Thursday, April 6, 2017

Duterte should amuse us with a New Story

For some analyst, this administration has reached a dangerous precipice. As reflected in the Pulse Asia survey, President Duterte's satisfaction ratings fell 7-8 points, and worse, the decrease in ratings occurred from the ranks of the "walking class"---those from the CD socio-economic segment of the population.

For a populist leader, this is rather a "wake-up call". First, this is an indication that the President's base of support is starting to crumble. And mind you, even if this is just a slight decrease in ratings, remember that this administration is barely a year old. In previous administrations, the fall on ratings begin slowly way past a year and continues steadily as the year progresses.

Under the Duterte administration, the decrease happened barely a year and this phenomenon is actually a first in the history of the Presidency. The fact is, even under the administration of former president Joseph Estrada, the ratings fall did not happen overnight. It began a year and several months and steadily went South during the last months of the Estrada presidency. Remember also that  Mr. Estrada exited the presidency with a 40-47% approval ratings, still higher than what his successor, former president Gloria Arroyo got during her term.

Honestly, I am quite sad considering that Mr. Duterte began his administration on a high note. His supporters always try to remind us of his 16 million mandate, his heart for the poor, his tough stance against criminality and drugs and his "clean record" as a public official.

When asked what propelled him to the presidency, Mr. Duterte said that he was fortunate to share the right message at the right time and heard by most Filipinos.

Now, as predicted in this space, Mr. Duterte is slowly, slowly being pierced by his own sword. His usual spiel is beginning to tire the ears of his listeners and unfortunately, no new story is coming out from his mouth.

Look--every single time he opens his mouth, Mr. Duterte punctuates it with toxic verbal venom, as if he always want to pick up fights from his perceived enemies. We have now a man occupying the highest seat of the land who is now known as a person capable of spewing unprintable words that inspire lawlessness, crude behavior and disbelief in God.

I agree with Messieurs Trillanes and Gordon and even Senator Ping Lacson that what ails this administration is the propensity of the Leader to get himself in trouble due to his verbal assaults against his perceived political enemies, his crassness and his hard headedness.

I really don't blame Mr. Duterte for acting this way because he really believes in that silly thought that this Republic is just like his beloved city, Davao. Our President should realize that, being a President is different from being a mayor. Mr. Duterte should heed the advice of Senator Lacson--become a statesman. He is not just a president--he is expected to be a beacon of inspiration for our Youth, just like how my generation regard the former president Ferdie Marcos until, of course, we discovered his indiscretions, especially his penchant for using taxpayers money to satiate the thirst of his first lady for expensive shoes.

Deep within me, I want Duterte to succeed. Like my other compatriots in the change business, I want peace. I want things to cool down a little bit so that the economy recovers and more people enjoy the gains of a robust economy.

Mr. Duterte is a man of conviction and is well-meaning.

As things stand right now, the economy is slowly deteriorating. There are news saying that electricity, gas, and water rates are expected to rise. As things stand, prices of commodities are spiralling out of control and people are really hard pressed living every single day.

There is even this silly question of allowing businessmen to dictate the prices of their products and services. What is the DTI for?

There are so many issues, and questions bedevilling our society today.

Instead of using his trolls to neutralize so called "destabilizers" or those well-meaning people who express their disatisfaction of government, why not take these all in as constructive criticisms and from there, consult your Cabinet and get suggestions on how these things would be addressed instead of just going around town, doing propaganda work against perceived enemies of the state.

We are all in for the long haul. We are all in this together. I don't know about Mr. Duterte and his avid fans, but, I believe that our country is just one.

If Mr. Duterte wants a successful term, he must work for the interests of THE PEOPLE instead of only HIS PEOPLE. Selectiveness should be thrown out of the window, right now.