Around this time and until election in 2016 Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte should be more circumspect in his political fulminations against his rivals if he wants to win the presidency.
So much has been said about Duterte’s uncouth manners and the gutter language he is wont to using, but running for the presidency is not about being a toughie to be feared, respected and admired.
I think Duterte has passed that stage already and has proven his mettle in the local scene the way he has transformed Davao City into a safe and livable place as many can attest.
But, running for a national position, which is no less than the presidency of a country, is something else that needs maturity, civility, wisdom and sophistication that could earn even more respect and admiration while still being fearless.
I don’t think this is hard for Duterte to adapt considering that what he is aiming now is to become the head of state, which necessitate a statesman-like attitude and character to deal with other heads of state in the international stage. No less than circumspection is what other world leaders expect from their counterparts.
Vulgarity and ill-mannerism have no place in the international scene.
So as early as now, therefore, Duterte should learn how to distinguish what criticisms need to be clarified and what are those that simply need to be left unanswered, while being judicious in his responses.
Take the case of Duterte’s war of words with Roxas emanating from the latter’s observation that what is said about Davao City as the safest city in the country is a myth.
Piqued, Duterte countered aggressively attacking Roxas’ credentials as an alumnus of Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He even went further with a menacing threat that he would slap Roxas if he could prove that the latter was not a Wharton graduate.
Certainly, the threat was uncalled for as it only showed more than ever the bullying and despotic character of Duterte and the danger the country will be facing if he ever finds himself in the seat of power. Why allow his feelings to be sorely affected when majority of people acknowledges and recognizes the truth about the peace and order in Davao City?
What Duterte has done is give Roxas instead an edge in their rivalry and a much needed boast in Roxas’ candidacy because the latter will do everything possible to come out with all proofs that he is a legitimate Wharton graduate and an outstanding one at that, which in effect will shame Duterte.
Duterte should have remembered that Roxas is not Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. who faked his curriculum vitae to make him appear more learned by claiming that he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics and Economics when in fact he just got a “special diploma in social studies from Oxford University.
Once Roxas comes out with all proofs authenticating his educational attainment, it will hit Duterte with an impact harder than a slap that Roxas promised he would also bestow on Duterte if the truth prevails about his being a Wharton graduate and, surely, this won’t augur well with Duterte’s candidacy.
Alas, people are now beginning to see a chink in Duterte’s armor of political ambition.