Despite your high 91% trust rating, the 16 million electoral mandate, the Congress super majority, and the continued support you get from people like myself–I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry because despite the number of people who believe in you, you are battling this on your own.
Why do I say this? Since you took your seat you have waged war on a number of people. You put yourself in front of the camera and you make your “announcements”. Depending on who is at the receiving end, you are applauded or criticized. For those who criticize you, this unusual practice is seen as uncouth, unpresidential and so forth. In the past administration, you would hardly see the President resort to this because he usually has someone like Trillanes, De Lima or Drilon to do the dirty work for him. Right now, we have someone who does his own laundry… someone who tells the police, “No one will go to jail as long as long as you are doing your job. I will not allow it.” And always, declarations of this nature end with this statement, “Even if I lose the Presidency”. You see, I say “on your own” because you’ve put it all in your hands.
The War Between Supporters
Yesterday was your 50th day and having declared it a “holiday” because of C5 traffic, I spent the entire day following features and commentaries about your first 50 days. It was as mixed as reviews for “Suicide Squad”, and on Twitter and Facebook, it was just as violent. As a supporter, I make sure to keep track of things–it’s quite entertaining.
And just so you know, I was enraged by the TIME.COM article by Miguel Syjuco
. I have lots to say about it, but I’ll keep it simple. Here we have a highly educated novelist, with much credibility, use his award-winning pen power to write an article so maliciously selective and creatively colored with an agenda to destroy. The title alone, “This Is Why Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Will Get Away With Murder”
, is very suggestive. It’s a lengthy piece that was written well and it conveniently accommodated all notable accusations, whether or not it was relevant or accurate. It’s not enough that the so-called bonafide media is against you. It’s not enough that your supporters are laughed at and ridiculed for publishing their own versions of the truth, to contrast the versions that mainstream media publishes. It’s not enough that people who defend you are called trolls because what credibility or brand can they present? Here comes a highly credible writer–and he publishes on TIME.COM and of course, it is applauded (and believed).
This war will go on and with your recent spat with De Lima, it will continue. And about that, as a Christian I do not believe in the worldly saying, “an eye for an eye”. I am the type of person who hardly finds the heart to take revenge or get back at people, so I may never have the boldness you possess. But I do not and cannot control your reactions and decisions. An impending international inquiry threatens your Presidency and in an interview De Lima expressed some “worry” by saying: “Now hindi po biro yan. The last thing we need nga is for our dear President to be subjected to prosecution by an international tribunal, like the international criminal court. Hindi ko po tinatakot ang ating pangulo, I’m just stating a fact”. (Now this is not a joke. The last thing we need is for our dear President to be subjected to prosecution by an international tribunal, like the international criminal court. I am not threatening the President, I’m just stating a fact). And meanwhile we have Kill Lists being properly organized and updated, articles from international news publications speaking of EJK and then of course we see photos like this one:
Some people were furious when you asked the media to stop sensationalizing the killings. They said you were mocking the deaths. Were you? I say the photos are of amazing quality. These are coffee table book quality, huh? We used to have People Power hardbound books displayed at home. I loved looking at the photos when I was growing up. I noticed that photos of the drug killings have the same artistic quality. Such deaths used to be tucked far away in tabloids (where they are unseen)–but these photos are particularly good for reposting–perfect for sharing in blogs, Twitter, Facebook and so forth.
The War In My Head
Whenever I am asked about how I feel about the extrajudicial killings, I say: “I do not like the killings”, and that is the truth. Why I do not rage against it is because… Well, let me quote to you what Senator Dick Gordon immediately answered when Teddy Locsin Jr asked for his opinion about EJK by agreeing that while the killings have been a long-time issue, the past were much random, whereas today’s is… “How do you know?”, Dick Gordon quickly interrupted. It was such a fast interview, he conducted it in lightning speed and I cannot find a video of it online so forgive me if I cannot quote it verbatim, but Gordon’s answer was clear–and Locsin paused, listened and agreed–because, how do you know, really? The war in my head sees the pictures of deaths–and then I see 570,000+ surrenders (that rehabilitation centers can no longer accommodate). I see efforts to call house to house for people to come forward and I see people being named and shamed publicly. Now, who makes it to the KILL LIST? If the goal is to kill, then why bother with the charade? You see, the war in my head cannot connect these things. So I raise the same question by Dick Gordon, this time to all of you, “How do you know?” Are you sure there is no other reason why people are being killed?
1 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13:1-6)
I will never know the inner workings of Rodrigo Duterte’s mind. But in his Sona when he said, “I believe in the separation of the church and state, but there should be no separation between God and state”, I think he was referring to the verses above. Senator Pacquiao quoted a little of this in his privilege speech about the Death Penalty. Anyway, the truth is that all of this is beyond me so I leave it to the Lord. But in my heart of hearts, I want for Duterte to find a way to disconnect himself from the salvage killings because I need the war in my head to stop.