Ben Contreras .
TO be a leader of a nation is not an easy job, especially if this nation has other motives than just its survival and well-being. For a great nation like the United States of America that loves to play the policeman of the world, we are all witness to how problems of the world hastened the aging process of its past leaders. US presidents do not just tackle international issues but also local issues that bring politicians at loggerheads, not to mention with agencies responsible for covert operations, inland and beyond its territories and the alleged shadow government run by big business that makes their president dispensable when their interests are threatened.
For a small nation like ours whose political immaturity persists to this day, leaders succumbed to power that brings great benefits and perks to their doorsteps. They become hostage to their own greed. And history will tell us that they hardly get punished for their sins.
Perhaps, the silent majority of the past has awakened. Democracy has not been kind to the majority of the Filipino people. The gap between the rich and the poor has not been narrowed down. Social inequities continue while those in power enrich themselves limitlessly. To ask who’s to blame would be a chicken-and-egg question. Corruption and injustice persist despite the perceived iron hand-rule of Duterte.
Is it our crab mentality that is pulling us down or preventing us to rise above others? Why can’t we be magnanimous in defeat and work together for the good of the nation?
“Sawa na ang tao,” so they say. And they gave Duterte a huge majority to send the message. Yet our attitude remains as if the election has not ended. Some media outlets would rather pick the negative and bury the positive gains giving the impression that they’re being paid to do so by quarters out to destroy the present administration.
A leader will always be judged by history. Marcos was ousted for his alleged sins to the Filipino people and that was more than three decades ago. Yet, today, the Filipino people are still enjoying the fruits of his administration’s achievements: superhighways, bridges, specialized hospitals, energy plants, dams, etc. What have the presidents after him to show to the Filipino people?
Let’s just take a look at our superhighway here built in the ’70s. It still exists with minor repairs. And compare it to the ones built by his successors, destroyed after only a few years. Poor quality of projects are indicative of too much corruption.
Duterte’s critics love to liken him to the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos or leaders that are evidently in power today. A political analyst has this to say: “From Trump to Mr. Duterte and Xi, what all these figures have in common is their unshakable belief in themselves as the guardians and saviors of their respective people, not to mention their limited patience for political rivals and critics.”
To be a leader of millions, one has to have that self-confidence and resolve to rule, not so much about make-believe or pretense to be a guardian and savior since it is already inherent in one’s responsibilities to do and be so.
Trump and Duterte just happen to be equally controversial and initially, were unexpected to win. But both did win. Xi, on the other hand, rose from an ordinary member of the party who worked his way to the top with flying colors. After a new mandate, Xi is likely to rule China until his death.
Trump, despite all sorts of attacks against his administration and person, will likely finish his term. As for Duterte, the incessant unreasonable attack against him may just give him the right ingredients to do what his enemies wish he won’t do.
You think it’s easy to be a leader? Try to imagine yourself in their shoes.