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With Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines Got the President It Deserves

Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

ike it or not the Philippines will have a new president by the end of the month. As French philosopher, writer and lawyer Joseph de Maistre so aptly  put it over 200 years ago "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve." So thus Filipinos will soon get a taste of what it will be like to live under a Rodrigo Duterte presidency.

Duterte's landslide victory in last May's elections showed that an overwhelming majority of Filipino voters chose him despite all his "negatives." Some of those negatives, Duterte chose to revealed himself such as his cursing and use of foul language in public. His many detractors also say he even admitted to having ties to individuals and groups that operate outside the law, like the dreaded Davao Death Squad—a group accused of vigilante-type killings in Davao City while Duterte served as its mayor.

During the campaign Duterte promised to rid the country of illegal drugs in a span of 3 to 6 months. He would sometimes qualify that statement by stating that some changes might take longer. In general however, Duterte promised quick results as president. And quick results are what Filipinos have long hoped for. Immediately apparent to anyone coming to the Philippines is the slow pace at which things get done here. And if it involves the courts, the pace is nothing short of glacial! So it is no wonder that Pinoys from all walks of life voted for Duterte—warts and all.

So now it's a waiting game. With bated breath, Filipinos who did not vote for Duterte—as well as some who now regret that they did—will have to wait and see how the country's new president performs. Being a lawyer, one can assume that he has a good grasp of what's right and what's wrong. But then again, this is the Philippines where it oftentimes is difficult to assume anything.

Like many others, we may have been concerned by some of Duterte's statements, but given that he has been elected president, he should now be given the benefit of the doubt, and the chance to prove himself. If he ends up being a great president, than kudos to the Filipino people for making an excellent choice. If he fails, than in addition to Joseph de Maistre's words above, we might add those of American comedian, and social critic George Carlin who once noted that: "ignorant citizens elect ignorant leaders, it's as simple as that." Published 6/21/2016

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The Orlando Massacre Clearly Highlights America's Distorted Values Towards Guns

At this point, it has clearly become an annoyance to watch the news and see Americans contort themselves into a pretzel in anguish over the latest mass killing in the United States. The anguish is genuine—there is no doubt about that, but the gun-related rampages happen so frequently ... Published 6/16/2016

It's What Happens After the Hague Tribunal Says the Philippines Won Versus China, That Matters

In a few weeks the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague will render its decision on the case the Philippines brought against China. In all likelihood the tribunal will rule in favor of the Philippines. For starters this will reinforce the country's claim that Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal), which lies 220 km (137 mi) west of Palauig, Zambales, is well within the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) ... Published 6/7/2016

Should Senator Trillanes be charged with treason for the loss of Scarborough Shoal?

Barely a week after he received the most votes in the May 9 presidential elections, “presumptive president-elect” Rodrigo Duterte accused Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of committing treason in 2012 when he engaged in backchannel talks in Beijing with Chinese officials over the West Philippine Sea ... Published 5/26/2016

It Might be Back to the Dark Ages with the Duterte Plan to Reinstate the Death Penalty

According to Deterte's choice for the next Speaker of the House, Incoming Davao del Norte Representative Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, they will definitely bring back the death penalty to the Philippines. In a video interview with local press, Alvarez noted that he is confident it can be done. Published 5/22/2016

The NBN-ZTE Abalos Acquittal: An Opportunity for Duterte to Prove His Mettle to Filipinos

How can anyone forget the 2007 NBN-ZTE scandal. Where an ill-advised, grossly overpriced broadband network with limited capability was almost rammed down the throats of hapless Filipinos by the Arroyo administration. A foolhardy endeavor that would have cost Filipino taxpayers US$329 million. Published 5/16/2016

Rodrigo Duterte Is the Next President of the Philippines

With over ninety percent of the votes already tallied by the COMELEC's Transparency Server, candidate Rodrigo Duterte enjoys a insurmountable lead of more than 6 million votes over second-placer Mar Roxas. Duterte wins by a landslide and will be the 16th president of the Philippines. Published 5/10/2016

Davao Death Squad to Go National with Rody Duterte as President

Diehard Rody Duterte supporters appear willing to ignore recent disclosures that their beloved candidate, the front-runner in the Philippine presidential elections next week, has a P227 million peso account with the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Published 5/5/2016

Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte, High-flying Candidates of the Same Feather

Two countries, two elections, two candidates. But for many who have been following both the Philippine and United States elections, these two presidential contenders, one American—one Filipino, appear to have uncanny similarities ... Published 5/1/2016

Our Thoughts on the Last Presidential Debate Before the 2016 Philippine Elections

