Duterte’s policies are unpopular with people who want to maintain the status quo

Filipinos have traditionally found it difficult to challenge the status quo and get behind courageous leaders who can.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is unlike previous Presidents the country has ever had. It’s not just his swearing and his unabashed tirades that make him exceptional. We already know that he is the first President to hail from Mindanao, which in itself is already a standout feature of his. But what the Opposition fail to realise is, he doesn’t care about the next election. This is very important because most of the previous Presidents do not stop being on campaign mode even after they’ve won the election because they are worried about pleasing the voters for their own political party’s survival in the next election.

Being preoccupied with the next election is what distracts other Presidents from doing their jobs. This is not just a problem in the Philippines, but also around the world especially in countries that allow incumbents to pursue a second term.

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Noynoy: In his element on the campaign trail rather than in the office

Take the case of previous President BS Aquino. Philippine law does not allow Presidents a second term, but even after he won, BS Aquino and his party mates did not stop campaigning against their opponents. Persecuting his predecessors as well as politicians he thinks will run for the next election became an obsession. The Liberal Party machine made sure those who were coming out as popular in survey polls for the Presidential Election in 2016 like former Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, and former Senator Ramon Revilla Jr were given the national spotlight.

Previous issues ignored and tolerated by the Liberal Party (LP) members themselves before those politicians announced their intention to run were being highlighted. All of a sudden Binay’s allegedly corrupt ways were exposed when they should have been scrutinised prior to him running for VP or when he was still committing the alleged crime when he was Makati City Mayor. The only explanation is that Binay was, himself, an LP ally in the past. Then Grace Poe’s citizenship status became an issue even when it was BS Aquino who appointed her Chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) back in 2010. Revilla’s use of his pork barrel funds quickly landed him in detention, never mind that BS Aquino also gave him additional pork for voting former Chief Justice Renato Corona “guilty” during his impeachment trial in 2012.

We now see why Duterte did not announce his intention to run for the Presidency up until the deadline came to a close. He knew if he had announced it earlier the way Binay did, he would have given the Liberal Party enough time to do a negative campaign against him. Binay was the topic of mainstream media chatter for more than a year leading up to the election and so were the others who became serious contenders for the Presidential Election. The public was preoccupied with his unexplained wealth. The senate conducted hearings after hearings to “investigate” Binay’s alleged “corrupt” ways.

What is the point in recounting all this? The point is, during his term, BS Aquino failed to do his job well as the country’s administrator because he and his allies were more focused on the next election. That is not the case with the current administrator. Duterte doesn’t care if he offends some members of the public in implementing his policies. He’s not running and doesn’t care who wins the next election.

Duterte’s policy against illegal drugs has certainly offended the sensibilities of his critics,particularly those who subscribe to liberal views. While they care more about the right of the drug lords and drug dealers to due process, Duterte knows that these menaces to society have the funds to buy their way out of jail. This might say a lot about the justice system in the country, but when the system is slow, it favours the criminals. The longer you wait for drug dealers and drug lords to be put behind bars, the deeper the drug problem gets. The drug trade doesn’t stop operating for anyone after all.

It has become a battle of rights. The rights of drug dealers versus the rights of their victims. The right to due process is there for everyone to enjoy — in theory, that is. But in the Philippines, those with the most expensive lawyers usually do jump for joy. Duterte has been very clear that he prioritises the protection of the public against illegal drugs. It is fair for some to say that Duterte should also focus on stopping the importation of drugs in the country. It would be futile to continue going after the distributors if he can’t stop the flow of drugs coming in to the country.

A strong leader exhibits a willingness to commit to the use of deadly force to end crises decisively.

The declaration of Martial Law in Mindanao offered more proof that Duterte doesn’t care about his popularity. He felt the need to declare Martial Law in the region to contain the threat of terrorists allied with ISIS seeking refuge in Marawi City. Those who insisted that this was a prelude to a dictatorship were proven wrong after the Philippine military successfully neutralised the leaders of the terrorist group Maute this week. Despite the noisy protests from anti-Martial Law activists, Duterte’s popularly remained unchanged at 80%. That is, if we are to believe the recent survey results from Pulse Asia survey firm.

