Duterte is TIME magazine’s most influential person

 

TIME magazine may have been one of the early international publications that criticized President Rodrigo Duterte’s relentless and bloody war on illegal drugs, with a cover article in September titled “Night Falls on the Philippines”, yet the same prestigious magazine will soon be ranking Duterte as its top most influential person for 2017.

Why is this?

Well, TIME has made it clear that its entrants for the annual 100 most influential people selection are recognized for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions. Note that the official TIME 100 lists are chosen by the magazine’s editors.

For one who also landed on the Most Powerful People list of Forbes magazine, Duterte is sure making waves here and abroad.

It simply marks the man’s departure from the conventional style of leadership that Filipinos have been used to – both in words and deeds.

Duterte’s colorful language, his no-nonsense style of governance, his down-to-earth personality and his out-of-the-box thinking and assessment of things, not to mention his fearless show of political will no matter who gets affected for as long as it benefits the country and the greater number of people, is what has endeared him to Filipinos.

Giving Duterte an overwhelming victory during the election was a gamble that made many Filipinos winners, too.

The country has been always plagued with corrupt officials and people thought that this was the single critical reason why we never prosper as a nation.

Until Duterte came along as a candidate promising not only stamping out corruption in government but also waging war against illegal drugs and criminality did we realized how distinctive he was compared to the other presidential candidates.

People trusted Duterte’s persona to deliver his promises and never before have the people been so hopeful of the future. As he was able to make Davao City a livable place for its peace and stability, fingers were crossed that he could do the same to the whole archipelago.

And it looks like things are going the way Duterte has charted the course of the nation’s journey towards growth and respectability.

Duterte’s controversial anti-drug campaign, which according to reports has killed more than 8,000 people already, has caught the attention of international rights groups and foreign governments over alleged human rights violations and extra-judicial killings, but this has not stop him from forging ahead if only to show the whole world how critical and wide-spread the drug menace in the country is, infiltrating even the police, local government officials and the judiciary, among others.

Equally controversial is his show of belligerence towards the US and the EU for meddling in the affairs of a sovereign country and his shift of friendly relations towards China and Russia.

The Philippines may have won the contentious territorial dispute in the South China Sea as decided by the United Nation (UN) Arbitral, stating that China’s “nine-dash line” is invalid, but Duterte is not minding this at all, to the consternation of those lauding the decision, for the reality is that nobody, and nobody, can forcibly drive away/remove China from their formidable man-made islands turned military bases in the area.

While Duterte’s temperament and antics may displease, antagonize and enrage others, to him it really does not matter for he is just being pragmatic and having the interest of the nation and the welfare of his people foremost in his agenda of governance.

Duterte has not completed even a year yet in his presidency, but the things he has done for the country and the Filipino people is something atypical worthy of being chosen TIME magazine’s most influential person.

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Duterte’s soaring influence in the world

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

One has to be a Filipino to understand fully what President Rodrigo Duterte stands for as a leader of this country in this day and age.

We have seen presidents come and go in the past but there never has been one who caught the fancy of the Filipinos for the transformation he did to once lawless Davao City as mayor into a safe and livable place so that when the opportunity arose that he was being considered a presidential timber, the majority of the people simply embraced him warts and all and the rest is history.

The popularity of Duterte among Filipinos is not about who he is, but rather about what he has to offer as a leader – not beholden to anybody but the Filipino people.

It is therefore Duterte’s unorthodox and unconventional style of leadership which exudes political will that has endeared him to the people and has influenced many to rally behind him despite criticisms aired against him here and abroad for his bloody war against illegal drugs.

Past presidents also had their share of fighting illegal drugs, corruption and criminality but it simply lacked the conviction and the resolve to do it relentlessly because of political self-preservation.

Needless to say that while the past presidents were more concern about their own political future, Duterte on the other hand has made his war on illegal drugs, corruption and criminality the linchpin of his administration to help sustain the development of the country and ensure better life for the Filipinos.

