Duterte reveals limitations and the risks he’s jumping into

12:01 AM May 30, 2016

FIRST OFF, why can’t the national press do away with the term “presumptive” when referring to Rodrigo Duterte as the next president? Why not say incoming president or president-elect, using more positively absolute terminologies? He was in fact voted in by the majority of voters. “Presumptive” seems to be premised on the probability that the presidency will actually be decided upon by a secret committee not entirely known to the Filipino nation.

Duterte announced he prefers to be sworn into office by a Davao City barangay tanod. Will this be “constitutional” enough for our constitutionalists, opportunists and the military brass? I personally want to hear what newly elected Sen. Manny Pacquiao has to say about this issue.


An enigma about Duterte is that he claims to be a leftist, is openly friendly with communists and, seemingly, in the loop with their leadership; and without skipping a beat, he says he will use the military to assist the police in arresting and killing presumptive criminals, revealing the intellectual limits, capabilities and understanding of his dangerous perception of life and civilities.

Equally dangerous, if not a foreseeable impending disaster since his order is “shoot to kill,” is the intellectual and mental faculties of the persons behind the trigger. Imagine a soldier with an undiagnosed PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) going on a shooting rampage on some densely populated area because the local barangay tanod had pinpointed to him a den of shabu users? Is Duterte even aware that some of the New People’s Army cadres are victims of military abuse and terrorism?


I think the police are capable of doing law enforcement work, they are psychologically trained, and they are part of communities.

He also intends to give more power to the barangays; my reservations about this is, as a result, there could be an explosion of lawlessness, like uncontrolled illegal settlements which barangay officials would likely pander to for votes. Illegal settling is economic sabotage (resulting in underutilization of areas and recessive growth potential); it is also a

major source of traffic gridlock. I should also point out, aside from their negative economic impact, the social issues like child endangerment, safety, and fire code violations, to name a few.

Another enigma about Duterte is his condemnation of corruption and incompetency in government, although the condemnation is not as resonating as his very pronounced tunnel-vision anger toward illegal drugs and street criminality. I hope he understands that a lot of “criminality” is caused by government failure, such as in combating widespread poverty and in providing opportunities, free education, to name a few.

Now, apparently he has his own “KKK” or set of cronies who may need to get paid.  We read about various personalities flocking to Davao City to meet with Duterte and wish him well, and more likely hoping they will be “bestowed upon” a juicy government position.

I hope Duterte will be dead serious and resolute about going after organized criminality in our government.  In fact, I might not even mind reading about the body of a very corrupt public servant or some kidnapper/killer floating in Manila Bay—well, for the former, probably at least perpetual incarceration on some remote island on the Pacific side, with no electricity.

I just hope those anti-Duterte people keep on with their criticisms—especially relative to human rights violations and corruption—and not become turncoats.


One ray of hope is that Duterte says he will sign into law the freedom of information bill on his first day. I just hope that on this, he doesn’t end up like the current president.

—JOSE SANTAMARIA, [email protected]

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