Duterte’s ambivalence to offending voters is a policy he also applies to the issue of public transport. His government is hell-bent on pushing through with phasing out public utility jeepneys (PUJs) by the end of the year and replace them with better-looking and environmentally-friendly vehicles. Both jeepneys and their drivers have been a menace to society for decades. The antiquated vehicles emit black carbon that contributes pollutes the environment. This results in respiratory and cardiovascular diseases for those exposed to the poisonous emissions every day. In other words, jeepneys are causing slow death in the Philippines.

It’s actually baffling why law enforcement agencies do not penalise jeepney operators since a lot of the vehicles plying the roads obviously do not comply with the safety standards required of vehicles before being allowed to run. Previous governments have been too lenient on these jeepney operators because the drivers and their supporters use emotional blackmail. They always use the “poor” card and say that they will lose their livelihood if they get rid of their jeepneys. Well, too bad for them, Durterte doesn’t play that game. This is what he had to say to those who oppose his plan to replace the jeepney:

“Jan. 1. If you can’t modernize that, leave. You’re poor? Son of a bitch, go ahead, suffer in poverty and hunger, I don’t care.”

Despite the two-day strike held by jeepney drivers belonging to the Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide, or PISTON, Duterte did not stand down. Hopefully, his government will be better-prepared for the next strike. He should not allow these groups to hold the Filipino people hostage to their backward thinking. They are part of the reason the country cannot move forward.

It has now become a battle between the “poor” drivers and the safety, comfort and well-being the majority of the public. Those who stand by the drivers are mostly driven by their emotion. They are being sentimental about losing what they call an “icon”. Never mind that the jeepney is not even an original Filipino invention. It was just a modified and uglier version of the American jeep used by the US military in World War II. It has no seat belts and it is very uncomfortable for passengers.

While Duterte’s modern, environmentally-friendlier public utility vehicle is better than the jeepney, it is still not going to solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila. The number of vehicles will not be reduced. If the plan goes ahead, the same number of vehicles will still occupy the roads once the drivers get on board the move especially since Duterte offered to give drivers a loan that they can pay off by one peso a day.

Filipinos are in a unique position with Duterte since he has the resolve to implement unpopular policies that could have lasting positive impact for Philippine society. It is easy to issue motherhood statements, but a strong leader who leaves a lasting legacy is someone who, to quote a cliché, can walk the talk.

13 Replies to “Duterte’s policies are unpopular with people who want to maintain the status quo”

  1. Duterte’s critics about MARTIAL ALW have NOT been proven wrong, just because he has not moved to make ML nationwide YET, doesn’t mean he will not do exactly that at some point in the future.
    The ‘DUE PROCESS’ clause of the Philippine Constitution guarantees an ARREST, TRIAL BY JURY to ALL citizens….that has been thrown under the bus .TO WIT: The murders of street level drug user’s/dealer’s. The writer excuse’s the dissolution of the ‘DUE PROCESS’ clause by pointing out that Drug ‘LORDS’ have the means to skirt their way out of a jail sentence, BUT the fact is that Drug ‘LORDS’ have not been the target of the KILLINGS and instead it has been the street level user/dealer that is being denied the ‘DUE PROCESS’ the Countries Constitution guarantees all CITIZENS. The SADDEST part of the entire debacle is that ‘SHABU’ is NOT a REAL ILLEGAL DRUG, it is simply ground up cough medicine tablets cooked into powder form. Deso-OXY Ephedrine is THE MOST EXPENSIVE SUBSTANCE IN THE WORLD. It cost over $2,500 per LIQUID OUNCE and you can bet your GODDAMM last frikkin peso that there is not a frikkin speck of Deso-OXY EPHEDRINE in that P500 sachet of fake garbage A/K/A ‘SHABU’ that people in the country are being murdered over. Murder is Murder, there is NO EXCUSE FOR IT.
    Lastly, Jeepney’s and the POVERTY card are OLD HAT, get rid of them both…and if DUTERTE is such a ‘MAN OF THE PEOPLE’ he will see to it that each and every driver/employee that lose’s a job working on-board a Jeepney is given the means to get enough credit to get another vehicle to provide a means to making a living after the JEEPNEY they drive daily is thrown in the junk-yard.
    HOWEVER, Just like DUTERTE LIED WHEN HE STATED THAT he ‘WOULD GIVE A MEDAL…’ to anyone that killed a drug-dealer Duterte can not be trusted to do anything he says he will do. U C, Filipino’s have been duped again into not being abe to see that the Man that has been cast into the role of National Saviour is just another in a long line of Bull-Shit Artista’s extroadinaire that have ruled the archipelago since 1965. This time all it took to pull the wool over the Idiotic ‘MASSA’s collective eyes was demonization on a vulnerable societal member (the street level ‘PUSHER’ instead of the OLIGARCHIC MANUFACTURER of the fke drugs!) and its subsequent murder. LOL, 7,500 street level drug user’s who would not even have been sentenced to a jail term in just about any civilized Western country got the death sentence instead and people here at GRP defend the idiot that did away with their very own CIVIL (not HUMAN) Rights. When they are throw in jail for writing critical article’s about Dueterte and the ‘Freedom of the Press’ has been thrown under the bus as ‘DUE PROCESS’ has been,
    maybe they will change their tune, BUT TOO LATE THEN !!!!

