The DU30 Run
“Duterte represents the natural expression of the people,” said MJ Gemino, an active youth member of a Mindanao-based organization supporting the movement towards Federalism.
Going Bananas in a Coconut Republic
Philippine politics has been characterized by everything one can find in a political system, but including an addiction to political power that masks itself as “public service,” and one that feeds on patronage, cronyism and the veiled narcissism of personalities seeking to grab the mandate of voters by a strong appeal to the emotions rather than a rational discussion of public interests.
One Philippine president has been ousted in 1986 for sustained human rights violations and the plunder of the nation and for creating an atmosphere of ‘submerged’ fear for almost 15 years under Martial Law.
Two Philippine presidents after Marcos have been accused of graft and plunder, have been prosecuted and jailed but still managed to make a comeback in politics and are still active in the Philippine political arena.
Two members of the Philippine Senate who were actors in Philippine cinema were also found guilty of graft and plunder under the Aquino administration and are now in jail.
Political motivation has always been made as the standard counter statement by politicians accused of wrongdoing. The case is always “politically motivated” despite the evidence to the contrary.
Political leaders who have established themselves in the political arena but lose in the elections still hold on to political power. Some would jump ship to the winning political party and create new relationships and alliances. One reason is to protect their interests, or shield them and their families from future prosecution should the law catch up to their past misdeeds.
The politics of patronage is cronyism to the highest degree, reinforced by the existence of political dynasties. Close political confidantes and allies from the business sector can be shielded from investigation and prosecution. Perhaps there is an exception found in the administration of President Aquino, but only time can tell.
After the coming elections, the party in power, whoever would win as President, would determine the political climate of the country for the next six years.
Asian Dragon Magazine Feature
Comes Now Duterte
“Change we need, change we must” is the campaign slogan the Duterte camp has put into its war machine. He adds, “I will tell you now that I can provide leadership.” Duterte’s vision of a “Crime free, drug free, insurgency free, corruption free and poverty free Philippines” has caught the attention of millions of Filipinos who are mostly young voters who have been grossly disappointed with the past national government administrations.
In the Social Weather Stations, as of April 11, 2016 candidate Rodrigo Duterte leads the presidential race by 27% over his opponents: Grace Poe (23%), Jejomar Binay (20%), the administration candidate Mar Roxas (18%), and Miriam Defensor Santiago (3%).
In January 2016, Grace Poe was leading the pack while Duterte was in the fourth position.
In the Pulse Asia Research / ABS-CBN Survey, as of April 4, 2016, Duterte leads by an average of 30% for the entire Philippines over the other candidates, with the highest support garnered from Mindanao (55%) followed by the National Capital Region in Metropolitan Manila giving Duterte a 32% edge, then the Visayan Islands with 25%, and the rest of Luzon with 19%.
The Pulse Asia survey results show that Mindanao is a huge geographic and cultural voting bloc that can propel Duterte to the presidency on May 9, 2016.
Running under the party PDP Laban (meaning “Filipino continue the fight”), the clenched fist logo has become the popular way of expressing both dissent and “pushing through” the change that would come for the Filipino voter.
Duterte Campaign Sorties
Alan Peter Cayetano: Duterte’s Vice President
After months of search last year, presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte took in Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as his running mate. While Duterte prides himself as belonging to the lower middle class, Senator Cayetano belongs to the upper middle class.
For some the tandem is just a right mix with Duterte as the “fire” and Cayetano as the cool “water” to balance the political equation.
In the surveys, Cayetano is struggling behind the other Vice Presidential contenders, prompting Duterte to come out with a political ad on television saying to the effect, “You have to vote for Alan so that he can advise me if what I’m doing is wrong, or right. If you won’t vote for Alan, then don’t vote for me.”
Such strong admonition from a man accused by his opponents of a number of human rights violations when he was still the mayor of Davao City. .
One reason why Duterte is getting more and more people to believe in him is because of his open, frank way of expressing himself in public, leading people to read a greater sense of honesty in his character more than the other candidates.
His platform, which is Federalism, has attracted professional people to his side.
The Catholic Pope Francis whom he once berated using some foul language because of a delay in his coming to a political function in Manila as a result of the heavy traffic when the Pope was at the same time visiting Manila said recently that he is going to pray for Duterte. He is the only presidential candidate given such a privilege by the Supreme Pontiff. Earlier, Duterte has asked forgiveness from His Holiness.
A Facebook post even says Obama will support Duterte in 2016.
Manila entertainers and artists led by DZRJ / Radyo Bandido RJ Jacinto has planned a concert for Duterte in Manila on April 30, 2016 together some of the finest musicians and bands the group has gathered that include Pepe Smith, Freddie Aguilar, Aiza Seguerra, Jimmy Bondoc and many others.
The group of Duterte and Cayetano believes that the PDP Laban Party can stop criminality, illegal drugs proliferation, and corruption in the Philippines within 6-months once elected on May 9, 2016. Many have doubted the capability of the Duterte team to eradicate such challenging goals in 6 months.
But a political analyst said this is possible if the Duterte group would use a legal strategy, which is to bring back or re-impose the “Death Penalty” for heinous crimes which could significantly reduce the crime rate and effectively support police work in the fight against crime.
If Duterte brings back the death penalty, many among those high profile convicts in prison today would in all likelihood qualify. And this would send jitters to the crime groups outside the prison systems.
On May 9, 2016, millions of voters will go to the polls. There is no official precise number yet of the number of voters but with the present population of the country estimated at 76 million, fifty percent of this number would be about 38 million who would most likely vote. Many would expect that the turnout would be high this year due to the problems facing the country and the urgency of solving these problems.