Flea Market of Idea

Swear list for the President

/ 05:08 AM January 08, 2018

President Duterte has sworn at many prominent persons, powerful countries, and revered institutions in the short time he has been in power.

Among the influential persons he has sworn at are Pope Francis, former US president Barack Obama, former Philippine president Noynoy Aquino, Kim Jong-un of North Korea, human rights defenders, bishops, and priests.


The countries and institutions that have been subjects of his profanities include the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and the Catholic Church. Even Tropical Storm
“Urduja,” which devastated the Visayas last month, did not escape his tirades.

There are many issues and persons that need hefty doses of cursing from Mr. Duterte, if only to give voice to the festering exasperation of many people who have long been frustrated at being ignored by past administrations. But he has been acting like a loose cannon, indiscriminately swearing at real and imagined enemies. As a result, the usefulness of his curses is reduced by the undeserved involvement of unnecessary victims. His swearing at the Pope is one glaring example.


The President’s propensity to swear and curse can be harnessed to good use if it is directed at fitting targets. This is shown by the positive results that the government achieved when Mr. Duterte launched into tirades against Mighty Corp., forcing it to pay P25 billion in unpaid taxes on its cigarette products, and ranted at the Philippine Airlines, forcing it to pay P6 billion in airport fees.

I consider it my civic duty to suggest a “swear list” for the President in order to render his propensity useful, because he cannot stop himself from doing so, anyway.

First on my list are karaoke singers who employ full-volume speakers to torment their neighbors. The President’s campaign to prohibit firecrackers has been so effective that my neighborhood was silent on New Year’s Eve. But for many days of the year, many communities are tormented by demented — and also tone-deaf—karaoke singers. They should all be gathered together and given 10 minutes of tongue-lashing by the President, in loudspeaker volume to boot.

Second are the executives of mobile phone companies whose services are condemned as the slowest in the world. For every 1,000 complaints of unsuccessful calls, text messages, and internet connection, the phone executives should be summoned to Malacañang and given 15 minutes of the President’s colorful language, broadcast live on radio and television.

Third are the owners of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 which runs on Edsa. Every time a train coach malfunctions, the owners should be subjected to 20 minutes of tongue-lashing by the President. Next, all affected passengers should be given the chance to swear at the executives as well, until the latter are forced in shame to sell their ownership to a qualified operator that can rehabilitate and run the train system efficiently.

Fourth on my list are cops who mount drug operations where the suspects end up dead under circumstances in which the Manual of Operations of the Philippine National Police is violated. Last October the President declared that he had never ordered policemen to commit extrajudicial killings. Those policemen who continue to defy him should be subjected to 25 minutes of the President’s vilest swearing.

Fifth on my list should be explained in its context. The President is known for his simple fashion sense. He rolls up the sleeves of his barong, and he projects aversion to flashy attire. In loud contrast, presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo dresses in screaming colors of purple and red, and, quite in disrespect of his position, wears suits with patchwork, leather jackets, even shabby-chic tattered jeans. For his defiance of Mr. Duterte’s modest fashion sense, Panelo should be subjected to half an hour of the President’s tongue-lashing.


This column space limits my swear list to a mere five, but I can go on and on. And you? What are your swear suggestions for the President?

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TAGS: drug killings, extrajudicial killings, Flea Market of Ideas, Joel Ruiz Butuyan, karaoke singers, mobile phone companies, MRT glitches, MRT-3, Rodrigo Duterte, telco firms
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