Duterte’s out-of-the-box leadership is making such a positive impact to the Filipinos that the hope for a better and brighter future has never been this high and promising as it is now.

Unfortunately articles are being published and videos are being shown that are critical of Duterte’s administration and this does not surely sit well with the people.

Check this link and see if it is doing justice to the country:

http://nyti.ms/2nYjDfO

Like I said at the onset, one has to be a Filipino and has to live in the country to appreciate what the Duterte government is doing. To write and show a video of something that the authors themselves have not seen, fact checked or experience history is simply doing an injustice to most Filipinos that are aspiring for a better place and life to live.

That Duterte has been considered an influential person in the world today is definitely an honor.

Much ado about Duterte’s criminal past

 

President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte

Why are we making a big fuss now about President Rodrigo Duterte’s criminal past?

Just because Duterte confessed his crime-busting days, while still the mayor in Davao City, at the gathering of business executives at the Wallace Business Forum in Manila, saying, he just wanted to show to his policemen that if he can kill criminals that they, too, could do it, would it be reason enough for us to change our opinion of him?

Why, what is the difference between the Duterte today and the Duterte before, who as Davao City mayor had already been investigated for human rights violation by the Human Rights Commission and the Department of Justice, both coincidentally led by now Sen. Leila de Lima?

And what has de Lima proven? Nothing!

Yet Duterte never denied having killed criminals.

Even the illiterate self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad Edgar Matobato alleged before senators during the hearing on extra-judicial killings that Duterte had ordered and participated in summary killings.

So why raise a furor about it now?

Just because de Lima has been harping abroad before international audience that Duterte’s action “is betrayal of public trust and that constitutes high crimes because mass murders certainly fall into the category of high crimes. And high crimes is a ground for impeachment under the constitution”, must we allow this hysteria to bother us?

Impeachment? De Lima must be dreaming!

What we know certainly is that de Lima has her own agenda against her most ardent nemesis, Duterte, and is simply inciting human rights organizations, like the Amnesty International, to create uproar in the country.

“By boasting about the blood on his own hands, President Duterte will further embolden police and vigilantes to blatantly violate laws and carry out more extrajudicial executions without fear of being held to account,” said Rafendi Djamin, Amnesty’s director for South East Asia and the Pacific.

Only a misinformed and an ignorant person could come out with such a statement on Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

De Lima obsessed for revenge against Duterte

 

Sen. Leila de Lima and President Rodrigo Duterte

Sen. Leila de Lima and President Rodrigo Duterte

For one who thinks highly of herself being a lawyer, a former chair of the Commission on Human Rights, a former Justice Secretary and now a senator, Leila de Lima is talking, acting and proceeding attendant to the criminal charges filed against her as if she has what it takes to absolve herself from it.

But, does she have really by showing her defiant and fighting mood or is she just being pictured now as grasping at straws?

After the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), former NBI deputy directors Raul Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda, and high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian each filed their complaints against de Lima allegedly conspiring to perpetuate the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and receiving her share of payola from the same, now comes the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), no less, accusing de Lima also for bribery and proliferation of illegal drugs in the NBP.

The NBI specifically charged de Lima for violating Sections 5 and 26 (b) of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act in relation to qualified bribery under the Revised Penal Code, Section 27 of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Presidential Decree 46 and Section 7 (d) of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees.

These violations pertain to qualified bribery; sale and distribution of illegal drugs, conspiracy to do so and the failure of a public official to account for seized illegal drugs and paraphernalia; giving unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of a public official’s function; solicitation or acceptance of gifts or benefits as public officials.

Obviously de Lima labeled all these as trumped-up charges, which she strongly blames President Rodrigo Duterte for, as the latter wants to silence her, she being the most vocal critic of the president.

