What Makes Me Think Duterte Will Be The Best President of the Philippines if He Wins the Elections on May
You might find this a little bit prejudice to all past presidents of the Philippines (if Duterte wins the election) because it has not proven yet. He has not done anything to the country yet because he is still not our president.
But to make some presumptions, call it guarantee, this I can say what’s my essay would be. I, as a Dabawenyo, make guarantees to you.
Before I reveal some points to ponder why Mayor Duterte should be the president of the country, I would like to do a little confession here before I make those points.
I was an anti-duterte. Even before Duterte became popular in the country I didn’t agree his ways in governing Davao City. I even wrote an essay way back in 2004 that tells about the DDS, an organization which I presume you already know.
Years when I still see Davao City as a place to shut your mouth and follow rules. Years when I see Dabawenyos living in fear. You just don’t fuck the government or you’ll be putting your head in a sandbox.
Years gone by, I began to see some improvements of the city, especially when I came back from Cebu after about a year or two, realizations came to work.
These realizations struck me when I get to know him more. Not personally, although I saw him from time to time in a bar in Davao where we used to hang out with my American friend. I even saw him by accident going through the door of the comfort room when I was having a pee. He exited back when he saw me alone shaking my hips as I was about to finish off. Of course, you don’t see mayors or influential people using a public comfort room with other people, do you?
I also came to say something to him when I was about to leave the bar. I and my American friend was about to go out the bar when I came by his table and ask permission to leave. I still remember what he said to me: “Sige dong ayo-ayo dong.” He didn’t talk like someone whom you should be feared of. He talked like an ordinary man. He was, I can say, down-to-earth.
Years gone by when I still had this illusion of being a human rights activist. I realized maybe I was only pompous and arrogant. In a way you won’t allow anybody to fuck you around because you’re a man, you’re a chauvinist, elite, intellectual douchebag.
I was wrong all those times.
I stopped watching ABS-CBN Davao’s show Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa. Because I realized the show was the one that made me angry with him. It was the show and his cursing and threats that made me angry of him.
‘Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa’ was made to psychologize the criminals in the city. It was made in a way to make criminals stop doing what they’ve been doing. In a way that the majority of Dabawenyos would agree. Duterte would only make threats in public television, and the criminals would go away. Like a holy water or smoke to cast away the devils.
It had been proven. Because when the criminals didn’t stop, they could only pray to their gods in heaven and be dead. I stopped watching the show because I knew what the purpose was. I stopped watching because I realized that you cannot know the real Mayor Duterte by merely watching the show every Sunday. You got to dig a little bit deeper to get to know him.
I began to know him not from the knowledge and information I got from family acquaintances or friends of friends in Facebook, or people who are linked to my network of friends. I began to know him more when I see some improvements in myself.
I was a smoker, and still is. But this vice has been minimized now. Well, part of that change is because of Davao City, because of Duterte.
Before, I have the freedom to do anything, anywhere in the streets not due to lack of discipline but because everybody was doing it, like smoking and littering. When Duterte made the anti-smoking ordinance and implemented it, people obeyed it. So when people obeyed it, you also follow it. It’s the nature of human behavior.
You do what you see people do. So in a way I was disciplined. It made me ashamed to smoke in public. So, the police won’t have to go in public places anymore just to see if anybody is smoking acigarette. You won’t do it anymore because people would see you as an outcast. If you smoke in public, people would see you as if you’re a criminal. That is I say, real discipline.
Now, I can say that the city is much more livable than 2 or 3 years ago. Other than fresh food are affordable, clean environment, potable drinking water, Davao now is very safe.
I give you one example. There is an area in the Davao bus terminal where you can rent a folding bed to sleep on at night. Early passengers rent those beds so they won’t have to travel especially if their trip is scheduled at the wee hours of the morning. Even if you’re not a passenger, you can rent a folding bed just to sleep and spend a night there. Imagine that. Imagine that scenario in Manila or Cebu. You probably be get mugged or got your things lost. In Davao you sleep anywhere, even in the city streets, nobody would touch you.
So apart from the law and order in the city, the safety and security, I can already see progress in my hometown. I can see vehicles on the streets synchronized, people walk in harmony, breathing the immaculate air. I see the progress of the city as I see the progress of myself.
Imagine the description of Davao City becomes the description of the whole country. Imagine the discipline in myself becomes the discipline to yourself, and to our fellow Filipinos.
Imagine the country becomes Davao City.
That can only happen if Duterte becomes the president of the country. If, no. When he becomes successful, he’ll make the entire Philippines like Davao City. Imagine what the country would become in the years to come.