Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s entry in the 2016 presidential race has not only increased the number of aspirants but has also made the race interesting because immediately after his declaration he became the darling of most Filipinos, even dislodging erstwhile front runner Sen. Grace Poe in the latest surveys.
Whether Duterte can sustain his lead as the people’s preferred presidential candidate or not remains to be seen as many are also coming out turned off with the feisty mayor’s seemingly uncouth manners, his foul mouth, which included cursing Pope Francis, his disregard for human rights, his being a womanizer, his links to death squads, and other negativism making him appear not fit to be the president that we should be having for the country.
Despite the true, but certainly destructive remarks of Duterte’s persona as a presidential candidate, the result of the latest poll surveys indicate that Filipinos belonging to the different sectors of society still consider him as the best bet to succeed President Aquino in efficiently and effectively moving the country forward towards development.
So what does Duterte has that seems to endear him to most Filipinos now?
It is simply this: Duterte stands head and shoulders over the rest vying for the presidency as the man and the candidate carrying brightly the torch of hope and aspirations of most Filipinos for a peaceful, stable and progressive Philippines.
For some time in the late sixties I was out of the country and could have stayed abroad for good, but decided to come back believing that our brilliant politicians then could pave the way for a progressive Philippines.
Over four decades have passed and I had been seeing only the bad and the ugly for the country, worsened even by the martial law years.
I saw the devastation and destruction of Vietnam caused by war, but look where Vietnam is now and where the Philippines is, even after the dictator was booted out of the country and successions of presidents have taken over – until today?
Perhaps it is high time that Filipinos try the rude, clownish, barbaric and unorthodox style of governance by Duterte.
Whether Duterte will seriously push for a federalist form of government or will opt to continue with the presidential form of government, the fact is that he is about the only presidential candidate who has the guts, the spine and the willpower to promise the people everywhere he goes that he will stop criminality, stop corruption, and fix government!
The world has seen how Duterte has transformed Davao City into the safest, most livable city in the country. Many can attest to this. He may not have done it overnight, but just the same he has been reaping accolades for how ideal place the city has become.
It may take a while for the whole country to be transformed into a peaceful, stable, corrupt-free and progressive, but after years of seemingly competent, suave and conventional presidents we had had that ended up in failures, perhaps the uncouth manners and unorthodox style of leadership by Duterte is what the country needs in the long haul.