Duterte’s magical goals, dazzling promises | Inquirer Opinion

Duterte’s magical goals, dazzling promises

/ 12:10 AM April 22, 2016

The latest survey report from Social Weather Stations (SWS) says Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has taken the lead in the presidential race. This might be due to the fact that the voters are lured by Duterte’s “politics of fear,” to borrow a phrase from the camp of Mar Roxas. Have Filipinos really come to believe that the problem of rampant criminality in the country can be solved in three to six months? To me, that sounds magical. Especially because neither Duterte nor his camp has spelled out a clear formula for solving widespread criminality, particularly, to curb drug trafficking and eliminate terrorist groups.

But aside from criminality, the Philippines has a lot of other problems to fix—poverty, inefficient mass transport system, education and many others. A presidential candidate is bound to address these problems, too. Duterte is just dazzling the people with ambitious, blinding promises.

Duterte vows: “I will stop criminality.”

But look at Davao City which, Duterte claims, is one of the safest cities in the world. Statistics from the Philippine National Police show that since 2008, Davao City has had the biggest number of murder cases in the country. I mean, how can he reduce criminality all over the country when he can’t do the same even in Davao City?


Duterte also plans to reimpose the death penalty. The answer to criminality is not death penalty but an efficient criminal justice system. Those who agree with him should realize that the Philippines still has a flawed justice system and capital punishment might only worsen the consequences of its injustice.

Roxas, Duterte’s rival for the presidency, says the latter is “a stubborn leader who ignores the views of others and refuses to change his opinion on certain matters.” Is this the kind of leader we want?

We should closely scrutinize the candidates before we root or vote for them.

Nothing can be worse if, after the 2016 presidential election, we wake up facing a brand of leadership not unlike that of dictator Ferdinand Marcos’.

—ROWEGIE ABANTO, [email protected]

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TAGS: Election surveys, Elections 2016, Ferdinand Marcos, Rodrigo Duterte

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