Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Re-Emergence of the Concept of a Caudillo (The Man on Horseback)

Nearly thirty years of liberal democracy and most of us are again, yearning for a strong-man rule. Many of the people I have spoken to, told me that it is but useless to register since Rody Duterte is not running anyway. Duterte, for them, represents the solution to problems--he carries with him the strong man label.

Duterte came from humble beginnings and became a national figure when he single-handedly brought back peace and development to Davao. Decades past, Davao was no man's land. Bandits and criminals roam the streets, killing and victimizing people left and right. Many people had no jobs because businessmen were afraid of setting up shop in the country's biggest city because of lawlessness. People were disrespectful of the law, and they do what they want to do.

Enter Duterte. He impressed the people by his strict policy of enforcement. He forbade smoking and set an example. When people got themselves arrested and according to tales, Duterte even arrested and punished his own relatives, people began noticing him.

When Mayor Duterte gave a series of orders against criminals, especially drug lords, and when some of them were seen floating in the rivers or seen dead at one dark alley, people began to see hope. The wild Davao which was formerly the stomping ground of the criminally insane, was now, fighting back against its former demons.

As soon as peace and order came back, businesses also slowly operated and the local economy began to recover. People are now not afraid of going out of their houses. People began transacting with other people and thus, gave rise to a very active consumer market. Consumer confidence rose and this encouraged businesses to further increase their presence in Davao.

Now, Davao City is no more a dead man's land but a vibrant economy, one of the stellar ones down South.

Actually, to be fair, there are also several other Local Government executives with similar Duterte-like qualities and most of the time, these people succeed in implementing the law to the letter and encouraging people to further support the government and maintain peace and order.

Duterte has no secrets to hide. The only thing which he did was actually implement the law. And by doing so, people loved him. What does this tell us?

1. We don't need a dictator. What we need are men and women of principle, those who will not back down from Bullies especially those with sinister and selfish plans to enrich themselves using public funds. Credit that to the very nature of the system which we are now in, a system that allows the wanton plunder by the few of the funds of the many.

We don't need a dictator---we need a strong government peopled by principled men and women who will truly implement the law without regard for anybody. We need people who will neither flinch nor back out when pressured by Big Business especially those with multi-billion peso projects with the government.

2. We don't need people whose families and friends have interests in government projects. We don't need people whose sole motivation for running for office is wealth protection. What we need are men and women whose sole mission is wealth creation for the many.

3. We don't need one person managing our affairs but a Council peopled with similar minded individuals whose task is simple---maintain and protect the interests of the People as expressed in the Constitution and the laws against those who want to exploit the weaknesses of the system for their personal gain.

For us to achieve this, we need the ascendant generation to focus more on building a party whose members are men and women of principle. We need an ideology that would guide the Party and would provide the direction for this country to take for the next thirty years.

Without a party, there can never be a unified movement strong enough to counter the traditional ones which lord it over our affairs.