In the time of COVID-19 pandemic, Duterte actually knows how to talk to his people

Ironic that Inquirer columnist Vincen Gregory Yu (was his name mis-spelt or is that really his name?), in his quaint expression of Singapore envy today, would issue the following lament in wistful observation of how well that country’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, briefed his people on how his government was managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic…

How nice to have a government—or even just a head of state—that actually knows how to talk to its people, instead of sending them into alternating states of panic and paranoia.

It’s hard, of course, to disagree with this. In times of crises, clarity and coherence of messaging from people of authority is of the essence. However, it is worth noting how Yu qualifies this observation by describing Lee as “a head of state—that actually knows how to talk to its people”.

Very interesting indeed. If Yu’s intent was to paint Lee in stark contrast to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, he definitely succeeded. But what he had inadvertently highlighted is just how much of a reflection of the Filipino character this brings to the fore. Continuing down this road he takes, Yu goes on to cite Duterte’s conduct when he addressed the nation on the same day.

He was two hours late to the scheduled broadcast, and when he finally appeared, it was to announce—in increments—the provisions of the Metro Manila quarantine. “Announce now, details to follow” was the gist of the whole affair, as if the document he was reading were the most banal and unimportant thing.

Perhaps so.

Thing is, the inescapable reality of the Duterte government is that it remains an overwhelmingly popular one. This means that Duterte is doing something right — right enough to win an election in 2016 and continuing doing that something right to attract a sustained approval of his people three years into his term. And what is one of those things he may be doing right? Wait for it… perhaps he actually knows how to talk to his people.

In his Inquirer article “President Duterte’s style of speaking”, Professor Randy David describes Duterte’s style of addressing his people as one that, “unlike other politicians”, is “easy to understand”.

[Filipinos] rarely need to guess what he’s saying. He speaks his mind out, and offers no excuses for doing so.

He doesn’t appear to care if what he says is morally offensive or contrary to law. People may disagree with what he’s saying or feel uncomfortable with his crude utterances. But, on the whole, they seem to approve of his brutal candor.

David adds, “In this, I believe, lies his power to enchant audiences. Authentic is when he sets aside a speech written for him, and then proceeds to so say what he ‘really’ wants to say.” In that sense, David is saying that Duterte “knows how to talk to his people” in much the same way that Yu asserts Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong does.

Say what you must about what that says about Filipinos but it is what it is. It’s what won Duterte the privilege to serve Filipinos as their President and it is what enables him to sustain his popularity. Duterte is able to connect with Filipinos because he knows how to talk to them.

And what of his being “two hours late to the scheduled broadcast” as Yu points out? That’s an easy one. In that respect Duterte too is being in tune with Filipinos by being on Filipino time. He’s not only speaking in their language, he is also in sync with their operating rhythm. Hardly surprising that Filipinos don’t have an issue with that either.

This is the whole trouble with the way Duterte’s critics seek to undermine his presidency and, they hope, reclaim what they believe is their entitlement to political power in the Philippines. They think by putting him under a spotlight filtered by their chi chi private Catholic schooling that they could present him in a way the Filipino masses would find distasteful. When will they learn that this approach quite simply does not work?

What the Opposition needs to focus on is how to become more popular than Duterte. It’s the only way they can hope to win an election which, last we heard, is the only way to acquire political power under a democracy. This is different from the loser strategy of trying to tear Duterte down before his people — one that resulted in the Opposition’s catastrophic loss in last year’s national elections. The Opposition need only learn this obvious lesson if they are truly serious about seeing their political fortunes change. They need to present themselves and their ideas as better alternatives to Duterte.

print

40 Comments on “In the time of COVID-19 pandemic, Duterte actually knows how to talk to his people”

  1. Maybe that YellowTard idiot, Yu of the Inquirer, can become OFW in Singapore, and enjoy the leadership of the Singapore Prime Minister.

    Every leader, has his/her way of managing crisis. They have their own strength and weaknesses. If you compare one to the other: you would be mistaken…

    It is like comparing the leadership of Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, to the able leadership of the U.S. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt , during the dark days of World War II. Churchill was talking to the British people; Roosevelt was talking to the Americans ; and to the world.

    This corona pandemic is ravaging us, and the economies of countries. It is not time for politics; or to use this corona pandemic as a “political weapon”…

    Instead, let us all unite to defeat the corona virus pandemic….Do your part in the way you can !

    1. Mr. Yu didn’t know what the old proverb says: “When you’re in Rome, do what the Romans do.”

      He didn’t know that Singapore & the Philippines are VERY different to each other. Singapore is a First World country, a very discipline nation with a draconian laws, a very small country with less than 10 million people & a non-Western type of political system while our country is in the opposite.