    1. “When they are throw in jail for writing critical article’s about Dueterte and the ‘freedom of the press’ has been thrown under the bus as ‘due process’ has been, maybe they will change their tune, but too late then !!!!

      Here is my personal idea/opinion about the above statement.

      – Although, I am not sure but bloggers do not fall under the label “press”. They are NOT journalists.
      – secondly, most (or even all) GRP bloggers/authors use an alias aka pseudonym. So, it will be difficult to track them down
      – the best chance you have got is by going to WordPress (link) and demand their names and addresses (IP address). To do this you need a warrant.

      So, good luck in hunting them down.

      1. if you think that the Philippine authorities do not know who is behind the proverbial curtain here at GRP, dream on…they know exactly WHO ‘Benigno’ and ‘ILDA’ are…..

  2. The firdt parsgraph of this article is hysterical. It states ‘Dueterte doesn’t care about the next election..’, LOL ! REALLY ? NO SHIT ? Since he can not run for President again, WHY THE FUCK WOULD HE ? The guy is 72 years old and is going to retire or maybe even die in office, GUFFAW !!!

    Filipino’s do not understand that these politicians are all the SAME. They are in on the scam together, there is no rivalry between any of them, its made up, FAKE as the SHABU on the corner is……and that is why nothing ever changes. NOT because they are worried about the next election or any other reason. Especially the old ‘You are a Romauldez and I am an Aquino’ BULLSHIT story as to why nothing ever gets done. The excuse of using political rivalry as a reason to not move the country forward is swallowed hook line and sinker by the Filipino MORON when ,IN FACT, it should frikkin OUTRAGE every single person in the country. That a PALTRY excuse like that can be used as an excuse for not rescuing people drowning in Hurricane conditions is proof positive that Filipino’s will put up with any BS that the SCUMBAGS they elect will throw at them.SO WHAT CAN ANYONE EXPECT?

    DO NOT BE FOOLED, DUETERTE IS JUST LIKE THE REST OF THEM. 4 years and 8 months from now 30% of the people of the country will still live on less than $2/Day and the leader of the country will still dance to the US Dept of State’s tune and the Oligarchs will still front run the stock market 24/7 and ELECTRICITY RATES will still be the highest in the world and the people making HUGE profits on energy speculation will be doing exactly what they have been doing since before the writer of this article was born. Manila will still have the worst traffic problem in the world as well…AND…WELL, you get the pont,yes? NOTHING ILL HAVE CHANGED, becuse Filipino’s haven’t the balls to overthrow the government that has been fucking them in the ass for over 50 years, AT THIS POINT it appears that Flips like the ass reaming.

    1. I agree with the article.
      To the Guest who just commented, whoever you are, if you are a Filipino, Filipinos with minds like you are the reason why our country’s progress is slowing down. Stop your crab mentality and think about what you can do to help instead. God bless the President and the Philippines!

        1. 4 Years and 8 Months from now, YOU WILL SEE !!!! You are just too goddamn dumb to realize that these scumbag Filipino politicians are as predictable as the day is long…….’CHANGE’ is not coming…..until you demand it and TAKE BACK THE COUNTRY FROM THE OLIGARCHS, YOU CAN BET ON IT.

