Duterte-Duterte tandem looms large in the horizon

The Pulse Asia report showing that the Duterte-Duterte tandem got the highest ratings in its latest poll survey only validates what most Filipinos have known for a long time now.

We want continuity. We want the same brand of governance. We don’t want to see the gains made during the last five years derailed.

And we definitely want Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte to stay at the helm — as second-in-command — to give better stability as our ship continues to sail in turbulent waters in the immediate future.

In an interview with ANC’s Christian Esguerra last week, retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio scoffed at what he called “The Davao Model” of governance.

In his mind, what the Dutertes have accomplished in Davao is not acceptable to the Filipino people. Father and daughter have run Davao City as mayor-vice mayor and vice versa to make it a model LGU during the last three decades.

How poorly can this senile justice perceive what the Filipino people want.In the first place, it was Mayor Digong’s accomplishments in fighting illegal drugs and criminality in Davao City that propelled him to the Presidency.

When he ran in 2016, Mayor Digong had little national exposure compared to Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Jojo Binay and the late Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Mar Roxas not only hogged the national headlines for more than a decade as Cabinet secretary and congressman and Senator. He also had a bottomless-campaign kitty from government funds, boosted by the loot of the Liberal Party from DAP.

But thanks to social media, Mayor Digong compensated for his lack of media exposure and captured the hearts and minds of the Filipino people with his iron-fisted approach to governance.

The issues hurled against him became pebbles from a slingshot hitting Kevlar armor with double ceramic plates. Human rights violations? Filipinos cared more about the safety of their families than the wasted lives of addicts. Everybody understood that the war against drugs is necessarily violent. It’s either lawmen kill drug pushers, or the other way around.

In Iloilo City during the years 2010 to 2016, a number of law enforcers were murdered in broad daylight, and the Ilonggo senator Franklin Drilon didn’t think it was bothersome. Not once did Drilon complain that illegal drugs was turning Iloilo City into a narco-LGU! Well, he liked to pose for pictures with the wife of a drug lord!

The accomplishments of Mayor Digong in his first five years are much too plain to go unnoticed. Well, I guess only dilawans and pulahans pretend they don’t exist. In their mind, the Philippines is badly mangled from what they describe as incompetence in the Duterte administration. That perception is being fueled by the mainstream media.

But the dilawan/pulahan/oligarchy campaign of disinformation was consistently demolished by a vigilant citizenry who have locked arms through Facebook and Twitter to defend Mayor Digong and his government.

There is still much work to be done, especially in the area of corruption. Drilon is still unscathed; not a single case has yet reached the Sandiganbayan.

And the same is true with his cohorts in the Liberal Party.

Filipinos want Mayor Digong to finish what he has started. As Vice President, he will wield tremendous power and influence working with his daughter as President and Commander in Chief. It will be as if we will have two Presidents working in tandem.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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