      So is Mr. Yu dreaming or wishing that our country should be like in Singapore in the height of COVID-19 crisis? Well keep on dreaming, Mr. Yu unless if you want to run for the president of our country in 2022 & if he wants our country to become the next Singapore but that one is not a walk in the park.

    2. @hyden
      “Maybe that YellowTard idiot, Yu of the Inquirer, can become OFW in Singapore, and enjoy the leadership of the Singapore Prime Minister.”

      Ohhhh you mean like that hypocrite benign0??!?! Who lives in AUSTRALIA!?! Yet has the gall to run his mouth about the philippines.

      Really benign0?! This is the most important thing going on with the crisis right now. You obviously don’t kow whats going on in the ground and the growing discontent of the people.

      * How about all the politicians that got VIP treatment and jumped the line for covid testing?!?
      * How about all the PPE stuck at customs desperately needed by philippines medical staff
      * How about Alan Peter Cayetano and his ilk refering to themselves as “front liners”
      * How about Koko pimental endangering everyone’s lives….by having a positive test result and galavanting around. No punishments here.
      * How about the DOH paying barely minimum wage of $500 per day to the front liners, despite getting an emergency budget of $300 billion?

      WHY DON’T YOU SHUT UP BENIGN0. YOURE A PAID FOOL WHO KNOWS NOTHING!

      1. @Darth the YellowTard:

        Do you not know how to read sentences ?

        What I have written are what I have written. do not put your sentences on my blog…

        You are a YellowTard and a nuisance here !

        1. mr belo like a child you’re very expressive and fond of adjectives like “yelowtard,” but how about some facts?

  2. “What the Opposition needs to focus on is how to become more popular than Duterte. It’s the only way they can hope to win an election which, last we heard, is the only way to acquire political power under a democracy. This is different from the loser strategy of trying to tear Duterte down before his people — one that resulted in the Opposition’s catastrophic loss in last year’s national elections. The Opposition need only learn this obvious lesson if they are truly serious about seeing their political fortunes change. They need to present themselves and their ideas as better alternatives to Duterte.”

    No, the real problem with the Opposition is not to become more popular but to become MORE credible. That can only happen when we shift towards a parliamentary system. It’s stupid to admire Singapore but not to see the SYSTEM is that makes a difference. The parliamentary system would be more fitting because it would give any minorities a better voice than the presidential. Not to mention weekly questioning holds both sides accountable – not just one over the other. As said, they can only do that if they’re in a parliamentary system where the threat of impeachment is heavier than that of a presidential system.

    1. a parliamentary system will favor the opposition. let their 87 constitution put them down. and whatever they show goodness to the people nobody will believe them.

      1. “a parliamentary system will favor the opposition. let their 87 constitution put them down. and whatever they show goodness to the people nobody will believe them.”

        Look, the parliamentary system listens to BOTH SIDES of the coin. It will have both the administration and the yellowtards to prove themselves to each other. Weekly question hours will be far more effective than the defective 1987 constitution.

        Gets mo?

    2. DM the YelloTard:

      I did not claim that this website blog is mine. You said it…
      I did not even mind you; and you are minding me.

      You are a nuisance, paid by Aquino, and the oligarchs !

    3. DM the YelloTard:

      I did not claim that this website blog is mine. You said it…
      I did not even mind you; and you are minding me.

      You are a nuisance, paid by Aquino, and the oligarchs !

  3. Yes captain obvious we have known that duterte is simply a populist since 2016. The latest flavor after erap, de casto, fpj and noynoy. At least you are honest to say that he’s incompetent but just able to communiate well to the masa and rage against the “elites”. Some progress here.

    1. There is no word “incompetent” or “incompetence” in benign0’s article above.
      You’re the only one saying it and accusing again of something so obviously not there.
      Show exactly where benign0 admitted Du30 is “incompetent”, then we’ll believe you.

      Until then… you’re just grasping straws again to make it appear what you’ve said is relevant or having substance or sense.

      You’re wasting everybody’s time, troll.

    2. At least you are honest to say that he’s incompetent but just able to communiate well to the masa and rage against the “elites”. Some progress here.

      At least you are honest to say that you’re just making up shit.

      Some progress here.

    3. @greengrin
      benign0 lives in Australia. ANd his lifestyle is supported by CHINA and marcos money. Rather than hope the best for the country , he continuously trolls proper statesmen like Vico Sotto because he is jealous of Vico’s good looks.

      benign0 is a small brown man who lives in a country filled with tall muscular aussie men. He can’t get any hot blonde chicks coz he’s panget and now has to trash the philippines for his own tiny ego.

        1. @benign0 Nah just leave that guy alone. Let him do his whinning & bullying thing on you but if this Mr. Darth M the wise became a COVID-19 patient, then what will he gonna do next? Blame China & President Duterte for getting him a virus?

