From Day 1 of press conferences since you have become President-elect, I have watched eagerly. When you had that midnight presscon, I was about to sleep, but I stayed awake until two in the morning because I enjoy listening to you rant and ramble—it’s so refreshing! It’s so different from what we’re all used to. It’s so far from the scripted and manicured words I’ve been forced to listen to for years. In school we’re always required to watch the SONA and to write essays about it. I’ve never completed an entire SONA (I read excerpts) but I have watched every interview you have given. So I know and probably have memorized many of the things you’ve said.
Anyway, I wrote to tell you some things. Oh yeah, I love to ramble too (like you) so this will be long.
On Catcalling and Sexual Harassment
I watched the first presscon and I laughed when it happened because I remember you were in the middle of something and did not immediately register where the voice was coming from.
Reporter: How do you deal with Cabinet Secretaries who are non-performing.
Sir I’m here, will you be giving them a deadline?
President Duterte: Papansin ka talaga sa akin ha?
(crowd laughs and teases)
President Duterte (whistles)
I laughed because it was funny, and everyone thought so too, but I also said in my mind: “Kulit nitong mokong na ito” (Oh this silly man is unbelievable!) and two days later this silliness blew up in your face. Tsk tsk tsk! I cannot defend you on this one. However funny and even though I know you meant no malice, you shouldn’t have done that. I hate being catcalled. I absolutely hate it when men think it’s a compliment but I understand where you’re coming from. I am not going to defend you, but I wrote the script above because I believe that it is important that people view the entire EVENT in its COMPLETE CONTEXT.
On the follow up press conference, this issue was brought up again and you rambled on with an excuse that I believe you shouldn’t have done. It was a spur of the moment thing… it’s hard to rationalize such events and when you begin to defend yourself, you give them even more room to criticize you.
On Endorsing Journalist Killings
I agree with you when you categorized journalists into three types: the crusaders, who put importance in in their profession and the plight to tell the truth to the whole world; the mouthpiece of vested interest, who are paid to make businessmen and other important individuals look and sound good; and the low life journalists, whose greed is unlimited.
Unlimited greed is scary. Anyway, here is the script of that section of your presscon:
Reporter: Sir what is your policy about the journalist killings that the Aquino government failed to act (on). Journalist killings?
Rodrigo Duterte: Bakit may (inaudible) bago? Alam mo iha ganito yan… kung papatayin ka talaga, papatayin ka. There is no way to know that the next victim will be a journalist. Sa karamihan, pranka pranka, may nagawa yan. Kasi di ka naman talaga papatayin jan kung wala kang ginawa eh. Yung mga expose and bad words against us, wala yan, ako being a Mayor… pero karamihan nyan alam mo nabigyan na tapos, especially if you want to take sides, nabayaran mo na tapos you play, yan ang karamihan namamatay or tumatanggap na sa mga sugarol tapos bira bira pa rin. You really want the truth? Yun ang truth. There is still corruption in, sa inyong side. Marami yan hindi lang ang binibigyan yan hindi lang ang pulis. Binibigyan yan. Noon si Pala, binibigyan yan, kokolekta harap-harapan sasabihin: “kumulekta kami”, tapos sa kabila (inaudible). Yon, that is the best example kung bakit namamatay itong mga journalists. Kaya pranka pranka, ganyan kayo. Karamihan ganon. Kasi kung journalist ka lang na tama walang gagalaw sa iyo. Especially if it is true, you cannot hide the truth by the way. Pero yung ganon na… ang example natin dito, kung taga rito ka man, yung si Pala. I do not diminish his memory but he was a ro–he was a rotten son of a bitch. (inaudible)
Reporter: But is that an excuse to kill him? President, I mean, just because the journalist is corrupt or whatever, is that–
Rodrigo Duterte: Well that is the reason. You’re asking why? That is the reason.
