( I said “could”, not “would”. I’m still thinking about it. And so is he. So there.)
#1 He’s the only guy I can imagine going after the horrid thieves in government to the point that satisfies me. He says he’ll make them fish food–and that is my point of satisfaction. Death to these traitors–nothing more, nothing less.
Reclusio perpetua means you’re going to use my money to feed and house these shits further, right? And make a mockery of justice again, right? That he’ll still really be free to move in and out of jail and he’ll have a mansion there and servants and his mistresses can still pleasure this shit, right?
And after that grand palabas, we get the blessed privilege of having you, once again, in public service as a high official aka recycled garbage- ready to screw us all over again.
So, no really, I’d rather they die swift, painful deaths—these greedy, heartless monsters who took the sacred trust we gave them and basically shit on it and thought nothing of it.
These traitors who have sentenced millions upon millions of Filipinos to live lives of utter and complete poverty and who have ransomed an entire nation–and it’s children and grandchildren to a future so bleak that millions of us have chosen to plunge ourselves in the dark abyss of uncertainty as second class citizens in distant lands rather than the certainty of severe poverty in one’s own land.
#2 I like the idea of me being able to leave my bag in public anytime without fear of anyone stealing it– because, that, my dear friends is what Digong Duterte has made of Davao City.
Because it used to be killing fields–and like some skilled magician, Mayor Duterte deftly managed one of the biggest cities in the world from killing fields to a city that’s gained international renown as one of the most peaceful cities in the world.
You’re in the Philippines and yet it doesn’t seem like you’re in the Philippines.
#3 I like a taxi driver who remembers that that thing he drives is called ‘public transport’ and will therefore open the door for me with great courtesy and drive me to wherever it is I need to go without subjecting me to his whims nor to his 20 questions nor to his inner deciding committee before he hands down THE VERDICT to me–but not before torturing me with his crazy game–a game with rules I have neither the facility nor patience to understand.
“SAAN??!!” “Ang layo naman!!” “Garahe na ako eh.” ***pregnant pause punctuated with heavy breathing that becomes hostile breathing because you’re too slow to realize that that was the signal to start the bidding.**
So that’s my reason #3– I love a leader who cares, really cares, that my day goes fine and cares that I don’t get subjected to the daily shit of other people’s petty tyrannies.
#4. I like that he mirrors the homicidal outrage I feel in my heart for the officials responsible for those kilometers-long MRT lines and gridlocked traffic and says if he were president, why, “I would go to whoever is in charge and kick him!” because this is EXACTLY what I’d do if I were president and EXACTLY what I expect from my president.
Not a president who stares blankly into space while those he has tasked to serve us, dish out horrible lines that stick in our gullets because they’re too hard to swallow–
these rich kids who have NO IDEA what it’s like to have their faces on someone’s kili kili in an overflowing train after lining up for hours, them in their SUVs and hawi boys who make sure they don’t know what it’s like to be trapped in traffic for hours every blessed day of their lives so they rub salt to our wounds by mouthing lines that make me want to stuff their stupid mouths with a fat, rolled up newspaper.
Lines like, “At least it’s not fatal.” or “Traffic is a sign of our country’s booming economy.”
#5 He mirrors my pain for the downtrodden and the deeply impoverished. He talks about them with tears in his eyes—the same tears I have not had the capacity nor the sophistication maybe –to hold and blink back.
And he says EXACTLY what I want a leader to say about the poor–that we must bend ourselves over backwards till we’re blue in the face —to get them out of the dire straits they’re in. That there can be no REAL and LASTING progress when we leave behind those who have no fight left in them.
And he puts his money where his mouth is with poverty alleviation programs that work. Put simply, Digong Duterte is the poor man/woman’s ally.
And my tired heart absolutely loves this.
#6. Close to zero kidnappings in Davao. Let me give you a moment to wrap your mind around that awesomeness.
#7. Close to zero carnappings in Davao City.
I live in Quezon City, carnapping capital of the Philippines so I’m sorry but I just blew a fuse in my head when I found this out. Boom.
#8. I have seen his house. This mayor of over 2 decades lives in a low cost housing area in Davao. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a home of a disgusting kurakot.
I have seen the inside of Juan Ponce Enrile’s house and let me say, it made my skin crawl at the vulgar and ostentatious and yes, shameless display of stolen wealth. And yup, bad taste.
