legal abortion. And even if I – personally – am against abortion, I still realize and am aware that for others it is a solution to solve a problem. It can make the difference between having 4 kids or having 2 kids. Together with legal abortion, ALL kinds of birth control (contraceptions) MUST be avaiiable for and to the public.

      These kind of modernizations will put your country faster and quicker among the league of first world countries.

      The moral of my story is this: I can be against everything modern, but I am always aware that modernization (you may call modernization also liberal) is a solution for another.

      Now if your government doesnt want to give you modern law(s), its time to fight for it and protest against your government. Why do you think my country has liberal laws? Because we (the people) fought for those laws.

      Last but not least: I dont see Duterte giving you anything. And surely not modern, forward laws, rules ands regulations. If the drug killings are NOT done by his order then he should and must end all those vigilante killings. So far, I didnt and dont see him doing that.
      So again, I gave you more than 1 reason to defy the title of the above article.

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