Reply for http://joeam.com/2016/03/29/rodrigo-duterte-and-the-appointed-son-of-god/

*Note that this is actually copy-pasted from someone else I'm talking to but edited it a little for this specific reply.

Okay, let me start with the support of Duterte. I guess people are looking to him because they are basically fed up with the years of 'stagnation' with regards to the government? Wala naman daw kasi nagbabago. From Aquino to Aquino, same old story pa rin daw. You may be thinking now na hindi naman kasalanan ng gobyerno kung bakit walang nagbabago. They did their part and ang tao na mismo kasi talaga ang ayaw magbago or some other factors. Pero we've had this discussion before right?*[1] Sino nga ba ang nagkulang? To put things into perspective, what the government is NOT doing is surely making things worse. This passiveness has long been enabling and it has been pretty much one of the roots of all the problems we've had in this country. Though of course, none should really deny the past presidents of what they've done for the country. However, can we really say that what was done had been what we really needed? Do note that a failing system can still improve and develop. However, a failing system is still a failing system and it will really get harder in the long run. I’m sure you'll agree that there are some things in this country that should really change. Things that could’ve been done already way before but still wasn't addressed. But why? What could have been holding them back? As pointed out by some I've talked to, masyadong ma-politika ang bansa natin and you know? That's actually an understatement. From pervasive factionalism, corporate sponsorships, cronyism, manila-centrism, etc., kita mo na kung bakit ganun ang nangyayari. Then there is this thing that you can look at which is the bank secrecy rights. Who had even waived theirs already? Doesn't that say a lot? But still though, even if all candidates are saying this and that, can we really identify sino ang may kaya mag-follow through sa sinasabi nila? Everyone is being oratorical at best kasi eh. But still, at least Duterte has action to back up his willingness. And this comes to another point of his support: Actions. Even it is almost from scratch, he had been personally setting up his plans for his centerpiece even way before the elections. (Touring for federalism since 2014 while also discussing other issues). He also gives himself specific timelines for what he plans to do and he seems to have plan B's if nothing happens. Though yes, yung ibang sinasabi niya malabo talaga, but yet, I’m sure he also knows it and he’s playing his words. Because sabi nga sa politika, dapat manalo ka muna kung gusto may magawa ka sa mga plano mo. But if there is one thing that really struck me, it is in one of his interviews where he said that what he’ll really focus on is nation-building: Education, agriculture, health. But before he can do that, he does have to suppress the other problems interfering with it.*[2]

As for the non-support of Duterte, from what I've gathered, the biggest backlash is still on his stance on criminals? This is understandable as even I won't deny that every time he speaks about his stance, I can't help but second guess my decision of supporting him.*[3] But then, there is this perspective that I’ve picked up with regards to the EJKs. I’m sure you’ve heard that the victims actually get warned, no? To change or leave or die? Now look at it this way: If you were given a limited budget to help a thousand people but you have more than a thousand to help, how would you go about it? It is basically a choice between quality vs quantity of help, no? Utilitarianism vs Humanism? From what is apparent, Duterte chose the former. He chose development built on the blood of some people. And you know, knowing that I indirectly support it? It really stings. It really makes me think if it is really worth sacrificing my 'humanity' just for a chance of change? However, after a while, this constant questioning about my 'humanity' made me wonder about the inverse: Will I sacrifice this chance of change just for the sake of my supposed 'humanity'? I'm not sure if it is just rationalizing but, if I choose to not support Duterte, will it stop the deaths of people? Heck, if dozens of innocents were killed in Davao, what more would it be for all the other places in the country? Double? Triple? A multiple of ten or a hundred? Thousands? What is being “humanistic” doing about all these deaths then? Same dilemma as most politicians as they’ve also indirectly supported it I bet. Because really? Would these kinds of things stop if I choose to support another candidate? They can’t even call out Duterte and say they’ll stop him. That is why to be frank, supporting another candidate would do nothing to change this. We usually like to think that we support 'justice' by condemning this kind of things but doesn't this action of ours, or to be specific: this inaction of ours, really just passing the problem to another person? Because again, what happens after choosing to not support Duterte? Another 6-12 years of the same stuff? With the deaths not changing mind you and then a likely slow down in the country’s development in the future because of unaddressed problems.

But going back to Duterte again, I’m not sure if I’m just rationalizing, [again], but I can’t help but think that Duterte will shift from an extreme utilitarian stance to a more of a humanistic stance when he reaches national. Why? Well, one thing that Duterte has the highest probability of addressing is the country’s insurgency problem. You really can’t deny that this problem is a huge drain on our resources. You can even say that this is one of the causes of why our country went downhill. From being a kindling to martial law up ‘til now? Imagine that... They still exist.*[4] But going back to what may happen, with this gone, efforts could surely be put elsewhere. Like helping people rather than killing them. But then again, I’m sure there will still be some deaths. But for lower class criminals, their casualties will probably be reduced as they’ll probably be given more chances to change.*[5][6] But those extremely hardheaded ones? No comment. And as for something to really think about, this insurgency threat is really another thing to consider with the non-support of Duterte. If you’re looking to really unite this country, this really has to be addressed as soon as possible.

But then again, and I can’t repeat it enough that I may just be rationalizing. I guess my thinking is now skewed to that of a stance where I think that there is really 'nothing' to lose anymore, and with everything to gain. Given this, I think this coming elections becoming a choice between risk vs reward is becoming apparent. But still, as for the risk though, would it not be possible to minimize it rather than just throw away the possible rewards altogether? How about a Duterte-Robredo tandem? I think Robredo is indeed the best bet for a backup. As for Duterte, to be honest, I’m now actually sitting on the fence. I’m just waiting for more info about him now to make sure that my views above are indeed consistent with his and I’m not just projecting onto him. Yet as much as I don’t like relying on assumptions, you really can’t deny the possible gains.

[1] The contents of the reply at Joeam (Link is above) and the link: http://x.rappler.com/x/cj53v177a/1458836310177-Disiplina-Sarili-at-Pagbabago

[2]You’re probably thinking that change is supposed to be gradual right? Well, it is a case-by-case basis depending on how severe the problem has become. Because if you go for gradual change while the problem still exists, it'll just interfere with the supposed gradual changes and it'll basically take a long time for things to change, if not, forever. That is why drastic measures are sometimes taken just to jumpstart the process. We just need to somewhat suppress the problem so that we can give ‘growth’ a chance until it can become self-sustaining. Everything then stems from there, right?

[3] http://opinion.inquirer.net/94123/ones-walk-away-davao#ixzz44pHkFBu2

[4] http://www.jamesparmis.net/viral-open-letter-from-major-general-romeo-poquiz-for-adrian-sanchez-who-accused-duterte-of-being-a-traitor/

[5] http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fdavaotoday.com%2Fmain%2Fpolitics%2Fdavao-intensifies-rescue-of-abandoned-homeless-children%2F&h=mAQGlwtND

[6] https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjR_Oaezv_LAhWHopQKHXNJDnsQFghEMAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.philstar.com%2Fnation%2F213564%2Fmonthly-allowance-awaits-davao-drug-users-rehab&usg=AFQjCNEF9g2RBoSr5m0yDhH-SMtqY_kyTA&sig2=pSjR0w4TYj5QtUrxUrEwiw

[5][6] is confirmed by people I know from Davao. However, if it is still effective, I really cannot tell. But they do attest that compared to Manila, Davao is way better.