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The Pros and Cons of Duterte for President

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte decides to run for president. Photo: Bloomberg

avao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has finally thrown his hat into the ring and run for president. Hi s loyal supporters plus many voters dissatisfied with the current crop of candidates are quite elated. Duterte's urong-sulong (on-again-off-again) presidential bid caused many to suspect that the Davao Mayor really didn't have his heart in the race. Some of his detractors on the other hand said he was hiding something that might be exposed if he ran.

The pros

Duterte has rid Davao City of numerous lawless elements that plague most Philippine cities. He is rabidly against illegal drugs and made his mark early on as mayor by going after drug dealers and pushers with a vengeance. The result is that over the years, drug use in Davao has all but disappeared.

Other criminal elements such as swindlers, racketeers, cat burglars, and scam artists have received personal dressing-downs by Duterte after they are apprehended, sometimes accompanied by public ridiculing to make sure they got the mayor's message loud and clear.

No offense is too small for Duterte who this year personally confronted a visitor to Davao who insisted on smoking inside a restaurant despite repeated warnings. Duterte showed up, and in typical fashion made the man swallow his unfinished cigarette.

Duterte appears prepared to go head-to-head with powerful criminal syndicates who have local politicians and police in their pockets. Corrupt government officials will likely find life difficult under a Duterte administration. He appears to be the iron-handed, yet honest leader, that many Filipinos want.

The cons

Duterte appears to have little patience for the law and appears more willing to take matters into his own hands to achieve his own ends, noble though they may be.

He is rumored to have connections to vigilante groups in Davao responsible for the spate of killings of those involved with illegal drugs. Some of those killed were barely in their teens. Ties to vigilante groups should be a big red flag to any law-abiding citizen. At best it shows a cavalier attitude towards the law and at worst a complete disregard for it.

Like Vice President Jejomar Binay, Duterte has skirted the country's term limits law by having a relative serve as a "placeholder" for a single term, thereby allowing him to run again for three consecutive terms. It is not against the law to do that but it certainly violates the spirit of the law. If you're a mayor or governor in the Philippines, you might get away with it, but if you aspire for the highest office in the land, that kind of sly behavior should be totally unacceptable. There is a lack of statesmanship and fair play from politicians who resort to this underhanded tactic.

Then Davao Mayor Sara Duterte punches Sheriff Abe Andres in front of cameras while her security detail hold him down. Photo: Inquirer.net

Lastly, It's not just Duterte but the people around him that voters must also take into account. in 2011 Duterte's daughter Sara who was Davao's "placeholder" mayor at the time, had the temerity to punch Sheriff Abe Andres several times in the face for doing his job and enforcing a lawful court order. If Duterte becomes president will his daughter and those vigilante groups close to him feel they now have the blessing to run roughshod all over the country. During Martial Law, it was those around Ferdinand Marcos, like his wife Imelda, his relatives, his in-laws, and members of his trusted inner circle who often abused their power. They were thus responsible for many of the excesses during martial law. With Duterte likely to rule with an iron hand like Marcos, there is a danger that similar abuses may reoccur in his administration.

Whether Duterte's advantages outweigh his disadvantages or vice versa, it will ultimately be up to the Filipino voters to decide. Published 11/28/2015

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Like the Marcos Days, Filipinos Treated as Second-class Citizens During the APEC Summit

Did Philippine President Benigno Aquino III ever consult his bosses (the Filipino people) instead of listening to the bad advice of his mostly clueless advisers. Even on the best of days, just getting from point-A to point-B in this smog-choked metropolis is already a herculean task. The well-off in their air-conditioned SUVs crawl at a snail's pace through narrow streets—their mostly diesel-powered behemoths spewing a deadly cocktail of pollutants into the atmosphere.
Published 11/20/2015

The Philippines Should Stand by Obama and Talk About China's Bullying at the APEC Summit

While China seems to have intimidated most APEC participants into avoiding any mention of their illegal activities in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea), American President Barack Obama seems to have finally found the nerve to speak out publicly against it and says he plans to do so at the upcoming APEC meeting. For the past year and a half, on the bad advice of his National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Obama kept silent about China's ongoing construction on shoals and reefs in the South China Sea.
Published 11/16/2015

We Need a New Filipino Paradigm, Because the Old One No Longer Works

Reading the comments sent to our forum, one can easily sense the frustration many readers have of how things are done in the Philippines. This is especially true of our many readers who live abroad. In our view, it is the 400-plus years of Spanish colonization that molded the Filipino persona into what it is today. Spain needed a mellow, compliant, non-combative populace that it could easily control given the overwhelming numbers of "natives" versus their colonial masters.
Published 11/9/2015

