The recent media attention on the APEC and ASEAN summits has been a welcome reprieve from all the relentless energy- and time-wasting Senate investigations and hearings that front-page-hungry grandstanding lawmakers and politicians have been battering us with all year round. At least we get a break to see our president with the biggest who’s who in international politics.
Two goals that Filipinos strive for in life are
- to gain respect and
- to attain a convenient/comfortable life.
And these are the very things President Duterte has been delivering at a heated pace since he came to power.
Respect here is not just from among fellow Filipinos, but moreover that in the eyes of the international community. Seeing our president rubbing shoulders, talking eye-to-eye, and shaking hands with the world’s most powerful leaders: Trump, Abe, Xi and Putin, just makes one proud to be Pinoy these days. It even makes us wonder and dream of the possibilities – could we as a nation become one of these superpowers some day? Well at least Trump thinks we’ve got “location, location, location!”, the three rules in starting a brick-and-mortar business.
A move to a more convenient life is most evident in his feverish push to erect much needed infrastructure (build, build, build campaign) across the country. We are finally seeing the fulfillment of our dream of having a train line (Japan-sponsored subway) connecting the main international gateway (hopefully to be renamed back to MIA) to the city center. Visitors will begin to respect Metro Manila as a functional city at par with those of the rest of our tiger neighbors.
Having tasted the international limelight and favor with Duterte’s brand of tough leadership and strategic diplomacy as well as seeing hard-earned taxes go into tangible empirically verifiable highways, bridges and rail tracks, Filipinos sense that change has indeed come. It now becomes increasingly difficult to see how any of the Yellows can even hope to get reelected in the next round of elections. We still get reminders of BS Aquino’s incompetence as he makes “palusot” and does finger-pointing over his gross mishandling of the Mamasapano debacle. Will anyone in his/her right mind still vote for the likes of Yellow-feathered Bam Aquino, Sonny Trillanes, and Riza Hontiveros?
Anyone who has finally tasted living in a luxurious princely estate will by no means entertain the idea of ever going back to living in the slums as a pauper surviving on pagpag. With every point gained by Duterte in his fight to give the best living conditions for his people, the more Filipinos get revolted by the thought of being led by another incompetent Aquino or shameless Liberal Party politician again.
Recall Ninoy Aquino’s jab at the infrastructure that Marcos built: “makakain ba ng mga tao ang mga infrastructure na yan?” It’s a shame someone with that kind of mentality devoid of common sense is erected a statue and venerated as a hero.
If anyone in Congress moved to have the EDSA shrine demolished and replaced by a more worthy emblem of heroism such as one honoring the fallen SAF44 who were abandoned and left to be massacred by Mr. “stand down” BS Aquino, I bet hardly anyone will oppose.
Finally President Duterte has dispelled all fears of Martial Law, the erstwhile bogeyman the Yellows loved to dangle in their “Never Again” scare tactics just to keep their Yellow tale alive. They can no longer draw a huge crowd for an anti-ML rally, given the fact that our soldiers and policemen empowered by ML liberated Marawi to protect our people rather than commit the abuses and atrocities the Yellows always feared would happen. In agreement with Enrique Razon‘s keen observation on dictatorships, Filipinos now realize than iron-fisted leadership brings results – and fast.
Having someone with common sense at the helm will definitely help turn the tide in the war against incompetence and corruption which were allowed to flourish and plague us these past 30 years of Yellow rule. Eventually, it is good ol’ common sense which will usher in the respect and comfortable life we have longed for. Common sense and integrity (rather than noisy self-entitled demands for respect and rights) will trickle down from the top to the lowliest citizen of the country – that’s how dysfunctional cultures get changed.
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