          Yeah, I’ll pray for him… to go to heaven when he’ll die brought about that virus & so does to Sen. Koko Pimentel & other ignorant, arrogant, dumb & lazy politicians in our country. Those people are NOT belong to our country!

        2. @mrericx:

          And if he insists, the mods gonna ban his IP address, blocking him in the process. That happened before when he rampantly inserts his “China, Marcos, martial law, dictatorship” bullshit in a Glitz and Glamour article.

          It can happen again.

        3. @benign0 the dumb
          Its obvious that all your posts have a pro-marcos and pro-china bias..

      1. Ah ok so he left the country and now presumes to lecture filipinos on how to do the hard work of nation building that he himself abandoned. Thats like leaving your wife and kinds, then texting them some tips on how to improve their situation. Each article still has to be evaluated on its own merit butt least grp fanboys now have the context to his words.

        1. Don’t tell me you’re also saying the same thing about Weng Orejana, a former ABS-CBN reporter and now residing in New Zealand along with her family. Your point?

        2. The difference is she’s not pontificating about how to build a country she could have actually helped build and instead abandoned.

        3. The difference is she’s not pontificating about how to build a country she could have actually helped build and instead abandoned.

          She migrated to New Zealand years after ABS-CBN fired her. You’re grasping on straws.

        4. @greengrin
          Worse than that. benign0 is a special kind of turd. He spits out venom about the supposed character failings of filipinos yet he himself shows those very same flaws.

          He promotes dictatorship and the violation of human rights. While living in Australia, a free and democratic society.

          It’s like the equivalent of leaving your wife and kids yet still waking up every morning to poop on their front door. That’s the type of a–hole benign0 is.

      2. Darth,

        Unfounded accusations like yours are not really that impressive either. If you can go around saying benign0 is supported by China and Marcos money, then any of us can go around and say that you are just another Western liberal propagandist tool; the difference is that you are being one for free.

        Tit for tat. What do you think?

        1. More like a conspiracy theory or a shitpost. Or both.

          Yet he’s not mad about Aquino money, which is far worse than a Mexican drug cartel. Most of the Marcos’ assets are currently frozen. So why there is Marcos money when there is actually none?

        2. @Amir
          I’m just gonna go the typical benign0 response of I’m not a journalist. I’m a chi-chi blogger. It’s my comment, why don’t you write a comment?

          benign0: Says something questionable
          Darth M the wise: hey what’s your source for that? Wanna back it up?
          benign0: Nope , no source. It just is.
          Darth M the wise: What?! How can you have no source? Shouldn’t you check something before promoting it online in a public forum?
          benign0: Nope, not really.
          Darth M the wise: That’s really irresponsible and against journalism ethics
          benign0: I’m not a journalist. I’m a chi-chi blogger. It’s my blog, I do what I want!
          Darth M the wise: If you can’t cite your source or facts, then its probably fake news
          benign0: Waaaaah Waaaaaah. I’m oppressed. FB and Maria Ressa are oppressing me because they want me to follow some basic standards!

        3. That’s the easy space you’d go to of course without actually contributing anything new in the way of counterarguments to actual points raised here.

          You really need to overcome this baffling obsession with speculating on circumstances beyond the reach of your ability to collect factual evidence and, instead, focus on the ideas raised.

          After all,

          Small minds discuss people;
          Mediocre minds discuss events; and,
          Great minds discuss ideas.

  4. Competence is nothing if you don’t know how to communicate it.
    Incompetence can be hidden behind fluff.
    But incompetence without knowing how to communicate – that’s a REAL problem.

      1. DRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

        DRUGS!!!! …… DRUGGGS!!!!!!!!!! DRUGS! DRUGS DRUGS!
        +
        Martial Law.

        I’ve summed it up. Honestly the fact that benign0 is so impressed just shows how tiny his brain is.

        No real discussion about policy or governing laws. benign0’s blog is a FAIL as its super shallow. Just another chi-chi blogger who sold his soul to CHINA

        1. More like you’re having the tiniest brain here with your Sinophobia and anti-Marcos nonsense, which is ultra shallow. Worse is your “opinion is fact and fact is opinion” thinking just like a five year old kid.

          We can go around and just call you another Western liberal propagandist tool. Or a leftist cuck.

          Just another chi-chi blogger who sold his soul to CHINA

          You’re Sinophobic so much that the last thing you wanted to happen is occupying Binondo and incite mass violence and riots against the Chinese and Chinoys. Just like what happened in Indonesia in May 1998.

          BTW, you already sold your soul to the devil. Oh wait, leftists and commies never believe in God, right?

        2. I’m going to applaud you if you go out there and mass murder some Chinese people in order to prove your point.

          Because you hated a country so much that you stopped being human and turn into a monster.

          Hope you’re proud of yourself.

        3. Blogs like this where you could criticize the government are illegal in china. #checkmate

          Same goes to Singapore. Unless you wanted to become the next Amos Yee.

