“Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It’s self-defense. It’s patriotism.” Joe Biden’s words harmoniously capture 2016 presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte’s purpose behind running for the chair. “I cannot accept an American President,” were the words he directed at Sen. Grace Poe’s candidacy. He claimed that the thought of her ruling had driven him to vie for the presidential seat. Albeit masses of electorates prompt their abhorrence towards Duterte, his supporters believe otherwise; they adhere to the change he works to instill in the country.
Best known for his merciless battle against crime and drugs, the 7-term Davao Mayor has remained firm on his stand against the flowing prevalence of illegality in the Philippines. The blunt bar-passer has exacted his image to be an intellectual extremist with a platform set on turning the entire disciplinary status of the country around. Despite his controversial methods, as well as the Church’s vocal distaste for the presidential hopeful, Duterte still remains a strong contender as millions of Filipinos believe that he is the ticket to both political, economic, and overall conversion. He aims to implement radical change to this devout land of immense sin – a goal only few have succeeded in achieving.
But of course, with all the good comes the bad, and many believe that Duterte’s reign as president will heed forth nothing but disaster to the country. Corrupt – according to the Church, that is what Duterte is – corrupt. He is nothing but the face of corruption and immorality. He claims that he will “bust crime”, “strip corrupt politicians of their seats”, and “eradicate the delinquents of this country”, but is it really all worth the measures he will undergo in order to administer it? What is the loss of crime when your head of state is a profane, adulterous lowlife whom commits homicide? The Bible claims that murder is wrong, and Duterte will definitely bring back the death penalty. Is an immoral face really what we need on the presidential chair?
As far as I’m concerned, we do not need a saint to lead us towards political, disciplinary, and economic enlightenment. Claiming that Duterte is depraved for the fact that he cusses in public is one of the most hypocritical statements I’ve ever heard. He may not be the perfect candidate, for an ounce of bad will always preside in a liter of good. His foresight to abolish taxes for all professionals whom earn a monthly salary of Php25, 000.00 and below could possibly be one of the most drastic changes he plans to reform in the country. The transition to federalism, from presidential to parliamentary, the decrease in agricultural imports, and the unwavering support he shows towards the LGBTQ community are some of his most ubiquitous advocacies. President or not, Duterte’s legacy will forever be immortalized in the fact that Davao was once infamous for harboring one of highest crime rates in the Philippines. If he wins this presidential election, he will be renowned for bringing forth another developmental advancement to a sector of the country – and even more so, an entire nation.