Change is finally coming folks. People are feeling once again the euphoria of a new beginning – something like the crisp cool freshness in the air when it’s the final week of classes before the Christmas and New Year holidays begin, or the feeling of moving into a new school, job, house or city.
It’s a time of jubilant anticipation of a big break for tired and weary ordinary Pinoys – to finally find a leader who represents their deepest longings and can empathize in their suffering and pain. Much has been said about the thrust on demolishing drugs, criminality and corruption, but what else can we expect in the Du30 package?
Three Things to Expect Under a Duterte Presidency
1. Solid Rule Enforcement (Less Freedom)
The moment Pinoys step on foreign soil to begin their new life as an OFW in a first-world country, they start behaving differently. They begin to follow every rule to the letter; they start to act courteously to all and not cause any inconvenience to neighbors. They are cautious and conscious of the fact that they are being watched. This is how it will feel under a pseudo-“Martial law”-like administration which will be enforced by Duterte. Imagine not being able to smoke in public, drive like a madman, or light up your super-lolo firecracker on New Year’s eve. Giving up some liberties in exchange for order and safety for the common good will be a hard pill to swallow for many spoiled-brat Filipinos accustomed to Yellow pee-anywhere-you-want democracy. But this is what you asked for right? Becoming a Singapore (clean, orderly, disciplined) has its price.
2. No-Nonsense Leadership and Public Service
Duterte will assemble what may be called the “dream team” to form his Cabinet – with one simple requirement: are you competent for the job? For a boss who will not settle for senseless excuses for goof-ups, delays, or oppressive service/policies, ministers/officials/agency heads will be chosen and retained based on the principles of meritocracy; they will be fired without consideration at the slightest hint of incompetence. For a leader who values time by pressuring himself with a self-imposed deadline of half a year to deliver, he will have zero tolerance for people who only serve to weigh him down on achieving his goal. He shows humility in welcoming on board those who are of other parties as long as they are qualified. He will spare no expense in getting the best on his team. Being on the Duterte Cabinet will be a more prized position than warming a seat in the Senate.
3. A Reconfigured Philippines
Duterte is hell-bent on not just fixing but completely replacing the broken obsolete oligarchy-protecting 1987 Cory constitution that has kept the Philippines lagging behind the more dynamic agile tigers of Asia. He will reconfigure the Philippines based on what he believes will finally give peace to his home in the South, and give each region a fare share of the pie: a federal government. The biggest obstacle to his ultimate goal of turning the country into his dream “United States of the Philippines” is bribe-thirsty oligarchy-backed Congress itself. And even at this critical point in the race, he flatly tells us openly without hesitation or apology what kind of bold move he is willing to do. Yup, he will simply close down Congress if these lawmakers are in the way and declare a revolutionary government.
Think of a bulldozer on full-steam-ahead mode. Something as unstoppable, uninhibited, and bold a battering ram as this comes only once in many decades. Let’s welcome the new era of change that is finally at hand. Who said it’s always bad news in the Philippines?