  5. I don’t know about “being in tune with Filipino time”. Or is it the audience who keep missing the target? As long as the message has sincerity and relevance, people will be receptive.

  6. @L’Imperatore
    You’re Sinophobic so much that the last thing you wanted to happen is occupying Binondo and incite mass violence and riots against the Chinese and Chinoys. Just like what happened in Indonesia in May 1998.

    – Yes, that’s the last thing I want to happen. (i.e. I don’t want that to happen, Chinoys are filipinos too). Honestly you should practice your english some more because you can’t even articulate your thoughts properly. Its probably for the best as your thinking is turd-filled and low iq.

    China and the CCP have stolen Philippine territory, committed countless human rights abuses (uyghur, Tienanmen square etc) and lied about the current pandemic.
    CHINA LIED AND PEOPLE DIED!

    You and benign0 are just a bunch of idiots, hypocrites and turd sandwiches who are easily bought and sold with commie money. You get a bunch of other brainless sheep joining you, and now you have the “GRP community” just circle jerking each other ad nauseam

  7. By the Professor Randy David you cited in proving the president’s ability to enchant his audiences, what say you about his more recent article “Grounds for compliance during a pandemic”, where he mentions “President Duterte was repeatedly put on center stage to brief the nation. It was a disaster. He clearly did not know what he was talking about, and, worse, he mocked the importance of understanding the nature of the public health crisis that loomed before us.”

    Enchanting as he may be, everything must eventually reach its limit.

  8. It is a remarkable thing that for all his followers’ talk of discipline, Duterte is the least disciplined political leader in Philippine history.

    He begins his press conferences whenever he damn well pleases, often hours after the announced time. He meanders in a self-indulgent fashion; the murky stream of his thuggish consciousness flows like sludge from one ‘putang ina’ to another ‘gago.’

    It is a commonplace of political hyperbole to assert that masses of the population are confronting possible starvation, but today that is the literal truth. Relief goods have not been distributed. Those Filipinos desperate enough to leave the squalor of their cramped quarters to find food, confront not merely the danger of a global pandemic but the armed might of the state. As if this was not enough, they are showered with the acid contempt of middleclass facebook warriors, whose grasp on reality and on grammar are equally tenuous.

    It is in this context that the President delivered his most recent speech. He fidgeted with a black and a blue pen and fumbled with a binder of notes. His most lucid moments were when he repeatedly denounced the opposition political figure, Chel Diokno, for his buckteeth. He kept returning to this, with the self-satisfied certainty that he had landed a serious political blow. Nothing could better evince Duterte’s cretinous outlook than his schoolyard bully savoring of this insipidity before an entire nation on the brink of catastrophe.

    There is a danger, however, in assuming that there was no real content to his speech. There was and it is deadly. Those who denounce Duterte exclusively for his incompetence are missing the dictatorial threat beneath the surface of his vulgarities.

    Duterte last night *publicly invited a military junta to take over the country,* announcing before the nation that if the heads of the military told him to step down, he would. We’re not talking about constitutional succession here, but military rule.

    Duterte is a shrewd man and he knows that he confronts an explosive situation in the country. If the military brass tell him that they believe that he can no longer adequately rule, he will facilitate the installation of a junta.

    Duterte has already dragged the nation far down the road of authoritarianism — arrests without warrant, military checkpoints. This is how democracy dies, it is not a joking matter.

    Military dictatorship does not provide better access to relief goods or treatment or testing or improved housing conditions — but it does effectively suppress dissent. Duterte is preparing to drown any uprising in blood.

  9. I agree with what you are saying benign0, but I’m a person who likes to focus on the here and now. Perhaps as the opposition gains more influence over time, we can all do so much more, but right now, I would simply want to focus on what I can practically do to help others with COVID-19 as an individual Filipino citizen.

    So here is just some advice from international health organizations like the CDC or WHO to prevent the spread of the virus for anyone reading this :

    1. Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds.
    2. Eat as healthy as possible to strengthen your immune system. Know your vitamins and nutrients, then take care of your diet with that.
    3. Exercise at home. There are many options online to do with “home exercise” articles online, or the various exercises you can follow on video on Youtube for clarity.
    4. Stress can compromise the immune system, as too much adrenaline is bad for it. Search for “relaxation techniques.” Practicing things like focusing on taking a deep breath from the belly slowly for about 10 minutes can not only help you calm down, but allow you to think more logically to form a solution to any of your problems.
    5. Share this advice to as many people you know. It can make a huge difference. Feel free to also look for some options of charities in the Philippines to give to if you can afford too. The news spreading about the lack of medical supplies for COVID-19 doctors and nurses is troubling, and any danger to them could potentially be a danger for all of us. So please offer money or other supplies if you can. Thank you.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope the best for the Philippines.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.