Thursday, May 19, 2016


President-Elect Rody Duterte

Mar Roxas was what we call “llamado”. He had all the advantages in the Philippine presidential race.

First, he had greater name recognition – son of the late LP President
and Senator Gerry Roxas, and grandson of the Philippines’ First
Philippine Republic Manuel Roxas;

Second, he was endorsed and supported by the incumbent President
Benigno Aquino III. and the Yellow Army;

Third, he was the standard bearer of the ruling party – the Liberal
Party, which has the political machine and resources controlling
Congress, Provincial, City, and Municipal capitols and the entire

Fourth, he was independently wealthy and supported by clean and business money;

Fifth, he was the incumbent Secretary of Interior and Local
Governments, which gave him access and control over almost every local
political official;

Sixth, he was comparatively the most experienced among the
presidential candidates; and

Seventh, he owned a powerful message, “Daang Matuwid”, which proved to be PNoy’s successful anti-corruption legacy.

Yet, he lost to my Bedan classmate Mayor Rody Duterte in the
presidential competition. Duterte trounced him convincingly with
Duterte garnering 15,956,395 votes and Roxas obtaining 9,696,228 per
reports as I write this column.

Why? Let me contribute the following views:

1.     Historically, Filipino voters always preferred the perceived
most “macho” or “superhero” as President. Based on his record as a
strong Mayor of Davao City, Duterte was reputed to be the most

2.     While endorsed by PNoy, the Liberal Party, and the Yellow Army
to continue PNoy’s policies, the Filipino people have not felt the
benefits of the economic and “Daang Matuwid” policies. Continuity does
not register to mean socio-economic and political changes to their
lives in the immediate future.

3.     Duterte’s message resonated more and was credibly better received
by the Filipino voters. Promising to go after the criminals and hoping
to suppress drug trafficking drove the voters to the polls for
Duterte. This is reinforced by the promise to accomplish the
objectives in the shortest time possible – six months to one year.

4.     The prospects for eventual peace in Mindanao seems to be
closest to the hearts and minds of the Muslims and other Mindanao
residents with Duterte voted as President.

5.     Even the leftist and other rebels are open to sitting down with
Duterte peacefully and together looking for long-term solutions to the conflicts.

6.     Initially disappointed for his decision not to run for
President, I wrote that his withdrawal meant that the Filipino people
were denied an alternative vision for the country’s future as
reflected by Rody’s unwavering commitment to institute radical changes
in our society. A great number of Filipinos like and love what he did
in Davao City and even more wanted him to lead the nation. Hence, the
clamor for him to run for President.

Well, he heard the clamor and the sound was getting louder and louder! His supporters grew in great numbers, and Philippine history is changed forever!

I join others in praying that God blesses President-elect Duterte with
greater health, discernment, courage and wisdom as he provides the
Filipino people a clear vision.

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