Chandeliers, heavy brocade drapes, French provincial shit..and more chandeliers.
And Erap’s? Oh boy. All I could think of was you really can’t buy good taste. So like the shades these Estradas love to wear— Elvis Presley shades. Nakakahina sa asar just thinking it was money they stole from me that financed all that kabaduyan.
And have you seen Irene Marcos’ house in Forbes? I thought there was a mall inside Forbes.
And don’t get me started on the Binays–just because there are only 24 hours in a day.
What’s it with these plunderers and their vulgar and crass and just downright BAD taste in everything: from cars to furnishing to houses to shades?
Well, Rody Duterte has none of that shit.
Sure he’s a multimillionaire–says his net worth is 17M. And he can account for every cent of that 17M–and let me tell you, none of that came from public coffers.
Also, he offers it up for public scrutiny–his SALN. As he SHOULD. As every public servant should. And yet how so unlike him those in Senate and Congress are–those bastards who shamelessly have used the law to hide their SALNs from us.
Hindi naman obvious na mga MAGNANAKAW kayo no?!
#9. I didn’t see one billboard in Davao that had his face nor name on it. Why? He has banned it and he will give you major grief if you put up one–and sincerely too–not the cloying pretend-humility we’re so used to from human yucks we call our leaders.
And why? He gives me the reason I want to hear for the truth that it is, the truth that has been forgotten by these shameless epals in government who would put their muddied names and ugly faces on any flat surface, given half the chance: that these projects are financed by people’s money–money we worked hard for–not his. And therefore no credit should be given to him for doing his job.
#10. He believes, as I do, that all religion must stay out of politics.
#11. He believes in a woman’s right to reproductive choices and says so LOUD AND CLEAR–not giving a damn what the Catholic hierarchy thinks. That, my friends, is true leadership. No pandering to the audience. No to kowtowing to anyone at the expense of the people you’re supposed to serve.
#12 He believes in EQUAL RIGHTS and he hates oppression of rights of the LGBT.
#13 Among the hundreds of high officials in government, his reaction to Yolanda was the ONLY reaction that matched mine–the shock, the horror, the heart rending grief.
And he was in Tacloban a mere hours after the dust settled, bringing with him relief goods labeled, “from the people of Davao City”.
Compare that with the low life Jojo Binay who not only stole relief goods donated by other agencies but repacked it with, “from Jojo Binay”. Fucking heartless asshole, demonyo ka, Jojo Binay.
And Digong Duterte had a clear eyed assessment of Yolanda from the get-go and intelligent solutions to it.
Unlike the rich, useless kids Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas who have had an embarrassment of resources at their disposal to make millions of lives better in an instant in Yolanda-stricken towns and for some strange cosmic reason too hard for me to fathom, have instead chosen to avert their gaze and have done one, big, fat NOTHING.
I know his methods are unorthodox and they’ve made me think deep thoughts about the value we place on human life and how, with Digong Duterte, I can’t be linear about my usual narratives on life because he has challenged the usual stories I tell myself about what I’ve thought were immutable and sacrosanct.
He’s made me think of the paradoxes and ironies of our day. How we’re so attached to our over simplistic, linear stories about life –that our naivete and our simplistic notions have been used against us.
How those who have the most in life by way of power, money, resources have been given the most protection by those who have sworn to protect ordinary Filipinos and instead have made a mockery of justice.
How the most vulnerable among us have been stripped even more, so that they lie naked in their hunger and ignorance –and by those who have forgotten the sacred duty of public service.
Those who say they value life, protect those who have destroyed millions of lives.
And it is true, some of Mayor Duterte’s methods make me cringe.
But the truth too is that the system is so screwed up and close to total breakdown because justice favors the rich and the powerful and has turned blind and deaf to the cries of the poor and the ordinary.
And how it’s become the rule for the rich and powerful guilty to go unpunished because these hoodlums in robes whose job it is to mete out justice have put up the ‘for sale’ sign and no longer think of the practice of law as lofty.
Justice has become commodified and sold to the highest bidder.
And while the presence of someone like Digong Duterte may be seen as obscene by others, in truth, for the overwhelming majority of Filipinos, what has become an obscenity is government and the idea of swift justice in the hands of a leader who will put himself through the fire to protect us all makes us pump our fists in the air and go, “YES! FINALLY!”