Thus, on de Lima’s part, she is also doing everything to debunk all the allegations hurled at her and looking at ways, based on her knowledge of the law, to put Duterte on the spot, either to humiliate him or silence him, by calling for the UN to investigate the extra-judicial killings allegedly happening in the country in Duterte’s war against drug and pushing for an immediate Senate investigation into the investment projects worth of billions of dollars, including business-to-business and public financing agreements, signed Duterte’s state visit to China last October, among others.

Lately, de Lima sought the Supreme Court’s help through a petition for habeas data to stop Duterte and his men from gathering information on her private life.

De Lima urged the high court to order the destruction of the obtained pieces of personal information.

In her petition, de Lima said the verbal attacks on her womanhood and threats are not covered by presidential immunity from suit.

De Lima said Duterte’s discriminate remarks against her “constitute psychological violence prohibited by Republic Act 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women.” She added that the personal attacks against her also violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

It remains to be seen how far de Lima’s mind will take her, but reality and constitutionally, immunity from suit is accorded a sitting President to ensure that he or she can exercise his duties and functions of running the country’s affairs free from any hindrance or distraction.

As Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said, presidential immunity from lawsuit is already an established doctrine and it is absolute.

What de Lima should be more worried about now is the revelation of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa, before he was killed, that she was also on the take from the dead drug lord’s illegal drug business.

One can’t help wondering what the late drug lord’s son, Kerwin, a much more powerful drug lord in his own right, has to say about de Lima when he is flown back from Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Certainly, grasping at straws de Lima is.

 

De Lima’s gambit against Duterte boomeranged on her

 

Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima

Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima

Senator Leila de Lima thought she had an ace in Edgar Matobato when she had the self-proclaimed assassin and former member of the dreaded Davao Death Squad (DDS) testifying in her former Justice committee investigating the alleged extra-judicial killings in the Duterte administration’s current war on drugs.

De Lima may have successfully restrained her euphoric emotions from being noticed by the public but deep inside her she surely was head over heels at what she was hearing when Matobato directly implicated President Rodrigo Duterte and to some extent his son Paolo, now vice mayor of Davao City, over the gruesome killings said to have been perpetrated by the DDS, most of which were allegedly ordered by former Davao City mayor and now President Duterte.

But it was very obvious, however, that the Senate inquiry, then chaired by de Lima, made an oblique turn by allowing Matobato to narrate his horrid and beastly experiences while a member of the DDS simply with the sinister purpose of putting the President Duterte in bad light.

What was disgusting about the whole proceedings was not that Sen. Antonio Trillanes showed his rotten ass-hole character against Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, but it was the senseless, idiotic and vengeful attitude of de Lima, as chair of the committee, to allow Matobato to proceed with his horrific tale knowing that in the process de Lima was no longer looking for flaws in aid of legislation but rather relishing at the verbal barbs directed personally at Duterte mainly for her self-satisfaction and political realization.

Apparently this gaffe did not pass unnoticed by most senators supporting Duterte and they were all saying that Matobato’s heinous DDS tale was a separate subject not covered by the resolution authorizing the inquiry, which was looking into alleged extra-judicial killings in the current war on drugs.

Thus, the result was that after the Senate next convened, Sen. Cayetano delivered a privilege speech denouncing how the Senate Justice committee had been used, not for an inquiry in aid of legislation but for an apparent “demolition job” on the President.

It was bad enough that Sen. Manny Pacquiao, a lesser star of a senator, removed a much heralded senator in de Lima from the chairmanship of the powerful Justice committee after the former moved to declare the chairmanship and the memberships vacant, but what is even worse is that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre is preparing 12 high-profile inmates/drug lords from New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and other penal colonies to testify against de Lima in a hearing at the House of Representatives, which is scheduled to investigate the proliferation of illegal drugs at  NBP and how money was collected to allegedly bankroll de Lima’s senatorial run.

De Lima should have handled her boomerang intelligently and expertly. Now it is coming back hard at her.