THE DUTERTE PHENOM
The man is serious. He is a good leader to start with. He walks the talk. He simply wants to accomplish something and that something must be effective.
When he was prodded to run for the highest post of the land, he simply noted. Should he run, it must be on the basis of what he intends to do to his country and constituencies. He never pretended to be an advocate who wish to step up and be considered lily clean or saintly to get attention. He presented himself, warts and all, morally defective as it were, thug-like even, without finesse, expressions uncouth and even irreligious. He wanted the people, the electorate, to see him as bare as possible, nude if need it, to appreciate his being. If in the process the electorate would elect him, he wanted them to check his very person. He wanted them to see for themselves the real character of the one they intend to follow. He likewise wanted the people to see the man who intends to whip them into the line.
In reality, he was never brash at all. He is prim, proper, old school and soft spoken. A lady’s man never would venture characteristically along abrasive lines. If at all he was seen as such, it was just for show to discourage the uninitiated.
Accordingly, he lived a barbaric life and disliked it. Now he wanted if given the chance to erase barbarism as a way of life. He had that moment when he was elected Mayor of Davao and indeed, barbaric as he was, he immediately dismantled barbarism in the face of Davao as he did on himself earlier.
His expression when forced to comment on his application for Presidency was unemotional. Accordingly, he will never lose sleep if he loses. As a matter of fact, he was never excited at all in filing his certificate of candidacy. It was merely if not largely a friendly accommodation, not even close to commitment. It was just one of those days in his storied life as a politician. Nothing more.
During his acceptance speech, he even tried to project a persona which militates against the taste of the leisure class, that influential group composed of the manicured and sheltered folks. He never even campaigned and would rather predicate his speech with “Better not vote for me at all.” It is not an expression of confidence; it was more of cajoling the pedestrians never to get serious with him.
Being elected to the highest post for Duterte is no longer a problem if survey results are to be relied upon. He would get a high mark and higher acceptance.
Duterte succeeded in Davao kasi ang tao dun seryoso. On a national scale, it’s different. Sabi nila ang Pinoy daw karamihan puro pasaway. Duterte may use Israel, Singapore and Korea as template for pushing the country towards progress. He has got the will, chutzpah and the temper anyway.
Duterte’s mettle is therefore to be proven not on the basis of being elected but on the score whether he will last longer.