(I will stop here)
PDiggy, you shouldn’t have answered WHY because the question was WHAT and that is where things went wrong. I do not see your answer as an endorsement of media killings, but your answer was not right. Someone from his side should have interrupted him. The reporter was trying to butt in, I kept hearing her say: “But what is…” and I am guessing she wanted to say: “But what is your policy against this?”. But she never got the chance to ask it. Please learn how to listen. I know you love to talk, but you have to listen too. Because WHY is an “ESSAY” question and if that was the question then it merits a lecture, but it was not the case.
During the campaign period I developed headaches with the amount of irresponsible and malicious journalism going around. I am sure your headache is of no comparison to mine and you probably hate them a little (or a lot), but let’s learn from this. and take time to listen next time so you can answer properly. You said it: “Kapag Presidente ka na wala ka nang ginawang tama”, so be wary.
On Your Cabinet Choices
I have many DURO friends–that is Duterte voters who voted Robredo to serve with you. While there is clamor about you being noncommittal to giving a Cabinet post to the VP-elect, I respect your decision because I think I would do the same thing. Of course I am not the President but I know how it is to have people against me–especially those whose intentions are questionable. (Pause: This is not a personal attack on Robredo. I am referring to opposition party). My Leni voting friends (the ones I’ve spoken to) understand your position–and whether you establish future rapport with her or not, is really fine with me, but in the spirit of unity I hope that you do. Nevertheless, I love your honesty. Because we all know VP Binay wanted DILG but he got housing, so where is the dignity in that move, really?
I also do not have any problem with your Cabinet choices, for now. I have a geeky EXCEL file of my own research about them and although there are some questionable names, I will trust you with this because I know you know better. I like it when you said: “It is the President who is to blame” because we will really blame you if come July your cabinet fails to perform as expected. I do not believe in permanently tainted reputations. I believe in individual capacity and I believe that anyone can shine and perform well, if he works with a good leader. At the same time, I believe that people are corruptible so I don’t want to judge them for what they have been linked to in the past. But promise us that you will not be lenient with errors. Promise me that unlike your predecessor you will not coddle your friends (mistakes and all). I did not watch PNoy’s term closely because I did not really care much. But I have been watching you closely so you’ll be hearing from me…
My Final Note: To The Opposition
Just so you know, I am fed up with the blame game of Facebook. The continuous call for the 16M to speak up (one friend and his “commenters” even kept on saying 14M and I wanted to say, “No we were over 16 million–if you’re going to act smart, get your facts straight”). It is annoying, I am telling you, because I did not spend the last 6 years screaming at PNoy voters and asking them to explain. In 2010 Dick Gordon lost, and I moved on with my life and entrusted the country to the new leader.
In August 2010, the Luneta hostage drama happened and I remember watching everything with my dad. We were screaming. We were cursing. We were outraged. The media (for our entertainment benefit) was doing an awesome job of keeping everyone updated but we all know what role the media played that day. We all know what consequences we had to swallow because they were heavily reporting the details of that unfortunate incident. And finally, please do not forget that barely 2 months in his 6-year term, PNoy was “a phone call away” and as a result of that long drama, people died. I do not know and understand protocol, so I would not criticize. I just want you to take a walk back with me to August 2010.
People on my Facebook scream and say: “Where are the 16M voters? Why are you mum on the issue?” Well, what exactly has he done–he hurt some people’s feelings? Okay, I do not want to belittle the emotions of people, but since we are talking about feeling INSULTED and being painfully LACERATED, know that this thing you are doing is nothing short of the very same thing you are complaining about. Every time you laugh at us and maliciously say: “Your President”, you rub in how STUPID you feel we all are. We are not mum and cowardly hiding. It is not my duty to appease your emotions.
So PDiggy, rest assured I am still with you. In fact, I cannot wait for you to start working because I believe that this is where you will shine. WORK is what matters to me and I want to reiterate that I voted for you not because I thought you are “decent” but I did because you are a leader with, tried and tested, political will. When you assume office, please concentrate on your work. There will be detractors because that’s a fact and you yourself said: “It’s all part of the territory of politics”. Do not mind them because they will not go away, but WORK because if you don’t, then I WILL GET MAD.