Journalist and @hotmanila webmaster Alan Robles wrote this Opinion piece for the German Development and Cooperation magazine, D+C. It was published online today.
By Alan C. Robles
Rodrigo Duterte, the president-elect of the Philippines, loves to swear and threaten to kill people. The populist looks set to become a dictator.
“We Filipinos need disciplining,” a taxi driver told me a few days after Rodrigo Duterte won the presidential elections. The man the electorate chose to administer the discipline is heavy handed indeed. During his campaign, Duterte often addressed unseen criminals with the words “I will kill you”, vowing to fill the waters of Manila Bay with thousands of corpses.
Decrying the country as riddled with crime and corruption, he used the slogan “change is coming”, which some followers with uncertain English skills phonetically spelled as “chains is coming”. Perhaps they were prescient.
The president-elect has promised a lot, including to:
- restore the death penalty and hold public hangings,
- impose a nationwide curfew on minors,
- have speeding motorists stripped naked,
- limit families to three children and
- ban firecrackers.
- He also plans to ban public smoking, drinking and late-night karaoke sessions. He has pledged to improve internet speed and compels taxi drivers to give exact change.
When he’s sworn in on 30 June, the 71-year old populist former mayor of Davao will be a new kind of president:
- the first to come from the conflict-torn southern island of Mindanao,
- the first to invite hard-line Communists into his cabinet,
- the first to express belligerence towards the Catholic Church (he cursed the Pope and said the Church was full of hypocrites) and
- the first to be stridently anti-American.
To read the rest, please click on this link.