Compared to the first two, this debate moderated by ABS-CBN was by far the best. So before anything else, kudos to the folks at ABS-CBN and ANC. Each of the five presidential contenders had ample opportunity to differentiate himself or herself from the rest—which should help voters make more informed choices on election day. Published 4/26/2016

Not Just Rodrigo Duterte, We Pinoys Simply Have a Really Crude Sense of Humor

After being excoriated first by social media, then by the general public, for a boorish and insensitive remark he made in 1989 that happened to be caught on video, Davao City mayor and presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte finally admitted it was a mistake. At first he tried to justify it as a seemingly vulgar joke due to his poor and humble upbringing. Published 4/22/2016

China’s Plan B: Binay-Bongbong (Jejomar Binay and Bongbong Marcos)

It’s a high stakes poker game with China placing all its chips on the table, gambling that it can seize unoccupied islets and shoals in the West Philippine Sea - transforming them into man-made artificial islands by pumping sand onto live coral reefs and paving them with concrete, then equipping them with aircraft runways, port facilities and surface-to-air missiles ... Published 4/16/2016

The CNN Philippines Vice Presidential Debate: Who We Liked, Who We Didn't Like

The CNN vice presidential debate held at the University of Santo Tomas campus in Manila on April 10, gave Filipino voters the chance to see and hear the top six contenders side be side, answering questions and interacting with one another for well over an hour. Like the millions of Filipinos who watched the debate on television or streamed it from the internet, we were able to form our own fairly distinct opinions about each candidate . Published 4/11/2016

U.S. Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, and Cross-dressing Filipino Homosexuals

Filipino males by nature appear more effeminate than males of most other cultures. Behind the facade of the Latin "macho" you'll usually find a soft-spoken, mild-mannered, mama's boy who walks the line between the masculine and the feminine. Published 4/7/2016

Read more articles from our archives

Anakbayan: Drug fight should go after big fish, not small fry
MANILA, Philippines - The militant Anakbayan youth organization said on Friday that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs should neutralize the big drug lords and criminal syndicates, not just small-time drug dealers and peddlers.

Philippine Peso falls vs US dollar on ‘Brexit’ result
MANILA, June 24 (PNA) -- The Philippine peso has closed this week’s trading weak against a US dollar following United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union (EU) which caused uncertainties in the market, a local bank’s trader said.

Abu Sayyaf free Marites Flor as Indonesia says 7 more sailors snatched
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 4 - 1:52 p.m.) The Abu Sayyaf has released Marites Flor, the Filipina girlfriend of Canadian Robert Hall, who they executed early last week. Confirmation of Flor's release came the same day Indonesia said seven sailors were kidnapped from a tugboat in the Sulu Sea early this week.

Military, police operations to continue until all Abu Sayyaf hostages are freed
MANILA, June 24 (PNA) --- Military and law enforcement operations will continue until all Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) hostages are all freed. This was disclosed by Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla Friday when asked for a reaction on the release of Marites Flor by her ASG captors.

ING Bank Manila economist sees minimal impact of Brexit on PHL in near term
MANILA, June 24 (PNA) -- An economist of ING Bank Manila expects minimal impact of the Brexit on the Philippines given the domestic economy’s proven resiliency. Results of the June 23 referendum showed more people favored an exit of UK from the regional block, plunging EU countries’ currencies and equities markets ...

Department of Health preparing a case vs Sorsogon City mayor for banning family planning
MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday it is preparing a case against Sorsogon City Mayor Sally Lee for banning family planning services and contraceptives in government health facilties since February 2015.

PNP Chief orders probe rift between NCRPO and Baliwag police during checkpoint operation
MANILA, June 24 (PNA) – Outgoing Philippine National Police chief Director General Ricardo Marquez on Friday ordered an investigation into the rift between operatives of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and Baliwag Police over a checkpoint incident in Baliwag, Bulacan last Tuesday.

Dictator In The Making? Philippine President-Elect Already Asking For Emergency Powers
Social workers restrain a mother after her minor son was detained after violating a curfew in this picture taken on June 8, 2016. Night curfews for children are in vogue while alcohol consumption in public places and walking the streets half-naked are going out of fashion as enthusiastic law enforcers give a foretaste ...

Aquino administration has spent P60.14B for AFP modernization, says Gazmin
MANILA – President Benigno Aquino III has spent at least P60.14 billion for the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), according to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. "I am happy to say that, through the strong support of President Aquino, we have gained significant progress ...

BIR collection for May 2016 grew by P23.68 billion
QUEZON CITY, June 24 -- For the month of May 2016, the BIR collected P152.14 billion in tax revenues, P23.68 billion or 18.44% more than collections made in May 2015. For May 2016, collections from BIR operations amounted to P148.95 Billion, P23.76 billion or 18.98% more than collections made in May 2015. Collections ...

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