Laglag Bala Could Reverse Any Positive Views Outsiders Have of the Philippines

Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are up in arms with regards to all these bullets showing up on airport x-ray machines inside luggage and bags of unsuspecting passengers. Philippine laws make it a serious offence to bring even a single bullet on an airplane—a situation that scam artists in an around Philippine airport terminals have quickly exploited to the hilt.
Published 11/3/2015

Standing Up to China, To Teach It a Lesson or Two

On Thursday, September 24, 2015, a day before the official start of Chinese president Xi Jinping's first state visit to the United States, U.S. President Barack Obama invited his Chinese counterpart to a very private, closed-door, informal dinner at Blair House, just across the street from the White House. Aside from both presidents, only a handful of aides from both sides were in attendance. During that dinner, Which lasted close to three hours Obama tried to get Xi to stop what China was doing in the South China Sea.
Published 10/29/2015

Sadly, We Filipinos Are So Used to Lying, It's become Second Nature to Most of Us

Compared to people from Western cultures, we Filipinos tend to lie a lot more. It's a reality we Filipinos have to face throughout our lives. Lying is so ubiquitous in our culture that oftentimes we do it unconsciously. From fibs and little white lies to more egregious dishonest acts like fraud and deceit, if you're a Pinoy, you just have to put up with more of it. Some would argue that it is actually worse in some countries. And while that may be true, there are still a lot more countries where it is better.
Published 10/25/2015

Another Marcos in Malacañang? It May Happen Sooner Than You Think

Remember the old hit song "Yesterday Once More" by the Carpenters? Well yesterday could be back in our future someday soon. Okay here's the scenario. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. wins the Vice Presidential race because all that hidden Marcos wealth was suddenly "unhidden" to buy his election. Then assume his teammate Miriam Defensor Santiago, with some of that Marcos money to boost her poll numbers, becomes president. What the Philippines will then have is an extremely volatile situation—like a bottle of nitroglycerine resting against a jackhammer; one wrong move and everything goes kaboom!.
Published 10/20/2015

Philippine Presidential Elections 2016: The Circus is Finally in Town

Every six years the crazies come out en force in a mad rush to file Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) for the Philippine Presidential Elections. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) gives everyone only a four-day window within which to file  their COCs.  Thus the normally busy COMELEC offices in Intramuros turn into a madhouse of frenetic activity as who's-who politicos and their supporters parade in and out of that compound. So lets take a quick, less serious view of some of the more serious contenders for the Philippine Presidency and Vice Presidency.
Published 10/16/2015

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales: the Lady with More Guts Than Most Filipino Males

Conchita Carpio-Morales, Three words that should make all Filipinos a bit more proud of themselves today. In a country where nothing ever seems to gets done; where court cases just hang in the air unresolved for decades; where the very rich see themselves as above the law and the very poor believe they have the right to simply get what they want because—well, they're poor; Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, has served notice to Filipinos one and all that she is one individual who will not play by the twisted rules of Philippine politics
Published 10/10/2015

Mar Roxas and the Liberal Party Might Twerk Its Way to Defeat in the 2016 Elections

In the land of Maria Clara and the supposedly chaste, and virtuous Filipina, why do we have young women performing lewd dance numbers in front of the general public? Case in point is the recent Liberal Party meeting and birthday party for Congressman Benjamin Agarao where a group of scantily-clad "exotic dancers" performed lewd dance numbers "for the boys."
Published 10/4/2015

Is China's Xi Jinping Speaking from Both Sides of His Mouth?

On September 28, 2015 Chinese President Xi Jinping addressed the world body during the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York. In his speech Xi committed his country to various laudable endeavors such as a reinvigorated effort to curb greenhouse gasses and combat climate change; a $100 million aid fund for Africa; and $1 billion for U.N. development projects across the globe.
Published 9/29/2015

Philippine Elections: Where the Most Qualified Don't Run While the Least Qualified Do

In a country where the elderly have always been given due deference and respect, in today's politics you have the exact opposite. Instead of the senior most experienced leaders running for office, you have ambitious, precocious, youth, still wet behind the ears who do the running. The result of this phenomena is that over the years the Philippines has continually lost ground to its neighbors who are all slowly turning into developed economies while the Philippines—the country that lead Southeast Asia during much of the 20th Century—is becoming more deeply entrenched as a Third World nation.
Published 9/24/2015

Grace Poe—Another Unqualified Leader To Be "Anointed" by Gullible Filipino Voters?

Well it’s official; neophyte Senator Grace Poe is running for president. To reiterate, our stand on her qualifications remains the same: she is nowhere near qualified to become president. She has no track record and no experience under her belt. It is good that she chose Senator Chiz Escudero for her vice presidential running mate. He’s had far more experience in government and can offer her guidance should she become president. Published 9/19/2015

Read more articles from our archives

Mindanao has 4 jihadist camps for ISIS recruits
FOREIGN jihadists linked to the Islamic State have established four training camps in the forested ridges of Mindanao to train Filipino militants who are being recruited as fighters for the terrorist group, a government source privy to anti-terror operations told The Standard Sunday.

