THE ideological left makes the claim that elections in this kind of society is rotten to the core, dominated by rats, cockroaches, and crocodiles. They claim that it is mainly characterized by bribery or vote buying, and that it is dominated by elite and corrupt candidates and political parties who have no honest social agenda to improve society. This is manifested by gutter politics, personal attacks, shallow campaign issues, false promises to save the country, and use of mercenary mass media.
The left has never had high respects for our kind of elections, except perhaps in the matter of securing monetary advantages to advance their revolutionary aims or their ideological position on substantial social, economic, and political agenda. They think that a substantial or systemic overhaul that goes into the restructuring of the socio-economic foundation less controlled by the business, landlord, and foreign elite than by the majority of the people is needed more than mere changes in personalities or cosmetic form of government, whether presidential, federal, or parliamentary. In short, they think elections in this country are quarrels of political and economic crocodiles, each trying to deceive and give false hopes to the suffering people for their self interest or the interest of the ruling elite. Hence, the left usually silently or openly believe in a boycott of the electoral process.
Indeed we have had too many elections already, and our people have remained in abject poverty and our country has deteriorated as the most corrupt in Asia. In fact, voters no longer believe what the candidates promise, but they do find elections as source of entertainment, amusement and gambling, and money-making, all rolled into one.
Duterte comes into the picture as some kind of a gun-toting Clint Eastwood, though less refined and cultured in his ways, much like the vice-laden Joseph Estrada and Ramon Revilla, whose similarity to Duterte has endeared them to the masses, especially those who cannot distinguish between movies on one hand, and reality on the other hand. There is a special reason though why the educated upper class and middle class would go for Duterte initially as per the survey sponsored by Davao-based businessmen, done before he made the infamous vulgar and uncivilized speech. The rich and middle class have been so targeted by criminals, holduppers, and kidnappers that they have learned to admire Duterte’s tough talk against criminals.
But has Duterte has really succeeded in eliminating criminality in Davao? The recent kidnapping of tourists at Samal Island, which remains unsolved up to now, and his recent and much advertised announcement that he would shoot to death drug traffickers who would not leave Davao within 48 hours–indicate that the criminals or drug pushers have stayed in Davao undetected and unpunished. Where was he all these years?
I’ve written before that the president should be a model citizen, meaning someone whom the people would look up to, follow, or emulate. He should be morally decent, civilized, educated, intellectually brilliant, and knowledgeable in public governance. Duterte does not possess these qualities.
Can you imagine what would happen if Duterte gets elected as president? Our society would be in chaos. Every macho guy would have multiple wives and lovers or girlfriends! Every man would have multiple “insertions” if we borrow the term used by Nene Pimentel when he used the word during the debate between him and Mar Roxas regarding insertions in the budget which offended the latter and his wife Korina Sanchez. If illustrious senators and bar topnotochers like Koko Pimentel would endorse candidates like Duterte, soon our government would abolish colleges of law and the judicial system, and our country could become a topnotcher when it comes to divorce! Without lawyers and judges, everybody would be taking the law into his own hands. We’d be stabbing and shooting at each other!
Kill all the criminals and dump them into Manila Bay? Duterte should kill himself first. He admitted that he is a criminal himself, just unarrested and unprosecuted—so far. As a public official, his public admissions to the commission of murder or intention to commit multiple murders, concubinage, and his act of allowing a woman to sit on his lap and kissing her in the face with an open mouth in full view of the mass media would amount to grave misconduct. It should merit a dismissal and disqualification from public service by the Ombudsman.
Dumping the millions of bodies of criminals on Manila Bay would cause further reclamation of the bay, and it was Fidel Ramos, Duterte’s alleged endorser, who initiated the reclamation when he was president at government or the people’s expense. During Ramos’ time the reclaimed lands were sold to Amari Corporation, a Japanese company, at just P12,000 per square meter at a time when land along Roxas Boulevard were being sold at P200,000 per square meter! Imagine the size of the reclaimed land that can be sold and the bloody proceeds!
In modern times, this country has not been good in choosing presidents. First, we choose a mere housewife who became president by accident and sentimentalism. Then we had Fidel Ramos, military chief of Marcos. Then we elected a drunkard, gambler, and known womanizer known as Joseph Estrada, the actor. Then we elected Noynoy Aquino who never authored a single bill or law when he was congressman or senator, and who was a mediocre student of Ateneo de Manila. Noynoy, the mediocre, played videogames when the Chinese tourist bus was being rescued at Luneta, resulting in a massacre. It took him a week before visiting the Yolanda victims. Instead of meeting the deceased members of SAF at the Villamor airbase, he attended the inauguration of a car factory. A day after the Bohol earthquake that caused so much devastation, he left for South Korea to buy military jets.
This country indeed has been visited by so much tragedies. To avoid another tragedy, Mar Roxas should distance himself from his endorser, Noynoy, the guy being targeted by all the candidates opposing the Liberal Party. Or Roxas and this country could both become mere collateral damages. Let us pray for guidance from the Divine.
(Mariano B. Carrasco is a lawyer based in Cagayan de Oro.)