Thursday, March 24, 2016

Filipino Voters: Duterte and his Quixotic quest to rid crime off RP in six months

Thousands of Filipino voters are shifting and considering Rody Duterte as their candidate because of his promise to rid the Philippines of crime within 3 to six months. This is a very nice promise.

My questions are:

1. Duterte does not provide any strategy on how to curb or eliminate criminality except his prescription of "death to the criminals." My question is---who are those criminals? Where would Duterte base his intelligence to identify exactly who these crime lords are? We all know that our justice system is itself flawed. Where will he base his intelligence? Is he suggesting the "bayong justice system", similar to those days under the Japanese when Pinoys fingerpoint others, just on mere heresay?

Without any standard, the chances of killing an innocent person are high.

1.1. We are all attracted by his proposal. Duterte's camp are livid because more and more people are going to their camp, attracted by his quick fix suggestion. My question is---with this quick fix, will we also see the rise of human rights violations? Likewise, Duterte probably does not know it, but he is actually building and encouraging the creation of a very dangerous force--the force of the mob---just to get rid of a problem which is essentially the dark effects of a very dystropic system.

For Duterte to get rid of crime lords, he must first rectify the very system that breeds criminality.

2. Duterte vows to get rid of crime lords and even political enemies of the state at the first six months of his term. My fear is---Duterte is like Pandora, opening a chest full of malevolent forces which are capable of committing despicable things. If Duterte does this, he will unleash hell that would impact greatly on our economy. Of course, these vice lords are not your usual street thugs. They are sophisticated. They are rich. They are influential. They could cause instability and destabilize our economy so much that this will surely impact on the quality of life of every Filipino family. Think about it.

As what History has often told us---violence begets violence. And when one sparks a fire, it always lead to a conflagration.

2.1. If Duterte fails, would he do a Santiago--meaning, stay on and tell us that he was only bluffing when he vowed to get rid of crime within six months. With this, we will only blame ourselves for electing him and will suffer with him for the next six years.

Yes, getting rid of crime for six months is a very enchanting and a very sweet proposition, so sweet indeed that it probably would cause us all to get political diabetes.

3. Duterte says the solution to crime is leadership. I am not questioning his leadership, but leadership begins at home. Did he even exerted leadership to his domestic affairs? Then, why did he separated from his first wife--the very first person who questioned him?

4. I fear that we are creating a somewhat "cult personality" around Duterte which could prove to be disastrous for us in the end. Yes, we are afraid of the spread of drug addiction. Yes, we are sick and tired of criminality and yes, enough with mismanagement and service mediocracy.

We often try to provide only two options to our problems and most often than not, due to our impatience and our desire to get ourselves out of the rut, we often choose the extreme--and Duterte represents the extreme option--as we think he is.

It is alright to choose the extreme provided that that choice would not lead us further to perdition. It is alright if that choice provides us with a clear-cut way out of the rut such as an ideology which guides us towards a clear direction.

With Duterte, we are provided with a mob solution---clear the pathways towards progress by executing criminals and grafters. How? By eliminating them. Who are "them" ? Where do we find "them"? How do we do the "elimination"? BY the courts or by our hands? Who gave us the right to punish and to reward?

Duterte often pepper his speech sorties with an exhortation for a revolution. The question pertinent to this is--what is this revolution? Is this the version which the progressive middle forces try to sell us for a very long time? What is the basis of this revolution?

These are questions which Duterte and his camp should provide us the answers--otherwise, we will again be beguiled by a sweet talker who projects himself as a toughie because he already allegedly killed someone or a group of toughies in the area.

Are we voting for Duterte as mayor or as President? Are we voting Duterte as barangay captain or as a Chief Executive? The thing Duterte is selling us is a skill most often by a soldier, a cop or a general, never a President.

A President is supposed to provide a sophisticated solution to our myriad of problems. Quick fixes often bring societies like us to the depths of more despair and more problems. History taught us to spot those who lured people to quick fixes and eventually led them to the abyss. And there are so many.

Hitler rose at a time similar to ours. Looked at how he led the Germans to their deaths. Pol Pot was another lesson. Marcos is another one, who, unfortunately Duterte looks up to as his idol.

Had Duterte promised to lead the process of revolutionary change, and not project himself only as an amateur rabble rouser, I might probably be convinced to vote for him.

Had I stayed as a wide-eyed optimist and idealist, without a 5-year experience confronting grafters and vice lords and syndicate members and looking straight in their criminal eyes, I might probably join the shouting mob, and shout "Duterte for president."

Unfortunately, my eyes are now opened wide, wide enough to spot a fraud when I see one. Me and my group, we already made a big mistake supporting someone who promised change but had no courage to replace those close to him that made the change difficult.