President Aquino leaves for France, Italy and Vatican City
MANILA, Nov. 30 -- President Benigno S. Aquino III, together with the Philippine delegation, left the country on Sunday morning for his week-long visit to France, Italy and the Vatican City. President Aquino’s first stop will be in Paris, France, where he will be joining fellow world leaders ...

Abu Sayyaf man tagged in Sabah kidnappings nabbed in Sulu after road crash
MANILA - All military units went on alert Sunday for possible retaliation from the Abu Sayyaf Group ASG following the arrest of a key aide of two ASG believed behind a rash of kidnappings in Sabah. The suspect, Kadaffy Kamsa, was arrested Saturday inside a hospital in Barangay Asturias in Jolo...

Philippines must institutionalize climate change fight -- Ambassador Lazaro
PARIS, France, Nov. 30 -- President Aquino was able to put in place the principles and regulations addressing climate change in the country and the next leader should strengthen those guidelines, the country's ambassador to France said.

Filipino human rights lawyer among ASEAN Peoples’ awardees
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Nov. 24 -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recognized the recipients of the inaugural ASEAN Peoples’ Award on the sidelines of the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits here. Filipino Ray Paolo Santiago was one of the 10 recipients of the award which honors ...

Duterte bares 8 names he is endorsing for the Senate
DAVAO CITY - Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte has bared the names of eight senatorial aspirants he is endorsing for the 2016 national elections. Duterte, in a chance interview Friday evening at the Matina Enclave Clubhouse here, named Reps. Martin Romualdez, Manny Pacquiao, ‎Samuel Pagdilao ...

Expansion of credit information system to boost credit for MSMEs
QUEZON CITY, 27 November 2015 – The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit 2015 has undertaken steps to bridge the wide gap between major creditors and small entrepreneurs among its member economies through the expansion of the credit information system.

Social Security System posts 10-percent growth in contributions
QUEZON CITY, Nov. 29 -- The Social Security System (SSS) collected P98.26 billion in contributions over the first three quarters of this year, higher by 10 percent from the P89.03 billion total for the same period in 2014, with the pension fund achieving growths in all four major segments of SSS membership.

Previous Headline News for this month

Benigno Aquino IIINoy to meet EU investors after climate summit
MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino will make the most of his time when he attends the Climate Change Summit in Paris and will invite European investors to take advantage of the booming Philippine economy.

PNoy arrives in Paris for climate summit
President Benigno Aquino III arrived in Paris, France at 6 p.m. Sunday for the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21), according to a report by Jam Sisante on GMA’s Unang Balita on Monday. The United Nations Climate Change Conference ...

Romulo MacalintalDuterte may no longer run for president by substitution – election lawyer
MANILA, Philippines — Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal expressed doubts, on Monday, that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte could validly substitute Martin Diño, the person who filed a certificate ...

Binay says PNoy admin affected with 'analysis paralysis'
Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday again took a jab at the current administration, saying its leaders are "affected with analysis paralysis.” Binay, delivering a speech at an insurance industry forum, particularly scored ...

Franklin DrilonSen. Franklin Drilon downplays reports LP members in Mindanao defect to Duterte camp
Senate President Franklin Drilon downplayed reports a huge number of Liberal Party members in Mindanao have defected to the camp of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte since he openly showed his intention to run for president in the May 2016 ...

7 in 10 Filipinos very concerned about global warming
MANILA, Philippines — About seven in ten Filipinos consider climate change a very serious problem, according to a study by an American think tank. The study from the Pew Research Center, released earlier this month, showed ...

Grace PoePoe's camp hopeful Comelec defers to SET decision
MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Sen. Grace Poe remains hopeful that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) will uphold the decision of the Senate Electoral Tribunal in connection to the presidential ...

Philippine business challenged: Shift to clean energy, establish zero carbon economy
The Climate Change Commission (CCC) has challenged the business sector to embrace a zero carbon economy by transitioning from traditional to alternative energy to help mitigate the impact of climate change. Speaking before representatives ...

Michael ArcegaFilipino shot dead outside night club in San Jose, California
SAN FRANCISCO–A Filipino was shot and killed outside a San Jose, California nightclub early Saturday morning, October 24. San Jose police officers found 34-year-old Michael Arcega wounded by at least one ...

Passenger dies while on flight from Canada to Manila
An 82-year-old passenger died Monday while on a 14-hour flight to Manila from Canada. According to a report from the Manila International Airport Authority, Macario Gonzales was on a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight from Vancouver when he ...


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