What Do Other Filipinos React on Duterte Fever
President Duterte during the Press Conference
By Elena Spencer
The election in the Philippines marked a significant era for change. People demanded for a political change and sought for a leader who could transform the country. When one presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte introduced his political platforms to kill all drug addicts and drug pushers and vowed to penalize all criminals and corrupt officials, people easily pointed their finger at him. “He must be the president.” They thought Duterte was the right leader to lead the country. Although plenty of presidential candidates had sound and valid credentials to be the next president, most people ignored them and their political agenda because they fully decided to choose Rodrigo Duterte to lead the Philippine republic.
Before the election came, millions of people supported him. Most students, parents, members of the military, and church organizations showed support for Duterte leadership because of his straightforward decisions and assertions to eliminate all criminals. They printed flyers, streamers, tarps, and T-Shirts, manufactured wristbands, and made other memorabilia. They further joined their travels during the campaigns and even fought for those who criticized the running president. Of all their hard work, Rodrigo Duterte won as the new president of the Philippines and would take office on June 30, 2016. Because he promised to change the country, the majority of the Filipino people selected him without reservations. In the end, Duterte could really win because millions of Filipinos admired and chose him.
Months later, the newly elected president Duterte made appearances from various media conferences. They started executing his government mandates and plans to extinguish all drug addicts and pushers and eliminate corrupt officials in the government. He began with the BIR, BOC, LTO, and other agencies. He also intervened with the affairs of the Supreme Court. Then, he dispensed difficult and inappropriate words towards the media people and industries. His actions called for further debates his rule the country based on his edicts. As he created and mandated decrees, some people felt and experienced his power and force.
Prior to June 30, media reports depicted his inappropriate uses of expressions and language, violations of human rights, and ethics. He made Catholic Church disagree with him on the death penalty, use of contraceptive devices, and integration of sex education in the high school curriculum. He called the bishops hypocrite and dishonored women in most of his statements. Indeed, President Duterte made himself a public humor and threat to human justice wherein he outweighed the moral and ethical edicts. During the interview with one network in the country, he yelled at the female journalist to shut up in order to listen to his famous singer Freddie Aguilar. Of all these character backgrounds of the new president, people still love him and choose him as the leader. Their unmoved and inflexible admiration towards President Duterte is well-founded. Even if President Duterte used inappropriate language and disgusting remarks on women and other groups of people, most people like and love him and his actions. When June 30 came, the president would unleash his power and his true nature. However, people still chose him and regarded him as a hero. It was because people could not get rid of Duterte Fever – a disease in which people could not realize and think due to their extreme admiration and idolization. They made President Duterte become an iconic god, which had a sign of an eagle. For whatever that meant, most people got inflicted with it until they could never hold on to it. They helped him win.
The Philippine President and the Gun
Furthermore, choosing Rodrigo Duterte as president might be an act of desperation. Out of hopelessness, people were desperate enough to resolve issues on graft and corruption, illegal use of drugs, and other forms of criminalities. For them, their final option was to vote for a president whose antagonistic, obstinate, and powerful character could bring change and rebuild the Philippines. When they voted for Duterte, they believed that he could finally terminate all forms of political and social quandaries and that he could transform the economic, political, and social status quo of the country and of the Filipino people. However, things changed. Some of the people even his supporters felt bad about him. His remarks over the media were biased and prejudicial. He kept on swearing words and maintaining trash talks, and he defied all questions thrown at him. He has been firm that he would never accept any reprimand from any individuals and groups of organizations. In the end, President Duterte won leaving people to wonder how they wasted their votes for him.
Overall, most people were decided to choose Rodrigo Duterte to lead the Philippine republic without checking his moral and ethical backgrounds. Even if some presidential candidates had sound and valid credentials to be the next president, people remained committed amidst his trash talks, swearwords, and unfitting comments on different matters. Then many people now including his supporters turned their backs on him. Why was that? Why did people always comment on his remarks, ethical and moral grounds, and bad language? Why did they react now? The fact that they voted for him meant that they liked and loved him for who he is. Whatever happens to the country now, they are part of this Duterte Fever towards the end. Perhaps, people should lower their expectations and standards since most of Duterte’s advisers told them who Duterte is. If he speaks bad words, that is who he is. As Lady Gaga and Madonna say, Duterte is born that way.