Duterte may sound ridiculous but people believe him

/ 12:14 AM June 17, 2016

RINA JIMENEZ David wrote in her column, “The ‘little town’ of Copenhagen,” (Opinion, 5/22/16): “I knew (know!) exactly what happened in the Philippines: Millions voted to the presidency a man who is now becoming the talk—if not the joke—of commentators the world over.”

I don’t know exactly the point she was driving at, but I am inclined to conclude that she was casually or seriously underestimating the true worth or potential of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.


David may have a very sophisticated mind so as to desire or long for a president with a brain far more complex than hers. This possibly drove her to think that Duterte is now the butt of all the commentators’ jokes all throughout the planet since he terribly lacks the finesse or sophistication of urbanites. Why did David fail to realize the pure and simple reason that more than

16 million Filipinos overwhelmingly voted the man to the presidency?


Here’s a lowly man from Mindanao, but nevertheless full of conviction, who campaigned with this proposition: “If you believe in what I am saying, vote for me; otherwise vote someone else.” What he kept harping was, he certainly didn’t covet the presidency but, if elected, he would use to the hilt its inherent powers to firmly and purposely lead this grieving nation to its proper and well-deserved place under the sun at the soonest possible time.

He looks and sounds like a simpleton and even ridiculous. How on earth can he be able to solve— or even make a dent on—the herculean, complex problems facing our nation? These problems accumulated and worsened under a succession of presidents—starting from the Marcos regime to the present Aquino administration. He claims to eradicate the nationwide illegal drug menace, lawlessness and corruption in government within three to six months from the time he assumes the presidency. His belief is that if he can’t make it within three to six months, then he will never be able to do it during his six years of his presidency.

But the more than 16 million Filipinos who voted Duterte to the presidency truly believe the man. His concrete success in converting the once war-torn Davao City into a progressive and peaceful community, now adjudged as ninth most peaceful city in the world, is the main reason the masses rally behind him.

And then comes the most decisive and dramatic factor that galvanized the million diehards for his noble cause—his willingness and readiness to fight fiercely and die heroically in order to defend his beloved motherland against aggressors both from within and outside the country.

—JESUS R. FLORENTINO, Purok 4, Cambanogoy, Asuncion, Davao del Norte

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