Gone are the days when voters lapped up motherhood statements and ayuda or suntok sa buwan promises to sooth their longing for a respite from the painful reality of living in the Philippines. The landslide victory of Duterte in 2016 was a resounding stamp of approval by the general populace for a change from the way liberal freedom-addicted politicians have been managing the country.
Filipinos now want a strong-handed enforcer to straighten up the system and bring people in line. We saw how lame-duck presidencies led the country down the road of chaos and suffering: like the mess that ensued during Cory’s coup d’etat riddled stint in Malacanang coupled with our literally entering the dark ages (those debilitating power outages), and the shame that came with PNoy taking on the title of worst president the Philippines ever had (with his long infamous list of goof-ups starting from the Luneta hostage crisis down to the SAF44 massacre).
Majority of Filipinos want the same Duterte-type brand of rule in the country this coming 2022, no matter how much the West and the Nobel Peace Prize committee want to portray any tinge of authoritarianism in the country as “evil”. The fathers of past generations have led their families as “authoritarians”. What they said became the rule of law, and that ensured order, stability, unity, and progress in the home.
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In fact most functional institutions and organizations are dictatorial by nature. Take a basketball team for example: you cannot question the coach if he decided to use a certain play as a last-2-minute strategy. In a given company like Toyota or Sony, workers are not asked if they prefer Marketing VP Mr. Nakamura to take the reins of the company instead Design Chief Mr. Marumi.
Now let’s take a look at the iron-fisted contenders for this coming 2022 presidential elections:
- Manny Pacquiao – The boxer with iron fists in the ring, offering to bring those same “fists” in leading the country. His selling point is on being tough on the corrupt.
- Isko Moreno – The mayor who takes pride in cleaning up Manila and bringing order to the city’s stubborn chaos.
- Rolando ‘Bato’ de la Rosa – Duterte’s hard-rock right-hand man in executing his war on drugs; one we can expect to continue the drive against drugs and criminality.
- Ping Lacson – The former police chief known for his tough stance on graft and corruption, and living out his convictions by not accepting PDAF/Pork Barrel.
- Bongbong Marcos – The man who is equated to “authoritarian rule” by the Yellows and Reds just for bearing his father’s surname.
But beyond the iron fists and strong leadership qualities that each can bring, the additional quality that Duterte brought to the table was his visionary leadership: he sold Filipinos his dream of the country’s youth free from drugs and a new political system based on Federalism. We should elect our next leader not just for being tough and strong but also for his forward-looking agenda. Ask yourself if who you plan to vote for has a plan. Does he have a destination for the country? Does he have a clear strategy for getting us from point A to B?
We are a unique democracy because everyone wants a hand in choosing the best authoritarian-leaning leader who can get us to our destination, and in the most efficient way. Many Filipinos believe a tinge of strict autocratic rule is good for the nation’s soul. Many think that what will work best for us now as a laggard in Asia is a benevolent dictator – someone who calls the shot like a big boss, rather than a weakling pulled by the strings of a puppeteer.
Let us believe in our vision for a Singapore-class C.O.D. (clean, orderly, disciplined) Philippines. Our experiment with too much freedom has left us in the dust amidst our high-flying East Asian neighbors. Let’s choose the man who has the best plan and has the strongest pollical will for getting us there. But if you don’t have a clear concept of our country’s 10-year or 50-year goals, how can we identify the man who best fits the bill in leading us? If we just want an “anything goes” country, then it won’t really matter who leads us as long as we are entertained. As the saying by Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland) goes…
If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.
Zealous revolutionary advocate of bringing back common sense for the common good in a land of dysfunctional and delusional zombies.