Toughie. That's how the people look at Mayor Rudy Duterte of Davao City. Duterte is credited of so many things, including the dreaded Davao death squad which is responsible for a string of deaths and assassinations of known hard-core criminals. Many "like" Duterte whose iron-fist policy has greatly allowed Davao to bounce back from its twin disasters.
Duterte, like former PNP chief Panfilo Lacson, is perceived by many as credible leaders with a lion's share of political will. That they did so during a time of extreme violence and of uncertainty. Their actions were greatly approved by the people because of the impact it caused.
SURVEYS UPON SURVEYS point to one driver of voter's choice--the popular perception of the People needing a disciplinarian as President. Several surveys point to Hence, the appearance of Duterte and former PNP chief Panfilo Lacson.
Question--is the interpretation of such survey data accurate? Is the people asking for a President who will "discipline" them? No. The interpretation is wrong.
And this comes from the misinterpretation of the Tagalog terms "kaayusan".
Many surveys I've read show that most Filipino voters would vote for someone who will be able to bring back peace ("kapayapaan") and order (loosely translated as "Kaayusan").
When we read these terms, immediately comes to mind, someone who would carry a big stick and punishes everyone who commits a wrong.
When a Filipino says "kaayusan", he means " putting things in its proper order." We Filipinos have our ingrained sense of order within us.
And when we mean we need a leader who will promote "kaayusan", we meant somebody who will right the wrongs and put every single thing in its place.
We don't need another dictator to tell us what to do. Sometimes, these leaders who masquerade as "toughies" tend to be "softies", when faced with problems involving their friends.
Duterte is no different. Fact is, those who really know what's happening in Davao, Duterte's cult following among the middle classes is abandoning him, yep, mainly because they already discovered how dirty he is, really.
I salute his daughter for being a true toughie, but I just don't know why I really don't believe that her father is like that.
Besides, the BIG QUESTION is--WILL DUTERTE STAND UP AGAINST THE OTHER TOUGHIES HERE IN THE PHILIPPINES, ESPECIALLY THOSE ONES WHO ARE RICH AND POWERFUL? HOW WILL HE FARE AGAINST BIG OLIGARCHS? OR HOW ABOUT THOSE JUETENG LORDS AND DRUG LORDS?
By the way, it is not true that Davao is DRUG-FREE. This city is one amongst many with a serious problem of drug addiction.