      1. if you think that the same old shit, VOTING FOR SOMEONE WHO SAYS HE IS GOING TO CHANGE THINGS (and that is EXACTLY what has been happening since 1965), is going to change anything: YOU ARE THE REASON NOTHING IS CHANGING ! You fuckin IDIOT.You have been had again….

  3. I submit that Duterte is unlike previous Presidents this country has ever had. As a matter of fact, I find him to be the best among the rest of recent successions of Philippine Presidents. However, Mr. Duterte for all his good intentions, like everyone else, cannot claim perfection nor he is guaranteed to be infallible with all his policies and decisions.

    As President of this country, he holds the power to make things happen. But, since the people (like countries of the world on a different scale) have their own different self-interest to protect (as oppose to the national interest), not all his actions will be popular and acceptable.

    Like with the proposed jeepney modernization program, it’s the issue of the state upgrading its transportation system versus the drivers’ actual capability to meet the required cost of amortization set by the program.

    (“… Duterte offered to give drivers a loan that they can pay off by one peso a day.” Hmmm…do you have a link? Last I read it was computed that “a jeep has to be paid Php 313,142.86 per year, Php 26,095.24 per month, and Php 869.84 per day.” Link)

    Is that an outright resistance to Mr. Duterte or to modernization, especially when their ability to make two ends meet will be compromised? And what if the program requires all car owners, for their part, to prevent them from using their private cars, to minimize traffic, and instead patronize these modern jeepneys? Will it be fair for them? Will they follow?

    In the end, things will have to be viable, accetable and mutually beneficial to the greater majority.

    In the days of President Marcos, as early as in the 1970s, studies were already conducted on how to upgrade the transport system.

    Here’s an incomplete Timeline:

    LRT, MRT construction

    July 12, 1980 – President Ferdinand Marcos creates the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) as a government agency chaired by then first lady and governor of Metro Manila Imelda Marcos.

    October 1981 – Construction of the lines of the LRT starts under the Construction and Development Corp. of the Philippines (CDCP).

    Dec. 1, 1984 – Nine months after test-runs, LRT Line 1 from Baclaran to Central Terminal is opened to the public.

    May 12, 1985 – LRT Line 1 stations from Central Terminal to Monumento start operations.

    After 1986, we can only wonder what went wrong. Though the plan was already on its way ahead of time just awaitng for implementation, succeeding heads that took over of the plan took credit anyway.

  4. Making unpopular decisions for Pres. Duterte, for the sake of the majority of our population , can be hard for him. However, it must be done, for our good. The minority who complain , because their jobs are being replaced, are Dumb Asses. Technology will continue to improve. Making some of our tools, gadgets, vehicles, ways of life, etc…all obsolete.

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is here. Factory workers, servants, prostitutes, police, etc…could be replaced by these Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robots. So, fasten your “seat belts”…all of us may be on a “bumpy rides”.

    The Liberal Party , with the leadership of Pnoy Aquino, was trying to “railroad: Mar Roxas, to become his successor. So, he ordered the investigation of every possible opponents, of Mar Roxas. We know that Mar Roxas , is a big thief, together, with Pnoy Aquino. They stole the Typhoon Yolanda Funds. Pnoy Aquino and Abad, and his Liberal Party people, feasted on DAP, PDAF, Pork Barrels, etc…

    There was an extortion racket done by Abaya and Pnoy Aquino at the International Airport thru the : “LagLag Bala”…

    It is idiocy/futile to complain, that your job is being replaced by a more efficient and cheaper way of performing your job. Employers will surely replace you with a cheaper and more efficient way of doing their business.

    This is true to these Jeepney Drivers…it is time for them to learn a new trade, and become part of these new technologies . Our civilization must progress. Our country must progress !

    1. There is already an :”autonomous vehicle” – a vehicle driven by a computer. No Driver ! It is tested already. However, we need some more improvement for safety.

      Maybe those Jeepney Drivers, who are on strike , can be replaced by Computers…

      This will be a problem of the Traffic Police and Traffic Enforcers. How can you collect “lagay or tong”, from a computer ?

  5. I see Duterte, and I don’t see some uncouth mayor blabbing his mouth off.

    I see bourgeois conyo jerkweeds getting triggered to death. That’s good enough for me. Seeing that flabby, effete, decadent and corrupt class (that has led Filipinos nowhere for decades) flail and thrash each time Duterte shows his pore-pocked face is enough.

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