Quo Vadis, President Duterte?

Do you ever think before you open your mouth? Do you ever look to your left and to your right before you cross any street? It seems to me that you just blurt out whatever comes to your mind without serious thinking. Your tongue is loose.

It was luck that brought you to the highest office in the Philippines. You were elected president by a vote of plurality, not by the majority of the electorate. You got over 16.6 million votes but votes garnered by other presidential candidates total over 24 million.

I doubt that you would have won if the Philippines had a two-party system. So you better watch out with your plan to have a federal system of government.

Do you ever listen to your advisers? You have some of the best thinkers in the country. One of them is your appointed chief financial officer Mr. Carlos Dominguez III. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree, both obtained from Ateneo de Manila University. On top of those qualifications, he has a PhD from Stanford University plus a host of experience as Chairman and CEO of top corporations in the Philippines.

You have recently been interviewed by Australian television “60 Minutes.”

The telecast also showed Philippine National Police Chief “Bato” de la Rosa whom you have designated judge, jury and executioner of drug pushers, including addicts who resist arrest. Some say that is a wise move because jails in the Philippines cannot accommodate your six-month target of 100,000 drug pushers and addicts. You said that their “bodies would be dumped in Manila Bay to fatten the fish in the ocean.” So far, police officers

have been eager to please you. They are hopeful that your target will be accomplished within the prescribed period. They have in fact killed many among their own ranks, if only to prevent them from re-selling the drugs that have been confiscated.

You have been criticized by human rights groups and the international community for the uncontrolled spate of killings in the Philippines. The only positive thing I can see from that is control of the population that has ballooned to over 100 million. Yes, a hundred million people, most of whom are hungry and living below subsistence level.

The Philippines has many problems. As chief executive of the land, you are faced with the responsibility of solving them. Can you do it within your six-year term? So far, no past president has ever been successful in doing that. The late president Marcos thought he could do it by declaring martial law but in the process, he committed injustice and many abuses against human rights. He and his wife also stole billions from the treasury. We sincerely hope you will not do that.

You made a threat to withdraw from the United Nations.

Have you ever thought of the consequences? It was the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration that decided in favour of the Philippines against China’s greed in the West Philippine Sea. It is because of our membership in the UN that we have as allies the United States, Australia and Japan against China. Are we capable of defending our shores without them?

Think again, Mr. President. You apologized after you said “you should have been first to rape an Australian missionary in Davao.” You studied at Ateneo de Davao High School but moved on to San Beda for your Law degree. Sadly, Wikipedia has reported that you were expelled by Ateneo for misconduct. Was it that easy for you to forget the values taught by the Ateneo Jesuits?

We should perhaps put the blame on fellow journalist Mon Tulfo for pushing you to be a presidential candidate.

You advocate change. Are you capable of changing your seemingly defective ways? Quo Vadis, Mr. President? Where are you going? — DMC

Updated: 2018-03-19 — 02:10:07