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Friday, May 06, 2016

Who's Who?: Rodrigo Duterte

05/05/2016 04:35:42 PM
Philippine Star
Rodrigo Duterte. The rock star of this year's elections full of corporate hipsters (and wannabe hipsters). Some hailed him a messiah. Others berate him for being a punisher. Donned by his supporters the "last hope" for the Philippines; even cited him as the only choice for the desperate thinking Filipinos.

How is that so? With the current situation of this country, it may not be that hard to see why.  

Duterte has been governing Davao City for decades. Barely nine years after practicing law, then-President Corazon Aquino appointed him as an officer-in-charge vice mayor. Two years later, he ran for mayoralty race in the city, eventually won, and handled the post until 1998. From there, he defeated Prospero Nograles to became the representative of Davao City's 1st district until 2001. Since then, he became the city's head executive for another three terms (three years each) before being elected as vice mayor in 2010. For the seventh time, he assumed office of the city mayor in 2013 until his sudden (and way, way late) decision to bid for presidency.

Over the stretch, he turned Davao from being the “murder capital of the Philippines” into what tourism organizations described as the most peaceful city in the region of Southeast Asia. Along the way, he enforced several executive and city council orders at the Philippines' largest city such as the curfew (1AM-8AM), firecracker ban, anti-discrimination, central 911, implementation of closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) on all entry and exit points of each public place situated. The outcome earned him raves from different organizations around the region, including Davao as the peaceful city int eh country, Galing Pook Award for gender-responsive governance, and more; but he turned down to received accolades. 

Also, he came to aid victims of Haiyan (Yolanda) when the country was struck by the mega-typhoon in 2013; and even during the time when other disasters that wrecked Davao.

In contrast to criticism that he kills drug abusers, his administration have built a drug rehabilitation and treatment center which operates 24/7. In addition, he helped drug abusers who approach him and commit to kick the habit by offering a monthly allowance worth Php 2,000.

He also visits communist groups such as the New People's Army to negotiate about peace and diplomacy. Recently, in a series of reports, a lot of hostage personnel were released by rebels are communicating with Duterte. That being said, the mayor and understands knows the language of the poor. He is advocating the concept of federalism should he be elected by 2016.

However, his governance also had its fair share of mess. He was very vocal about his support for killings as part of police implementation of law, though considered constitutional. Allegation of human rights violations is something that groups such as Amnesty International and Commission of Human Rights are strongly condemning. Perhaps that stand is a warning that if ever he will be elected in two months time, it will be “bloody.”

Plus his inconsistency on “declining to run” earned him disappointing reactions on social media, labeling the act as #Dutertezoned in the process. On the other side, it could be called a “mind game” strategy, considering him knowledgeable about the loopholes of laws in the country, and politics being a worldwide battleground for psychological warfare.

Aside from that, he also disclosed his flawed character as a person—being a womanizer for one, and for cursing the head of the Catholic Church as another; something that he later apologized Vatican has responded. He admits his desire over a slayed Australian missionary whom were raped and killed by her hostage-takers.

The issue drew fire from all corners; sparking word wars between his supporters, his bashers, and all personalities in the process. Well, he drew flak on that big-time. Since then, some of his remarks were scrutinized—and sometimes, sensationalized.

And just days before the election day, Sen. Trillanes charged him with plunder over the ghost employees. There were also allegations that he and his family had an ill-gotten wealth, specifically the bank account of Duterte himself whom speculated to contain more than 200 million pesos. Either true or a desperate black propaganda.

The bottom line for this guy: he has his own share of accomplishments and capabilities—and at the same time, a deeply flawed character that involved his foul mouth. A pro-poor, nationalistic, guy that has been praised by many of his "real supporters", and being subject to black ops by bashers. This time around, who among his massive fan base will rally behind him come election day?

Can a Dirty Harry-like Rodrigo Duterte spark the country's much needed change?

That's up for us to decide.

That being said, feel free to input your thoughts about the presidentiables you will be rooting for. But I would appreciate more if you'll refrain from bashing other candidates/supporters/whoever.

Author: slickmaster | (c) 2016 september twenty-eight productions

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